For the first assignment we did was the video essay. I thought this would be a fun easy topic to cover because I had a lot of thins going on in my personal life or a lot of things were happening around campus that I thought it would be easy to catch on camera. When I decided to do the topics of Rock Chalk Revue during rehearsal I was so excited to film. However, I learned that it was not such an easy process. I learned that you really have to move with the camera to get those “golden shots.”

For our VOSOTVOs these videos have probably been the most difficult for me to accomplish. The reason I say this is because for starters I have never made a full news package before. After being assigned one almost every week you really had to look around and see what was newsworthy. This was probably the hardest part because once you found something that is news worthy, then you had to schedule and interview and make sure it was okay with the person to video interview them. Also, it was difficult asking around for peoples consent to video them if they were in your shots because most of the time they said no and were not comfortable and then I had to start all over.

For my first VOSOTVO I did it on the weather because, the weather is always newsworthy, right? I found myself enjoying doing this assignment because I was surprised at what I accomplished. Also I enjoyed the topic because since it was such nice weather outside it was fun filming the warm, sunny weather and seeing people enjoy it just as much as me. It put everyone in a happy mood and I can tell everyone is ready for spring to come.

The last VOSOTVO I had the most difficult time. I learned that you always have to have a plan B, C, …and sometimes even D. I planned to do a different news story but when I came home no sound picked up. Then when I decided to do my plan B they were not comfortable with an interview so I had to go with a plan C. This plan C was Rock Chalk Revue and it actually turned out very well. I can also tell everyone loved being on camera and always asked me a ton of questions if they can be in the video. This was just fun because I was in a show of Rock Chalk Revue and showing off all of our hard work was really rewarding.

I also had a hard time trying to shoot our VO that we had to do. This was because it fell on the same weekend that I had to have different plan B, C, and D’s. However, in the end everything pulls through! Doing the news package on the app JoyRun ended up actually begin really fun and I loved every minute filming it!

I think I improved definitely on the shakiness of my shots. In the very beginning I would shake around because I did not use everything with a tripod. Also, I think my lighting has improved tremendously. For example, in the video essay, which was our first assignment we had to do, almost all the shots were dark or yellow. In the last assignment, my VOSOTVO Turn Back the Clock, all the shots are bright and in focus.



Reflection 2 – Jasmine Keys

Whoo! Where do I begin…this has been a jam packed 3 months. I have sinked to the bottom of the ocean we are swimming but luckily I had a floaty. I lost my goggles, breathing mask and the actual group a couple of times but boy have I survived. I’ve learned so much in these last couple of months and know I have improved my skills. Everything that we have done has been a little more challenging but I know it will help us in the future. Continue reading “Reflection 2 – Jasmine Keys”

Grant DeMars

I think that the video essay was a good project to start out with. I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted to do until I got to Clinton Lake and saw how cool the lake looked partially frozen over was. I think I got some good shots with great nat sound of the ice cracking as the water hit. However, as I moved around I think my white balance got a little messed up because I was shooting so much white, frozen ice. I definitely should have double checked it to make sure but thought it would’ve been fine since it was on auto.

Continue reading “Grant DeMars”

Self-Reflection 2: VO, VOSOTVO and Video Essay by Patrick Sullivan

Video Essay: “Ball Park”

The video essay was a great project to start the year off on. It really gave us a lot of room for creativity and the ability to make our own narrative and shoot footage for it. Usually it takes me awhile to come up with an idea of what I want to do for my assignments but for some reason this idea came to me fairly quickly. Continue reading “Self-Reflection 2: VO, VOSOTVO and Video Essay by Patrick Sullivan”

Cassidy Ragland Self Reflection

Video Essay

For the video essay I was really nervous. I thought my topic was good, but I was nervous about using the camera equipment for the first time. I panicked a little when Dr. Collins said in class that we weren’t supposed to do pans. I had done pans when I had filmed the day before, so I was worried I wouldn’t have enough footage. I had plenty, so that was good. Using Premiere for the first time was extremely frustrating, because I was teaching myself and I felt like it took way too long to edit. But, I am proud of myself for learning and teaching myself. I took note of the things I needed to do, like have more of a variety of shots and to use video transitions, and I got ready for the first Vo and VoSotVo. Watch my video essay here. 

Vo & VoSotVo 1

Continue reading “Cassidy Ragland Self Reflection”

Reflection Blog 2- Olivia Roberts

Looking back on my videos, I think I have improved a lot in different aspects. These aspects would be my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence. The first aspect I think I’ve improved on would be my mentality. I have drastically improved in this part of my performance  because coming to this class, I didn’t even know what a VO or a VOSOTVO was. I didn’t know what the word stood for nor how to create one. So my mental state in J550 was full of anxiety, nervousness, questions, and doubt. I knew Dr. Collins expected a lot and so I knew I needed to step up and push myself to understand how to create these videos. I then became more nervous when I found out we had to create them every single week. My stress level rose a couple notches. Even though I emailed Dr. Colllins numerous amounts of times and asked a lot of questions, as well as stayed after class, I finally am now “swimming,” according to Dr. Collins.  The second aspect that I thought I have improved on would be my creativeness. After the first two weeks of presenting, I became more comfortable with my shooting. So as a student, I tried to develop my skill set and shoot more creative shots. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Trying to be more creative helped my editing as well. The third aspect that I have improved on would be my editing skills. My editing was not very good in the beginning. My editing skill set began with everything else, from the bottom.  Even though editing still takes a long time for me, I am becoming more comfortable with tools on Adobe and learning where how to navigate this website better. Getting better at editing has almost helped me advance my creativeness throughout my videos as well. The final aspect that has improved is my confidence. In the beginning, this class brought my confidence down a lot, especially as a journalist and student. But, I chose not to get discouraged and I worked really hard. I learned everything that I needed to know about VO and VOSOTVO’s within a couple of weeks. My main goal was trying to reach my classmates levels as well. In the end, being told by Dr. Collins that I am officially swimming made my day because I worked so hard. I have a lot to reflect on because I struggled so much in the beginning of this class. I didn’t think I would make it out alive! But in general, I am very thankful for the struggle because it made me a better journalist,  student, editor, producer and writer. Furthermore, this class has taught me how to become better listener. For example, every week Dr. Collins expected us to have the “who, what, when, where, why, how” underlined and bolded for our current events. If one does not follow the rules for the current events, no points. I was one of the few who got zero points on the first current event because I did not listen properly. Being one of  the few scared me because I was so embarrassed. It was just a simple rule to follow and I didn’t, even though I still tried. After that, never again did I miss any points on a current event. I made sure I wrote everything down exactly.

Looking back on my first VOSOTVO to my last one, I can say my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence have all improved. I personally liked the third VOSOTVO I did about Student mental health, only because y shots were more clear and detailed. But I think Dr. Collins liked my last VOSOTVO the best about a Costa Rican Adventure. Even though some clips in my Costa Rican Adventure were a little fast, I porously did that. Because I did not want to milk it and draw the film out o be boring. Every little thing I do in my VOSOTVO’s and VO’s in general have a point to them. My least favorite video I created was probably my video essay. Reason for this is, even though I thought it was fun and exciting to watch, I just had such low confidence making the film because I did not know what to do or how to create the video. This was the first video we made in class so my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence were so low.



Aksinya: Video Projects’ Progress

After completing Video Essay, three VOs and VOSOTVOs, I feel less nervous about my performance, writing and editing skills. However, no improvement will be noticed if Dr. Collins did not give us a critique.

Our first video assignment was a Video Essay. It probably sounds easy and not a lot of work to do; however, I felt I had to do my best to show Dr. Collins my filming and editing skills. I did not have issues filming this video essay; I actually enjoyed it because I spent a couple of hours at South Park filming children playing and having fun on a warm day. When I began editing my footage, I did not have any troubles. For some reason, I felt confident. Though, my challenge was to pick good shots. I always tend to have a lot of footage, which makes it harder for me to pick the best shots. Despite this, I put b-rolls together and began writing my script. I will admit that it was challenging to keep 3C’s in mind. I revised my lead and tag several times to make it more concise and conversational. But, I think I was able to accomplish it. When it was the day to present, I did not feel as nervous as I felt during my first VO and VOSOTVO. After Dr. Collins gave a critique to me based on my work, it was mostly a positive feedback. I felt happy inside because I was able to accomplish the first goal. However, more work was ahead of me; I faced many challenges.

Our next assignment that was slightly different from a Video Essay was the first VO and VOSOTVO. This assignment also was quite challenging for me to complete. As Dr. Collins said at the beginning, “You always need to have a plan A, B, C, and D.” So, since that day I try to follow her advice. When I decided to film my VO and VOSOTVO on the Virtual Reality event, I got so excited. I reserved the equipment, contacted a coordinator two days before the event began, and had a good spirit. However, when it was the day to film, the coordinator emailed me and said that the event got postponed. I felt desperate at that moment, but I had to follow with a plan B. So, I decided to do a story about this year’s flue activity. First I contacted the Watkins Health Center, but the administrator told me that all the physicians were busy and could not have time for an interview. After I heard it, I began to panic. I only had half of the day to find a story idea and film it. Then, a couple of my co-workers told me that there was a Career Fair going on at the Union. So, I rushed to grab my equipment and go to the Union. I got a lot of footage that day; but I didn’t know how it turned out. When I got back to my office, I checked my footage right away and felt some sort of relief. Next day, I began a writing and editing process. When it was the day to perform, I felt nervous. I was not confident in my story. I read through the script so quick, I believe, and I stumbled a couple of times. My timing did not work out either, and I also did not have a patting at the end. Another problem was overlaying a SOT with a b-roll that didn’t make any impact on the video. I also realized after watching my video that my edits were too quick. But, I learned something new and keep carrying it on with me. – VoSotVo – VO

The second VO and VOSOTVO felt less stressful or challenging, though I experienced some troubles as well. What I liked the most about this assignment was the individual time that we had with Dr. Collins. She was able to explain each student what she or he needs to improve or continue working on. Personally, I found it beneficial to my work. The original idea for my second VO and VOSOTSO was supposed to be a celebration of Chinese New Year at the Plaza Library. However, this plan fell through because I was not allowed to film inside the library. Then, when I came to Kansas City for the weekend, I had no choice but to film something there. Fortunately, weakened turned out to be nice and warm; that’s when I realized that it could be a great story to film. I came down to Loose Park in Kansas City and began gathering footage. It was an enjoyable time. My next step was to write a script. During the process, I repeatedly read out loud to make sure I sounded conversational. However, as Dr. Collins noticed in our Skype meeting, my script was slightly written for a meteorologist rather than an anchor. Then, Dr. Collins began giving me various ideas on how I could improve it. While we had only 30 minutes, we had accomplished a lot. I revised my script a couple of times and made sure everything was clear and concise. When the writing part was done, I began editing. After a couple of days, Dr. Collins sent us a document with her critique to each work. I believe it helped everyone learn something new from each other’s work. What I had to improve for my third VO and VOSOTVO was to let shots breath for a second or two because viewers have to see a story not a number of different b-rolls. Also, I learned that I need to avoid cutaways. – VoSotVo – VO

The third VO and VOSOTVO was an opportunity for us to show what we have learned so far based on Dr. Collins’s feedback and critique. This time we had to do a VO and VOSOTVO on a sepearte subject. For some reason, maybe because I had a good spirit, I was lucky to schedule an interview with an assistant general manager of IHOP on Tuesday when the National Pancake Day happened. I did not struggle with filming, plus my interview seemed to go smooth. However, as soon as I checked my footage when I got to school, I noticed that audio of the interview disappeared by itself. I was almost crying. I tried various ways to improve the audio, but nothing seemed to work. Therefore, I decided to reschedule an interview. Next day, the manager did not seem happy, and she strictly gave me 2 minutes to film the interview. I felt nervous. Though, I was able to ask some good questions and even pick a good soundbite. When I began my writing, I did not struggle with writing conversationally. I always pretend that I am talking to someone and telling him a story of what happened today. Actually, I learned that from Dr. Collins. When I presented my VOSOTVO in class, I did not feel too nervous. Though, I could have slowed down a little bit while reading my script. My other mistake that Dr. Collins pointed out was spelling. So, this means I need to always double-check my spelling of lower thirds. Overall, I am satisfied with my third VOSOTVO. For my VO, I chose to do a story about kids exploring their DNA. I was lucky enough to be able to film children; but before that, I had to ask a permission from their parents. Whenever I deal with children I enjoy filming. Therefore, I had some good shots to pick for my VO. Also, as I began writing my script, I felt that there were moments where my writing could have been written more concisely. I thought it was not as conversational as it could be. Also, I think my VO is quite lengthy. I did not get a chance to present my VO in class, but I hope Dr. Collins will be able to provide a critique to us again. – VoSotVo -VO

Reflection #2 – Jose Montoya

The last six weeks have been really fun. Our class has worked on a few style of videos including: a Video Essay, VO and VOSOTVO. The next thing we are working on are packages. Overall, I am excited for the next six weeks of the class.

In the video essay, I ran into a few problems. I misplaced one of my SD cards which didn’t help me when I was trying to film for this video. I also had very terrible audio quality for my project. I enjoyed the script I wrote to the project and think it was a great learning experience for me.

In the first VO and VOSOTVO, I talked about KU Greek Life. One of the issues I ran into was the fact that I was leaving to Indianapolis on Thursday morning and the assignment needed to be turned into Dr. Collins that same day at five. It was hard to think of an idea so I used my Current Event #2 for an idea.

In the second VO and VOSOTVO I couldn’t come up with an idea that would work for our class. I was going to film the women‘s basketball game, but it didn’t seem like a good idea at the time. Too bad because this was the game the Jayhawks beat #23 Oklahoma State. Instead, I wrote about school being canceled. I think my NAT sound was wonderful, but I was disappointed when I saw my final video. I felt like I did a good job on the video, but I noticed some mistakes that I knew I could fix in the next assignment.

In the third video I was set to get the best NAT Sound possible. I chose to use RISE at the St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO and the KU Women’s Basketball game for my VO. They both turned out great and I am happy that I chose these topics. This time I didn’t run into many issues and the editing process went fairly smoothly.

Personally I think the class is going well overall. One goal I have for this next project is to ask for help. I don’t think I am great at asking for help and I think that could improve my academic performance in this class.

Video Essay “Frisbee with Friends”:

VO 1 “Greek at KU”:

VOSOTVO 1 “To be Greek at KU”:

VO 2 “Classes Canceled Tuesday“:

VOSOTVO 2 “Ice Storm Cancels Classes”:

VO 3 “Unlucky Senior Night”:

VOSOTVO 3 “Good News at RISE”:

St. Lawrence Center Activity

Jackson Schneider Self Reflection – March 7, 2018

Our first video project in JOUR 550 was one that I was excited, yet unsure about. Being a person who has focused far more on radio than video, I had a lot of skills to try and develop. I was relatively pleased with how this project turned out, considering it was the first video we did, but the shaky shots really irritated me. That, of course, can be attributed to me forgetting a tripod (yikes). That, however, is a lesson that I learned the hard way, and you can bet I won’t do that again. View my Video Essay .

I was more comfortable with how my first VO/VOSOT project. The subject was something that I am involved in and passionate about, so it was fun to cover. I thought that my soundbite was interesting, but I will agree it is a bit long. I think that the nat-sound I got could have been better. I probably should have integrated more music into it, consdering the topic is a radio station’s battle of the bands. Overall, I think as a first VO/VOSOT, the project turned out well. View my  VOSOT 1 .

There are few better ways to illustrate stories being everywhere than my VO/VOSOT 2. I racked my brain for days trying to find a topic, but couldn’t seem to find one. Then, one day, while sitting in the newly revamped KU Union dining area, I thought to myself, “wow, this is so much nicer than it used to be, I bet people really like it.” From there, I shot up and ran to get a camera and I knew exactly what to do. I think that my shots fit “say it–see it” fairly well for this video, as well as giving a relatively boring topic some life. I think that the project turned out really well! View my VOSOT 2 .

Generally, you would expect that a student would gradually progress with each attempt at a VO/VOSOT, but I honestly feel as though I regressed a bit. I struggled with windy conditions and a shaky tripod, had some blurry shots, and conducted an interview with bad lighting. All of this combined to create a very average product. All things considered, I think it could have turned out far worse, but I’ll take it for now and must improve as we move forward towards packages. I can’t continue to make no or minimal progress if I hope to get where I want to go someday! View my VOSOT 3 

Other Links:

VO 1

VO 2

VO 3


-Jackson B. Schneider

Cain Lever: a journey worth reflecting

My Video Essay “Good morning Procrastination” was easily the most fun assignment to do. Dr. Collins gave us no guidelines at all, so it was a pretty simple assignment. Basically, I just woke up one morning and decided to start filming a ton of stuff in my room. To create some kind of story, I started filming my shower to show a sequence of events. I tried to tell a story by showing my bedroom and then my shower and bathroom. After showing my video to the class, I realized the importance of editing. The order I put my shots in can make the difference between a coherent video essay and a nonsensical one. Although my video wasn’t nonsense, it lacked certain shots that would’ve made the story easier to follow for the audience. For instance, a close up of the actor looking down at the phone and then up at the door would’ve made it more obvious to the audience that the shots of the shower were meant to represent the actor thinking about starting his day but deciding to stay in bed instead.

My first VO/VOSOTVO was about KU bus drivers and icy roads. Getting film for this was easy, but I realize now I could’ve gotten even better shots. I needed more shots of the actual bus drivers. I only had one person in my video and that was the guy I interviewed. Getting more shots of bus drivers at work would have made my video felt more personal. Still, I thought I cut up my shots well. My script could have been a lot more conversational too. I think that after doing this video, I started to realize the importance of having a script in mind while filming. That way when I’m on the scene, I can look for shots that I know will go perfectly with whatever I wanted to say. I could’ve used a wide shot near the Chi O fountain to show all the buses on Jayhawk Blvd and all the snow that was there too.

My second VO/VOSOTVO was about Campaign Maka’s new mixtape, Comfortable. I tried to get more shots that related to the subject I was talking about in this video, so I got a lot of shots of the recording equipment he has. I needed more shots of him actually using the equipment though. At the time, he wasn’t planning on recording anything, but I could’ve asked him to show me some music on his computer. Then, I could’ve gotten shots of him at his desk working which may have been more entertaining than just to see a mic, headphones, a piano, and so forth. Learning from my mistakes from the last video, I got shots of awards he received knowing that I wanted to talk about them in my script. I came with a plan in mind of what I was going to say already, so when I got into his studio, I already had a pretty good idea of what shots I needed to take. I had fun trying to mess with the rac focus on the piano, but I need to mess with that effect more to find the best way and best times to use it. I think it’s hard to do a 30 second video on an artist that isn’t a household name, because I felt like I had to give him prominence in the script without sounding promotional. He is a rising artist in KC, but I didn’t know how much I had to emphasize that in my script to show that he is a newsworthy figure.


For my third VO, I made a video about ONEDAY, ONE KU, a 24-hour fundraising event on campus. I had been working in the newsroom a lot prior to making this video, so I felt I was getting a great understanding of how to get good video and write to your video. I knew the facts I wanted to address in my script before hand, so I got video of the sign and close-ups of important things that were written on the sign. In my script, I just wrote to the video and used the sign as my primary video for talking about the major facts of the event and used the video of the flags to talk about whatever filler details I needed to address. At this point, I think I really was beginning to understand how to film affectively so I can  “say it and see it.” My biggest problem was that I had trouble getting low shots of the flags. I really wanted to get a rac focus shot of a line of flags, but I had a lot of trouble keeping the camera steady while changing the focus on the camera. I think with better equipment this would have been easier. However, I think that I’m capable of getting good rac focus shots with my camera, I just need to continue to practice it. I also wish I knew when people were putting the flags in the ground, because I wanted a shot of that.

For my third VOSOTVO, I did a video on the event Unpacking Whiteness. This was an interesting event because it was set up in a circle instead of a normal panel. My camera doesn’t zoom well, so it was hard for me to get any close ups of the speakers. I still think I got some decent shots. My initial shot was a tilt. I know Dr. Collins has said multiple times not to use a tilt, pan or zoom in these videos unless we could defend why we used it. I had seen CNN do a similar shot for a DACA event. I thought that it was an interesting beginning to the video, but Dr. Collins still didn’t approve of it. I think if there was a poster or sign above the crowd that the camera was on at first, then it would’ve made more sense to have that. Now, I’m realizing how shots like those can be effective, but otherwise they’re just unnecessary. I want to learn more about those rules and when it’s okay to break them. My camera died at the end of the event, so I had to use my phone to get an interview.