Dr Jim Coyle
Tags: Pope Benedict, Video
Here’s a look at Pope Benedict arriving at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for his April 16 meeting with the US Bishops and his departure about an hour later. The crowd surged forward when we saw the Pope, as you’ll see when the video gets shakier than usual.
Pope’s Trip to U.S. Draws Franciscan Students to Barricaded Sidewalks
By: Heather Bartlett
What do you get when you put 9 students of various majors, a Communications professor, 3 cameras and a soccer coach into a Franciscan University van bound for Washington, D.C.? Franciscan Papal Initiative, a crew of enthusiastic students embarking on a pilgrimage to the nation’s capital to provide media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States. Each student had a general position, ranging from still-shot photographer to reporter to on-set secretary.
The students left campus on Tuesday, April 15th at 9:00AM and returned Friday evening (in time for the Matt Maher concert). While filming in D.C., the students were provided housing by alumni of Franciscan University who live in Virginia.
While filming in D.C., the Franciscan Papal Initiative members not only interviewed many different representatives and media elites but were also provided mass media coverage as a school team. On the first day of filming, crew members Andrew Leonard, Jessica Belback and Heather Bartlett were interviewed by and featured on WTOV Channel 9. Several days later, another member, freshman Stephanie Rangel was interviewed by CBS and broadcasted live nation-wide, reaching her parents at home in San Diego, CA. Two other members were interviewed early Thursday evening by Sirius Satellite radio.
Freshman Maria Mitchell, who, in collaboration with Doctor James Coyle and Antonio Soave, played a significant part in the planning and logistics of the trip, had the opportunity to interview the former vice president of DreamWorks.
During the visit, the students saw the Pope in-person twice, once from metal barricades 30 feet away and again from only 15 feet away, as his Holiness roved the street in his Pope mobile. During the first viewing, the students were given the novelty opportunity to pose for a picture in front of the Pope’s limousine.
The footage of the Pope’s visit to the capital will be arranged into two different documentaries; one will be a three-part mini-series of events, interviews and up-close footage to be submitted to EWTN for national broadcast. Other footage will be compiled into a reality TV series entitled “Franciscan U’s Impression of the Pope’s First Visit to America,” a more light-hearted, teen-friendly, informative commentary to be formally submitted to major broadcasting networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC within the next few weeks.
“I have a feeling this is just the beginning,” Mitchell said of the upcoming editorial process.
More information, as well as updates made by crew members, can be found at http://www.franciscanpapalinitiative.wordpress.com.
Well let’s just say that this was quite the life changing experience. We each had SO much fun and everyone’s eyes are still GLOWING from the trip! I think the main thing we all learned was that when you really put your trust in Mary and God everything turns out so well! We have clearly each been blessed and the new friendships we have with eachother are amazing! I can’t wait to get together and edit this SOON! I have a feeling that if we put the editing process in Mary’s hands like we have with everything else that this project will sky rocket! It is so important that we get this out there fast and professionally because what we went through was amazing and we have to let people in on our amazing experience. I wonder how many times I can use AMAZING in one post? Thank you Antonio and thankyou Dr. Coyle for giving us this gift! None of this could have happened without your hard work! LETS GET EDITING!!!!
So today marks the end of our trip! It was such an amazing experience, and I just want to thank everyone who made it possible: way to go Maria, Jessica, Heather, Andy, Joe, Alexander, Emma, Stephanie, Dr. Coyle, and Antonio for making this such an unbelievable journey! The past few days have been a wonderful experience for me which I know will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Today was relaxed in some ways, stressful in others, and slightly tiring, but fun all the same. It started quite early when I had to get up and drive Andy, Joe, Maria, and Heather to the Metro so they could prepare for their interview with the former (I believe) Vice-president of Dreamworks. After dropping them off, Alexander and I got some gas in the van (Alexander hopped up on the car and washed the windshield too) and picked up the rest of the crew back at their respective houses.
After stopping at Seven-Eleven for a quick bite to eat, we were on the Metro armed with cameras, mics, cables, and our highly sharpened senses of humor. These all came into play as we filmed some shots by the water with the Washington Monument and Georgetown as our backdrops. After some highly expeditious filming we shot on over to Dr. Coyle’s hotel to pick up the equipment and the rest of our crew.
As we said our goodbyes, I realized that while the trip may be coming to a close, the impact that the past few days has had on me will last forever. Not only was meeting the Pope a life-changing experience, but simply bonding with the wonderful members of our crew was something that I know I will always be grateful for.
Please pray for us all as we try to finish up finals, edit all of our footage, and continue to have fun with each other.
We were told to feed the fish of the family who’s housing us…
We think Stephanie killed it just now.
We’re about to head out now for the streets of D.C. to do some more filming around the city. Heather and Maria are at the Westin with Dr. Coyle and Joe interviewing the former VP of Dreamworks. Today will be a relatively easy day (as in only one officially planned event) and we will head back to Steubenville around 12 or 1pm.
Some of Alexander’s photos will be posted when we return to show you our trip.
This morning the boys showed up half an hour late to pick us up (who said girls are always late =D) so we had to rush to the Metro. Unfortunately, when we got there we realized we left the camera bag in the van and Zach had 3 minutes to sprint back to the van (it was parked in a neighborhood a few minutes away) and make it back for our train. He ran as fast as he could the whole way and ran up the escalator as our train pulled away. The first person we left behind.
We made it to the Westin by 11:45am and had a pre-production meeting for the day. We were all surprised to find out that we wouldn’t stay together for the day’s events and that we would split into three groups. Antonio sent Joe (camera), Alexander (photographer), and I to the luncheon for the Catholic Athletes for Christ and bishops, and named me as the main host, which I was not at all expecting. A few minutes later he added Andy to our group and we interviewed a couple bishops, the organization’s spiritual adviser, MIKE PIAZZA, and the founder Ray McKenna.
Another group went around D.C. filming intros and bumpers for the reality show, and Maria went with Dr. Coyle and Antonio to a meeting with the former Vice President of Dreamworks. We all met up again at the CUA campus to see the Pope drive by to give his talk to the educators, but my group almost missed the cut-off. The gates were supposed to close at 5:30pm, but we were still on the Metro. All four of us SPRINTED to the campus from the station and ran by holding our tickets out, trying to look professional and important with our cameras!
The crowd was much more lively today waiting for the Pope with people singing and dancing and climbing the trees to get a better look. We were a few rows farther back than yesterday, but we still got a great view of Pope Benedict because he passed literally 10 ft. from the gate. Afterwards we were on live radio with the Sirius radio station The Catholic Channel (“That Catholic Guy” show) and we also interviewed our university President, Fr. Terrence Henry.
Taking the Metro back into the main streets of D.C., we filmed and explored the monuments at night and headed back to Zach’s house for pizza. However, we got split into three groups again and Zach, Jessica, Heather, Stephanie and I left behind the other boys…and Maria. Eventually made it back to the same Metro stop to leave for Zach’s. We watched ourselves on EWTN, and finally got back to our homes around 2am.
The day was packed with events and everyone is exhausted, possibly contributing to the fact that we got lost AGAIN going home (although not as long as last night).
We all agree that seeing the Pope the second time was even more exciting!
If nothing else, staying flexible is an essential aspect of our Papal Visit trip. Right now I’m at the Media Center in the press hotel, having just watched video highlights of Pope Benedict’s Interfaith Dialogue at the John Paul II Cultural Center. I’d hoped to be nearby on the Catholic University campus with our student crew, but I was late getting there because of some accidental equipment damage at the hotel, then couldn’t get on campus because of one missing credential. I was able to get needed battery chargers to one of our crew member who met me at the edge of campus. Looking for a cab, bus or shuttle back to the hotel, I ran into Tim Drake, my favorite Papal blogger – Pope2008.com – and had a delightful conversation about journalism, new media, family, and more as we rodea city bus back to the hotel. The crew has been doing a fabulous job. I hope they don’t blush when they read this. They’re doing themselves proud.
Here in the Media Center, my AT&T cell phone doesn’t get a signal, so I need to head upstairs to listen to a voicemail – probably from the crew.
Dr. Jim Coyle