It’s been almost a year since the London Olympics—my how time flies! To mark the occasion, we decided to pick each other’s brains about our time spent at the Olympics. Meeting people from around the world, getting swept up in the excitement—all with a camera in hand—there is one thing we both agree on: this was an experience that will never be forgotten.
Kia: What did you do before you got there to prepare?
Sulagna: I looked up lots and lots and lots of events on London 2012 websites, like pub meetups or shows or anything where I would meet people to interview. That’s how I found stuff like the Unexpected Items sketch comedy show. Although, once I got there I did find a lot of places where I would go over and get nothing back, like pubs I went to where people were like “No cameras ever.”
Kia: You got to London first and were on your own for a week, what was that like?
Sulagna: When I was on my own for a week, I was kind of at a loss. I didn’t have a phone and I figured I knew how the Tube worked, but it was all so overwhelming! It helped that I had family there that gave me advice. I had to force myself to talk to more people in one day than I would talk to in a month in real life. It was terrifying, but I liked all the people I met. Well, at least the ones that would talk to me! A couple people ran away from me! That was really odd. Oh, but the nice people were SO nice. One thing that was cool was that people were always celebrating over someone winning!
Kia: What did you go there hoping to catch on camera? What were you expecting people to say? And did you walk away from your first few interviews saying “Oh this is awesome?” or “Uh oh, I’m totally off the mark!”
Sulagna: I went there with the question “Why do people like the Olympics?” or “Why do people go?” or “What is it like?” because I honestly didn’t know! Some interviewees were really nice. That surprised me and really made the process easier. I came back from those thinking, “That’s such a sweet way to think about the Olympics! I didn’t think about that!” And other people I just thought, “That had nothing to do with the Olympics…” With some people, it was like, “This is not how I expected this to go!” Actually with all the people it was like that. People are unexpected.
Kia: What was your favorite interview?
Sulagna: Ooh, favorite interview. I really liked interviewing Niall at the Irish House, just because he’s such a big fan of the Olympics. I really enjoyed interviewing the sketch comedians because they talked for long periods of time and were very quippy and knew how to use my camera better than I did. Oh, and the Germans! They were really hilarious too! The houses were appealing because it was a bunch of people gathered in one place that were SURE to like the Olympics. Although with some of the fancier houses, like the Amsterdam House, it was more that people liked getting together to drink while the Olympics were on TV.
Kia: What were some of the thoughts you had when you looked over your footage?
Sulagna: Nothing that academic, to be honest…a lot of “This is not that bad! Holy crap!” and “I giggle a lot” and a twinge every time I was on camera and a bit of glee every time you were. What else? I was interested to see how well some interviews looked, and how some of them looked different from what I remember. But also, that the people I liked speaking to in real life were the best interviews. What did you think when you saw the rough cut?
Kia: I thought it was great. We left with a lot of footage of people from so many different countries saying very similar things, and the end result showed that. It shows the unifying nature of the games. What is in the future for your video?
Sulagna: I’m not sure. I don’t know if I should put it online. I’d love to have a proper screening, or take it to festivals, but I’m not sure where to start. I’ll let you know when I do. Any advice is welcome.
See part 2, Kia’s interview, on Thursday!