How I got here: My Multimedia Experience

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My family and I

A lot has changed since the first time I walked into Multimedia.

On the first day of class I really didn’t know what to expect. I went into Multimedia thinking that since I had put together several videos for classes in the past that I would be able to hold my own with the curriculum. At first, I was dead wrong. For the first few projects I was met with multiple setbacks, forced to resort to plans B, C and even D to finish my work on time and I had to ask for the help of fellow classmates as well as online forums to work both my camera and Adobe Premiere. But as the semester moved along and I completed more projects, I realized two things. First, that Multimedia got easier once I knew what I was doing and second, that as I grew in the class I learned the importance of one of Dr. Collins’ biggest points: flexibility when solving a problem.

Multimedia taught me not only how to be a great journalist on multiple media platforms but also how to be ready to counteract any potential problems with alternative plans. With that being said, lets take a look at what I specifically learned from each of the projects in Multimedia. I have linked each full project and blog entry in the title of each of my sections and embedded each finished video into this blog.

Getting Started

My main muse for my first project

My main muse for my first project

As I said in the previous paragraph, the start of this class was rough for me. Although the project only involved simple shots that were supposed to help the class get to know their camera, I found the entirety of the project challenging yet rewarding.

Most of my shots were taken inside or around my apartment and so I didn’t have a lot to work with. In retrospect I should have been more adventurous and gone out to shoot some cool stills and video clips on campus. Instead I chose to stick with the mundane task of taking shots of the inside of my apartment. As I said in my reflection to the first assignment, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how long to hold a shot before moving on to the next one as the project had us perform a number of shots with each video clip.

Editing the project also posed problems as I had trouble adding transitions to my video. In the end, I finished the project and in the process realized that the class wouldn’t be as easy as I thought.

 

The Next Step

After encountering problems with the filming of my first project I thought that my second project would go smoothly now that I knew what I was doing. For the second time in the first few weeks class I was wrong.

I shot the photos for my photo story on my walk to class in the middle of winter without gloves. In short, my hands were quite cold. On top of my clothing-related stupidity there was also the setback I encountered while trying to find things to photograph. As I was also trying to get audio with my photos I wanted to take pictures of things that provided cool, unique sounds. With everyone hustling from class to class, bundled up from the cold, I found this harder than expected. For the most part my photos seemed disjointed and not very thought out. On a better note, importing, editing and exporting my photo story was a breeze now that I knew how to work adobe.

Looking back at it my problems with finding things to photograph actually taught me a valuable lesson on being prepared. As the semester went on I planned out my projects farther in advance and, as a result, was less stressed when completing them.

 

My Biggest Problems

Alma Mater in winter

Alma Mater in winter

After compiling my photo story the week before I thought that simply adding sound to it would make for the easiest third assignment. As was the case the week before, I was wrong.

I imported the audio without a hitch but when I went to play it back in Adobe there was no sound. I played around with the volume settings on the computer for probably about an hour before finally asking another classmate to see if he could fix the problem. After changing some settings in Adobe itself my sound finally worked and I completed my project without incident.

The third assignment, much like the second assignment, taught me to plan ahead. I initially freaked out when the sound wasn’t working because I was working on deadline but after calming down and asking for help I was able to get back on the right track and finish my project while learning an important fact about time management along the way.

 

I’m (Finally) Getting the Hang of This

After having a multitude of problems pop up while completing my third assignment I thought that my fourth assignment would be more of the same. Luckily it wasn’t.

My video essay, which I yet again shot in my apartment, was easy to shoot and even easier to edit. My topic was my morning routine and shooting it seemed as easy as just going through a regular morning. I took video of everything from my coffee maker to my backpack and eventually strung the clips together into a cohesive story that outlined what I do on a typical morning.

I thought I was going to have a mini heart attack when the audio didn’t want to work in Adobe but after calmly going about trying to solve the problem I realized that I just needed to turn up the volume on the computer. With the crisis averted I finished my fourth assignment and had fun while doing it!

 

It’s as Easy as Mac ‘N Cheese

A box of Macaroni and Cheese

A box of Macaroni and Cheese

As I said earlier, each successive project got a little easier to manage as the semester went on. My how to video on making macaroni and cheese was no exception. The filming was easy as I basically just talked through all of the steps of making mac ‘n cheese with a video camera in my kitchen. After finally getting acclimated to Adobe the editing process was easy too. I no longer had to problem solve while completing my project as everything seemed to work the way it was supposed to. And, on top of the project going well, I also got to eat a delicious dinner of mac ‘n cheese because of multimedia. In short, the fifth project was a win-win for me.

 

 

The Finale 

After spending the entire semester becoming acclimated with my equipment and our editing software, the final two projects were where all of what I had learned came together.

The final group project on diversity was extremely fun to work on because it was our first, and only real, experience with putting together a piece of multimedia journalism in the course. I helped point our group in the right direction by scheduling and conducting interviews as well as brainstorming our other elements and helping the group in other ways. In the end, our audio and video stories went off without a hitch and the infographic that I worked on tied in well with our final theme. While the final project was by far the most work of the semester, it was also the most rewarding.

Our group gelled together and made a project that I would say was great than the sum of its parts, but then again i’m biased. In short, It was great to be able to put all of the video and audio techniques and tricks into action while filming and editing the stories and I feel that my time in multimedia made my final project exponentially better than it would have been if I had completed it before this class.

 

 

 

At the end of the day I learned a lot in multimedia. I learned not only how to shoot and edit video, audio and stills but how to be adaptable. After taking this class I feel confident in my abilities as both a multimedia journalist and as a student who’s ready for anything a future class throws at him.

 

 

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