First off, Dr. Collins, I owe you an apology. When this semester began, I did not think I was going to like you. You came in with your big-time knowledge about journalism and broadcasting and I stubbornly thought you weren’t going to be someone I got along with.
Wow, was I wrong. I have never had a professor that genuinely cares about her students and their success like you do. I instantly began to grow to like you and learn from you quickly. Your teaching method was intense and immersive and, at times, overwhelming, but I have never gotten so much from a class as I have from this one. So, I am sorry for ever thinking I wouldn’t like you because you are hands down the best professor I have ever had.
As for my journey throughout this class, I began with little video experience and it showed in my first project. In my Video Essay, I had numerous shaky camera shots and blurry ones as well. I accidentally forgot a tripod when I filmed this video, creating the bad, shaky shots. As for the story line, I thought it was all there for an early video essay.
Moving on to the first real news stories we did on the year, the VO1 and VOSOT1, I thought that my Farmer’s Ball story was a good start to the year but the structure and planning of my story layout needed a lot of work. I thought I had a good soundbite, but it was a little long. Overall, I thought I did a good job.
In my VO2 and VOSOT2, I began to put things together a little better in terms of structure and planning of my shots, and getting a good interview. For a story that was about the new upgrades to the union (what I would consider a horribly boring topic), I think I did fairly well.
When we set up our third stage of projects, we had to finally do different topics for the VO3 and VOSOT3. That provided a very interesting challenge. Having to find not one, but two separate stories, was a challenge I have not been faced with before. I think that it made me better though because I had to utilize a plan C.
The growth that I got from PACKAGE1 to PACKAGE2 is evident to me because I moved on from sports to a human interest story that I truly enjoyed. The second package was a story about my high school teacher whose son is battling cancer. It’s a story I have followed since the beginning. I truly enjoyed who I worked with and how I got to know the situation and gain perspective on a community I am closed tied to.
The NEWSBREAK was an entirely different situation. I have never done any live TV of any sort before in my life and it was so intimidating but also amazing at the same time because it was a blast and it confirmed what I want to do with my career. This class helped me grow so much in my journalism career and I am so glad to have been given this opportunity.
The moment Dr. Collins asked my class if we ever used Adobe Premiere and I was the only student that didn’t raise their hand, I knew I was already behind. This semester has been nothing short of a challenge for me, but also nothing short of a blessing for me.
The first assignment was the video essay. I knew what I wanted to do the video on, but I asked Dr. Collins constant questions until I felt I was ready to shoot. I thought I needed more examples so I could have the perfect project. It was a struggle for me because it didn’t get a variety of wide, medium and tight shots. I learned my lesson.
The next assignment was VO’s and VOSOTVO’s. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to drown because I never did an actual VO or VOSOTVO before this class. This was my third time filming and I’m proud of how my shots improved.
By the time the second VO and VOSOTVO came around, I thought I had everything under control because I filmed the majority of my video early, except my interview because I forgot the mic. I rescheduled my interview for the following week and it was just my luck that Kansas had an ice storm. I literally filmed my interview thirty minutes before my meeting with Dr.Collins. I learned to double check everything from my experience with this VO and VOSOTVO.
The third VO and VOSOTVO had to be two different topics. I got nervous because I just started improving my script writing and knowing I had to do two… man… can you say throw the lifejacket. I did both my VO and VOSOTVO on student events because I thought students would love to see things that could each week or month. My filming became easier and all I needed to remember was say it, see it. It slowly became easier for me as I continued to do more VO’s and VOSOTVO’s.
Next up, are the Packages! I never did a package before this class, but I got to the point in the semester where I would just have to do it. I have to give a lot of credit to my partner Emma, she made this possible. I came up with an idea to shoot and that fell through but Emma saved the day. I thought the stand-ups were fun and added life to the package.
For my second package, I had no idea what to do my package on. I choose at the last minute to do it on the Persian New Year, Nowruz. When I say I didn’t know anything about Persian culture, I mean it. I wouldn’t let that stop me from getting my story though. I learned a lot about Persian culture and got to tell a story. While making this package I finally got the courage to just do everything on my own and not ask a billion questions. I just had to do it and keep working until I thought it was perfect.
All of those projects prepared us for our Jayhawk Newsbreaks. I enjoyed doing the newsbreak because we wrote, edited and produced them all ourselves, not too many can say they did that. I believe working the newsroom shifts and gaining a lot of camera experience made me want to do this more.
This class has made a huge impact on me this semester. I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to become a journalist. I’ve gained a great group of friends and met one of the best professors in journalism. Dr. Collins saw the potential and drive that we had allowed us to grow. At first, I thought this would be extremely hard because we didn’t know Dr. Collins and she was new to KU’s program, but I can say she is one of the main reasons I want to stick to journalism. Yes, she is successful, but she sees what other professors don’t see in many students and that is opportunity.
She is an inspiring person that challenges her students for all the right reasons. It is because of her that I know how to do VO’s, VOSOTVO’s and Packages. I wrote, edited and produced my own newsbreak, which is something I never even thought of doing. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Collins. I know we’ll see each other soon.
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.
The last six weeks have been really fun. Our class has worked on a few style of videos including: a Video Essay, VO and VOSOTVO. The next thing we are working on are packages. Overall, I am excited for the next six weeks of the class.
In the video essay, I ran into a few problems. I misplaced one of my SD cards which didn’t help me when I was trying to film for this video. I also had very terrible audio quality for my project. I enjoyed the script I wrote to the project and think it was a great learning experience for me.
In the first VO and VOSOTVO, I talked about KU Greek Life. One of the issues I ran into was the fact that I was leaving to Indianapolis on Thursday morning and the assignment needed to be turned into Dr. Collins that same day at five. It was hard to think of an idea so I used my Current Event #2 for an idea.
In the second VO and VOSOTVO I couldn’t come up with an idea that would work for our class. I was going to film the women‘s basketball game, but it didn’t seem like a good idea at the time. Too bad because this was the game the Jayhawks beat #23 Oklahoma State. Instead, I wrote about school being canceled. I think my NAT sound was wonderful, but I was disappointed when I saw my final video. I felt like I did a good job on the video, but I noticed some mistakes that I knew I could fix in the next assignment.
In the third video I was set to get the best NAT Sound possible. I chose to use RISE at the St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO and the KU Women’s Basketball game for my VO. They both turned out great and I am happy that I chose these topics. This time I didn’t run into many issues and the editing process went fairly smoothly.
Personally I think the class is going well overall. One goal I have for this next project is to ask for help. I don’t think I am great at asking for help and I think that could improve my academic performance in this class.
Video Essay “Frisbee with Friends”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CYS2_pRG5I
VO 1 “Greek at KU”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg5oVnu891k
VOSOTVO 1 “To be Greek at KU”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQogo-zfcL0
VO 2 “Classes Canceled Tuesday“: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdPYgWzeRLA
This semester, I remember the first day of class in Journalism 550 almost better than I remember any other day. “I’m going to throw you in the deep end, but I’m going to teach you how to swim, says Dr. Janice Collins, a visiting distinguished professor from the University of Illinois. A visiting professor that may be here just a little shorter than we had hoped. “You will learn how to swim, I won’t let you drown,” Collins said. This stuck with me and through weeks and weeks of getting over different hurdles, I believe it began to resonate with all 18 students in that lab room.
In the first class endeavor, my peers and I were assigned to a “video essay”, which would help serve as a smooth beginning for more things to come. The video essay was a light assignment in which we were required to gather 12 shots or more and compile it into a story. One with a beginning, middle and end. My video essay was about a famous Jayhawk jumprope routine that serves as a quick daily workout for the average student. I was able to catch a student in the action of doing his own routine at the Rec center, gathered a compilation of shots and put the story together. I really wanted to focus on the natural sounds of the jumprope slapping the ground, as well as capture the sweat and detail in the student’s face. I wanted people to see how the jumprope routine exhausted the individual in a short period. For a first project, I believe it went well and I should have worked on obtaining for close-up shots.
A week would pass after the first video essay, and eventually we were introduced to the first VO and VOSOTVO project. This came as expected for me, but the class emotion in general was still slightly overwhelmed. The first project would almost appear as two in itself given the request for both videos, however, real world business would ask for the same most likely. For my first VOSOT, I decided to admire the new African Art exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum near campus. This exhibit served as the last piece of the Sallie Casey Thayer collection, and the “final corner of the world” for the museum. It seemed as if the missing culture in the museum was that of African culture. I ran into an issue as my original idea had to be scratched and my tripod then served as an issue more than an asset when gathering the film. Nonetheless, I did acquire some beautiful shots for my first piece, which you can see in the links attached at the bottom.
After a short break and recovery, our class was back in the saddle for VOSOTVO number two. The second piece I put together was a more emotional piece. This VOSOT could potentially serve as a very timely and heart-felt package coming in the near future. I wanted to touch on the issue of gun’s on school campuses. I addressed the current climate of guns on KU’s campus and how students felt about the new conceal and carry policy that was put in place last July. The responses I got were incredibly interesting and gave me different perspectives from different students. It is not hard to notice the 70% of students who do oppose the new gun policy on campus. Through this project, I felt that Dr. Collins was very emphatic on the topic and believed that I have the skills and ability to make this a remarkable, emotional package that dives deeper into the conflict and uncomfortability of a pro-gun campus.
After a reflection, multiple current events and a handful of video assignments, I could sense the class was being worn down. Dr. Collins knew that one more project would truly improve the abilities of everyone in the room and especially ones who may be just short of the mark. A very compassionate person, Dr. Collins emotionally thanked her class for the birthday wishes and reassured myself and my peers that she is here to help us every second. The class began their third VOSOTVO and I decided my topic would encompass a local business who gives back to their community. I gave the spotlight to Ad Astra Running in downtown Lawrence. The company has an upcoming Run Walk Lawrence event, as well as their famous Irish Mile which are all centered around bringing in the community for a healthy and positive reason. The company reaches out to anyone of any physical ability or social class in Lawrence that is looking for an outlet. The project went better than the others, and fairly error free. I didn’t every shot that I may have hoped and imagined, however, the story fell together nicely. The one large difference in this third project was the guideline of creating a VO on a separate topic. My third VO stood as an announcement for the J-school’s big career fair on March 7.
Bottom line, I am enjoying this class more than I had thought I may. More importantly, I am really appreciating Dr. Collins for her belief in her own process, and for connecting and caring for us as people before students. That can go much further than some educators may recognize.
Video Essay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4EU39YYEtI
First of all, I am happy and excited to be challenged the way I already have been by Dr. Collins and the J550 curriculum. That being said, the workload and norms imposed from day one have been challenging for us all. It was the first day of class, and from the first sentence Dr. Collins spoke, I knew the regular pace around the J-school would not be the same, for good reasons.
That being said, this first project brought a few challenges by itself. First, I managed to rent a broken tripod, and immediately I was experiencing filming and stabilization issues. Nonetheless, I was able to rely on nifty editing skills to help reduce the error as much as possible. Next, I took my camera, half working microphone and broken tripod to my first event– the student recital series at Murphy Hall. After 20 minutes of filming, I was approached by one of the dean professors at Murphy Hall, and at that moment, he decided to halt any creative progress I had made while filming. In the profession, we must learn that not everyone is tolerable of media. In this instance, the professor was not a fan of media coverage, especially during his recital. Lastly, I had some minor editing issues and lost part of my film.
Given all these uphill factors, I was able to climb and progress towards a fairly well produced VOSOTVO. I believe as time moves forward, we will all progress as reporters, story-tellers and difference-makers. I truly believe that, and I also believe in the process Dr. Collins is instilling for this class. I created a short VO and VOSOTVO covering the Spencer Art Museum’s new African art exhibit. The piece displays the beautiful exhibit and people who have contributed.
Here is the link to my piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPU9Fx-ljI