Melanie’s Project: The Saint Petersburg Dam

At the end of my time here, I have had multiple interview, filmed so b-roll around the city, and have been on tour of the dam. Initially, I was very unsure of how this project would go because it seemed like a lot of work in a short amount of time (and it was). We had to research how topics, come up with interview questions, translate the questions into Russian, practice reading the questions in Russian, interview our experts, and collect b-roll. This is just all to get the scraps for the actual finished product (a 5-7 minute long video). Since we will not be able to come back here if we missed anything important, we have to ensure that we have all the material we need, which is hard to know until you start putting it together. Also, our interviews are in Russian, so it is even harder to know what we have already in terms of information. Regardless of how the final videos turn out, the process was rewarding, especially since we got to work with Russian film students. They made this trip much more culturally immersive since we were able to hit the town with them a few times and really get to know them. I am sad that we have to leave them! 🙁

The other day in class, I presented some footage that I have gathered and put together to my fellow classmates to explain how my project has taken shape. You can watch it here:

Today, July 22, I went on the tour of the dam. It was amazing! I got to see the inner workings of the dam and got some really nice photos and footage. After doing so much research on it, it was surreal to see it so close. Also, I got to go with my BFF Anna Blinova, so it was even better.                                               Water gate Melanie holding up part of the dam Sailboat going through the locks View of the lock Anna Blinova Bridge on dam

10 facts about the dam:
1) 25 km long
2) 11 dams each with 6 water gates that open and close
3) 2 locks
4) 1 tunnel
5) 1 bridge
6) also a 6 lane highway connecting Peter to Kronstadt
7) cost almost $4 billion
8) took decades to build because it was left incomplete after the collapse of the USSR and finished under Putin
9) contains water filters to help with pollution