In the Blink of an Eye- Lerner reflection post

Announcing for BTN Student U

Announcing for BTN Student U

Coming into multimedia, I wasn’t sure how to feel. As a broadcast journalism major I had a good amount of experience in front of the camera, but not a ton behind the camera or during the editing process. Overall, I’d say I was bit nervous but also very excited. I knew that to have success moving forward I’d need to learn a lot about filming and editing, and that multimedia would be a great start to that learning. Plus with the way the industry is changing, you need to be very well rounded to be successful and that’s exactly the concept behind multimedia journalism. Especially now knowing that I’ll be interning at a TV station this summer and doing a great deal of both shooting and editing, I couldn’t be happier with the base knowledge I was able to gain through the seven assignments that we completed throughout the course of the semester. 

Our first assignment was a very basic start to the semester just to simply get us adjusted to using our cameras. This was basically the first time I’d taken any video aside from on my cell phone, so I was definitely nervous going in. However, after completing assignment 1 my nerves were calmed. I realized that through trial and error I was able to get all of the shots I needed. Also at the time considering it was first ever time using the camera and focusing on specific shot techniques, I was proud of how the shots turned out. So, after my nerves were calmed by our introduction assignment, I began to get really excited to build upon the very basic start and to keep learning more about shooting and editing.

Shot of Foellinger Hall

Shot of Foellinger Hall

For assignment two, we had to find a theme and create a photo essay with photos that followed this theme. Although I made a few framing and composition mistakes, taking the photos was generally the easy part of the assignment. My biggest takeaway from the photo essay was going out and finding a theme that I wanted to capture. One of the biggest parts of being a successful journalist is being able to pay attention to what’s going on around you and finding stories where the general person wouldn’t. So when I was walking down Green St one day I noticed all of the construction going on and decided to take photos with that along with photos of nature to make both a contrast and statement about what was going on around campus.

campus arboretum walk-way entrance

campus arboretum walk-way entrance

Our third assignment, which I titled ‘Contrasting Construction,’ was an extension of the photo essay where we simply added the natural sound which we gathered while taking our photos to the same photo essay from the second assignment. While this didn’t take a ton of editing, it definitely taught a valuable lesson about completing a story. Like we talked about often in class, every element of a story needs to have a relevant purpose within the story and being aware of the nat sound we gather is big in terms of progressing the story. The very basic audio editing also laid the foundation for later assignments in which audio levels and smoothness became crucial.

Assignment four was when we really started to combine the aspects we’d learned in the first three assignments and film and edit both audio and video into one project. Although now looking back there’s things in this video I would’ve liked to do better, I was overall very happy with the way my video turned out. I felt that because I picked such a good topic with the UI Innovate 3-D printing club, the story essentially told itself. The printers and interactions between people were bound to be visually appealing by nature, so I just had to choose the right shots and make sure the editing was clean so people could focus solely on the subject matter.

3-D printer in progress

3-D printer in progress

The next assignment we did, assignment five, was another step up in terms of our all around package building with both video and audio. Instead of actually showing the viewer how to do something in my ‘how to’ piece, I took more of a joking/acting approach to my piece. We began working on this assignment soon after Derrick Rose once again got injured, so to keep my story newsworthy and timely, I made something that pretty much any Bulls or NBA fan in general may enjoy. It was different than most other projects in the class that focused more on straight forward task completion, but I was happy with my end result and the editing, filming, attributions, and video aspects that I decided to use.

Derrick Rose speaking to media

Derrick Rose speaking to media

Finally came the group final project which challenged us to put all of our skills to the test and create four different multimedia elements on our webpage along with an article. I loved the way the project was set up in terms of the group dynamic. Working in a team is something that Professor Collins focused on often in her teachings, and is also something that is key to be able to do when it comes to the professional world. More often than not journalists work with at the very least their producer and most often others as well to create a final story. Our group, along with the article, produced a video package, audio package, timeline graphic, and photo essay. I personally was mainly in charge of the audio package, which focused on a specific event during Illini Wellness week–the focus of our project as a whole. I was happy with my writing and conversational narration, although I could’ve done a better job with smoothly incorporating the natural sound that I intended to include. Overall, the webpage my group and I pulled together is something I think we should all be pretty proud of as a testament to what we learned in multimedia.

Since being unsure of how to shoot basic angles and shots in assignment one, it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way in multimedia. I’ve learned a ton about shooting, editing, story telling and team work that will all apply to my coming journalism classes as well as my eventual career. Looking back, I know so much more about all of these aspects of being a successful journalist than I did coming into the semester; which is exciting because now I know I have so much more to still learn about  all of the aspects now that I have the basics. Also with having the basics, I can now begin to figure out my strong and weak suits, to better understand what I need to focus on moving forward. I’m very proud of the work I did in this class because it shows growth and wait to look back further down the line and see how much more I’ve grown from now as a journalist.

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