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Week of January 14, 2013

Staff Spotlight

Videographer explores LSA through films

A few weeks ago, Natalie Condon watched as a bat went from specimen to object of display for the Museum of Zoology, filming the whole time. She watched as a museum research assistant disassembled the bat skeleton, cleaned it out and reassembled it; she turned the footage into a time-lapse film.

As a videographer for the Development, Marketing and Communications office at LSA, Condon makes videos of things happening all over campus.

Photo by Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography.

One of her latest projects was called “Uncommon Campus,” a video that showcased some of the more iconic places on campus as well as some hidden gems, including the Papyrology Collection in Hatcher Graduate Library.

“Every project is different, and with each we get to meet a lot of cool people doing amazing things on campus,” Condon says. She works on several projects a month, including the Campus Day videos, promotional films for student organizations and LSA departments, and video segments to supplement LSA Today stories. “Anyone who has an interesting lead or idea for a great video, we’ll do it!”

Outside of work, Condon and her husband have been working on a few videos for a friend’s nonprofit in Haiti. They flew to Haiti and helped film videos to promote the organization, PouredOut, which provides water filters to Haitians, and they also created how-to videos on how to use the sand filters. “It was a very eye-opening experience, and I’m hoping that I can do other things like that in the future,” Condon says.

“As a videographer, you have to be able to do everything: filming, editing, animating,” says Condon of what it takes to produce a piece. “I love it. I’m forced to be creative in a number of different roles.”

Although Condon loved movies growing up, she didn’t plan on working on them until she came to U-M. Her adviser suggested screenwriting, and while she was initially nervous, Condon started taking classes in the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures.

“I had this epiphany and realized that almost everyone going in was sort of clueless about how to make movies, too, and then I took classes and learned that I love it,” Condon says.

Last year, Condon helped produce a commercial with some friends from the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures. Her friends entered it in a contest thrown by Mountain Dew and they won; now they’re working on producing more commercials. “I had fun, and I’d like to get back into writing — I’d like to make a short film,” Condon says.

After college, Condon worked on film sets as a location assistant and scout. The tax cuts for the film industry in Michigan brought lots of opportunities, but Condon’s heart remained with her video work.

“I think being able to make videos about something you believe in is a rare thing, and I’m excited that I’m able to do it every day.”


The weekly Spotlight features faculty and staff members at the university. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at urecord@umich.edu.

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Natalie Condon, videographer for the Development, Marketing and Communications office at LSA, on her job: “Every project is different, and with each we get to meet a lot of cool people doing amazing things on campus.”

EVENTS

“The Music Lesson” by Caspar Netscher, U-M Museum of Art new acquisition, first floor connector near the museum’s historic wing.

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