How to Make a Documentary on Cubicles

Posted on May 26, 2007

How to Make a Documentary on Cubicles 2Editing is going a lot quicker than I imagined. I just finished a rough cut that I’m pretty happy with yesterday, and I got some great feedback from the editing teacher.

I realized I never finished recounting the epic Spring Break Documentary Road Trip or went into details as to the making of Cubicles (as it is now called), so I’ll just summarize who I filmed and why below ((This post title is a little deceiving. I don’t really want you to make a documentary on cubicles, because I’m doing that and it just wouldn’t be cool. But I do want you to make your own documentary. That’d be cool)).

Steelcase

This was our last stop on the Road Trip. Steelcase is the number one office systems manufacturer in the country, so I had to go visit them to see the latest and greatest cubicle designs ((The technical name is Open Office Systems, or just Systems)).

We got a great two-hour tour covering all sorts of design aspects. Steelcase does a lot of research into how people work, information that has already made it’s way into the documentary.

Interior Design Professor

Going through my school’s web site, I located an interior design professor who’s been designing offices for about 40 years. He kindly agreed to be interviewed and we talked about the history of cubicles, how it affects productivity, psychological factors, and where office design is going in the future.

The Boss

I wanted to interview someone who had worked in cubicles, but has now made it to the coveted corner office. So I interviewed Bob, the Executive Editor of our local newspaper. He’s not the biggest fan of cubicles, though he’d rather go for a more open office layout because of the way a newspaper is put together, rather then private offices for everyone. We talked about past places he’s worked, the worst office he ever had, people he’s worked with, and the rapid speed at which businesses are changing.

The Cubicle Worker

It would be kind of bad to have a documentary about cubicles without interviewing someone who works in one. Emily also works at the newspaper, but she stood out from the rest because her cubicle is pretty pimped out. To avoid being a “corporate drone,” her walls are covered with blue fabric and photos on black paper to make them pop. It reminded me of Cube Chic.

So those are my four main interviews. Unfortunately some are only in the rough cut for a very small part, but I’m glad I haven’t had to cut anyone…yet.

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