Reflection 4: Handling disaster

Espresso Royale on Daniel Street in Champaign, Ill., about 30 minutes before closing time.

Espresso Royale coffee shop on Daniel Street in Champaign, Ill., about 30 minutes before closing time.

When Professor Collins said “anything that can go wrong is going to go wrong,” I didn’t know just how serious she was.

After completing my entire project on snow removal on campus, with footage of the trucks, workers and shovels scraping away day and night, something went wrong.

I removed my SD card from the camera and it felt somewhat hot. I plugged it into my computer to give it one last look to make sure everything that I wanted done was completed and clicked play. When I did, about five seconds after, I got an error message: The media could not be played because the card is damaged or corrupted.

Naturally, I lost my mind. All my backups were deleted. All my outside-of-class work was gone. Everything. The camera cooked my SD card to the point where it became unusable. Great, just great.

Thankfully, I have my car back on campus and was able to frantically buy another one from Walmart last night, but the snow removal wasn’t a guarantee at that point. I mean, I didn’t know what the chances were that snow would fall again overnight, so I needed a new plan.

I fell back onto my, well, fallback plan: Filming a coffee shop.

I started at night and filmed around closing time as the worker remained busy until the doors were shut. I used a combination of angle and shots to create my new narrative, though, I was a little hesitant about being too invasive. The worker was OK with everything; the customer’s faces told me they weren’t as OK.

Still, I got over their discomfort and pushed on. The homework I intended to do this morning became my overnight mission, as I knew the next step would be waking up and filming the coffee shop around the time it opened — at 7 a.m.

It’s also probably important to note that I’m not a morning person. Especially when morning and night blur into one in a classic, college all-nighter.

I managed to get everything finished with plenty of time to spare, which was nice. It doesn’t change that I’m sinking into my chair as I write this in desperate need of sleep, but that’s the life of a journalism major, I suppose. You would think I would be used to this by now.

Did I mention that I’m also getting sick?

2 thoughts on “Reflection 4: Handling disaster

  1. Vasicek, Ryan J

    Despite all of your troubles, lack of sleep and last second filming, your video turned out really good I thought. I thought that the pace of your transitions between shots captured the pace of a busy coffee shop very well, but sometimes that pace was thrown off a little bit by a longer shot. Also, similarly to you, the quality of my video drastically decreased once it downloaded to YouTube, so I share your pain in that. As I was telling you earlier though, I feel like this class isn’t necessarily all about how the final product of the video turned out, but your willingness to try every alternative solution and persevere to get the job done, so despite all the troubles these assignments may cause, it is helping develop you at the same time. Also, it’s a good learning experience for us both to come to expect the worst when it comes to our projects.

  2. Collins, Janice Marie

    Wow! I’m so sorry to hear of all your issues and problems and you were feeling sick? Frowning. I do hope you’re feeling better. the good news is that you kept at it and did a nice job. Congratulations on winning and not allowing the challenges and problems to get you down. Get some good sleep. I look forward to seeing your future projects!
    Professor Collins

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