Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

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Wow, I cannot believe the semester coming to an end! It has been a long journey, but as the title suggests, Time really flies when you’re having fun! It has been an incredible time in Multimedia Journalism. I have learned so much throughout this process, and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you below. 

For our first project, we were simply given the task of playing with our cameras. This project was a lot of fun because we could do essentially whatever we wanted. I have had experiences with digital cameras, but nothing necessarily like the camera we were given, so this scared me a little. After some trial and error, I was able to figure out the manual settings and play around with adjusting the quality of the photo. This project was given back when the weather was very nice (ugh, miss it) so I went outside and took some fun photos of my surroundings. The photo below is across the street from where I live, and I love how this turned out.  Its pretty funny watching it back now because now that I know what a “shaky” shot looks like,I can definitely pick it out from this project.

Alice Campbell Alumni Hall

Alice Campbell Alumni Hall

Next, for Assignment two, we were required to make a photo package with and without natural sound. I decided to show the viewers how I carry out my days at this fine university. Again, this project gave us some freedom to do whatever we wanted, so bringing my camera along with me through my day was a lot of fun. I know for this project, I needed to

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vary my shots from tight, medium, to wide. Despite this, I think I was more comfortable with the camera so the quality of the photos definitely turned out better than the first project.

The next assignment was one of my favorites. For this assignment, we needed to make a video package. I decided to call up my best friend Aria because I know she loves to dance. I followed her around a studio in the ARC and recorded her dance. I titled the piece “escape” because I know a lot of people on our campus rent out dance studios to escape the every day stresses of school. One struggle I had with this project was again varying my shots. Professor Collins wanted tight shots of Aria’s face or hands to gain a new perspective of her dance moves and the emotion behind it. Although I do like how this piece turned out, I do agree that this piece could have used a little more emotion.

Aria in the studio

Aria in the studio

Our next project was the audio package. I had no initial issues with this project because I already had a background of audio journalism. I could not get into multimedia last semester, so I took audio journalism, which actually helped me tremendously with multimedia over

907 S Third Street, Taken from Google Images

907 S Third Street, Taken from Google Images

all. It was very helpful having a background with Adobe apps before going in to this class because we had to learn how to work adobe very quickly. For this project, I decided to cover apartment leasing.This story was relevant because at the time I started looking for a place to live next year.

The next project, the video news package, probably was the most fun to shoot. I tracked down a RSO on campus that fights each other with foam swords. UIUC’s Belegarth meets twice a week to fight each other with foam swords, arrows, and axes among other weapons used. I initially just thought the group in general intrigued me, but as I spoke to many of the members, I found another story inside my initial story. Two members of the group met in the group and are now engaged! It was fun finding a new story inside the broad story I initially looked for. One thing I struggled with was consistency of shots. I know I had a few dark shots, so I now know I need to watch out for those.

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, taken from Google Images

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, taken from Google Images

Next, we had the how-to piece. This required a lot of production techniques, and I had to learn how to make and place lower thirds. I also had a lot of fun filmimg_0135ing this project because I had the chance to go home and hang out with my dad. We carved a pumpkin together, and it was fun putting the video together demonstrating how to do it. I finally became comfortable using the tripod and avoided shaky shots. I definitely felt the most comfortable with the camera for this project, but I do know that I still somewhat struggle with varying my shots. This is something I will for sure improve as I continue on with my career.

Finally, the end-all-be-all, our final project. At first, this project intimidated me. How on earth was I supposed to collaborate with a group and incorporate ALL aspects we learned in Multimedia Journalism? It worked in our favor, however. First of all, Heather, Molly, Elyssa and I were a great team which was very nice. Additionally, it helped that we chose a sports-related theme because I love sports, and Heather and I are both looking to pursue a sports-related career, so I feel like we were made for this project. I had so much fun interviewing three senior football players, a defensive coordinator, a law professor, and our director of media Kent Brown. This project also gave me the opportunity to meet Lovie Smith, which was pretty surreal. If you told freshmen Sera she would interview all these people, she would probably freak out. I would say our only hurdle was trying to figure out how to incorporate all our interviews into every aspect of multimedia. We struggled I think the hardest with the how-to, but I am proud of how it turned out after all. You can check out our soon to be world-famous website, Voices from the Field, here!

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Overall, I loved this class. I cannot wait to use the skills I learned from this class and use them as I carry on with my career and classes at U of I!

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