Surfing the Multimedia Web

Final Cut, Cameras, and Crash-Landing

When we began in this class, I was also simultaneously beginning TV1.  I was about to be in a little bit over my head, but I was so excited to start the hands-on portion of journalism that I knew I could handle it.  Since I want to go into film, this was one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve had in my college career (“I get to rent a camera for a whole semester?!“).  Although there were many, many pitfalls in the beginning, over time they became triumphs- both with Final Cut user details and with full projects. Trial and error was something I never really wanted to get into before, but being forced to simply try things and go out of my comfort zone pushed me into a new realm of education.

For our first project, I took “my” new camera out for a spin at the launch of a mural behind a restaurant in Urbana.


This was a fun project for me, and it was nice to start off on photos, since I already (I think) knew how to shoot with a good eye. This was all about learning how to use Final Cut to make it into a project, and I did it! 

As for Assignment 3, which was just adding the nat sound to the project, I had a small pitfall. The sound didn’t work! I learned that I needed to check, double check, and triple check from then on to make sure my devices were recording what I needed. This was a learning experience. But at least I had a few seconds of sound

Assignment 4 was a fun one. Here, I got a taste of asking many strangers for permission to shoot, and the workers at the restaurant. Luckily, all but one said yes! (And I didn’t really need to shoot that “one” anyway…) Riding home one warm evening, I peeked into Merry Ann’s Diner and couldn’t help but notice this cute father-daughter date…

Merry Ann'sI walked into Merry Ann’s, asked to shoot, and was lucky. Very, very lucky.

But, as I saw with Assignment 5, you can’t always depend on luck (well, sort of…). My initial shooting place fell through when the sun started to set and the trees were covering it, but on my way there I had ridden by some kids playing soccer, and I wanted to document it.



Although, this wasn’t exactly an ideal place to have a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and also, with interviews. I didn’t realize that until later, when the kids didn’t want to be split up. This was another point of learning: I realized sometimes, you can shoot a great video essay with a beautiful, lucky sunset and a good circumstance, but you may need to save that for your own joy, and choose a new topic. Go to Plan C. And with that, always have a Plan C, D, E, F… You get it.

Luckily, Plan A worked for my audio story, but…

******IMPROVISE. Sometimes, your best work can come from working with your circumstances.

With all of this done, it was finally time for the package. This time, I did have Plans A, B, C, and D. However, all of them fell through… Even D, as I was shooting it…

The Art Theater

However, getting enough B-Roll and the most important interview first, and having saved the “easier parts” for later truly paid off when I could not finish the shooting. Although I couldn’t have the three interviews I was planning to get, I was lucky enough to have enough footage and a substantial interview to carry the story along.

And as my journey comes to an end, I can’t help but become a little bit teary-eyed. This class has certainly been challenging, but also very, very enjoyable. And, I’m definitely going to miss having a camera to carry around with me whenever I please…




P.S. Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been doing outside of class…


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