Fortunate. That’s the word I would use to sum up my semester in Multimedia.
Reflecting back on the semester, I have realized how fortunate to be able to learn what it is to be a multimedia reporter. When I signed up for this class, I was beyond excited. A class where I get to be more creative rather than focus on the serious reporting stuff? Sign me up! This class has pushed me to seek out different stories, while also allowing me to take on what I have interest in covering. I’ve been a photographer for about 6 years now and I’ve only been learning more since I started. For this class, instead of having to focus on learning basic techniques of photography I was able to focus more on the videography. I would say my skills have definitely grown as the class has progressed.
With the first assignment, I was excited to dive right in. We were required to take a variety of stills and videos of varying sizes (wide, medium and tight). I loved how relaxed I felt doing this assignment. It made doing my “homework” enjoyable for the first time. Fortunately, I was taking TV1 which is video reporting and storytelling at the same time. The mix of multimedia and TV1 helped me learn at a quicker pace when it came to editing, so it was easier to piece my first assignment together.
For our second assignment, we were told to create two video essays. One without the natural sound and one with. I went to my friend’s apartment so I could show her how to make one of my favorite quick fix foods, naan pizza. The sounds I recorded included my walk over, the elevator dings to her apartment, her chopping the food, the toaster oven timer clicking and the ding when it finished baking, as well as when my friend accidentally burned herself reaching into the oven. I think my sound added a lot to my piece, because it made the photos come alive in a sense.
The third assignment was all videoing and a lot more writing. It was our first news piece, really. We created a video essay. At the time I had heard about the increase in bicycle thefts in the Champaign-Urbana area, so I decided to head over to Neutral Cycle on Fifth street to hear about their research. I got some really cool shots, but unfortunately when i uploaded it something went wrong and it turned out slow and pixelated. I attempted to re-edit, but it had the same effect. The process of videoing and learning more information on bike thefts was fun and interesting, which made the project worth it even if my video didn’t turn out as clear as I would have liked.
By out fourth assignment, I was ready to start interviewing. We created an audio package, so we hear my voice for the first time. I decided to continue looking for news and went to interview a leasing agent and resident from HERE Apartments, the new apartment located on Fourth and Green street. At the time, the apartment company was receiving a lot of backlash for their inability to offer their residents everything they promised and the residents were not happy. I really enjoyed this assignment, because I was able to continue working on my interviewing skills. I was able to think faster about what kinds of questions I wanted to ask to help the interview flow by thinking faster on the spot. You can tell by the clear answers I was able to receive in my piece.
Next up was our full package! I did my story on the Maker Girls, which is a lab that invites young girls in to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. I enjoyed this piece the most, because of the enthusiasm I received from the girls’ excitement to be interviewed. Plus, I secretly wish they had programs like Maker Girls when I was 8 years old. I was also really proud of this piece and how fast I was able to put it together. It was not my original story plan, but I was able to find a news idea just in time and put my editing skills to the test against time. The piece came together beautifully and it was by far the one I’ve enjoyed re-watching the most.
Last, but not least, our how to videos. Unlike everyone else, I decided to turn away from food and create a how to video on how to hold the best movie night. I love movie nights, but I still haven’t decided if it’s because of the amount of popcorn I’m allowed to consume without being judged or the actual movies. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this piece as well. I invited a few of my friends over and we went through each step that we would normally when we get together for movie nights. No movie night is complete without drinks, popcorn, a good movie, and blankets to cozy up in.
Now for the grand finale….drum roll please… Shining Light on What’s Hidden. A group project that tested how well journalism students can work together. This project was the most difficult assignment I had all semester. My group was great and I don’t think we would have been able to pull it off if it wasn’t for how well we were able to get along and communicate. We originally wanted to do our piece on raising awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s, but the contacts we were hoping to get ahold of were not exactly the most consistent. So from there we decided to raise awareness on issues that are not always noticed as easily as others, hence our title, “Shining Light on What’s Hidden.” I don’t know how many places each of us visited to try and get interviews as well as how many times we were turned down. It was rough, but we didn’t let that stop us from thinking up new ideas which is what helped up complete the assignment.
Overall, I enjoyed this class tremendously, because of our ability to be creative. Journalism can be tough, but it can be fun. I got to learn so much this semester that has only challenged my skill set and made me into a better journalist.