Photo of me
The first day of class was the most intimidating day of all. Professor Collins made sure we knew what we were getting into, telling us about how we always need a plan A, B, C, D… and so on. As scared as I was to start learning the basics, I knew I was in good hands with Professor Collins and was grateful for all that I knew she was going to teach us. Once we were all assigned cameras, our first task was to go out and take pictures using different angles. I was so nervous because I had NO idea what a “pan” meant or a “wide, medium, tight” shot. Yes, I was pretty clueless and ended up having to do some research just to figure out how to turn on the camera. I remember sitting on the quad pretending to act like I knew how to work my camera and taking random pictures of Foellinger Auditorium while someone came up to me asking what type of camera I had. I tried to play it off like I knew but he clearly could tell I had no idea. I eventually ended up learning so much and gaining so many new skills that I will continue to use throughout my Journalism career.
Flowers on campus
Assignment 1 was supposed to be the easiest and at the time I thought it was impossible. Looking back on it now, I laugh at how stressed I was about getting the “right shot.” I spent about 3 hours of my day just walking around campus trying to find pretty places to take pictures at. People probably thought I was a professional but in reality I had no idea what I was doing. It also took my twenty minutes just to figure out how to turn the camera to the video setting. Oh, and getting the tripod out was even more difficult because I couldn’t figure out how to attach the camera on to the top, but that’s besides the point. In all honesty, this was probably one of my favorite assignments because I encountered so many new places on campus that I had no idea even existed. I took one of my favorite shots of flowers on here too that today I am still very proud of.
The next assignment was a photo essay with sound and a photo essay without sound. This was probably my least favorite assignment to do because I had no idea what to take pictures of that would have sound. Thinking back on it now I could have done so many other options but at the time I overthought the assignment which is something that I advise the next multimedia class not to do. I wanted to take pictures of something that expressed a lot about a person and the first thing that came into my mind was clothing. I took a lot of pictures of different clothes I have trying to add in a wide array of patterns and textures. One thing I didn’t really include was a lot of variety. Most of my photos were of the same angle/shot and it was all kind of the same. This assignment made me realize that next time I should step out of my comfort zone because playing it safe isn’t always the best work.
Assignment 3 was next and that was my video essay. This was definitely one of my favorite assignments! I really felt like I started to get to know my camera and was learning all the different settings to use as well as getting better at using transitions with editing. Although, I did take forever to come up with an idea for this… I really enjoyed my end result. I kept putting this assignment off until the last minute (bad idea) and would get easily distracted my other things like social media and Netflix. I realized that that would be a perfect idea for my video essay! I came up with a couple different scenes of a student getting easily distracted when doing their homework and deciding that Netflix was a better option. I had so much fun with this because my roommate and best friend got to star in my video, which made it much more enjoyable to film. I definitely suggest getting your friends involved in your videos if it’s relevant because it definitely makes it a fun assignment!
Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) photo. Credit to BodyWork Associates at University of Illinois
I started to get really stressed once assignment 4 rolled around, also known as the audio package. Each week was getting harder and required a lot more time to complete all of your work on time. I was worried I wasn’t going to finish this assignment because I could not find anyone that wanted to talk to me. I asked about 10 people at the ARC if they would take ten minutes of their time for me to ask them a few questions, but no one wanted to do that. At that point I was about to quit or just decide to do a different topic but I didn’t want to give up completely. Finally, after countless hours just sitting at the ARC, two people were more than willing to talk with me and I got my interviews finished! This was the biggest relief ever and I felt so accomplished at the end of the day. The next part was almost just as difficult when I realized I wasn’t finished at all and still had to go through all the editing and voiceovers. Figuring out which soundbites to use for my audio package was even worse. I honestly didn’t really have a “story line” for my package yet and didn’t really think anything out before I went on my interviews. This is not something I would recommend doing next time and I definitely learned from it. Overall, I think my audio package turned out alright but next time I would approach it in a different way.
Credit to history.com
Next was the video package and I can tell you right now that this was the hardest assignment of all. I literally had no idea what to write a story on and thought of an idea completely last minute, although it was pretty timely, which is always a good thing. I was on the verge of tears during this whole assignment and even my friends could tell I was super stressed about getting all the interviews and footage I needed on time. Luckily, my friends decided to come with me on my interviews because they knew how much anxiety I had about this assignment and wanted to make sure I was doing well! I also continued to call my mom everyday that week and tell her that I couldn’t do it but she convinced me that I was overreacting… she was right. This assignment taught me a lot about making sure to never procrastinate on your work, especially in the journalism field. Editing this assignment was fun and I really enjoyed getting to see how my work came together. That was the most rewarding part about this class, getting to see how all my hard work paid off.
Courtesy to McCormick
The How-To was the next and it was definitely the most fun of all! I’m not generally good at cooking so I decided that I would try for this assignment. College students are always looking for an easy meal and I thought that doing a How-To on How-To make Guacamole would be a great hit. It was super fun because I convinced my friends to help me in exchange for having some of the guacamole once I was all finished. This was a totally stress free assignment and I had fun doing the entire video, from filming to editing.
The last assignment was the group project and this was by far the best experience I have had in any journalism class. In the real world you’re going to be working in teams and having people that you must rely on to finish their work on time. That is exactly what this project was all about, being able to work as a team and put all your work together into something that is truly amazing. Of course this was during a time where I had a million other group projects to complete and I was totally stressed about getting everything done. I started my part of this project a little late and wish I had more time to make it into a piece that I could call amazing. Our topic for this group assignment was disabilities on and around the UIUC campus, which was really neat. We all were so into talking with people who have disabilities and telling their story in the best light possible. I did the How-To portion of the project and couldn’t quite figure out how to link it to disabilities, which was my major issue for the whole assignment. My teammates were really great in helping me decide what to do and in the end I think that our whole project turned out to be really neat. Creating the website was one of the best parts because we got to see what it would really look like if the story was actually published. All of our stories were posted and it was such a fantastic feeling to see that all of our effort and hard work turned into creating something really great.
Finishing up the semester I feel like I am way more experience in the multimedia field. I would highly recommend this class to anyone, especially Journalism students, because it definitely prepares you for the real world. The skills that I have acquired in this class are going to help me throughout my career and I can’t express how thankful I am that I took this course. I know I will achieve great things in the future with broadcast journalism because of the new concepts I have learned throughout the semester in Professor Collins course.