We finally made it to the end of the semester, and it’s time for the final reflection blog we knew we would be doing since the first day of class. I’m going to go in chronological order, and write up a trip down memory lane.
Our first assignment was to simply getting to know our cameras. Mine can be found here, and it’s simply just me moving the camera around and taking a few pictures. If I was given this assignment again, I wouldn’t think twice about it, having used it throughout the semester. But at the time, I was still figuring out how to shoot video, and how to go through the pictures and video you have already taken. I also had no experience using a memory card and a memory card reader. So I had to teach myself how to use them. It turned out to be pretty intuitive to use these things though.
Our next assignment was a photo essay, produced with and without natural sound. We got to be really creative for this assignment. And it made us think about the pros and cons to using the nat sound. I remember walking around campus and thinking about what I would do for the assignment. For just about the whole week, whenever I was outside, I was thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to take pictures of that could make a good photo essay. While walking around I noticed just how many signs told people what not to do, and thought about a commentary on how instructed our lives are. I thought it would look better with a darker tone, so I decided to take the pictures at night. It was during this assignment that I felt for the first time, like you said in class, that we would be the producers making the technical decisions for what to shoot and how. Since this assignment involved sound though, I had to teach myself to use the recording device. I spent about an hour or so with it figuring out how to turn it on and get it to record. Once I figured it out, It was an easily accessible tool for the rest of the semester. But it required that initial bit of effort to get it to work.
Our third assignment was a video. I called mine Traffic and Nature and tried to be creative like the previous assignment. Thanks to the first assignment, I already knew how to use the video on the camera. And I used the sound from the camera since the video automatically records the sound. But different from the first assignment, I was trying to create something instead of just testing the different mechanics of the camera. I had to think about what I wanted in the video, and how it would look to the audience. I took the assignment in a bit of a different direction than I think we were supposed as it didn’t quite have a beginning, middle, and end. I tried to make something like a scene in the movie. And more than anything else, I was just trying to test my ability to create something I was thinking of. Given how I wanted to make a lot of attempts shooting the scene to make it look how I wanted, I didn’t really want to involve other people in it. I just wanted to practice making what I imagined be in the video.
For assignment four, we had to create an audio piece. Thanks to the second assignment, I just grabbed my recorder when I was ready to go. I knew how to use it, and it felt natural to me. I was proud of this piece because I covered an actual event–the shooting that happened on Green Street. I was shocked when I first got the Iliini alert, but then I knew I had to go over there and see what was happening. It was the first time I covered something live instead of making an appointment or going to a scheduled event. But in editing the audio and presenting it, I realized that I still had a lot to learn about editing. And I realized there was a lot of room for improvement in my narration.
Our fifth assignment was, in my opinion, the hardest individual assignment. It was the video package, and I went to a scheduled event on tai chi and qigong. After the event, I conducted interviews with the instructors. However, upon editing, I found that the audio for the interviews wasn’t working. The assignment was not even close to being complete without the interviews. So that night, I looked for another source, and contacted the Kung Fu academy. I was able to meet with them that night, and got more interviews. The project actually turned out better than I think it would of been originally with the original videos. I had multiple sources in the video to get different perspectives on it. The editing was also harder than it was for the audio since I had to edit it for the video as well as the audio.
The sixth assignment was my favorite, as well as the favorite for most of us I think. It was the how-to video, and I decided to demonstrate how to shoot a free throw. I went out to the basketball court near my dorm to film it. The difficulty in terms of editing was about the same as the last project, but we didn’t have to find sources. Instead, we got to be creative and make it fun deciding what the steps should be. I added music to it for the first time, using royalty-free music clips.
Our final assignment was our group project on colorism. We wanted to teach people about colorism, and discuss what we should be doing about. We worked together throughout the semester, and I received tons of help from my classmates after class in editing the projects. A lot of us would be there at night finishing editing, and we worked together a lot. But this was the first time we worked together in groups for the same grade. It was by far our largest assignment, combining each of the elements we did during the semester along with a website. And it was cool seeing all of the different mediums coming together to focus on one topic.