When I started this semester, I was very nervous about this class. I had never used a nice camera before and have no background knowledge about editing, photography, or making videos. Writing is really more of my forté, so this class sounded like a challenge. I think all of that is pretty evident in my first project, when we were supposed to get to know our camera. I had no idea what to shoot, and it didn’t even occur to me to make my videos of things that were actually moving (something, in hindsight I probably should have figured out, but I was already feeling like a fish out of water). I remember taking a 5 second video of the wall and thinking to myself “I’m not sure what purpose this is serving? But I’m pretty sure this is what Professor Collins said to do? Must be something about video that I don’t know about?” But I did, however, end up getting a couple still shots that I liked out of the project, which took me by surprise.
The second project was my favorite, by far, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and was really excited about it. For the photo essay, I made a compilation of photos of the graffiti on the walls of the bathrooms in the Espresso Royale on Daniel St. in Champaign. The writing on the walls of bathrooms all across campus have always captivated me, and I actually ended up spending a couple days taking pictures all across campus, but those photos couldn’t end up fitting in the photo essay. It is a topic idea I would some day like to expand on. Looking back on my project, I think I could have done a better job. It’s evident to me know that I watch that I didn’t really understand the technology yet, or how to utilize the transitions in the best way possible, but I think I’ve learned a lot since then! And I know I was still pleased at the time with the progress I’d made.
For the third project, I was a little frustrated because I felt that, from a producer’s stand
point, I had a cool and different idea for the project, but didn’t quite have the camera and editing skills that I needed to create the project I saw in my head. I wanted a compilation of different shots of only people’s shoes walking at various locations and times of the day on campus. I thought it was a cool and different way to look at the campus, and shoe fashion is a fever pitch of creativity right now. However, my ideas didn’t quite read as well as I had hoped they would. I had a couple shots that I was really excited about, but wished I had a little more experience.
The fourth project is when we got more into a journalistic type of project with an audio package. I have to admit I was less excited about this one, but ultimately got through it and in the end was surprised that at what I was able to put together. (That seems to be turning into a theme for this class. I guess Professor Collins knew
what she was talking about at the beginning of the semester after all.) This project shocked me with the amount of time and effort it took. It sounds like a simple enough project with a time requirement of 1:15. I didn’t realize how much time it would take to conduct three separate interviews, transcribe all of them, write a script and put all the audio together. I now have a lot more respect for the people who make much longer packages on a regular basis, it a lot of work!
The fifth project was another one where I felt out of my element, but I ultimately got the job done. For the video package, I covered the women’s club volleyball only home tournament, which had happened that weekend. When I arrived at the event with my equipment, I realized again that the vision in my head was much more difficult to
put into action than I had expected. I realized I had never filmed any type of sporting event (or anything at all) so I was initially at a little bit of a loss. After a long afternoon of trial and error, though, I got into a little bit of a groove and felt empowered by the fact that I was able to figure it out, despite my initial self doubts. Unfortunately, I forgot about using the lavalier microphone for my interviews, so my audio is not the best. (I actually remember thinking to myself at the time, ‘huh, how do people do this? I feel like it’s going to be kind of hard to hear the interviews? Welp, here we go, let’s give it a shot.’) I realized later after watching other students projects that there was a better way to go about that. So, now I know I guess!
For project 6, the How-to was fun to create. I just how to tie your shoes – a pretty simple topic, employing the idea of ‘sweet and simple’ for this project. At this point, I was feeling mu
ch more comfortable using the technology and putting the package together. I focused on trying to vary my shots and angles. However, when I got to the media lab to put it all together, my shots ended up being shorter than I had realized. At this point in the week, I did not have time to reshoot, so I had to work with what I had, which came up a little short of the time requirement. In retrospect, I could have avoided this issue by starting earlier, allowing for time to reshoot if necessary. I also realized the importance of having some padding on every shot, for the sake of transitions and flow of the piece.
Finally, we made it to the end of the semester with the final group project. At the beginning, the project seemed vary daunting. However, once we started making plans and chipping away at things, it became very manageable. Our group worked very well together, and I think we did a good job of dividing and conquering. However, at the end, we had a couple projects still not finished, and the night before the project was due became a little stressful. I think in hindsight, we could have been a little more proactive about getting things done the first week we got the assignment. Granted, in the beginning, we didn’t have as much sense of direction as we did at the end, but is something we could have been more proactive about too. Once we did our interview for our video package, things started to fall into place, as that was kind of the pinnacle of our project and all the other pieces acted as supplements. All in all, I am very very proud of our group project, and the way we all truly came together in the end to achieve the end goal that we were all aiming for.
By the end of the semester, I realized I had learned a lot more than I anticipated in this course, was able to do more than I thought I could. I do still wish I had had some background knowledge on the use of a camera, because I think my project could have been that much better, but I did the best with what I had, and learned that I even enjoyed being behind the camera (something I had not expected).