Before I could even type this, I started tearing up…standby….this class and semester have been quit the journey for me. Just like anybody in college, I had a lot of personal things going on and a busy schedule, but coming to this class everyday made me feel at home. I met so many great people, from all walks of life, that I hope to see or hear from in the future. I believe that everyone you met, makes an impact on your life and this is true with Dr. Collins. She was the first black female professor I ever had. I remember on the first day of class, I ran home to tell my mom how awesome that was, and how excited I was for the semester. I knew this class would be challenging but I was ready to sink AND swim! Continue reading
Well, here it goes…
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.
Dr. Collins, Thank you for everything.
Do you want to swim or drown?
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.
This semester I decided to enroll in Journalism 550 taught by a visiting professor from Illinois. At the beginning I knew the basics of video production and had spent two years in the studio helping out at Media Crossroads in the library. I knew this was good experience, but didn’t implement it to pursue my career. To start, here’s a picture of me in early December with my favorite professor Dr. Bernie Kish.
When I met Dr. Janice Collins she put a smile on my face. I was ready to start this class and work with many familiar faces. Before the class I knew Jasmine, Riley, Cassidy, Kathy, Patrick, Tyler and Jackson. Little did I know this group of friends would become very close and dear to my heart.
The first assignment our class completed was the Video Essay. I think this project was a fun way to get into the idea of “storytelling.” I decided to film a group of students playing frisbee. It was fun up until I lost my SD card. This meant that I had to use my other SD card with half of the footage that I had. Luckily the video wasn’t too long and I was able to turn in a pretty good video for my first one in the class.
This screenshot is from the video. It was a fun project to do and picking music to go along with the shots was pretty great as well. “Frisbee with Friends” and can be viewed below:
The next six videos our class completed were VO’s and VOSOTVO’s. I chose a few great topics for my videos and i am excited to reflect on them.
The first VO and VOSOTVO I did was very rushed. I had to work on a tight deadline since I was in Indianapolis from Thursday to Sunday and the project was assigned on Tuesday. I chose to talk about Greek Life KU and made a short video using B roll of a meeting from the Multicultural Greek Council.
The biggest lesson I learned from this project is that writing transcripts for each quote is difficult. My interview lasted about five minutes and Darius Jones (the person I interviewed) is very long winded. Therefore, I spent way too much time typing his answers for a short SOT I was going to use later. Either way, I learned more during the interview and had some footage of Darius to work with.
I don’t think I should have chose this as my topic, but I am glad I got it finished in time which helped me learn how to be proactive and prepared for the other video projects. The videos “Greek at KU VO” and “To be Greek at KU VOSOTVO” can be seen here:
The second VO AND VOSOTVO for this project was even easier than the first. I had plenty of time to work on it since we didn’t have class and it was the perfect story to tell. One thing I found out quickly is that 8am classes didn’t get canceled which meant students still had to go to class. I also had a lot of opportunities to get some great B roll.
The downfall of this assignment was the end result. First of all, many of my edits were too quick for the eye. While I was editing I thought they were fantastic and smooth, but after watching it again a few weeks later, I changed my mind. If I were to do this project again I would film the same amount of B-roll, but I would be more selective with my shots.
I thought this was perfect because I imagine that I was the only one shooting video in Lawrence about the school cancelations. #IGotTheBreakingNews
The videos I made, “Classes Canceled Tuesday VO” and “Students go to class before school cancellations VOSOTVO” can be seen below.
I think my interview was good and my NAT sound turned out awesome. On the grading rubric I was told I needed NAT sound so I thought that was weird since some great sound is there in the video. Even though I got a poor grade on this assignment, I think this is my favorite VOSOTVO of the year.
The next project let our class split of into two different topics. I chose basketball for my VO and Rise at St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO.
My VO turned out great for having shaky shots because I filmed without a tri-pod. I am very impressed that I got to work alongside Tiffany on this project. We both told different sides of the story and it was cool comparing our different VO’s while watching them on YouTube.
My VO, “KU WBB Senior Night VO,” can be watched below. I am very pleased with my script and how much I paid attention to details while presenting this project.
My VOSOTVO was very challenging because the talk I went to was in the dark and therefore I had to work with a different lighting compared to my other video projects.
My interview choice was excellent because he spoke that night and gave me a better idea of why this event was so important to St. Lawrence Center and KU. It was also a success because there were a lot of people there as well. I like how the video turned out, but if I could improve one thing, I would make my NAT sound go into the beginning of the video. This would have changed the mood almost instantly.
My VOSOTVO, “RISE VOSOTVO,” is below:
Then came spring break…..
I don’t know why I added more projects, but I had four major projects over the next month for different classes and team videos. It was difficult to handle, but it was helpful that I picked a package idea far in advance of the due date.
I decided to film Quidditch for my first Package. My AWESOME partner (Cassidy) and I killed it with an awesome script and some excellent B-roll of the Kansas Quidditch team playing in their annual Kansas Cup. We spent a lot of time filming various matches which helped while we were picking what shots to include in our package.
Another good thing that we did was interviewing. We shot six different interviews and they turned out fairly great. We decided to chose the best quotes even though some of the audio got caught by some wind while we were filming.
Shooting a stand-up was pretty different. I enjoyed doing one, but something didn’t turn out how we wanted…. Our audio didn’t work! I was so upset and fund out a few hours after filming. I decided to try to re-film on campus, but it didn’t have as cool of an effect. We decided to VO our stand-up and layered it over our voices. Obviously it didn’t work out too great, but I think it’s a funny story to learn the lesson about audio and filming stand-ups.
Either way, I am glad that my partner this semester was Cassidy. We have known each other for a little bit and have had some fun memories added to our list because of this class.
The video, “KU Club Quidditch,” is featured below:
After doing this video project and getting a good score, I was excited to start on a new package. I decided to film a Pooch Eggstravaganza over Easter weekend at South Park in Lawrence.
The dogs were soooo cute! I am so happy with the footage and the interviews I had, but my audio didn’t go well because the event played music the whole time. It was upsetting because my shots had different songs in them and could potentially distract the viewer while they are watching it.
Maybe I should have chosen a different idea, but I think it worked pretty great. I decided to shoot a stand-up and the same thing with the audio caused me to re-think adding it. After some thought, I decided against it and cut the TRT of my video by 9 seconds. Overall, this was an effective decision for my news break.
If I had to do this project again, I would have prepared myself by bringing headphones and talking to more people about their experience at the egg hunt. I had a lot of dog footage, but I didn’t interact with as many people as I hoped I would.
The package, “Dog Egg Hunt,” can brighten anyone’s day. Especially with the video of the dog barking at the end.
Holy cow! That was a lot of reflection and we still haven’t got to the news break.
What a perfect transition to talk about our famous in front of the camera part of the class. I really enjoyed doing the news break. Even though preparing for it seemed to take forever, I am glad it is over. My first run went “okay” at best. My classmates say I did well, but I didn’t think so.
My frustrations were with the timing of the show. I thought that I had everything timed out, but some things didn’t work out during my practice. I got upset and didn’t get to finish how I wanted to. Apparently I have a lot of energy so I guess that’s a pretty okay trait to have.
Attached below is my second news break which ended up being awesome!
The second news break went so much better! I wasn’t scheduled to go first, but I decided at the last minute to switch spots with Cain. He was an awesome classmate and let me go. I had a smooth run and was very pleased with the end result. Could have I done better? Sure, but at least I did something to improve my broadcast presence.
I think the part of the news break that was my favorite was the weather. I enjoyed tying sports to something that is vital to a newscast. Some people (Dr. Collins and every broadcast professional) would agree that weather is the biggest reason why people watch the news. I would agree.
Honestly this class was pretty fun and I am glad I did so much with so many great people. Meeting new people from different countries and states was an incredible experience.
The last part of this project was working on the Monday edition of KUJH. I think this was fun for the most part because I got to do it with some of my friends. Aksinya, Jackson and Kathy stayed for the show with me and Cain, Caroline and Olivia did things before the show with me. Even though I did an extra hour of work each week, I think it helped me prepare for the newscast and gave me a better idea of collegiate broadcast journalism.
I will forever remember this semester and the great connections and friends I made along the way. Thank you for everything you have done for me as a journalist and a future storyteller!
Smiling…… Jose Montoya
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
VOSOTVO 2 “Ice Storm Cancels Classes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd1KMLuaDcs
VO 3 “Unlucky Senior Night”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiHb1ms-wC4
VOSOTVO 3 “Good News at RISE”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NeYtwDPGeM
Our first video project in JOUR 550 was one that I was excited, yet unsure about. Being a person who has focused far more on radio than video, I had a lot of skills to try and develop. I was relatively pleased with how this project turned out, considering it was the first video we did, but the shaky shots really irritated me. That, of course, can be attributed to me forgetting a tripod (yikes). That, however, is a lesson that I learned the hard way, and you can bet I won’t do that again. View my Video Essay .
I was more comfortable with how my first VO/VOSOT project. The subject was something that I am involved in and passionate about, so it was fun to cover. I thought that my soundbite was interesting, but I will agree it is a bit long. I think that the nat-sound I got could have been better. I probably should have integrated more music into it, consdering the topic is a radio station’s battle of the bands. Overall, I think as a first VO/VOSOT, the project turned out well. View my VOSOT 1 .
There are few better ways to illustrate stories being everywhere than my VO/VOSOT 2. I racked my brain for days trying to find a topic, but couldn’t seem to find one. Then, one day, while sitting in the newly revamped KU Union dining area, I thought to myself, “wow, this is so much nicer than it used to be, I bet people really like it.” From there, I shot up and ran to get a camera and I knew exactly what to do. I think that my shots fit “say it–see it” fairly well for this video, as well as giving a relatively boring topic some life. I think that the project turned out really well! View my VOSOT 2 .
Generally, you would expect that a student would gradually progress with each attempt at a VO/VOSOT, but I honestly feel as though I regressed a bit. I struggled with windy conditions and a shaky tripod, had some blurry shots, and conducted an interview with bad lighting. All of this combined to create a very average product. All things considered, I think it could have turned out far worse, but I’ll take it for now and must improve as we move forward towards packages. I can’t continue to make no or minimal progress if I hope to get where I want to go someday! View my VOSOT 3
-Jackson B. Schneider
The beginning of this class has made me stressed more than I have enjoyed it, but that’s okay. A lot of what I’m doing is completely new to me, in terms of the breadth and depth of the things we’ve covered already, so it’s bound to stress me out. The stress has gotten better though, having completely finished a video essay and our first VOSOTVO projects, I’m starting to get the hang of things, little by little.
The video essay was fun because I got to mix that experience with another one, covering a sporting event. I traveled to Manhattan to cover Kansas at Kansas State men’s basketball. It was a highly anticipated game and the atmosphere was electric. I got some good shots, but a lot of them were shaky because I made a rookie mistake and forgot a tripod. Rest assured that will never happen again.
I took that lesson and put it towards our second larger project, the VO and VOSOTVO. This was confusing because it is two separate videos, just structured slightly different. I made sure to have my tripod and took as careful, steady shots as possible. I seemed to have lacked on good shots with nat-sound though, so I will work on that in the future.
Through the first five weeks, I have grown to like this challenging,stressful course because the subject matter is important and interesting. I like to be pushed and challenged because it makes me better, and I hope that continues throughout the semester so that I can push to become my very best.
Below is my VOSOTVO project on 90.7fm KJHK’s Farmer’s Ball, a battle of the bands.