Progress so far: Kathy Wong Blog Post 2

It’s now the beginning of March and there’s been so much that has happened in that time span. We’ve created a total of three VO’s, three VOSOTVO’s, and a video essay. With each assignment, I’m learning new things and skills that further progress my abilities on video editing and shooting, as well as script writing. Although the start of this class was quite daunting for me, I’ve actually come to love this class a great deal, and I’d even say that it’s my favorite one. Before this class, I’ve only had experience with making two videos, both of which I had very little idea of what I was doing. I remember the first time I rented equipment and I had no idea that I was supposed to grab a tripod or a mic. I had no idea how to shoot video and I generally panned and zoomed a lot. However, with this class, I’ve learned to absolutely never do those things and I’ve picked up quite a few new skills.

Our first project was a video essay and I was extremely nervous about it. After hearing about the project, I immediately decided to do the topic over the day in the life of a college student at KU. I spent the next few days planning my shots out and filming, but after looking at the footage  I was dissatisfied. It seemed boring and absolutely awful, so I went back to the drawing board and decided to film one of my friend’s D&D sessions. However, after filming, much to my dismay, I found that none of the sounds had actually been captured and instead, all I heard was this incessant static. I tried putting the audio into audacity to try and adjust it like I saw on a youtube video, but it didn’t work. So I trashed everything and I felt like I was grasping straws at that point to try and find an idea. After nearly having a panic attack, my roommate suggested that I film the historical items on display at the Union. So, the next day I spent hours in the Union filming, but when I began editing I realized that we couldn’t have any zooming or panning in the shots, and that was basically every single shot that I had. So I went back and reshot the videos and then spent hours in the lab editing. Editing always seems to take me the longest, as I’m not too familiar with adobe premiere, but after watching some youtube tutorials I felt like I got the hang of it. Writing the script seemed easy at the time, but after our critique, I realized I was horribly wrong. My writing wasn’t conversational at all, and I strived to improve on that aspect. From our critique, I was able to learn from my mistakes, which was to let my videos breath, and I worked on improving them for my next project.

Our second project was a VO and VOSOTVO. This time I chose to do my projects over the recent snow storm and change in weather in Lawrence. For my VO I shot videos of the snow and frozen nature and for my VOSOTVO I did about the same, but added more shots of the snow covering the campus and focused on shots of students walking through the snow. While shooting I paid close attention to keeping the camera still, not panning, and not zooming. I worked more on getting a variety of shots and spent hours outside filming. After filming I worked on editing the videos and I learned some new features, like hold frame and stabilizing. These came in handy for my still shots because the wind caused the already horrible tripod to be even shakier. I worked on the script once again but had trouble with trying to say it and see it. This problem caused me to cut some of my videos into shorter segments because I wanted everything to match what I said. This turned out to be a bad idea because I once again didn’t let my videos breath. From our class critique, I learned that it was imperil that we made sure to lower the sound on all of our videos in order to make sure that the audio wasn’t too loud.

VO 2 and VOSOTVO 2 were next. This time my project was over an event hosted by the natural history museum. For my VO I went around the museum and took shots of the different exhibits and artifacts on display and for my VOSOTVO I went to the event that was hosted at the Union and got shots of the table and people who visited the table. This time I wanted to make sure that my audio was perfect. Aksinya taught me how to lower the sound on all of my videos in premiere. However, while editing the video, for some reason the audio would completely disappear when I tried to lower the sound. I eventually got help from one of the lab technicians and they helped me sort it out. Yet, I ran into another problem. When I went to save and export my video, it deleted all of my work and I had to start all over again. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I realized that my biggest mistake while creating the script was that I was writing it after editing my footage. No one had ever told me that there was a specific order when creating our projects, so I never knew, but I stored this information for my next project. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I was also able to get a better grasp of how to become more conversational in my script writing. The conference really helped me a lot and it assuaged most of my fears about the next assignment. During this assignment, I was even able to help one of my peers edit and coach her on script writing. It made me feel really good that I was able to help someone else, even though I felt like a rookie compared to everyone else in the class, but I realized from helping my classmate that I’ve made a lot of progress so far.

For our most recent assignment VO 3 and VOSOTVO 3 instead of normally having our project over the same topic, we had to choose two different topics. For my VO I decided to shoot footage of the Central District Construction project on campus and for my VOSOTVO I decided to shoot footage of students preparing for midterms and Spring Break. My troubles with the VO were that I couldn’t get a good shot of the construction occurring due to the fence around the area. I zoomed in the furthest I could on the camera, but just couldn’t get the tight shots that I would have liked. For my VOSOTVO the troubles that I had were with the shakiness of shots. All the tripods that I rented seemed to be all broken, thus I had to press down on the tripod to keep it stabilized. While editing my footage, I ran into the same problem as the last assignment. For whatever reason, whenever I tried to save my footage and export it, it would delete all of my work. This happened twice, and I was so frustrated by the end of it. While editing, Jose pointed out that my rule of thirds for my interview was incorrect. I was dismayed because that was the aspect that I focused the most on during this assignment, and I was mad that I had inadvertently messed it up. I had made sure my subject had enough headroom and everything, but she was looking in the wrong direction. I stood on the left side of the camera and told her to look at me, instead of having her look at the right side. This is what bothered me the most about this project and I was really disappointed in myself. During this assignment, I was once again able to help a peer with her videos and script.

Although I was very apprehensive about taking this class, I feel as though I made the right decision. Every day I’m able to learn more and more about the different skills required in broadcast journalism. Dr. Collins is one of our biggest supporters in the class. Her passion for her teaching is what makes the class thoroughly enjoyable and I appreciate her enthusiasm.

One thought on “Progress so far: Kathy Wong Blog Post 2”

  1. Hey Kathy,

    I’d just like to say I don’t have much to critique and I am not at all trying to be mean when I say what I’m going to say. You have a ton of great shots in every video this semester, and I really think your writing and your voice have improved drastically in just a few weeks time. Even today when you read for your VOSOTVO 3, I was impressed with your presence and volume. That’s a TON of growth in a short time. I am impressed! Now, the only bad thing I have to say: you worry too much! Honestly you have spent so much time on each of these videos according to your reflection, and it’s great that you’re dedicated and never pleased with yourself. But you worry about every single detail. I am no pro, but I have been filming things for a long time, and I’ll tell you that the biggest lesson you can learn is nothing ever goes according to plan. For some reason or another, something will be messed up, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s kinda where I feel most at home now. So really you just need to learn to take a deep breath and let it come to you. When you panic, that’s when things don’t get done the right way. I promise this comes easier with time. Anyway, I have enjoyed your work thus far and I look forward to working together on our first package. You’ll only keep getting better with that great work ethic!

    Riley Wood

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