Category Archives: Fall 2015 – J215

Plan C: Motto For the Semester

Before the semester began, my only experience with photo and video editing were from Instagram and a few iMovie productions that I made in high school. I was really looking forward to learning hoScreen Shot 2015-09-09 at 3.23.22 PMw to be more professional in my work and how to get quality shots that are different than the 300 people I follow on Instagram.

Professor Collins told us from the beginning of the semester that one of the most important things to remember during the semester is to always have a plan A, B, and C. What I wasn’t expecting was how often I would use plan C- almost for every project. However, this taught me how to be flexible and open to new ideas. Continue reading

“Stand by!” Up next, Jasmine Dinh takes on Multimedia.

Fortunate. That’s the word I would use to sum up my semester in Multimedia.

Jasmine Dinh

Jasmine Dinh

Reflecting back on the semester, I have realized how fortunate to be able to learn what it is to be a multimedia reporter. When I signed up for this class, I was beyond excited. A class where I get to be more creative rather than focus on the serious reporting stuff? Sign me up! This class has pushed me to seek out different stories, while also allowing me to take on what I have interest in covering. I’ve been a photographer for about 6 years now and I’ve only been learning more since I started. For this class, instead of having to focus on learning basic techniques of photography I was able to focus more on the videography. I would say my skills have definitely grown as the class has progressed.

Sunsetting on my semester

Sunsetting on my semester

With the first assignment, I was excited to dive right in. We were required to take a variety of stills and videos of varying sizes (wide, medium and tight). I loved how relaxed I felt doing this assignment. It made doing my “homework” enjoyable for the first time. Fortunately, I was taking TV1 which is video reporting and storytelling at the same time. The mix of multimedia and TV1 helped me learn at a quicker pace when it came to editing, so it was easier to piece my first assignment together.

Delicious Naan Pizza

Delicious Naan Pizza

For our second assignment, we were told to create two video essays. One without the natural sound and one with. I went to my friend’s apartment so I could show her how to make one of my favorite quick fix foods, naan pizza. The sounds I recorded included my walk over, the elevator dings to her apartment, her chopping the food, the toaster oven timer clicking and the ding when it finished baking, as well as when my friend accidentally burned herself reaching into the oven. I think my sound added a lot to my piece, because it made the photos come alive in a sense.

Photo courtesy of Neutral Cycle

Photo courtesy of Neutral Cycle

The third assignment was all videoing and a lot more writing. It was our first news piece, really. We created a video essay. At the time I had heard about the increase in bicycle thefts in the Champaign-Urbana area, so I decided to head over to Neutral Cycle on Fifth street to hear about their research. I got some really cool shots, but unfortunately when i uploaded it something went wrong and it turned out slow and pixelated. I attempted to re-edit, but it had the same effect. The process of videoing and learning more information on bike thefts was fun and interesting, which made the project worth it even if my video didn’t turn out as clear as I would have liked.

Photo Courtesy of HERE

Photo Courtesy of HERE

By out fourth assignment, I was ready to start interviewing. We created an audio package, so we hear my voice for the first time. I decided to continue looking for news and went to interview a leasing agent and resident from HERE Apartments, the new apartment located on Fourth and Green street. At the time, the apartment company was receiving a lot of backlash for their inability to offer their residents everything they promised and the residents were not happy. I really enjoyed this assignment, because I was able to continue working on my interviewing skills. I was able to think faster about what kinds of questions I wanted to ask to help the interview flow by thinking faster on the spot. You can tell by the clear answers I was able to receive in my piece.

Maker Girls

Maker Girls

Next up was our full package! I did my story on the Maker Girls, which is a lab that invites young girls in to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. I enjoyed this piece the most, because of the enthusiasm I received from the girls’ excitement to be interviewed. Plus, I secretly wish they had programs like Maker Girls when I was 8 years old. I was also really proud of this piece and how fast I was able to put it together. It was not my original story plan, but I was able to find a news idea just in time and put my editing skills to the test against time. The piece came together beautifully and it was by far the one I’ve enjoyed re-watching the most.

Movie night essential

Movie night essential

Last, but not least, our how to videos.  Unlike everyone else, I decided to turn away from food and create a how to video on how to hold the best movie night. I love movie nights, but I still haven’t decided if it’s because of the amount of popcorn I’m allowed to consume without being judged or the actual movies. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this piece as well. I invited a few of my friends over and we went through each step that we would normally when we get together for movie nights. No movie night is complete without drinks, popcorn, a good movie, and blankets to cozy up in.

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

Now for the grand finale….drum roll please… Shining Light on What’s Hidden. A group project that tested how well journalism students can work together. This project was the most difficult assignment I had all semester. My group was great and I don’t think we would have been able to pull it off if it wasn’t for how well we were able to get along and communicate. We originally wanted to do our piece on raising awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s, but the contacts we were hoping to get ahold of were not exactly the most consistent. So from there we decided to raise awareness on issues that are not always noticed as easily as others, hence our title, “Shining Light on What’s Hidden.” I don’t know how many places each of us visited to try and get interviews as well as how many times we were turned down. It was rough, but we didn’t let that stop us from thinking up new ideas which is what helped up complete the assignment.

Overall, I enjoyed this class tremendously, because of our ability to be creative. Journalism can be tough, but it can be fun. I got to learn so much this semester that has only challenged my skill set and made me into a better journalist.

Emma Pool is Cooler with a Camera


A headshot of myself

Stand by! The semester flew by and I’m now reflecting on all of my work for Journalism 215. I have to say, I was pretty intimidated coming into this class. I was handed a large, fancy camera and assigned projects. It was awkward at first using the camera out in public because it was so large and people were wondering what I was doing. However, I soon grew confident and was more comfortable shooting throughout the rest of the semester.

Fleur de lis marquee light

Fleur de lis marquee light

For my first project I took different pictures and video footage around my sorority house. I tested wide, medium, tight shot pictures. For video, I tested zooming in and out, and panning left and right.


Colorful feather boas

Each assignment because progressively more challenging by adding another layer. The second assignment included stills with and without audio. Since I wasn’t sure how the audio would come out with the recorder, I used my phone as well. I used my camera around the Party City in Champaign because I thought the vibrant colors and fun items would make for an interesting photo essay. Looking back, I would have liked to record someone checking out because I think that would have been good sound.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 1.53.13 PM

Stretching before a workout

Assignment 3 was fun to shoot because I chose to shoot fast moving content. My friend was willing to let me shoot her working out at CRCE and she was very excited to see the final project. The story was someone leaves to go work out and finishes up with recovering. Knowing what I know now, I would have liked to film more high intensity workout, such as, running, biking, or stair climbing. This would have varied the video more and would have given the project more movement with the workout theme. The big challenge was filming on the move and I noticed some of my shots were shaky. I realize I should have used the tripod to get more still shots. I also started to become more comfortable taking the camera out in public because CRCE was very busy and it was a little awkward to film.


Spicy Clamato improv troupe

The audio package assignment was something I had never done before. I was nervous about editing because it’s fairly easy to record interviews but to put it all together and then add my voice was a little daunting. I figured out it was fairly easy to record everything separately and then put it together on Adobe. I found it easier to just record on my phone because I was able to play it back out loud right away. My advice would be to make sure you are in a quiet space when doing your interviews. Sometimes the background sound overpowers the subject you are interviewing and it is distracting to the listener. Also, make sure you check your interview after you record it to make sure your subject is loud enough. One thing I noticed was that I sometimes responded to the interviewee by vocally agreeing with them. However, this sounded off in the interview so I had to make sure I was silent. I noticed the volume was not consistent during the whole package once I put it all together. That is something I would have tried to fix early on had I known. I also loved my subject because Improv is a passion of mine so it was a fun subject to work with.


Illini Union Recycling Bin

The thing I would have liked to be done different was doing the How To video before the full package. I thought doing the full package incorporated everything all too soon. I was really proud of my full package because I was finally able to put everything I’ve learned all together. I had to go out and get numerous interviews and get them on camera. It was fun to play around with the editing and making sure everything flowed. I enjoyed my subject and it was fulfilling to see the whole project come together at the end. After watching the final product I noticed some changes I could have made. I should have cut to my subject when I was introducing them rather than showing pictures. I also interviewed someone outside which was difficult because it was very windy that day and it overpowered the interviewee. Check out my full package here.


The Second City improvisational comedy enterprise

My How To video was a lot of fun. I had a really fun subject and I added humor to the video. It was also interesting to add in the cartoon drawing.
The biggest trouble I encountered was controlling the volume. It was difficult to make some clips quieter while the other clips had normal volume.


Courtesy of Google Images

The final project proved to be the most difficult. I enjoyed the group aspect of it. We were able to work together and bounce ideas off of each other. Especially, since the final project had so many components, we were able to split up the work to focus on our own part. Our idea was to have a news cast and incorporate every project in one video. We used the green screen but ran into trouble when we were putting the video together. The library worker filmed awkwardly and the sound was quiet on one angle of the video and incorporated two people in the shot when just one was speaking. We resulted to plan B and used the second angled shot of us that was closer up but it still posed similar problems. Although it didn’t quite work out to how we would have liked, we were glad we made the effort to use the green screen. Looking back, we wish we would have followed more of a specific storyline. With All Things Bikes, we hit core subjects but it just didn’t flow once we put it all together. We think with more time, it would have turned out cleaner. My group used Weebly, which was fairly easy to use and we were all able to work on it at once. If we could do the project again, I think we would have liked to have split up the projects rather than put it all together to make one news cast. Check out our final project on YouTube here and our website on Weebly here.

Overall, I enjoyed picking subjects that I was passionate about so I was able stay engaged and put forth all my best effort. In the real world, I won’t always be able to pick my own topics so now is the time to learn while also working with subjects I love. I learned so much from this class. I learned to use Adobe for editing footage as well as different ways to use the camera. These are all useful lessons that I will take with me as I move forward in my journalism career in the future.

Reporting one last time from Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Emma Pool.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From Lucas’ Year in J215

Me Profile Pic

A photo of myself

It’s finally that time of the year. Time to look back and reflect on this very memorable year in multimedia. Coming into this class I honestly had no clue was I what the content of the class would be like, and when we received our syllabus from Professor Collins a few weeks before class it made the class seem somewhat overwhelming. But honestly trying to put 16 weeks worth of work into context that early probably wasn’t the best idea on my part. Continue reading

Mastering Multimedia


A photo of myself.

When I received the Journalism 215 syllabus in my email during those last few weeks of summer, I instantly felt a little overwhelmed. It was 14 pages long. Senior year shouldn’t be stressful, right? How was I going to survive this semester? I was a writer not a videographer, photographer, or designer.

As it turns out, I am all of those things.

It just took some time. I had to check my pride a lot. Often times I had to use plan B, plan C, or even plan D when plan A didn’t work out. In the end this class was a very humbling experience. Looking back at all my assignments I’m so proud of my visible progress. I’m actually sad to be finished with this class. That is something so rare for me. It really did feel like a journey.  Continue reading

Megan and Multimedia: One Memorable Semester


To be honest, I was putting off this class for as long as I could. Although I’ve worked with Adobe InDesign before, for some reason video editing really, really, REALLY intimidated me. I assumed that this class would be really stressful since I had no background in multimedia or broadcasting. But to my surprise, four months later, I feel so much more confident with Premiere and shooting. Of course, as soon as I finally got the hang of it, it’s time to leave!

Continue reading

How To Make Chocolate Croissants


Warm chocolate croissants with cold milk.

Now that the weather in changing, it’s never a bad time for warm, doughy croissants. But what’s better than that? Croissants with chocolate in them, of course.

This “HowTo” piece gives 6 easy steps to make your very own chocolate croissants.


6-step croissant storyboard.

How to Play Barre Chords on a Guitar


Holding a chord ©strommeninc

For my how to video, I chose to show how to hold a barre chord on a guitar.

Barre chords are traditionally preferred to the regular way of holding chords because it is easy to transition between them quickly, and also because the barre chords offer a fuller sound.

Barre chords are typically what you learn once you have learned the basics of guitar and holding basic chords.

You can watch my video here.

This is a useful graphic that tells you how to play different bar chords.


Here is a link to 4 essential barre chords.

How To Make Delicious Scrambled Eggs

Making scrambled eggs is a simple, yet great way to start your every day. It’s a great addition to breakfast, and can be made in just a few easy steps. In my How-To video, I show the audience how quickly eggs can be made with just a few simple ingredients from the grocery store. It’ll change your every day morning routine. Take a look for yourself. Happy eating! 🙂

Scrambled Eggs Credit to Google

Scrambled Eggs
Credit to Google


For more recipes on making delicious scrambled eggs just the way you like them, visit


Netflix and Chill or more?

Fall is here and what’s the best thing to do on a chilly day? Netflix and Chill. I know what you’re thinking.. and maybe you’re not far off.

A shortened version of the steps included in the video

I don’t know about you, but I believe a good movie night involves 10 steps. See what those steps are here..

This is my way of having a good movie night. What’s yours? Comment below with more ways to have a good night!!