Tag Archives: collins

Finding a different way of success

On the first day of class back in August, I was terrified. As a broadcast major, I had been in front of the camera a countless number of times. I love taking photos and have put together high quality videos for both of my brothers’ weddings. But I had never produced work from behind the camera for a grade. Of course, my family and friends praised my work, but it’s very unlikely that they would have say something negative about my work even if I asked them too.



Though I was nervous, I looked forward to the class. Taking a multimedia class provided me with the opportunity to critique the skills I already possessed and learn new skills. It challenged me to come up with story ideas that were not just interesting to read about but also provided visual and audio aspects.

When our first assignment was given to us, I all but forgot how to take a picture on a camera, which was not great considering it was a photo essay. Our photo essays were really for us to get familiar with our equipment.  Looking back, my stress level was much too high for such a simple assignment. If I was to be given this assignment today, I could do it without any hesitation.

Newman Hall

Newman Hall

I decided to make Newman Hall the topic of my photo essay. We were required to take photos and videos of wide, medium and tight shots from different angles and different light settings. I live at Newman Hall this year, and I lived there last year. I’ve always thought it was a nice place to live, but I never fully appreciated the building itself from the outside. This assignment forced me to view this building from a different perspective. It made me more aware of things around me. Even the smallest aspects of my life can be produced in an art form.

The second assignment was very similar to the first in that we had to take wide, medium and tight shots from different angles. The difference this time is that we were adding natural sound. I made Grange Grove the topic of this assignment. I took my photos in the early evening when the sun had almost set. This was probably my favorite assignment because I had the most fun with it. I am one who loves absolutely everything regarding Illini athletics, so spending time capturing photos of one of my favorite places during a time when I was the only one around was extremely peaceful. Because it was something I cared about and enjoyed doing, I think my photos came out even better than if I had picked a different setting.

Grange Grove

Grange Grove

Our third assignment was a video essay. This assignment was given to us during my brother’s wedding week. I took this opportunity to use my homework assignment to not only have fun but make a nice memory for my family. My brother had a videographer at his wedding, but he didn’t have anything for the rehearsal dinner or time leading up to the wedding, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I thought this assignment was the kickstart to my love for the class.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

The next assignment was an audio story. I loved this assignment because it involved using skills that I already had learned to love, which is reporting. I reported on the Illinois student population’s opinion of the McKinley Health Center. The best part of this assignment was reviewing our scripts with Professor Collins. I have written plenty of audio stories before, but I have never actually gone through a script with someone and have them critique it with me. Reading my script out loud with Professor Collins and listening to her critiques caused me to come up with new ideas of my own, which I think made my story even better than I thought it could have been had I completed it without going over it with anyone.

The McKinley Health Center

The McKinley Health Center

Following our audio story, we had a video story. We needed three video interviews. Since I am already extremely comfortable interviewing people, the most important part for me with this assignment was the video shots themselves. Making sure that the setting was quiet enough was a bigger problem than I thought. Another important aspect was using lower thirds to make the shot look nice. We also needed plenty of b-roll. This assignment was the most different for me because I had never done anything like this before, though I hope to produce plenty of more assignments like this in the future.

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

After that was our how-to assignment. I showed how to make a green vegetable smoothie. I thought this was a good topic because it is something that I make all the time. I was in my video, which if I was to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have done that. I preferred my classmates’ videos in which they used mostly tight shots to physically show what they were doing in each step of the process, where as in mine it was mostly me telling my audience what to do.

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

Our final assignment was a package consisting of an audio story, a photo essay, a video story and a how-to. We chose to focus our package on disability. My part was the photo essay. I took photos of the Illinois Wheelchair Track team’s morning practice and wrote about the team itself and the McFadden sister’s journey to success. I loved this assignment. Though we each had our own parts, we all helped each other out in different ways. This way, we all were able to learn from each others’ approaches to journalism and share our own ideas. Overall, I thought our assignment was a success.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

While preparing to write my reflection, I went to look back on reflections from last semester’s multimedia class. The first post I read was Brett Lerner’s. His post was ironically titled, “In the Blink of an Eye.” This post hit me hard because Brett was a friend of mine and was taken in a fatal car accident on his way to work earlier in the semester. Brett was what I like to think was a perfect example of what a good aspiring journalist should be. He was passionate, devoted and would do anything to get to the top. Brett had so much potential to be successful, though his life came and went in the blink of an eye. When we lost Brett, the whole world lost someone special.

From that point on, I decided to dedicate every piece of journalism that I produce to Brett. To future students who take this multimedia class or any journalism class, do not take this opportunity lightly. Life changes quickly, and you may never know when that is going to be. When you do something, anything, do it the best you can. If you don’t try your hardest to succeed for yourself, do the world a favor and succeed for Brett.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From Lucas’ Year in J215

Me Profile Pic

A photo of myself

It’s finally that time of the year. Time to look back and reflect on this very memorable year in multimedia. Coming into this class I honestly had no clue was I what the content of the class would be like, and when we received our syllabus from Professor Collins a few weeks before class it made the class seem somewhat overwhelming. But honestly trying to put 16 weeks worth of work into context that early probably wasn’t the best idea on my part. Continue reading

Netflix and Chill or more?

Fall is here and what’s the best thing to do on a chilly day? Netflix and Chill. I know what you’re thinking.. and maybe you’re not far off.

A shortened version of the steps included in the video

I don’t know about you, but I believe a good movie night involves 10 steps. See what those steps are here..

This is my way of having a good movie night. What’s yours? Comment below with more ways to have a good night!!



Making your average college meal… Kraft Mac n’ Cheese

Yum.. a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese!

Yum.. a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese!

For college students, it’s often a frequent occurrence to run out of both time and money. Kraft mac n’ cheese is a delicious meal, that only takes a few minutes to prepare and is very cheap to make. Kraft also makes other affordable products that you can check out on their website.  They have other prepackaged meals there, and also other possible snacks and recipes you can make. Its important for students to have different types of possibilities for their current restraints, especially a budget. Check out different ways to budget during college here.  You can check out my how-to package here.


  my storyboard

How to make a vegetable smoothie

Sometimes it’s difficult to eat healthy, but it is important to get your daily servings of vegetables.  In order to do so, I put it all together in a smoothie so that I get my vegetables over with for the day, while I am still able to enjoy a refreshing smoothie. My smoothies consist of spinach, apples, tomatoes, carrots, celery and cucumbers.

Check out my video here!

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org



Illinois Students Finding Their Own Cure for McKinley Health Center Fiasco


As flu-season approaches, University of Illinois students are looking for outside medical sources for help. Find out why they are staying away from the McKinley Health Center they have already paid for. Off the Shelf and Online’s Lauren Mroz reports. 


For more information on the McKinley Health Center, click here.

Assignment 3-Reflection Jassin

Overall, I enjoyed documenting Rosh Hashanah, and the feedback I received from my classmates as well as Professor Collins was all very positive. I struggled with deadline, but I did manage to make it. I did not manage to include a well thought out blog or hyperlink to an additional page which would have added to my story. I added that after class though. The main reason I fell behind was because I originally intended to use sound bites from my voice recorder and have a few voice overs of myself explaining the story. This will come in handy for next week’s project and the video package. I am eager to do better, so I may practice editing ahead of time so I can work more efficiently in the classroom.

It was also difficult considering I could not shoot videos inside the hall where the service and dinner took place for Rosh Hashanah, but regardless it all worked out.


Video Essay- blog. Assignment 3- Elizabeth Jassin

For assignment 3, I documented the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah.)  I was unable to document the service and celebration because electronics were not aloud inside the hall where both the service and celebration took place. Instead I documented what I could to the best of my ability. My video essay can be located here!

More information about the holiday and Hillel (where the holiday took place) can be located on the Hillel website. There is information regarding the upcoming holiday Yom Kippur.


Apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah

This image was found through Google.

Kevin & Lizzy’s Wedding Video Essay Mroz

Kevin & Lizzy’s Wedding

On Saturday, Kevin Mroz and Lizzy Ketcik were married at St. Giles Catholic Church in Oak Park, Illinois. Festivities kicked off on Friday night as the couple and their families gathered at the church for the wedding rehearsal.

Following the rehearsal, those involved in the wedding met up with out of town guests at the Mroz’s house in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The bride and groom wanted a casual backyard rehearsal dinner as opposed to an expensive dinner. They said they thought it would give guests a greater opportunity to socialize with each other instead of only talking to those sitting around them at a table.

They decided to have the dinner at home in an effort to save money, since the reception the next day was already costing them a fortune. According to cnbc.com, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $28,400.

Though everyone enjoyed themselves at the wedding reception the next day, there was a bit of craziness throughout the night. There were two wedding receptions going on at Oak Park Country Club that night– something that did not make Kevin and Lizzy very happy.

The other party did not have an open-bar, while Kevin and Lizzy’s party did. At one point in the night, various guests of the other party crashed Kevin and Lizzy’s party. They got drinks from the couple’s bar, used their photo booth, and utilized the couple’s dance floor.

The guests from the other party were not happy that they got caught and in turn started mass chaos. One guest ripped one of Lizzy’s bridesmaid’s dress. Another knocked over a cocktail table. Others were throwing beer at other bridesmaids. As a result, the police were called.

As all was resolved, Kevin and Lizzy’s guests continued to have a good time as they celebrated the matrimony of two people that are loved by many people.

Though this video does not capture all of the craziness of the night, click here to view an overview of the weekend.


Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

Assignment 3 Video Essay Garvey

College Student Studying in Library --- Image by © Peter M. Fisher/Corbis

College Student Studying in Library — Image by © Peter M. Fisher/Corbis

Do Students Really Study?

Is it possible for a student to get a good night sleep and finish their homework with all the distractions around them? According to NBC News even when on “best behavior” students can’t concentrate on homework for more than 2 minutes because of distractions. You can see in the opening shot of the story, a student begins working on homework but ultimately doesn’t finish it because of all of the distractions of having roommates, technology, and a short attention span. Students juggle with trying to multitask activities end up giving up because of their short attention spans, and then move onto the next task.

Roommates can often be common distractions for students. Especially in this case, when there are multiple girls living in the residence. Technology distractions are some of the most common as well. A study found that people who are distracted by technology are score 20 percent lower on a standard cognition test. This patten keeps continuing for our generation. According to Gloria Mark at the University of Illinois California Irvine, says office workers only get 11 continuous minutes to work on a task before interruption. This video perfectly displays how distractions cause students to not complete work, and go to bed without completing work

Watch the video here