by Shelbi Voss
Last week we closed out the first half of season five of Good Morning Illini. Although it felt like we might never have the opportunity to see the end and wrap it up neatly, we somehow got there and I, along with the other producers am very proud to have done so.
Although this semester brought a number of ups and downs and concern over whether or not the campus would remain open we never let up. Each week we proceeded as if the show would be live on Friday morning at 10 a.m. Even though we had back-up plans in place we tried not to focus on how they would be used, and instead took it one week at a time, finding stories, helping one another grow and producing the best news possible for our viewers. Thinking only of the present seemed to be the trick that kept us ahead and now that the final show has faded to black I can proudly say that we made it.
Over the last three weeks I could tell that my fellow producers and I were pulling for material. With fall break fast approaching and higher COVID-19 positivity rates there was not much happening around campus. I felt as though any time I left my apartment my eyes were peeled for a sign or chalk art on the sidewalk leading me to a good story for the week’s show. Somehow we filled our 30 minute slot for nine weeks straight without ever letting up. Connor and Jose were a great team to work with and we never let each other sink. Every week felt as though there was more work to be done and notes to be taken in order to keep the show improving from week to week and our observations and communication helped us to sail through the last 12 weeks of production.
Last week’s episode truly captured the work that everyone has put in throughout the semester. The morning was smooth, the content was great and the technical difficulties were minimal. It goes to show just how much growth we have had throughout the process of production and I think everyone should be incredibly proud of the work that was done. There was a different air of confidence both in the operation of equipment Friday morning and in the packages that were created for the episode, and that sense of confidence is the result of working together and being willing to trust one another.
Heading into the week I was still nervous, but not nearly as much as my producing weeks in the past. Throughout the show I felt jitters, bouncing on my toes, ready to run and fix anything at a moment’s notice but it was never necessary. We had a clean open, and from then on I felt a bit more at ease, as if getting through the first five minutes of the show meant that the next 25 would be no different. And luckily, it wasn’t.
Some might say we got lucky having a smooth show on Friday the 13th. I think the date was just a coincidence. Whether the final show was Friday the 13th or the luckiest day on the calendar, it would have been smooth due to the hard work of a team who refused to let any slips ups affect their success. Sure, some days were tough, but those were the opportunities to take note and learn. Without them we would have gotten too comfortable with just getting by.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have met and worked with some very cool people over the last few months. Finishing on a high note was a wonderful way to close out the semester and I am very excited to see what Season 5.5’s team brings to the table.