A photo of myself.
At first I was scared, anxious and unsure about multimedia. I walked into the class never having used a video camera and could barely figure out how to set up the tripod. Professor Collins had an upbeat and extremely positive attitude about the class. I walked out of the first class session feeling a little less nervous, but still knew this was going to be a class that pushed me. Looking back, I could not be more thankful to have had this class. It pushed me in ways I had never expected. After tedious hours and tears (yes, I cried). I grew more confident with each assignment. That positive attitude became contagious. By the last assignment I was excited and could not wait to get started and put my project together. As corny as it sounds I have grown as a student, professional and as an individual because of this class.
Assignment one seemed simple enough. Your equipment is your friend. After spending a solid hour just getting everything set up and learning how to take a picture on a video camera, I figured I was getting the hang of it. I had no plan for this assignment. I just played around with pictures and videos. I took pictures of everything from plants to people to random street signs. I videoed any and everything that allowed me to zoom in and out and still get a decent shot of something. The most difficult part of this assignment, and every other one, was editing. Which I have learned simply takes practice. There are so many ways to enhance film and photos; it’s just about learning what effects look good and to get comfortable with editing. This assignment was intended to teach us about the equipment and learn how to use it, which it did.
The next assignment was really fun for me. I took what I learned from the first assignment to make this one better. I wanted to focus on telling a story that someone could follow without sound. I took still shots and recorded sound at the scene which would be added in my next project. I decided to go simple and shoot a day in the life of a student. I advise anyone taking multimedia to create a plan before shooting…it helps the process go smoother. I wrote down shots I wanted to take and was able to implement them and get the project done to look exactly as I wanted. Editing was simple for this project. I added all my photos and then labeled the sounds so I knew exactly which picture I would add them to for the next assignment. Staying organized helps tremendously!
Assignment three AKA my least favorite AKA my crying debut. I did everything from step A all the way to Z…and that is no exaggeration. I felt more confident going into this project but that was shattered when it was editing time. As I said in my assignment two, I tried to stay extremely organized and create a plan. This assignment taught me that as prepared as you may be…technology isn’t always on your side. Putting sounds in was no problem. I had them labeled and knew exactly where each sound would go. I still don’t know exactly what went wrong when I went to export my project but that is when I faced problems. Luckily, Professor Collins saved my project! After hours, yes hours, we finally got it to export. Besides the technological struggles I liked this assignment a lot. It taught me the importance of sound and how much it enhances a project. I also learned how to collect clear audio without scuffles or irrelevant background noise. Playing around with the recorder and holding it steady to get the sound got me great audio that really brought my photos to life. Most importantly I learned that things will go wrong and you need to take a deep breath, relax and roll with the punches. It all works out in the end.
Going into assignment four my confidence was low and I was dreading the editing. However, this ended up being a really good project for me. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I knew coming up with a plan would make it easier but I could not come up with any ideas on what I wanted my video essay to look like. I walked around outside but quickly disliked my photos because of the grey skies and lack of anything blooming or pretty around! So, I went to the union and figured I would find something. After about an hour of recording random clubs, events and activities I came across a singer. I got a bunch of different angles of her and the audience watching. It wasn’t until I went to edit and looked at all my film of the day when I decided I just wanted to focus on the singer. I made some artistic decisions that Professor Collins warned us not to do unless we could back it up. I was able to back up my zooming out to show how large the audience was surrounding the singer. This assignment really helped me grow. I learned to take extra footage, lots of sound, different angles and view points and most importantly I learned to explain why and how to defend my choices and figured out a bit of my personal style!
Assignment five was great! “How To” projects. After watching the past semesters videos I figured out I wanted to involve food in mine. I taught the class how to make a banana boat, which is a slightly “healthier” alternative to the banana split. In order to complete this assignment we needed to create an article explaining the news aspect of what we decided to teach. I focused the article on becoming healthier and the desire to remain fit and in shape while still getting to indulge which is a large issue in today’s society. This project like all the rest added more skill. Collecting background noise (B-Roll) and making sure to show what you’re doing required different angles and shots to ensure the audience saw exactly what you did. I kept telling myself to be clear in my actions and make it so anyone could watch without the volume on and still figure out how to make a banana boat. I took shots from above and next to the banana boat, which added to my video and made it easy to understand.
The final assignment incorporated everything we had learned this semester. Assignment 7 was an audio package & assignment 8 was a video package. These were some of my favorite projects I have done throughout the class. I really think working with a group for an extended period of time resembles what it is like to work in the multimedia world professionally. We all had to communicate frequently, decide a main focus/topic and delegate duties to each member of the group. My primary focus was gathering photos of students, video of campus and enough B-Roll to go throughout the project. It made it a lot easier to stay on track and get work done when their were multiple people relying on you to get your part finished by the agreed upon date. . My group was Alyssa, Shannon, Aaliyah and myself. We worked extremely well together. Our topic on diversity was very interesting. We focused on how U of I prides itself on diversity, but do international students really feel comfortable? We interviewed international students and faculty to hear personal experiences and perspectives. We did research on the U of I’s diversity statistics and found out more about our campus diversity and how to integrate both domestic and international students better. It was a lot of work but it turned out well and I am proud of my entire group for our first full audio/video package.
After a semester of multimedia projects I feel confident. With anything, learning never stops. While I have come a long way I know there is still a long way to go. I have laughed, learned and like I said earlier, cried. This class has provided me with something that stretches far beyond learning in a classroom. As Professor Collins says, “Dreams are realities that just haven’t happened yet”. I know I am capable of achieving my goals and aspirations of moving forward in the broadcast journalism world. I hope one day my dream of being a news anchor and reporter will come true. This class was a solid foundation and stepping stone in reaching those goals. Enjoy this class and push yourselves…it well be worth it in the end.