Multimedia and all I learned from it

So here we are, getting towards the end. It came pretty fast and I can say after a semester of multimedia as well as TV 1 I feel alot more confident using alot of the tools I was confused by at the beginning of the semester. The progress over the long semester has been somewhat of a mental journey for me, and it goes deeper than just how our projects may have turned out.

I want to first say that I started out pretty cocky in this class.  The picture above probably was the face I was making.  I also want to include that slice on the top is one of the most delicious I have ever had.  But anyway I had come in feeling ahead of the game because we would be using alot of tools I was already familiar with.  Going into it I wasn’t too nervous about completing anything. Looking back, I never felt overcome by any of our projects, because I actually like doing these things, but instead I seemed to make sure every week was some sort of epic rush to get the project in on time.  This was always accompanied by some freaking out and running around the hallways frantically.  Im not sure if I secretly like doing things close to deadline, but it sure is stressful and not a good idea when technology can go wrong. So lets begin.

Assignment 1 was a very fun way to start everything.  I had a good time experimenting with the camera and what it could do.  One of the painful parts of this assignment, and for many of the ones after, was the extremely cold temperatures.

One of the better shots.  It also shows the icy conditions.

One of the better shots. It also shows the icy conditions.

 I remember I actually got so cold that I couldn’t feel any of the buttons on the camera.  I knew that I wanted to go out and get good pictures, so I was not content with just having the generic pictures from my apartment.  After everything was done we learned final cut, which at the time I had no idea how to use.  Final cut started out as the challenge for me.  Overall though, assignment 1 was refreshing and fun.

Assignment 2 and 3 were kind of a combo project.  We had to get shots and also record audio that went with them.  Assignment 2 was just the shots, and then in 3 we added the audio.  We were also told to have somewhat of a theme throughout this, and I choose to head over to the ARC to try and capture all the different activities you could do there.  I said this then and I say it now, I got so lucky.

The rock wall at the ARC. The lighting made it look pretty epic.

The rock wall at the ARC. The lighting made it look pretty epic.

Every sport/game at the arc that I could think of I was able to find someone doing. Even ping pong.  I thought my shots for the most part in the project were good, and I was proud how I was able to link it with sound. The sounds had action that you could only find at the ARC. The only thing about this project that was weird was that people down in the gym did not like that I was recording them grunting and lifting.  At the time I was a little skeptical of going right up to a lifting guy and recording him going hard, but I found it to be worth it.

Thats an important thing right there. Don’t be afraid of people.  If they give you a hard time (which if you keep reading does happen to me eventually) you have to just move on and try something else.  Otherwise you might not get that perfect piece of sound or money shot picture you might want.  Anyway…

Assignment 4! This was a video essay.  Again, it had to follow a theme.  Thankfully, by some insane forces, it was a bit of a mild day.  I remembering walking around town and my jeans were really soggy at the bottom because of all the ice melting.  I had some other idea for filming but I ended up changing my mind to filming the whole melting scene because I thought 1) It was really cool looking, and 2) It signified it was getting warmer.

The whole city of Champaign was a water slide that day

The whole city of Champaign was a water slide that day

Even though that mildness did not stick around for long, it was nice while it lasted.  Here I got pretty down and dirty with shots.  I felt pretty immersed and enjoyed getting the shots.  The video captured alot of motion and the relaxing, perhaps soothing, flow of water.  I realized during this I was being pretty artsy. I never thought I would go for that kind of an approach, but it came pretty naturally even though it was a bit out of character.  I think this is in the top 2 of my favorite projects of mine.  The filming went flawless, the natural sound was nice, I even think I finished editing it 20 minutes before deadline! And special guest Bob Jamison liked it!

Quick gamebreak here as we approach assignment 5.  I spoke earlier about the stress of meeting deadlines. And while the stress I went through was not exclusive to any project, I found myself wrapped up in it mostly every time because I did not allow for enough time to edit everything well enough to avoid a mistake.  That is why I got some points deducted here and there, because I would miss a transition now and then or forget to link something in the blog post.  If you look at my blog post, some seem pretty unorganized and unattractive; and that is because I spent the minimal time on those aspects.  This is the key thing I learned through the semester. And that is, everything deserves the amount of time it takes to make it good. Rushing is one thing, but being careless and ignoring certain task because you don’t think they matter is much more serious.  In our future, instead of being deducted points for these things, we could find ourselves in alot more trouble.  Take that advice seriously. There is a reason its called a DEADline.

Anyway, onto Assignment 5. This one was a total joy.  I got to film and interview alot of my friends from my old frisbee team from last year, Boomland.  It was first of all really cool to get to film my favorite sport.  It turned into a really enjoyable assignment when people started trying extra hard to do well on camera.  Here we worked with certain filming techniques such as rule of thirds and looking room that I was also learning in TV 1.

The team huddled up at the end of practice

The team huddled up at the end of practice

The interviews came out nice since I knew what to ask, the sound was very clear, and there was progression without me even having to try to make it that way.  A very natural piece for me.   I also got to include music from my favorite artist, Long Island legend Billy Joel.  I choose the song “Root beer rag” because it is a very upbeat fun song, and it seemed to match with the spirit of everyone at the practice.  I was really happy to hear the class break out into cheers after this one. I attribute this to the music, because music adds so many character and energy to things.  If you are allowed to put music in a production, do it.

And then there was assignment 6.

I hope all the future students read this part carefully. When I first saw we had a how to project, I thought it would be the easiest and most fun to do. For me it turned out to be one of the hardest and most time consuming.  Part of it was the topic I choose. I recommend when you approach a story, really sit down and think how easy and possible it is.  Remember, easy is good.  I choose Parallel parking as my how to task.  It was a pretty New York thing of me to choose.  When it came down to it I had 2 big problems 1) I had to actually come up with a way to make steps out of parallel parking, and 2) had to find cars to park on as well as film.  That second step was the one that drove me insane.

A shot that took many tries to master.

A shot that took many tries to master.

 I went out numerous times to try this project, and either the roads were too congested to film in, the car I was parking on would leave, or the very extreme person wants to call the cops on you. This is what I was saying earlier about people who don’t cooperate.  The owner of the persons car I was parking on came out and was not very thrilled that I was filming her car.  “I”m gunna call the police, I don’t want you near my car.”  This was most frustrating because I had spent a long time filming and was almost done! But what happened happened, and I left as I should have.  I guess it was pretty sketchy continuously parking on someones car and pointing the camera right at their license plate.  I got what I deserved I guess.  Anyway I was able to complete this assignment after many painful hours of parking on the same car. It was hell.

I believe i’m running too long on words here. So i’m going to speed it up.

Assignment 7 and 8 were our final assignments. Both very much news and story oriented. For 7, we had to make an audio story. And 8 was a video story with which we were given raw footage to work with and had to use voiceover and precise editing/timing to make a story. It was nice not having to film for that part. The audio package went fine except for the fact I was missing sources and had to go on a mad source fun last minute, again be prepared.

There was sure some good shots in this story.

There was sure some good shots in this story.

The polar plunge story was the most editing based, so I spent all of my time in the editing studio for that one.  The timing, images, and sound quality were all important in the editing of that story. Using your judgment is key also. The final project came out to be very news like, so I guess I did it right.

I want to end with some more deep closing words. Multiple times in the semester Professor Collins and my other professors have told me I was a talented reporter and had great judgment and potential, but was blatantly ignoring too many of the task and not putting forward my best effort to the story.  This ofcourse is encouraging on one level, but it’s also very embarrassing on another.  The process of being fast with a story is a good talent to have, but if that means giving up certain focus, there is no way the story can be as good as it would be if there was more effort.  The feeling of leaving the studio after a long time of editing and knowing you made a project that will blow everyone out of the water is 5X better than spending 30 minutes in the studio making a sub-par production that people will fake clap at; you want real claps!  Nobody in the class knows how long you took to make something, so if you think in your head “this is damn impressive how good this is considering the time it took me” it doesn’t matter because all that matters is what is on the screen.

This went way over the word count, and that’s ok, because I took the effort to make it a little bit better.

I will miss the freedom of this class and exactly how far we could go with covering things, because in the future it only gets harder! Take the time to master the aspects of this class that show up in other classes and also enjoy it as well!

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