Behind the Scenes of 'Beyond Other'

Bookmark and Share

After making the mixed-race timeline, my next project was filming and editing in-depth interviews with people who are multiracial. These interviews, which were modeled off of the’s OnBeing feature, were my main focus for the summer.

I was excited for this project because it let me do what I enjoy most: shooting and editing. These interviews tested my skills as an editor because I had to craft cohesive stories out these people’s own words. I couldn’t use my own narration or additional interviews to fill in gaps; I had to piece together some sort of a narrative based only off of what the subjects said.

My fellow group members and I alternated in conducting the interviews, and I shot and edited them. My group and I carefully planned out which questions we would ask and in what order we would ask them. After asking different questions in a variety of ways during “trial” interviews in the beginning of the summer, we settled on about a dozen questions. These questions asked about a person’s childhood and experiences growing up multiracial, how they felt about President Obama and if they thought the United States was in a “post-racial moment.”

I really appreciated how open our participants were in this project. Race can be a sensitive subject sometimes, but everyone we interviewed was candid, open and honest. Most of them even said that they wished there was more open dialog about race in our society.

A major obstacle our group faced was hearing many of our participants comment on how they hate the “what are you?” question -- and then asking that very same question. I also found it ironic that our reporting topic was about race, yet we still asked if the United States was post-racial. Does our covering this topic not answer that question for us? Still, our participants kindly understood what we were trying to do and were glad to answer our questions and give their opinions.

What I found  -- and what I hope is reflected in these videos -- is that every multiracial person’s experience is different. Their experiences are as diverse as the mixed-race demographic, and this may help explain why there may never be a strong  mixed-race community or “voting bloc.” Some never think about race, nor have they experienced particular issues because of their multiracial heritage. Others, however, have experienced varying degrees of racism and struggle with identifying with other racial groups.

While my group was assigned this topic because of Census data that said multiracial Americans are the fastest-growing demographic, I think our most compelling stories are from these individuals’ lives. Each interview is different, but still interesting and worth our audiences’ time to sit down and listen.

Hopefully, their unique perspectives and experiences will keep our users engaged and they will be left wanting more.

Post by: 
Andrew Smith
Comments that include potentially libelous statements or are personal attacks on others will be deleted from the site.