April 22, 2022 Erin Sutherland

Backlog: Where time goes during a pandemic

Neglecting a blog; apparently I’m good at it. But perhaps there’s a silver lining to only updating with backlog posts from the last [ahem] year or so? It’s the best of the best? Sure. I’ll take it.

Time seems to be seeping into a black hole in these pandemic times.  What have I done in the last… 531 days? (At least it’s not as long as the last pause.)

I’ve made a lot of these Electrical Worker Shorts videos, where we recap stories from our print side and use these videos to bring attention to the stories on our website. (A few more can be seen on my VIDEO page above.)

I also got to make a video for President Biden’s Inaugural Committee, which was shown during one of the pre-inauguration programs and featured messages from other unions and labor-friendly well-wishers. It was an intense 3 days from first notice to delivery, and worth every stressful moment, even in a pandemic.

And a first for me here – I edited an organizing story that I did not shoot. It’s a very different experience taking someone else’s footage and making it into something that feels right. When I film a story myself, I retain a lot of the details in my head. Where this bit of action happened, when someone said the phrase I know I want. So when I go to put it together afterwards, it’s more like a refresher course than when I’m starting from scratch with unfamiliar pieces. I’m pleased with how this one came out, and it felt good to put together a real story with real interviews instead of just text. 

I haven’t done many stills in this pandemic time, but I did get to photograph a few internal events that managed to happen in-person, and at a data center being constructed in Northern Virginia. And more recently, I got to photograph a Senate hearing for the TVA board. Those photos are unpublished for now, so I’ll have to update them once the story runs. Hopefully I remember to do it before another 531 days pass.