Tag Archives: Comedy

Emma Pool is Cooler with a Camera

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A headshot of myself

Stand by! The semester flew by and I’m now reflecting on all of my work for Journalism 215. I have to say, I was pretty intimidated coming into this class. I was handed a large, fancy camera and assigned projects. It was awkward at first using the camera out in public because it was so large and people were wondering what I was doing. However, I soon grew confident and was more comfortable shooting throughout the rest of the semester.

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Fleur de lis marquee light

For my first project I took different pictures and video footage around my sorority house. I tested wide, medium, tight shot pictures. For video, I tested zooming in and out, and panning left and right.

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Colorful feather boas

Each assignment because progressively more challenging by adding another layer. The second assignment included stills with and without audio. Since I wasn’t sure how the audio would come out with the recorder, I used my phone as well. I used my camera around the Party City in Champaign because I thought the vibrant colors and fun items would make for an interesting photo essay. Looking back, I would have liked to record someone checking out because I think that would have been good sound.

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Stretching before a workout

Assignment 3 was fun to shoot because I chose to shoot fast moving content. My friend was willing to let me shoot her working out at CRCE and she was very excited to see the final project. The story was someone leaves to go work out and finishes up with recovering. Knowing what I know now, I would have liked to film more high intensity workout, such as, running, biking, or stair climbing. This would have varied the video more and would have given the project more movement with the workout theme. The big challenge was filming on the move and I noticed some of my shots were shaky. I realize I should have used the tripod to get more still shots. I also started to become more comfortable taking the camera out in public because CRCE was very busy and it was a little awkward to film.

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Spicy Clamato improv troupe

The audio package assignment was something I had never done before. I was nervous about editing because it’s fairly easy to record interviews but to put it all together and then add my voice was a little daunting. I figured out it was fairly easy to record everything separately and then put it together on Adobe. I found it easier to just record on my phone because I was able to play it back out loud right away. My advice would be to make sure you are in a quiet space when doing your interviews. Sometimes the background sound overpowers the subject you are interviewing and it is distracting to the listener. Also, make sure you check your interview after you record it to make sure your subject is loud enough. One thing I noticed was that I sometimes responded to the interviewee by vocally agreeing with them. However, this sounded off in the interview so I had to make sure I was silent. I noticed the volume was not consistent during the whole package once I put it all together. That is something I would have tried to fix early on had I known. I also loved my subject because Improv is a passion of mine so it was a fun subject to work with.

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Illini Union Recycling Bin

The thing I would have liked to be done different was doing the How To video before the full package. I thought doing the full package incorporated everything all too soon. I was really proud of my full package because I was finally able to put everything I’ve learned all together. I had to go out and get numerous interviews and get them on camera. It was fun to play around with the editing and making sure everything flowed. I enjoyed my subject and it was fulfilling to see the whole project come together at the end. After watching the final product I noticed some changes I could have made. I should have cut to my subject when I was introducing them rather than showing pictures. I also interviewed someone outside which was difficult because it was very windy that day and it overpowered the interviewee. Check out my full package here.

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The Second City improvisational comedy enterprise

My How To video was a lot of fun. I had a really fun subject and I added humor to the video. It was also interesting to add in the cartoon drawing.
The biggest trouble I encountered was controlling the volume. It was difficult to make some clips quieter while the other clips had normal volume.

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Courtesy of Google Images

The final project proved to be the most difficult. I enjoyed the group aspect of it. We were able to work together and bounce ideas off of each other. Especially, since the final project had so many components, we were able to split up the work to focus on our own part. Our idea was to have a news cast and incorporate every project in one video. We used the green screen but ran into trouble when we were putting the video together. The library worker filmed awkwardly and the sound was quiet on one angle of the video and incorporated two people in the shot when just one was speaking. We resulted to plan B and used the second angled shot of us that was closer up but it still posed similar problems. Although it didn’t quite work out to how we would have liked, we were glad we made the effort to use the green screen. Looking back, we wish we would have followed more of a specific storyline. With All Things Bikes, we hit core subjects but it just didn’t flow once we put it all together. We think with more time, it would have turned out cleaner. My group used Weebly, which was fairly easy to use and we were all able to work on it at once. If we could do the project again, I think we would have liked to have split up the projects rather than put it all together to make one news cast. Check out our final project on YouTube here and our website on Weebly here.

Overall, I enjoyed picking subjects that I was passionate about so I was able stay engaged and put forth all my best effort. In the real world, I won’t always be able to pick my own topics so now is the time to learn while also working with subjects I love. I learned so much from this class. I learned to use Adobe for editing footage as well as different ways to use the camera. These are all useful lessons that I will take with me as I move forward in my journalism career in the future.

Reporting one last time from Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Emma Pool.

How To: Construct an Improv Scene

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The Second City theater in Chicago is a comedy enterprise

Improvisational comedy is a form of live theater where the scene or scenes are made up in the moment. Improvisers will often take a suggestion from the audience and create a scene based off of that suggestion. The characters, environment, and plot are all created on the spot. All objects are also mimed and no props are used.

The basic rules of improv include saying “yes” and adding something new to the scene and avoid the asking of questions so as to not put your partner on the spot. The two most popular forms of improv are short form and long form. Short form is comprised of quick games whereas long form takes one suggestion and builds a long scene with layered parts to tell a story.

Improv is a great source of creativity and getting your brain to think quicker and on the spot. Improv helps with public speaking and builds teamwork skills. Improv is all about laughter! Here is an article supporting the idea that people who take improv are happier.

Check out my How To video here and just maybe you can be seen on Saturday Night Live!

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Audio Package Reflection Pool

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Spicy Clamato performing in Chicago for a special competition

The Audio Package assignment proved to be difficult at first. I had never put together a podcast-like assignment and was nervous to take on the task. I love comedy, so this was a fun assignment for me. I figured out ways that really helped me with this assignment. I recorded everything on my phone as well as the recording device so when one failed, I was able to use the other. Also, when it was my turn to record myself, I found it easier to record myself on my phone and make separate recordings, so I didn’t have to spend so much time editing the piece on Adobe. Overall, I thought the piece came together nicely because I did spend a lot of time on it. With that, there are definitely ways to improve. Next time, I will focus on not having net sound when I’m talking and work on playing with the volume so the sound is consistent throughout the whole audio package.

Ready, Set, Laugh!

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Spicy Clamato performing for a special competition in Chicago

The University of Illinois is laughing up a storm with campus’ very own improv group Spicy Clamato. Spicy Clamato is U-Of-I’s longest running short form improv troupe that performs every other Friday night at the Courtyard Cafe in the Union.

The troupe consists of 12 members ranging from freshmen to seniors. Improv is a form of comedy theater performance where the scenes are created at the moment it is performed. Spicy Clamato performs short form which means they play games and get suggestions from the audience to inspire the scene. Spicy Clamato always has a sizeable audience including members of other improv troupes on campus for support. To check out the feature story on this hilarious group, click here.

You can get more information about Spicy Clamato including upcoming shows and video footage here.

Steven Bardwell Assignments 2 & 3 Reflection: Collins

Comedy at a Club near You

Campus Comedy Night at the Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois brought to the stage many local acts, which I was lucky enough to film and put together a multimedia event essay of the comical evening.

After finishing assignment one, I was feeling pretty confident with my camera and I was looking forward to telling a story with my photos and in assignments two and three.  At first I did not have much of an idea of what I was going to shoot, but one of my friends invited me to his stand-up comedy act at the Canopy Club and I knew this was the perfect opportunity.

Canopy, Assignment 2/3

Canopy, Assignment 2/3

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