Tyler Soetaert – Reflection 1: Spencer Art Exhibit

A painting from the African Art Exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

First of all, I am happy and excited to be challenged the way I already have been by Dr. Collins and the J550 curriculum. That being said, the workload and norms imposed from day one have been challenging for us all. It was the first day of class, and from the first sentence Dr. Collins spoke, I knew the regular pace around the J-school would not be the same, for good reasons.

That being said, this first project brought a few challenges by itself. First, I managed to rent a broken tripod, and immediately I was experiencing filming and stabilization issues. Nonetheless, I was able to rely on nifty editing skills to help reduce the error as much as possible. Next, I took my camera, half working microphone and broken tripod to my first event– the student recital series at Murphy Hall. After 20 minutes of filming, I was approached by one of the dean professors at Murphy Hall, and at that moment, he decided to halt any creative progress I had made while filming. In the profession, we must learn that not everyone is tolerable of media. In this instance, the professor was not a fan of media coverage, especially during his recital. Lastly, I had some minor editing issues and lost part of my film.

Given all these uphill factors, I was able to climb and progress towards a fairly well produced VOSOTVO. I believe as time moves forward, we will all progress as reporters, story-tellers and difference-makers. I truly believe that, and I also believe in the process Dr. Collins is instilling for this class. I created a short VO and VOSOTVO covering the Spencer Art Museum’s new African art exhibit. The piece displays the beautiful exhibit and people who have contributed.

Here is the link to my piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPU9Fx-ljI


Olivia Roberts: VOSOTVO Reflection

I thought this previous week was hard. Leading up to presenting my VOSOTVO was very challenging. The reason why I thought it was challenging was because I have never created or even put together a VO or a VOSOTVO. I had trouble of knowing where to put my video clips or  how it needed to look like. Getting Dr. Collins insight on how it should look was very helpful. Furthermore, I thought getting one-on-one attention was very much needed. It helped me by putting me the same page and understanding what was needed for this assignment. I think these one-on-one times will be very beneficial. Creating and making VO and VOSOTVO’s are not easy to make. In other words, I liked this project. Even though i found it very difficult throughout, I am happy I have the basis and building blocks of knowing how to make one. This time and for the rest, it won’t be as hard.

I enjoyed watching everybody’s VOSOTVO’s. I thought they were all very good and nicely put together. In a way, I feel very accomplished that I know how to make a VO and VOSOTVO. In the beginning of this project, I didn’t even know what those terms meant. So I am very proud of myself for taking the time learn this, get a better foundation, ask questions, and be able to learn it. Making this next one coming up won’t be as much of a struggle because i will be better at making it and have a better understanding of what its supposed to look like.

For this coming up VOSOTVO, I will work on presenting by keep my tone of voice at the same level. What I mean by this is that I will not always have different tones or emphasize one of my word or sentences like I have been in the past.  Ido like presenting though and working on my voice, making eye contact, and gaining confidence. In the end, I will be a pro at all of the things I had no idea I could!

The picture I inserted into this blog was my favorite clip in my VOSOTVO. This picture was part of my first shot starting my video. I liked it because it showed Chef Nate walking into the kitchen preparing to make everybody dinner and that was what my VOSOTVO was about. I thought this clip set the scene and mood for and gave a good idea of what the VOSOTVO would be about.

Self-reflection 1: VOSOTVO, VO and Video Essay by Patrick Sullivan

Video Essay: Ball Park

I really enjoyed working on the video essay project. It gave me a lot of room for creativity and freedom to go have some fun with editing. I struggled at first to find an idea of what I wanted to do it on, but I knew that I wanted to go down to Potter’s Lake because of the scenery. I really hope to have more projects similar to this. My one criticism on this project is my title. For some reason I could not come up with something more creative; I probably didn’t spend enough time on it.

VOSOTVO and VO: Captiva

I also struggled to find a topic on this assignment as well. That typically seems to be my problem with these assignments. I can usually find good ideas for stories but they would require footage that I cannot get or are not localized. However, once I actually had my idea and my interview the assignment wasn’t difficult at all. I think I shot and edited the footage in under two hours. I think the main thing that I need to work on for my next project is writing more conversationally and delivering my VO without sounding so rigged.

Overall I am having a great time in this class and cannot wait to get working on the packages and news breaks. I have confidence that I will be able to get my writing and delivery on a better track.

Cassidy Ragland Reflection 1: Meditation and International Festivals

Coming into class I was very nervous. I felt like I didn’t have as much experience as everyone else and that I was going to fail. Thankfully, after the second class I started feeling more hopeful. I have really found a passion for broadcast that I wasn’t finding with print journalism. I consider myself a creative person and shooting video gives me a lot of satisfaction. I like that I have artistic say in what I shoot and edit which has given me a lot of confidence. Dr. Collins has really taken the time to talk through everything and I really appreciated it. I feel like I’m getting better every time I shoot and write and it’s a really awesome feeling.

Video Essay

For my video essay I decided to shoot a Mindfulness and Meditation Club meeting at the KU Union. I filmed almost the whole hour and felt pretty good about my shots, until Dr. Collins said in class the next day we weren’t allowed to use pans or zooms. That took out quite a few of the shots that I had, but luckily I had enough to make the run time. Feedback that I got was that I didn’t have any tight shots and that some of my shots were shakey. I had never used Premiere before, so that was overwhelming at first but I got the hang of it.



For my Vo and VoSotVo I felt a lot more prepared and confident. My plan A was to film the Tyler the Creator concert, however, that failed miserably. So I went with my plan B which was to film the International Jayhawk Festival. I got some great, vibrant shots that I was really happy with. I took the criticism about my tight shots and I made sure to incorporate those. I loved my nat sound and my sound bite, so I was really disappointed when it didn’t work on the projector in class. It worked on my laptop so I had no idea that would happen. I felt really good about my delivery and that my script was better than it was last week.




Through the Lens: A Self Reflection by Cain Lever

My First VOSOTVO, VO, and video essay

I had a lot of fun while making the VOSOTVO and the VO. It was easy to find shot of buses and snow on Jayhawk Boulevard. I think the hardest part of filming, for me, was the interview. Since the bus driver was on a schedule, he didn’t have a lot of time to talk. On my bus ride to Jayhawk Blvd., there’s a parking lot where the driver always stops at for about 5 minutes. I was prepared with questions, but I didn’t think about where I would get my shot of the bus driver. I ended up putting him in a spot where the sunlight ruined the shot. I also had my camera set at an angle that was too low. My footage was usable, but it could’ve been a much better shot.

I enjoy producing videos, so I didn’t have a lot of trouble doing that either. I think I struggled more with writing to my video edits. How I decided to edit my video was to write one or two sentences at a time and then find video that I knew would fit to those sentences. It made the process easier, but I realize now that I didn’t think enough about how the script sounded. I needed to be and could’ve been more conversational. I know that the snowy weather is pertinent to all students. I could’ve made my script more conversational by being more personal while also speaking with caution. Part of the problem were my shots. If I had more shots of people on the buses or the bus drivers, I would have had more freedom to speak personally. I also need to work on my delivery. I think that my delivery will have more character when I’m talking about subjects that matter more to me. I need to find a way to talk colorful about matters I don’t care much about while not sounding fake and cheesy. I think by writing more conversational, I will sound more conversational in my delivery. I also forgot to include my slate in my VOSOTVO. If you’d like to watch my VOSOTVO or VO, then click the hyperlinks.

I really enjoyed making the video essay too. I don’t think I conveyed my idea well though. I needed one or two more shots to explain exactly what was going on in the video. I’m starting to realize how deliberate I must be while producing videos. I don’t necessarily need sound to convey a message, but instead, I can use artifacts, facial expressions, and rhythm to make the viewer see and feel whatever I’m trying to convey. I’m looking forward to doing more projects like these after having learned so much more. I think that if I start to report on topics that really interest me, than I will naturally write more conversational scripts and produce more appealing visuals. If you’d like to watch my video essay, then click here.

-Cain Lever

Jackson Schneider: Reflection 1

The beginning of this class has made me stressed more than I have enjoyed it, but  that’s okay. A lot of what I’m doing is completely new to me, in terms of the breadth and depth of the things we’ve covered already, so it’s bound to stress me out. The stress has gotten better though, having completely finished a video essay and our first VOSOTVO projects, I’m starting to get the hang of things, little by little.

The video essay was fun because I got to mix that experience with another one, covering a sporting event. I traveled to Manhattan to cover Kansas at Kansas State men’s basketball. It was a highly anticipated game and the atmosphere was electric. I got some good shots, but a lot of them were shaky because I made a rookie mistake and forgot a tripod. Rest assured that will never happen again.


I took that lesson and put it towards our second larger project, the VO and VOSOTVO. This was confusing because it is two separate videos, just structured slightly different. I made sure to have my tripod and took as careful, steady shots as possible. I seemed to have lacked on good shots with nat-sound though, so I will work on that in the future.

Through the first five weeks, I have grown to like this challenging,stressful course because the subject matter is important and interesting. I like to be pushed and challenged because it makes me better, and I hope that continues throughout the semester so that I can push to become my very best.

Below is my VOSOTVO project on 90.7fm KJHK’s Farmer’s Ball, a battle of the bands.

-Jackson Schneider


Aksinya: Sunshine Joy and Career Fair


This class is awesome!

It’s been five weeks already, since I am in this class. First week turned out to be quite stressful. I did not know what to expect, and I did not know how successful this class can be for me. Dr. Collins is very energized and inspiring professor, so I realized she would help us succeed. When I saw the syllabus, I got nervous because of the amount of work that needs to be done this semester. But, it’s probably better because this prepares us for the future. Therefore, our first two assignments were Video Essay and VOSOTVO.

Video Essay Project

The Video Essay assignment was very interesting to film, edit and present. However, I experienced some challenges. First, the tripod I used turned out to be broken, specifically its legs. So, it was hard for me to stabilize it every time. Despite this challenge, I believe my footage turned out nice and bright. But, before filming children playing on the playground, I had a different plan. I filmed dogs playing at the dog park; however, my forage turned out to be blue and lacked sound. Obviously, I felt upset, but I realized I had to move on and avoid making the same mistakes. Therefore, the next day I went to South Park to film children having fun; but before, I triple-checked the sound, white balance, and gain. After an hour of filming, I returned home and watched my footage; I could not be happier with the result. The next step was editing. When I put pieces together, I always thought, “What will be my focus?” So, I constantly changed footage and its order; eventually, I was able to finalize my first video project. After I was done editing, I began writing my script. For some reason, I felt good about what and how I was writing. But also, thanks to Dr. Collins, we had a script example. I tried to follow 3C’s, and I believe I accomplished it. I did not find it challenging to write conversationally; probably it’s because I am not a native speaker, and I always use simple words when I write and talk. My last stage was to present my Video Essay. When I go upfront, I always feel nervous and my heart is pounding fast. Though, as soon as I begin speaking, my nervousness disappears. I felt energized and happy to present my Video Essay, because I love doing stories about kids. Based on the Dr. Collins’s critique, she motivated me to do even better. Therefore, I was ready for the next project.

VOSOTVO and VO Project

My next video project was VOSOTVO and VO. Unfortunately, it was not as successful and smooth as the Video Essay. First of all, my plan A, which I was the most excited about, failed. I was ready to go and film, but the event got postponed; and I lost my opportunity to do a good story. Then, I decided to do a story about the flu season; however, the physicians, I wanted to talk to, were busy on that day; plus, I would be the third or fourth student to do a story about the flu season. Once again, my plan B failed. Then, while I was at work, my co-worker told me that there was the University Career Fair at the Union. At that moment, I felt he was my life-saver. I ran to the Dole to get equipments, and I found out that all the JVC cameras were gone. I felt upset, but did not let my mood to take over. The only choice I had was to reserve a tiny Canon camera that does not white balance, have a clear focus and sound. To make my story nice, I decided to change my mood and think positively. I was at the fair for two hours, and I had over 150 b-rolls. When I returned to my office, I checked my footage; honestly, I did not know what to expect. However, I was happy that the footage turned out ‘okay.’ I wrote the script, and I felt confident about my writing. However, I was not confident about timing. Though, I practiced as much as I could to perfect it. Then, when it was time to present upfront, I felt nervous once again. My goal this semester is to learn how to calm this feeling down because it distracts me from showing my emotions and personality. Also, even though I tried to sound conversational and natural, I think I failed. As my VOSOTVO was showing, at the end of the video I did not have any patting; so, it went black. Therefore, this is something I need to improve for the next VOSOTVO project. As Dr. Collins told us, “Say it, see it,” I think I did a good job on that, except of the SOT. For some reason, I included an extra b-roll, which did not make sense, over the interviewee. Overall, all this is one step forward to be better and perfect myself and my work. Next time, I will improve my video by adding patting at the end, practice timing myself, work on being conversational and showing my personality, avoid unnecessary b-rolls in the video, and stay more optimistic.



I enjoy this class because of its energy and Dr. Collins’s positivity, and motivation. I am looking forward to learning and practicing more in this class.

– Aksinya Kichigina

Staying Clean VOSOTVO Reflection Courtney Johnson

“Say it, see it” and “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable” has been my biggest take away thus far from Jour 550. When I don’t know something I begin to feel uncomfortable but this class is preparing me for that. This class has been challenging for me, but it is making a better journalist.

Our first project was a video essay, and I didn’t know what to expect. The video essay went well because it was a simple assignment however, I did overthink it. When I thought out my video, I just knew it would be like the Instagram makeup tutorials. That idea failed because I simply didn’t follow the instructions. If I had to do my video essay over I would move my camera to get close-ups and shoot in sequence (wide, medium and tight shots). I know that was preparation for our VOSOTVO and it truly helped.

The VOSOTVO and VO was the next project we had. I completely overthought this because I was too concerned about how to do the actual project. I never did a VOSOTVO, so I was nervous how mine would turn out. My script writing and shots are starting to improve. When I do my next VOSOTVO and VO I will add padding to my last shot, to save me from dipping to black. I will also work on my timing with my script and videos.

As I watch my classmates videos, I don’t think they are better because we are all on the same level. However, when they receive feedback I take that into consideration for my own video. We’re all growing together and learn something from each other’s projects. We’ve been thrown in the deep end, but we’ll swim together to succeed.

Courtney Johnson




Seasons Changing- VOSOTVO #1

Emma Fotovich

This first VOSOTVO assignment was definitely a learning experience for me. I have always been pretty understanding of how to use cameras, edit videos, talk to sources and so on, but I have never been very good at script writing. My thought process has always been “Well, video is worth a thousand words” but I now know how crutial it is to have a well-written script. I also learned that practice helps make things easier so that is an important realization as well.

I also spent a great deal of time learning what stories work and what didnt. Next time I will try to not just scratch the surface of a story and instead dive three levels deeper. I know I have a lot to work on and a lot of improving to do, so I will continue to strive to do better. And strive to not procrastinate… As I tend to do.

I am also looking forward to it warming up, I feel like stories come easier when its not so cold outside! Brrr…


Tiffany Littler: Reflection 1

Coming into this class, I was a little nervous knowing we had a visiting professor. I didn’t know what to expect and was worried about the structure of the class. However, I’ve been satisfied so far with this semester. Dr. Collins has shown great professionalism and treats us as professionals. She shows that she truly cares about us and wants us to succeed. I’ve been enjoying the little life lessons she gives, mainly how to manage our stress. Sometimes I feel like there’s so many of us in the class and not enough time to get everything done.

With the video essay, I killed two birds with one stone. At work, I got sent to cover a church that on fire. I decided to use that footage my video essay. With the feedback, I learned I need to work on my sequence of shots . That will help me both in class and at my job.

My VO/VOSOTVO 1 felt like a bit of a train wreck. There was miscommunication between officials at the rec center and it felt like it took awhile to get an interview set up. So I wrote down different ideas and made it to Plan E. Thankfully, my Plan A worked. I got the interview done and wanted to get b-roll done of the rec center, but the woman I needed to speak with about what I was allowed to shoot, was on lunch. So I had to come back a few hours later to get the b-roll and everything worked out.

I procrastinated on editing my VO and VOSOTVO which backfired on me. I finished my VO and script the day before everything was due and was going to finish the VOSOTVO on the day it was due. When I went to work on that, my VO had somehow gotten deleted on my laptop and my Adobe Premiere software started messing up (which I still need to get fixed). I started coming up with every excuse I could think of because I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to get everything done in time before class. About three hours before class, I rushed over to Dole and was panicking to get everything done. I surprisingly finished everything with about an hour and half to spare before class.

For future assignments, I learned my lesson about procrastinating. I now realize the importance of having multiple plans in case something goes wrong.