In all honesty, I am terribly sad to be done with multimedia. Also in all honesty: I never necessarily thought I would say that. After getting the 15-page syllabus this summer and coming to class the first day in August, I was extremely intimidated by what I thought I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to work a camera, and I had absolutely no idea how to edit my work using programs that I had never used. However, it wasn’t long until I realized how much I was learning with each assignment, and tracking my improvements each week felt really cool.
For the first assignment, I was really nervous to go out and shoot and use the tripod for the first time. I wanted to do something different too, so I went to the arboretum. I remember going out a few days before editing and the next day realizing I needed more shots so I had to go back (which I was surprisingly excited to go and do). I had so much fun taking photos of different types of plants and wide shots of the scenery. Although I was really nervous, I had no trouble when I got there. It felt good to figure things out on my own, and it was really relaxing shooting by myself.
By the second assignment, I was a lot more comfortable. I decided to shoot the quad on Labor Day and I felt good about going out and shooting alone. However, I ran into some trouble with my Tascam recorder. It wouldn’t turn on for a few days – I even used a plan b and c! – and after a lot of (unnecessary) anxiety regarding the situation, I ended up just recording from my phone. I loved taking shots for this assignment, but it was also the first assignment where I had to get audio, which made me nervous at first, but it ended up being really easy to go up and talk to people. I also learned that using audio in pieces makes a significant different. All of the people I talked to also thought it was really cool, which made things a lot more fun!
For my video essay, I chose to do a topic that was interesting and relevant to me. I did a video essay on my assistant coach coming to Illinois, and I had a lot of fun filming it. It was cool to get different angles of her coaching and sound bites of the courts and practice. I thought the end result came together nicely, but I really learned from what my peers had to say about my work. Looking back on it, I think that I could have added more, and especially have gotten more sound from her actually coaching. I also could have made it less confusing if I had filmed it all while she was in one outfit so that people knew that it was the same coach the whole way through.
The fourth assignment brought no nerves whatsoever. I chose to do my audio package on the Crazy-K marathon in Champaign, and it was a lot of fun. The sound bites I got were awesome because people were laughing and screaming, and it was easy to take a few shots to go with my audio. I did, however, realize that I really have a lot of work to do on my reporting voice. Coming from a print background, I really struggled with it and definitely learned from other classmates’ projects.
Up next was the full package. This brought a few nerves, as I had to interview people, but this was definitely a turning point for me in multimedia. I learned so much from not only the assignment itself, but from the critique of my professor and peers. I didn’t think it was too bad at first, but watching it back afterwards I realize I could have done so much better. My framing was off on interviews, I used boring backgrounds, my b-roll was cut at the wrong times and the bites I got could have been used in more places. The coolest part of the assignment was learning all of this and realizing how much better my work could be.
The last assignment before the final –and my favorite at that – was the ‘how to’ piece. I happened to be traveling this weekend and was really nervous about getting it done, but I really enjoyed making the video and even editing the video. Using lower thirds, video, photo and audio was really fun for me, and the food itself was great! It was a nice excuse to make a tasty treat.
By the final I felt really prepared, and I was excited about our topic, bike safety. I enjoyed working with a group, and we all decided to be very ambitious. It was our first time using a green screen, which was really challenging, but also really fun. I enjoyed “reporting” next to my classmates because it was something I had never done. However, our ambitions got the best of us. The footage we had wasn’t great, and the audio wasn’t working well. Looking back, we should have dropped our reporting scenes so that the cast had a lot more flow. Overall, it was a really cool experience and I still liked the fact that we tried to do something we had never done before.
This class made me excited about journalism. It taught me that I could learn fast, even with things that I am nervous for. It also showed me how many possibilities there are on the creative side of journalism. This was the first journalism class that I’ve taken where I got to do things of my own interest and I really loved that.
Reporting for the last time with Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Alexis Casati.