Grant DeMars Final Reflection

This semester was undoubtedly the hardest semester I’ve had so far in college. Outside of this class, I was anchoring a newscast once a week, working a part-time job, taking some extremely challenging political science classes, and traveling around the country almost every weekend for my second job judging dance competitions. Aside from all that, though, it was also the most rewarding.

VIDEO ESSAY

This assignment was something different than anything I had done before. I’ve had experience in telling stories through VOs, VOSOTs and packages, but have never had to do it without words. My favorite part of how this project turned out was the nat sound that I had. You could hear how the ice would crack as the water lapped over it, geese honking on the frozen lake, and ice crushing together from the waves abasing the shore. This assignment definitely helped me look for new angles and creative shots, and required me to practically get on the ground and hold the camera myself in order to get the “money shot”.

VO AND VOSOT #1

Not going to lie, I slacked off on the VO and VOSOT assignments. Looking back, I definitely could have found a way to make this story more visual and interesting. The shot’s were pretty static, boring, and not the best quality because of the lack of lighting. I easily could’ve shorten upstairs in a brighter room and had my subject do more than just stand and let me shoot b-roll. It was a good story, and I think my script was written well, I just could’ve executed the editing and shooting better.

VO AND VOSOT #2

The opioid epidemic is something that I had a lot of experience on reporting about from my previous internship last summer, and I had wanted to do a local story about it in Lawrence for awhile. I think the story turned out alright, but I had to resort to getting some video of opioid pills from CNN Newsource because I could not find any pharmacies that would let me shoot in them. I wish I could have done this story as a package, and talked to someone who had used the opioid treatment services that the story was about.

VO AND VOSOT #3

The VO was pretty easy, as it was a story I made for KUJH a couple days before. I wasn’t sure if I should have added motion to still pictures or not, though. The VOSOT was not my best work. I didn’t have and NAT sound and definitely could have taken more shots, but I let being in a hurry to complete the assignments affect the quality of my work.

PACKAGE #1

This story idea had been in the back of my mind for awhile, and I’m glad I got to do it before the trend died. I already had the vision for the story in my head, so I think that’s why it turned out so well. Standups are my favorite thing to do, and I think that mine was interactive and creative, and served the purpose of giving information that I didn’t have that much footage for. One correction I knew I’d have is that one of my interviews was kind of against a wall.

NEWSBREAK #1

Again, I could’ve worked harder on this assignment. I never did a timed read-through, which was why it was so short. Aside from that, I think my writing and delivery were pretty good. I’ve definitely improved this semester in making my delivery more conversational, but now need to work on keeping my energy up throughout my anchoring. I also made the weather graphic, which I think turned out well and worked for everyone else to use.

NEWSBREAK AND PACKAGE #2

I’m really pleased with myself on this assignment, and wish I had worked as hard on the rest as I did on this. I was nervous that my package wasn’t over a visual enough topic, but I really think that I found ways to make it work. I also think that my writing was good, and little details like incorporating NAT pops of a mouse click or keyboard typing added to it well. On the news break, my timing was perfect, which is what I was most nervous about. One issue I had was my CNN reader not having any type of video or graphic. The only video I could find was someone talking at a podium, so I didn’t think that it would work. Had I had more time, I probably would have tried to find a creative way to edit it, or made a graphic with a headshot of the subject of the story.

 

I think that I was one of the few in this class who had a clear idea in mind of how I wanted to pursue television news as a career after college. I think that having the end goal in mind definitely helped me stay on top of things, and my ambition to succeed has always helped me in completing difficult tasks. I really lucked out taking 550 a semester later than I was originally supposed to, because Dr. Collins has had one of the greatest impacts on me out of all my previous professors. From advice on job interviews to her inspiring talks, I always learn something from her. I can’t wait to see how I use everything I’ve learned this semester throughout my future in the field.

Caroline Appleby Final Reflection

This semester has been a true whirlwind. Being in 18 credit hours and classes that I have been challenged by all semester long with having the opportunity to be elected to two different campus organizations executive boards. I am lucky for all the experience KU has offered me including journalism 550. This class was easily the hardest journalism class I have taken at KU. It challenged what I already knew about reporting and opened my eyes to so many different things. More then that it gave me a group of people who turned into life long friends. I feel so lucky that our class got so close and that from our first video essays to our news breaks we were all in it together.

Video Essay

Our first assignment was our video essay. This ended up being my favorite project we did. For Dr. Collins being new to KU it was fun to describe the idea of what Allen field house is and the traditions behind it. This video project was a fun topic to cover and I had plenty of video to choose from. I did forget my tripod so many of my shots are shaky. If I could redo it I would bring the tripod and and sure volume levels are correct so you can’t hear my voice in the background.

VO and Vosotsvo 1

Our next assignment was to do a VO and Vosotvo. I was very nervous about this assignment. At this point in the semester in terms to this class I felt as though I was drowning, I was overwhelmed and didn’t think I was qualified for this class. I had never written a script before and had no idea what I was doing. I felt better because the entire class was unsure exactly what we were doing. I felt like we were all struggling together. We kept being reassured that we would not drown we were learning to swim. For this one I chose to cover the flu and how to stay healthy. This was a big topic at the time due to the time of the year. My interview was not the greatest but I enjoyed going up in front of the class and reading my script. It was the first time that I felt like being a reporter was a capable goal.

VO and Vosotvo 2

The second VO and Vosotvo I was feeling better then the first. I felt as though I had a better understanding of what I was doing. This time I chose to do it on students choosing housing for the upcoming year. I was also in the process of signing a lease at the time so that helped with my inspiration for this one. I interviewed one guy first but sadly the interview didn’t record sound. I learned from that quickly to never leave an interview without checking and having headphones in while it records. In the mess of that not recording we also had two snow days at KU both falling on our class days. This through the class for a loop but we were able to Skype with Dr, Collins which was helpful to get feedback on what we were doing. My biggest regret and mistake of this package was not getting enough footage. I had a minimal amount to choose from. I believe it could have been better but it was a learning point for me.

VO and Vosotvo 3

This VO and Vosotvo we were not allowed to do the same topic. I was originally worried about coming up with two different story idea but it turned out being easier then expected. KU had just won the big 12 for the 14th straight season and I believed that would be a great VO to cover. I got some good shots but Allen Fieldhouse is very restricted and was hard to get in to take video. This was an added challenge but I believe with that I still persevered and got a good video. This was also the first assignment where I was more confident in my scripts. After spending Mondays in the news room writing scripts along with doing them for class I felt as though I was able to write a more conversational script. For the vosotvo which ended up being my favorite vosotvo I did was my friend Taylor who was auditioning for the bachelor of fine arts program at KU. It was a different type of subject then I had done before but I believe that’s why I liked it so much. There was a lot of movement as I got the chance to film parts of the dance she was preforming for the audition. If I could do it again I would make this vosotvo into a full package along with that I would like to get better angels of different movements. This was the point in the class I was starting to swim. I was still struggling a little but learning to swim slowly but surely.

Package 1

The package was a daunting task of the class. I knew that we were working up to it but at some points it felt like I would never be able to do a full package. For this we got to to work with our partners and I was lucky enough to be paired with Katie. She was an awesome partner and we worked very well together. We chose to do ours on the no smoking policy that will be implemented this upcoming summer. We focused mainly on e-cigerttes and vaping which is a common activity amongst students. During this project I had to do the most research out of all of the videos we had made so far. I wanted to make sure that we got all the facts right about the policy and what students could expect. I felt as though we got interviews that we were able to work with. The standup was an added stress because neither Katie nor I had ever done one before but it ended up being a lot of fun going out and shooting it. I thought this package came together really well. It was a large help having a partner for the first one to get our feet wet in making these packages.

Package 2

The second package we were on our own to shoot, write our script and edit. This was the first time we were completely on our own with little to no guidance and it tested our abilities to build off everything we had learned this entire semester and put it into one final package that would go into our live news breaks. I chose my package idea after seeing tours on campus and remembering my first tour at KU and falling in love immediately. I am an out of state student and know many others who are also from out of state so I went deeper and did some research about the increasing trend at KU of out of state students. I was lucky enough to score an interview with the senior associate director of admissions. She was one of the best interview I was able to get all semester. It was clear interviewing her how much she cared about each students that walked through the doors at KU. I had a few shaky shots in this video which I wasn’t thrilled about but I was working with weather and wind. I also thought that audio levels were okay but when played later in my news break the interviews were quiet. This is now something that I will always check. Little things that you learn along the way that once it happens once you will never forget.

News breaksĀ 

The news break were the end goal of the semester and I doubted many time we would ever be able to pull off a newscast but we did it! I am beyond proud of our class and myself for coming as far as we did. One of my biggest struggles is talking to fast when I present, read out loud, talk, really anything. This is a continuing problem I will be working on and practicing. It was helpful to have classmates encouraging me along the way. We each were there for each other and without all the teamwork these wouldn’t have been possible. For me the hardest part of the news breaks was the weather. I was unsure how to best read the weather to make it interesting for a viewer. Going back and rewatching my news break I can see places I can improve like moving my papers and talking to fast. This was an amazing opportunity though that a JOUR 550 class hadn’t gotten to do before.

WOW! Looking back at this blog and seeing all that we have done and all that I have accomplished this semester I am still in shock. This was easily the hardest class I was in this semester but also the most rewarding. I came out of class a better journalist but also a better person. I learned life lessons and had deep and meaningful talks with both Dr. Collins and with my fellow classmates. This class challenged me academically but also personally. I grew as a person and I feel as though I can come out of this class saying that I am better because of it and each and every person in this class has made that possible. This class turned into a family that will never be broken. It is sad to see us all go our separate ways. Saying goodbye for the summer is always hard but it is harder this year knowing that I won’t be returning this fall to this same JOUR 550 class filled with so much love and passion. I feel so lucky that I took 550 when I did and that I had the chance to take it from Dr. Collins. She was an inspiration everyday to live life to the fullest and to not take a moment for granted. This is something I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I would finally just like to thank everyone in this class and most importantly Dr. Collins for bringing us all together to make this amazing and swimming family we are.

 

Caroline Appleby

Caroline Appleby Reflection on all VoSotVos and Video Essay

Caroline Appleby Reflection

The video essay was the first thing we did in this class and I thought it was such a fun assignment. That was easily my favorite topic I did all semester. I did it on the Allen Fieldhouse clean up for dance marathon. A lot of people don’t get to see what happens after a basketball game so it was an interesting new look. I didn’t bring a tripod so some of my shots were shaky. I think the content was strong but I wish I had shot more so I could have had more options form what to choose from.

The VoSotVo assignments have been a learning experience. Each one I can see my improvements on each one. The first VoSotVo I did on the flu. This year was a large flu outbreak so I thought it would be a good topic since it was relevant. My shots of Watkins I liked but my interview wasn’t my favorite. I wish I would’ve interviewed someone from Watkins about their opinions on the flu.

The second VoSotVo I did on how students are choosing their housing for next semester. I liked this topic because everyone is in the same place with this. Picking where you live next year is a hard decision and also a big decision. My first interview the sound didn’t work so I had to go with plan B but it ended up working out well because I liked the second interview better. My shots were shaky. The tripod I used was not great and I didn’t make sure my shots weren’t so shaky. I realized that as soon as I was editing it.

The third and final VoSotVo was my favorite one I did. It was obviously better then the other ones because I had learned from the other two. I also really enjoyed my topic. When shooting I was able to capture a lot of movement when Taylor the girl who I interviewed was dancing. I also learned a lot during the interview and from her about the dance program. The other topics I was more comfortable with but this one was more out of my comfort zone.

The last one we also had to do a separate VO. With KU being such a big basketball school I was thrilled that we got the Big 12 conference title for the 14th year. I thought that this was a perfect and timely VO to do. I got some really good shots but didn’t have a ton of variety. If I were to do it again I would make sure I took more shots but my Kansas sign shot is easily my favorite I have done all semester.

In all I can see my improvements from my first video to now. I have come out of my comfort zone more with topics that are beyond what I am use to. This though has made me a better journalist and I have learned a lot from these projects. The hardest part for me was the script writing but I think I have been improving on that and my delivery.

 

 

Blog 1 Caroline Appleby

Caroline Appleby Blog 1

 

The class before Capstones start is always one where there is a great deal of pressure. As a student the main things on your mind are your grades and if you’re ready for the next level. JOUR 550 is a large stepping stone in the journalism school. In this class so far I feel as though I have become a better journalist in a short period of time. Many classes in the past weren’t able to give me critiques that would help further my career but coming into 550 each day knowing that I will leave knowing more then I did the previous class period and that I am one step closer to my end goal is a great feeling.

The first assignment we did was the video essay. I enjoyed this project more then I originally had thought I would. It is a simple but interesting assignment and to see what everyone else did was very fun because it shows different personalities. It was also helpful to get critiques and know what to improve on in our upcoming assignments. One thing I like about this class is that it isn’t focused so much on the grade you are earning but what you’re learning from each assignment and the take aways.

The next assignment was the VO and the VoSotVo. I had made VO’s before but had never done a VoSotVo so that was a learning curve but I overcame it. Choosing a topic for me was the hardest. I couldn’t think of anything that would be able to be accessible and allow video. With choosing my topic late I was decently happy with my video but I do know that there were things that I could improve on. My script writing is something that I am really looking to improve which I have gotten better with being in the news room but I know that there are still things I can improve on.

So far this class has been challenging and like none of my other journalism classes but I am enjoying the challenge. I think we have a very fun class that gets along well and the partners have been very helpful. Katie has been an awesome partner. If either of us have a question we just shoot each other a quick text and she is always happy to help. I look forward to new breaks because I think we will work very well together.

 

Caroline Appleby