Category Archives: Fall 2016 – J215

End of Semester Reflection

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When I started this semester, I was very nervous about entering J-215. I had heard from friends that it was very difficult and demanding, which scared me a bit, despite the fact that I have a history in both radio and online content.

It didn’t take long for me to figure things out and get my footing. In the first assignment I started working on my photographic eye. There was a bit of shaky camera work here and there, but there are some shots that I’m still very proud of and shocked that I was able to create such great work so early.

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All Good Things Must Come to an End

 

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A leaf with dew drips on it.

This semester was great because of Dr. Collins and J-215. This course was one of the best journalism classes I’ve taken at this university.

Our first assignment was a little tricky for me because I had to get used to using the Canon T5i. I grew up in a journalist lead household, but I never had the opportunity to use that specific DSLR camera.

Matthew at the Academy of African American Arts rehearsal on Tuesday night.

Matthew at the Academy of African American Arts rehearsal on Tuesday night.

The photoessay assignment came a little easier because I started using my camera more frequently after assignment one. We were required to have two versions, with sound and without sound. This assignment allowed me to truly focus in on video and music production because I needed to truly find the most ideal music to fit the pictures. My editing during this time was growing as well. After being in an After School Matters program at IMPACT Family Center for more than six years allowed me to come into this class more familiar with the concepts, skills, and experience to succeed.

Rev. K. Edward Copeland in Pastor Davis' office after the three night revival at Grace Fellowship Church.

Rev. K. Edward Copeland in Pastor Davis’ office after the three night revival at Grace Fellowship Church.

Champaign--Matthew's affordable drum practice items. (Left to right) kick drum pedal, kick drum practice pad, snare drum practice pad, stick bag, and sticks.

Champaign–Matthew’s affordable drum practice items. (Left to right) kick drum pedal, kick drum practice pad, snare drum practice pad, stick bag, and sticks.

For the third assignment, I decided to capture ‘A Day in the Life of Grace‘. I decided to do a video essay on my church’s conference in October. It was pastor’s appreciation month, and Rev. K. Edward Copeland came as a guest preacher on the second weekend of October.

All of the assignments kept becoming easier.

Assignment four was great! I am enrolled in J-335, which is audio journalism. This assignment was relatively easy because of my other class I was pretty versed with Adobe Audition.

Assignment five allowed me to shine light on my home, the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center. A Tale Without a Head talks about the problems the center has

Catching the Beat… This was a personal touch. Me and my buddy James Sims decided to do a how to piece about playing drums. This video shows one how to do a single stroke roll and a single paradiddle. I pushed myself on this project to get clear sound and video from different angles and everything.

Infographic displaying information about 'How to Protest'.

Infographic displaying information about ‘How to Protest’.

Our final project was the greatest one of all. We decided to do a website to be more creative and to refer to future employers. I completed the photoessay, edited the audio package, and did the infographic.

Don’t lose faith. If you know a lot of material and know how to work all of the cameras or if you don’t, please know that you will survive if you work together and utilize Dr. Collins’ active centralized empowerment. Have a blessed day and hit me up if you need me. 🙂

A Semester in Review

Me in Paris

Me in Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made it! Looking back, this semester flew by and I can’t believe all that I have learned. With how many bumps in the road I hit along the semester, I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and thankful for Professor Collin’s support along the way.

Tight Texture

Tight shot of a woven basket

We started with the semester with a “Get to Know Your Camera” assignment, where we learned the basics of using the camera and the other equipment we were given. Having taken photography classes before, I went into this project pretty confidently. However, if I’m being completely honest, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I had never really worked with video before and I was intimidated by the thought of having to put the photos together.

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Final Reflection Blog

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.

Empowerment in Multimedia Reporting

headshotOn the first day of multimedia reporting, Professor Collins went around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves. From the back row, I told the class that I was a junior majoring in agricultural communications with an emphasis on journalism. Professor Collins’ response was, “So you have no experience with this?” It was true that I had very little experience with photo, video, and audio even though I had completed the prerequisite courses. I felt I had to prove myself, so from the start, I took this course seriously.

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We Made It

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Me performing at the Krannert Center For Performing Arts

 

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Me competing as a Fighting Illini

I can’t believe the semester is over! When I first started Multimedia, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have had some experience with Digital SLR cameras, but I have never really produced any video news packages before this semester. This class has given me a new love and appreciation for journalism and media. I think overall my work has definitely improved from day one.

 

The first project required us to take a variety of shots. This allowed us to get to know our projects. The Sigma 17-70mm lens let me take some great shots… I knew it would be a good semester after using this camera. When I exported my finished product I didn’t select “maximum render quality,” so I realized after what the video quality should have been.

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A picture I took of a cow on the University Dairy Farm

The next assignment was the photo essay. This was one of my favourite assignments. One of my teammates is an Animal Science major, so she took me out to the Illinois Dairy Farm to get some pictures. I named my photo essay “The Story of Dairy.” I got up close and personal with the cows and tried to capture how dairy gets from the cow to your refrigerator.

The third assignment was the video essay. I can truly say this was my favourite project of the semester. I created a video sequence of some of my athlete friends playing their sports. The end result was great. Initially I took out the natural sound from the video, but I realized after I should have kept it in. I released a video on Faccebook of the same video but with natural sound. I got a lot of attention on social media. This project made me see I could do something with media in the future. Check it out here!

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My freshman year roommate Emily Osoba taking the field

Assignment Four was an audio package. I did my story on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra coming to the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. I love classical music and the theatre so I knew I would have a lot of fun with this. Luckily one of my friends is family friends with two of the violinists in the orchestra, so I got to listen to them play a duet and I got some great interviews with them. It was such an honour to listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! Check out my piece here.

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Krannert Center : Courtesy of Kwain Photography

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Larry Neuman and Qing Ho with us during intermission

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next assignment was a full news package. It was just the beginning of the fall season when I shot this package, so I thought a fall theme would be great. I decided to write a story on Curtis Orchard and how they get the most business during the fall season. I got some great shots in the pumpkin patch, and some interviews with the manager and a few locals. This was one of the first few packages I have ever done, so it was definitely a learning experience. Looking back, I think I could have incorporated an interactive standup… but overall I was happy with the finished result. Watch my news package here!

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A little visitor at Curtis Orchard

Our last assignment before the final was a how-to package. I once again decided to go with the theme of fall. I made a video on how to make pumpkin pie. I got one of my teammates to make a pumpkin pie at her apartment, and then I documented the whole thing. This assignment was not only fun to make, but the finished product was delicious to eat! Initially I wasn’t sure how I would frame my shots, so I just experimented with a bunch of different angles. I put some ukelele music in the background to make it more enjoyable. Watch my how-to piece here! 

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The final product of our pumpkin pie

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A spokesperson at the Freedom Forum

The final assignment was the real test of everything we have learned this semester. I worked in a group with Matthew, Anatta and Anaja. We were given the topic of “Student Protests,” so we had to produce five elements that tied into that topic. I worked mostly on the news package, how-to package, and the website. Overall, I learned a lot about finding sources for the stories. I had to find away to bring everything back to student protests, so that required a bit of planning. I also got to work on communication and teamwork skills with my group. In the real world you have to be able to work and compromise with people… so this project was a good test for that! Checkout our website here! 

I had such a great semester and I learned so much. I was heartbroken returning my camera today. I actually started looking up Sigma lenses I could potentially purchase for my Nikon SLR just because I enjoyed that camera so much. Thank you Dr. Collins for you kinda words and guidance… I have learned so much from you and this class. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

–  Jade Hilton

Twitter + Instagram : @jadehilton21

A Semester in Review-J215

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Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

At first, I was not confident in my ability to use the camera.

Photo taken of my view from the balcony.

Our first project, camera practice, intimated me because I was unfamiliar with the camera functions. In fact, I did not leave my apartment to take pictures. Instead of walking around campus looking for photo opportunities, I safely stood on my balcony. Looking back, I am proud to say that I now look for more interesting opportunities rather than just the safe option.

Luckily, for my second project I left my apartment and took pictures of food on campus! I am really proud of this assignment because one of my photos was published in the Daily Illini! This class took on a new meaning once I was able to use my work in a printed publication and I am grateful for the opportunity.

My third project for me taught me the importance of titles. I worded my assignments the “Chiefs of Apartment of 215.” However, I did not show cooking in the apartment in my videos. I now understand the importance of highlighting what a video will show. I also learned the importance of taking interesting footage and clips. My goal at this point in the class was to make my project more unique and memorable.

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

My audio package was my first opportunity working with broadcast writing. I learned the skills needed to write and speak for broadcast. For this project I chose to focus on the hiring of Lovie Smith. While sports is not my preferred writing topic, I was excited to work outside my comfort zone to produce a very novel project.

For my video package, I chose to cover the 40 under 40 Award in Champaign. I developed interview skills in interviewing while using a camera, which I found to be different from my typical interviews. As a journalist, this project allowed me to feel comfortable with a camera.

I definitely enjoyed completing my How To video the most. I presented on “How to use a Fitbit.” I used new filming techniques, such as using sequences, to convey my message. Filming this project, for me was a more natural experience than my previous projects. By this project I was able to have confidence in my ability to film and edit.

The project I will remember most when looking back at Journalism 215 is my final group project. Being able to collaborate with a hardworking, motivated and fun group made this process memorable. I am so proud of our project, “Voices From the Field.” Every aspect of this project was completed as a cohesive group and I am so thrilled with the outcome of the final product.

It’s actually over: Jour 215, it’s been real.

img_0543(Me and Sharon Cooper, Sandra Bland’s sister after her visit to class)

 

Wow, Journalism 215 “Multimedia” is actually over. As I sit here writing this, it’s amazing to look back and realize that this semester has gone by so fast. Over the span of these 16 weeks, I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot including how to use a digital single lens reflex camera, (DSLR for short), how to create an audio package, and especially how to make a story out of limited resources. It means so much to me that I feel better prepared for my career as a broadcast journalist because of Dr. Collins’ class this fall. As you continue reading, you will get insight into what my experience was like this semester:

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I can’t get you out of my headline….

When I first signed up for this class, I wasn’t necessarily sure what to expect. After going over the syllabus on the first day of class, everything seemed extremely overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle this class with everything else going on in my life, but I’m so happy I stuck with it!

I hadn’t had much video experience, so I wasn’t sure how my skills, or lack thereof, would work with the all of the video projects, but I LOVED learning all these new skills the entire semester. I’ve always had a love for photography, but after this class, I really found a love for video and am absolutely considering incorporating video work into my future career.

This class is not a joke and certainly is not a blow-off class. Professor Collins has extremely high expectations, but they are not unrealistic and she is an amazing resource to use along the way.

For Assignment One, we were to make a photo essay and learn to use the camera equipment. I chose to create a story of gardening around my apartment. I found this assignment to be pretty straight forward since I already knew how to use the camera, however this was dipping the toe into the water of learning the basics of Premiere.

Assignment Two was a fun one! It was the photo essay with sound and I chose to tell a story of putting a record on a turntable. My sound bites were the noises used from taking out the record to putting it on the actual player, pressing play and then the song. The only thing I didn’t understand how this project was that we had to create two different videos: one with sound and one without. It seemed a little unnecessary to make one without.

Led Zeppelin album from my record collection.

Led Zeppelin album from my record collection.

For Assignment 3, we were to focus solely on video and I absolutely loved this assignment. I created a story line on my roommate who works with her hands but struggles from arthritis. Things got a little hectic during the initial editing process, but I’m so happy with how everything turned out! Love, love, love this assignment.

This is Maddie putting in lightbulbs at her job at Cream & Flutter.

This is Maddie putting in lightbulbs at her job at Cream & Flutter.

Assignment four was the audio package and I chose to do my coverage on the Made Fest during Pygmalion. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this project because I don’t like hearing my voice and broadcast is not something I have any interest in doing. I found myself getting super flustered during this project because I didn’t realize that my audio was pretty much unusable because of the bands playing in the background. This was a perfect example of why not waiting till the last minute is a bad choice, because if I had, I wouldn’t have had time to go back and re-interview new sources.

Icon for the Pygmalion component, Made Fest.

Icon for the Pygmalion component, Made Fest.

For Assignment 5, we had to incorporate all of the pieces into a final package. I chose to do mine on the end of the farmers’ market and found this to be surprisingly stressful. It wasn’t super prepared but everything turned out great.

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The final independent project was the how-to piece and I absolutely loved this project. I chose to do mine on how to make juice and I thought this was super fun. I created my own little production studio in my kitchen and played around for the first time with different angles. It took me awhile because of how differently I had shot it, but I’m really happy with it! Get creative on this piece, it’s super fun!

Ingredients for the green juice recipe!

Ingredients for the green juice recipe!

Our final project was absolutely amazing. My group worked so well together and created a project that we were all equally proud of. We all contributed in different ways, with different portions highlighting our individual work. We decided on creating our own website on weebly instead of using the standard one and it turned out amazing! We interviewed lots of amazing people, took our own survey that got over 100 responses and learned so much about mental illness and each other. The main goal of our project was to take the idea of an uncomfortable topic, such as mental illness, and make it something comfortable to talk about. my main contribution was to create the video of Cate Lao, an Urbana resident with early-onset alzheimer’s. We shot the video with two cameras, which made the editing difficult on my end, but the final product was so worth all of the work. This project was amazing and I’m so happy with everything.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this class and am so happy Professor Collins is on staff at this University. Take this class seriously but have so much fun with it!