Storyteller Sit-downs: Isabella Bartolucci

This is the FOURTH installment in our “Storyteller Sit-downs” series, which means… keep reading (because we’re going to make more)!

The aim: to show the great big personalities behind the cameras at GBS. We’ll put producers, editors, designers, even interns on the hot seat to answer questions about their experiences inside the office and out. Without further ado:

This is Isabella Bartolucci — a producer at Great Big Story. She’s a native North Carolinian (go Heels) who currently calls Brooklyn home. She loves reading cookbooks, playing with the office dog, and, thanks to one of her coworkers, recently found out her spirit animal is a hiccuping puppy. This is Isabella’s Great Big Story:

Strangest or best ‘on location’ occurrence

IB: One of the subjects I did a story on named a tarantula after me! I was in Tucson, AZ shooting a story about Justin Schmidt, an entomologist who has been stung about 1000 times by the insects he studies. We were playing with his tarantula and I joked she needed a name so he named her Isabella.

[Phantom sting sensations…]

Favorite piece produced and why:

IB: I loved making the Mikey Likes It Ice Cream video. It was one of the first pieces I did at GBS and it is still one of my favorites. We shot the piece a few blocks from our office in New York City so I still get to see Mikey at his shop and get ice cream. It’s great!

2 Live Crew (Southern Hospitality flavor) is other worldly!

Biggest self-criticism for a piece you worked on

IB: I always come home and wish I had shot more! (sorry editors!)

A strange, nightmarish, tale from the road

IB: Jules, one of the other producers, and I were doing a story about The House on the Rock in Wisconsin. There are no hotels near the house, just one inn that is deep in the Wisconsin woods. We had to drive down dirt roads in the pitch dark to get there. You don’t realize how creepy it is to be in the pitch black woods until you live in NYC where it is always bright.

Anything to get the story!

A callout to your favorite GBS social media supporter (or favorite comment):

IB: My parents are not on social media, but they are my favorite GBS supporters. They send me cute emails about all my pieces. It’s really sweet. Does that count?

Three cheers for the Bartolucci’s and their unconditional love for GBS! Motion to start a parent fan club.

Most difficult part about being a storyteller:

IB: I think the most difficult part about being a storyteller is getting the story right. The people we do stories on trust us enough to allow us into their lives for a short amount of time and that is a really special thing. We usually ask them intimate questions about their lives and their hopes and dreams, etc. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.