From Start to Finish: A Semester in Multimedia

At the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this class. I asked myself, What exactly is multimedia reporting anyway?

According to Paul Grabowicz at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, multimedia reporting allows “a story [to be] be broken up into a series of narratives” so that “people can explore according to their own interests.” This “is an opportunity to experiment with multi-dimensional story telling and new narrative approaches that provide context and depth and also are more compelling and engaging.”

And compelling and engaging definitely describe this class! Let’s check out my journey together …..

Getting to Know the Camera

Our first goal in class was to familiarize ourselves with our brand new camera babies. (I really like the camera, can you tell?).

A close-up shot for assignment 1

A close-up shot for assignment one

We were simply required to take a variety of shots–using both video and stills.

A wide shot demonstrating a right pan for assignment 1

A wide shot demonstrating a right pan for assignment 1

Looking back, I wish I had picked a more dynamic subject for this assignment. (I focused on the pictured rusty staircase.)

Many of my classmates did more than one object! That would’ve been a cool thing to try. Still, you live and you learn!

 

Playing with Audio

Assignments two and three went hand-in-hand. For two, we had to make a picture slideshow. Then, for three, we had to add an audio track.

My favorite shot from assignments 2+3! I'm a total coffee addict.

My favorite shot from assignments two+three! I’m a total coffee addict.

It was really fascinating to see how much sound can impact or change a piece! I was really happy with my location choice, because cafes feature a lot of vibrant sounds! In my slideshow+audio, the sounds of Espresso Royale really bring the piece to life!

A Show on the Road

Assignment four was definitely my favorite project! I did this while I was on a road trip to Nashville!

A photo I took of downtown Nashville with a little help from Instagram!

A photo I took of downtown Nashville with a little help from Instagram!

My boyfriend, Anthony, and I took this trip for our two-year anniversary. I took advantage of the new sights and sounds to create my video story!

In case you were wondering, this is the couple in question! We had a blast in Nashville.

In case you were wondering, this is the couple in question! We had a blast in Nashville.

For assignment four, we continued thinking shot variety and sounds, while also starting to experiment with storytelling.

 

Audio, Pt. 2

For assignment five, we had to make another video essay….. But this time, we had to include soundbites. This was the first assignment where I encountered technical issues. My audio recorder was not working. (The sound came out sounding very scary! A little demonic!) Thankfully, I had a plan B! Unfortunately, plan B left me stuck using the camera audio, which was unclear. 🙁 Still, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned in every shortcoming and problem–especially in the world of journalism!

How-To

Doctor Collins explained to us this semester that the number one thing people use the Internet for is to learn how to do something. There are so many how-to videos out there–ranging from how to bake a potato to how to make a “how-to” video! Clearly, this assignment gave us experience in a crucial aspect of multimedia reporting. 

My how-to video features a lot of steps to de-stressing, including deep breathing.

My how-to video features a lot of steps to de-stressing, including deep breathing.

For my how-to video, I focused on stress management. I chose this topic because of a recent study from Informa Healthcare, which focused on the relationship between stress levels in college students and problems like depression and anxiety.

Packages Galore!

Our last two assignments were both packages. Assignment seven was an audio package featuring entirely original work, while assignment eight was a video package where we re-used footage from an older event.

In the audio package, I had a chance to create all my own material. Plus, I got to work entirely with my favorite format–sound.

All of us focused on the Illinois Polar Plunge for assignment eight. Photo credit: Illinois Special Olympics website

All of us focused on the Illinois Polar Plunge for assignment eight.
Photo credit: Illinois Special Olympics website

Assignment eight was a very unique experience, because we all were using the same raw footage. It was cool to see how each person interpreted and organized the information differently.

What’s Next?

Once I graduate on May 18th (wow that’s soon!), I’m moving to Chicago to work at The San Jose Group as a Junior Executive Intern. I’m so excited to take everything I’ve learned in this class and implement it in my work there!

Signing off (for the last time!) For Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Joanna Nowak.

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