I’d like to start by addressing next semester’s multimedia class: don’t panic, you will get through this with your sanity in tact! As someone who has only worked in print journalism since high school, the idea of putting forth eight multimedia assignments over the course of the semester was daunting to say the least. Looking back, this class has been an invaluable addition to my journalism course work at the University of Illinois.
Becoming Familiar With Our Cameras
Upon arriving to class on the first day, we were given a camera along with a tripod and audio recorder. For Assignment 1 we were required to take various shots and videos on our cameras to make us more familiar with the equipment. This included zooming in and out, as well as attaching our cameras to our tripods. You think that would be the easiest part but making sure the camera and tripod did not shake took me a while to figure out. I initially looked on YouTube for tutorials on how to use the equipment. I would recommend this for first time users to prepare yourselves.
I took a majority of the shots in my apartment and at my sorority house throughout the day. I was ultimately pleased with the results and was feeling pretty great about the next assignment.
Playing With Audio
Assignment 2 required us to take 12 still shots with our camera and record accompanying audio with the recorders. Initially I could not figure out how to turn on my recorder for the longest time. As it turns out I wasn’t holding the power button down long enough…so beware to those who are having difficulty working with the equipment. I texted a girl in my class and the issue was resolved in a matter of seconds. It’s good to make friends with the people around you early on.
After the initial speed bump the recording went really well. I decided to document what a typical day for me is like, from start to finish. Since I was previously unfamiliar with Adobe prior to joining the multimedia class, it took me a long time to put together the final product. I recommend downloading a trial version of Adobe on your computer at home to practice. I did this and it helped immensely.
Adding the Audio!
For Assignment 3, we had to take the audio that we recorded in preparation for Assignment 2 and incorporate it with the still shots. This time around I was much more comfortable editing on Adobe. As I mentioned previously, I downloaded Adobe to my computer. Before doing so I would come into the lab outside of class time to work on the computers in there and use Adobe. Downloading the program made it so much easier to work on assignments.
Using the recorders was easy, you just have to be careful when handling them because they’ll pick up so much sound. There were a few times I could hear myself breathing in the recording. Be still and be quiet, then you’ll have no issues.
Onto Video Essays…(Uh-Oh)
For Assignment 4 we were required to create a video essay that incorporated audio. I’ll be honest, this was the assignment that I struggled with the most this semester. I loved watching the dancers and I took a lot of great video and audio, the problem was that I took too much video. This made editing a total pain. I spent about three hours trying to decide what to use for a one minute clip. It was also hard to get a variety of angles in the classroom at the Armory because it was so small, but I made it work by standing on chairs, laying on the floor, etc.
There was one specific direction that Professor Collins was adamant about is following: do not zoom in/zoom out, but if you do for artistic purposes, have a valid reason. Well what do I do? Zoom in of course, but the fact of the matter was I had forgotten her directions. Lesson learned, stick to the syllabus and follow instructions!
Indulging In Some Pizza Pie
Assignment 5…aka my favorite assignment, the How-To Videos which combined photo, audio and video into one. Additionally we wrote an accompanying informational article. I chose to make a gluten free pizza. My accompanying article was about gluten free diets, particularly for those who have Celiac’s disease. The disease is prominent in my family so I enjoyed researching information regarding it, especially because I’ve heard so much about it growing up.
The only difficulty I came across was uploading to YouTube. I believe that because I created my project on my laptop instead of the computers in Greg Hall that I ran into this issue. It took a little bit of patience but the video was able to upload. Also, my pizza tasted horrible but it was a good learning experience. My roommates and I had a lot of fun making it.
Drumroll Please…..Final Project(s)
For Assignment 7 and 8 (6 was taken out of the syllabus), w had to pair up with three other class mates and create an audio package and a video package on the topic of our choice. Once these two elements were completed, a story had to be uploaded to Digital News Illinois.
Jordan, Miranda, Sean and I teamed up and decided to cover racism and the Greek community on campus, with a particular focus on the Delta Chi fraternity as well as the different meanings of the confederate flag.
Initially, our group was lacking in the communication department. After a rocky start with an assignment turned in late, we were able to gather ourselves and create a great project. I was really happy to work with my team and I’m extremely proud of the pieces we created. You can view our final project here.