I never thought that I would find a class as fun and enlightening as this one. I had taken a theater class my freshman year and absolutely hated it to the point where my love for theater had plummeted. This class helped resurrect it and brought it to twice the intensity. I got to feel the excitement of looking forward to the day of the shows. I realized I love the whole experience of being in a performing center. I got to see the beauty of the building itself, the passion the performers have, the shared emotions in the audience, and I got to learn more about different cultures as well!
Looking back on a semester of amazing performance and personal inspection.
written by Allison Spillane
This class was a total wildcard in my schedule at the beginning of the year. I had no idea what to expect, but what I ended up getting is something that I know that I can look back upon fondly. This class really opened me up to resources for art and creativity on campus that I don’t think I would have know about otherwise. From KAM to KCPA to the Spurlock Museum, these are all amazing places on campus that I was introduced to by this class, and I cannot fully express my gratitude for that. Being a part of such a great group of people enjoying some amazing performances really helped me feel welcome and at home at the University of Illinois.
I’m thankful for this opportunity to share my words. This space is something that I’ve become drawn to. I’m enticed by the artistry and liberty to express my opinions. A place where I’m communicating with you – and you are just interested enough to continue reading. This will delve deeper than it needs to, but still, thank you for being here. I hope you hear my poetry.
It’s hard to believe that this is the final reflection that I’m writing for this class. It seems like just yesterday that we all started and was told that we had to learn how to swim. It’s been quite a journey and it’s been a fun one. We’ve worked on so many different projects this year and with each one, I’ve seen myself get better and better. From being someone with zero video experience to doing my own news break. I feel pretty accomplished. I’ve made so many lasting relationships in this class and with the aid of Dr. Collins I’m ready to tackle any challenge ahead.
My first assignment was a video essay and looking back at it now I remember the struggles that I had with finding an idea and shooting the video. I remember that my two previous ideas had fallen through and then with this one I had to reshoot the video three times because I wasn’t happy with the results. I wasn’t very familiar with premiere either, so it took me quite a few hours to edit the video. With this video essay, I learned that my shots need to be able to breathe.
The next assignment was our VO. I remember freaking out over the weekend trying to think of a good idea. Thankfully we had some snow and I decided to whip out my camera and walk around campus. Once again it took me hours to film and afterward I couldn’t even feel my hands. I really liked the shots I took and had fun. I just really liked how the snow created this beautiful landscape all around me.
Our next assignment was a VOSOTVO and I decided to detail the icy conditions around campus. Once again I spent several hours outside filming. I felt like I didn’t get enough shots on the first day, but heard there was more snow coming the next. However, it didn’t snow the next day and the snow had begun melting. I ran around and decided to get some tight shots of areas with some snow. Eventually, I was able to get all the shots needed and put it all together. This time around I was more at ease with premiere, but it still took me a little longer than everyone else.
My second VO was about the natural history museum. I really enjoyed walking through the museum and looking at all the displays. It was tough to decide which shots I wanted to use since there was so many that I liked. Knowing my way around premiere now, I was even able to teach what I’d learned to some of my classmates. I learned that I need to be more confident in presenting in front of the class, and decided to work on that more.
My second VOSOTVO was over an event hosted by the Natural History Museum. I had fun looking at the fossils and seeing the excitement on the students’ faces. I took a variety of shots and all at varying angles. I tried to get some tight shots of the faces of students and their awe at looking at the cool fossils, but it was hard for me to get a good angle. I was able to put all the videos together and it went even faster than it did before.
For all of these previous assignments I had learned that I really needed to let my shots breath, so I tried even harder to do that with these last few.
For our final VO, I decided to show the construction around the Central District. I remember creeping around the construction sites and stepping through the muddy terrain to get these shots. I was worried that they’d shoo me away from the site, but luckily they didn’t. The problem that I always have with any of these projects is that I always take an abundance of shots and then am unable to decide which ones to use with the limited time constraint that we have.
For our final VOSOTVO, I decided to film what students are doing before Spring Break. For most of my shots, I stood at a second story window in Anschutz library and shot the video looking down at students on the floor below, that way I would be able to get some tight shots of their face and emotions while studying. I liked how all of my tight shots turned out and was able to experiment with a lot of different shots.
Our first package was an interesting topic. My first idea was whether students and professors are affected by daylight savings time, however, I was unable to get into contact with any professors. It was by sheer luck that I stumbled upon this exhibit outside of the j-school and I couldn’t thank the heavens enough. The topic was about abortion, so I knew I’d get plenty of good soundbites. This was also the first time that I did a standup and I wasn’t too excited about it. I feel like I’m too awkward on camera, so I tend to stay away from it. While putting the package together I had so many good soundbites that I had a really hard time choosing what to cut. Our video turned out to be 2:45 with everything, which was way past the allotted time. So I painstakingly tried to find things that I could cut out. Although we did get it cut down, we had to talk real fast in order to get all of our scripts onto the track. Thus, our tracks sounded incredibly fast and our edits were as well.
A piece of our final project was another package. I had chosen an event at the Union, but when I got there to film, I found out that the event was canceled. I started to panic and freak out, worrying that I wouldn’t find anything else. On my way back to return my equipment, I saw the students setting up this table and holding this event, so I decided to start filming. It was hard for me to get the right angle to get a good shot of the action, but I managed and was happy with the results I got. Looking at this package in comparison to my last one, I can see a lot of improvement. My track didn’t sound rushed, although my voice is a little soft in comparison to the action in the videos.
I was extremely nervous about our news breaks. I feel like I’m a really awkward person on camera and I also get really self-conscious. I stumbled at times on the words and I did look like a deer in the headlights in the beginning, but I managed to tamper down my nerves and “perform” like Dr. Collins said. I made some stumbles during the weather, but everything else went smoothly. I found that after the initial nerves, I did feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. What I’d like to work more on is looking more natural on camera. I looked much too stiff and didn’t smile a lot. I noticed from watching everyone else’s news breaks that they seemed to be more comfortable and at ease, so I’d definitely like to work on that. I think the news breaks were a great experience and I’d love to try it again.
Each of these projects helped me grow more and more and helped me come more out of my shell. I got to meet so many cool people and became friends with everyone in class. This whole semester has been an incredible learning experience. I’d like to thank Dr. Collins for all of her help this semester. Without her encouragement and positivity, I don’t think I’d ever been able to make it through the semester. She was always my biggest supporter and I’ll be sad to see her go. She was the best mentor anyone could ask for and I’ve learned so much under her care and guidance. So, thank you so much. This is Kathy Wong and I’m signing off one last time for Off the Shelf and Online.
It is so incredible looking back at the growth I’ve made and amount of work I’ve done for this class. The relief I am feeling to be writing this final reflection blog post is indescribable. I can not begin to explain how happy I am that the semester is finally coming to a close. I have most certainly learned a lot from this class, and my progression is apparent, as shown below. Continue reading →
Coming into this semester, I thought I had it all figured out. I had a lot of experience writing between my time with classes, my work with the Daily Illini, and running everything on campus for Barstool Sports. But, after taking this class — I now realize I was clueless. With the skills I have learned in this class, I have been able to do much better work not only for the lass, but also in my other areas of work, and to me personally the difference has been astounding. Throughout every project, good or bad, I learned skills that I never had before, and for that I have to really thank Professor Collins for caring so much about all of us students and making sure that we continue to improve together. But, I’ll get back to all that later, take a look at how this semester has gone for me below! Continue reading →
Time to check out all the hard work from this semester and reflect!
I cannot believe the semester is almost over. This has been by far one of my favorite classes and I feel sad that it’s over. Professor Collins made this class so enjoyable and I know what I’ve learned in her classroom, I will use in my career.
Let’s take a look at where we started the semester and where we ended up!
Oh dear, it seems we have reached the end of the semester! I couldn’t think of a better way to end my senior year. I have enjoyed working with my classmates in every shape and form throughout this class. We all have learned so much since the beginning of the semester and every day we got better and better.
I think it’s appropriate for me to take a moment before I go into detail about our group’s projects to talk about how awesome it is how far we’ve all come together since the beginning of this semester. I personally know that I’ve made friends here that I’ll never forget, and have strengthened some friendships I’d already made! I’m really excited to see all the epic things we are 150% destined to do in the future, and the impact we will make as a whole.
Be The Power
First off: I really loved the entirety of this piece. From the mission, to the execution, you guys have it all done really well! I really like the website layout, color scheme, and how it starts off straight away hitting you with facts that both are interesting, and allow you to learn more about your project. I really think you guys killed it in all of your packages, and also really enjoy how your menu transitions from up to down from learning about and hearing the issue that you present, into what you can actually do about sexual assault, and how you can make an impact even just in your individual life. A little help for someone else can go a long way in the scheme of things, I think you guys captured this really well!
The Accessible Experience
The first taste I ever got of wheelchair basketball was from a tv show called “Friday Night Lights.” A future-NFL quarterback gets sidelined and paralyzed from the waist down, and joins a wheelchair rugby team (Though it’s not actually wheelchair basketball, it showcases a lot of the same skills that prove that people in wheelchairs can continue to be top of the line athletes despite their “handicap”. I Think you guys did a fantastic job of putting this piece together. I really enjoyed that you guys branched out from the wheelchair basketball team and made the piece more about the struggle of accessibility on campus as a whole for people in wheelchairs. My friend Nae was actually in your video, she’s a caretaker! She’s a really interesting person, and her job is something she really cherishes, which is great! I really learned a lot about the issues with accessibility on campus, and what people are trying to do to fix them.
A-typical Is The New Typical
Really enjoyed this project. I think far too often people are left out of the main picture of what it is like to be a college student. I really enjoyed that you guys showcased the different quirks, differences, and cool things about students that people may otherwise have not known about! I really like the thought that even the most typical, or a-typical, student can be important to the university, and that everyone has their own pros, cons, faults, and advantages. I really like that you guys were able to successfully capture the wild world of the college student in the time restraints we were given. This was far and away some of the best work I’ve seen from the class, and I enjoyed it a lot.
It’s been a pleasure to get to work with everyone in this class, and once again I’m so excited to see what the futures hold for us!