about her Trials and Tribulations
in a Multimedia Course
It took a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of dedication to get where I’ve gotten in Multimedia, but the journey was well worth it – and a journey it was.
When I first enrolled in this multimedia course taught by Professor Janice Collins, I thought I’d learn a lot about how to operate a camera, how to shoot a video and maybe how to write a news script or two. But the lessons I’ll take away from Journalism 410 are so much deeper than those skills. I have acquired an appreciation for the art, an understanding of the world I will be reporting on and I think I conquered how to suppress the agonizing fear of missing one of Professor Collin’s hard deadlines by turning that fear into fast-paced, yet thorough work, to complete each project in a on time.
On the first day of class, we were assigned a camera for the semester. I’d never actually had in my possession. And for our first assignment, we were given a list of 15 shots to take that had includes words like “wide,” “medium,” and “tight” and “texture.”
After spending an evening and the next day taking pictures of random houses around campus, a hot tub (for that texture shot) and “Frat Park,” I kinda, sorta began to get the hang of this whole “photography” thing and I realized I loved taking photos.
On the second assignment, we had to create a photo essay. I learned that sometimes you have to follow a dragonfly buzzing around for 15 minutes in 80 degree weather to get the perfect shot. Life lesson: Patience is key.
And the third assignment was the same photo essay from assignment 2, but with natural sound. I realized that sound adds a lot more texture to photos because it takes the viewer to the place the shots were taken. This article by Poynter gives some tips on how to effectively use nat sound. I will definitely try to incorporate sound into as many photo projects as I can in the future.
On the fourth assignment, we were thrown in the deep end of the pool. We had to create a video with different clips. This is one of the projects I wish I could redo. I loved the show I was recording and I wish I did it justice, but I also learned a lot from this project. Looking back, I now know to make sure the sound and the visual match up if it’s a performance. This really sunk in when I was watching Miley Cyrus’ performance on Saturday Night Live one night and saw how effective the shots were. Life lesson: The oddest things can trigger an epiphany, like SNL.
The fifth assignment was probably my favorite piece of work. I really enjoyed interviewing the band and I think my final product turned out well (and it has 61 views on YouTube, that’s crazy!). But it did take a lot of time to edit, so I learned to make sure I leave at least 3 or 4 hours dedicated to editing. I also learned that when you enjoy what you’re doing, those hours seem like minutes. I definitely hope to put my multimedia skills to use with something that has to do with music when I’m older. Maybe I can create something cool like this for Pitchfork one day.
The sixth assignment was also a fun one. I created a how-to video on carving a pumpkin and during this project, I realized editing in Final Cut was getting easier (yay!). I mastered the ability to not zoom in and out constantly (something I had a problem with during project 2) and I think I really felt like a multimedia journalist after this project.
And I knew I was getting a hang of things when I had a crisis prior to project seven in which my idea fell through. Luckily, I found a new topic the day before the project was due and my audio story turned out, in my opinion, pretty well. Life lesson: Always have a backup plan to your backup plan’s backup plan.
Now, I wish I could say all my skills came together to create the greatest final package known to mankind, but I’ve got to admit, I struggled with the final assignment. Looking back, I didn’t have the shots I wanted (or needed) but, again, I learned a lot. I would include elements Jonathan Cooper mentioned in this guide. If I could go back in time and redo this project, I think I could make a mean story about Laverne Cox’s presentation. But in the words of the Dalai Lama, “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
I think I can sum up my experience in J410 with another short quote: “Nobody said it would be easy, but they promised it would be worth it.” – Author Unknown. There were ups and downs during this class, but the ups definitely outweighed the downs. For classes in the future, I think a fun project would also be to include a newscast that each group makes up entirely, including the news stories. I created a mock rubric for the assignment (below). I think it would really benefit students because multimedia skills are crucial for journalists and, as this essay by Lorraine Lee explains, multimedia is evolving. I’m nervous, but mostly excited, to be a part of that evolution.
Over the span of four months, I went from cannot to a Canon camera pro and I gotta thank Professor Collins for that.
Mock Rubric for News Cast: Project 9
In a group of 4, delegate 2 people to be the anchors, 1 person to be the director and 1 person, with the contribution of the entire group, to write and finalize the script.
For this project, you will create a mock news cast. You will create the stories, choose the people and act out a dramatization to go with your package. The anchors should not be in the dramatization.
-Come up with a creative name for your news channel and news team (5pts)
-Include a story board and script for the teacher (10pts)
-Include some type of backdrop (5pts)
-Show your channel’s logo somewhere (5pts)
-Include at least 3 different news stories (15pts)
News Cast should include:
-Establishing shot for each news sequence (5pts each)
-Nat Sound (10pts)
-Wide, Medium, Tight shots for each sequence (5pts each)
-At least 3 interviews per story (15pts)
–News cast should be no longer than 5 minutes. (15pts)
Total points possible: 120 points
Total points earned: