Tag Archives: project

Look At What You’ve Done and Smile (: Caudell Group Reflection

As a preface, I’d like to congratulate all of you on an amazing semester. You have all produced such amazing work, and I’m honored to have you as colleagues. Keep up the fantastic work!

To Olivia, Zack, and Demi:

I loved the topic of your story because it gave me pause and made me think. Your group really took an unexpected approach to handing the topic of diversity, and I’m so impressed with the final product. Way to take an already understated issue and cover an aspect so easy to overlook yet so important to share with the world!

To Roger, Samantha, Maggie, and Tommy:

I enjoyed the more intimate experience I got from viewing your work. I admire how personal you were able to get with your subjects, because with a story like this, that is imperative. Most amazingly of all, you showed that students with disabilities are just like the rest of us, with very similar lifestyles and struggles. It almost reminds me of the old documentary Murderball. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

To Angela, Tim, and Cassandra:

I must say, your topic is one that is very talked about on campus, and rightfully so. That being said, you still found a way to make your take on the issue unique and impactful. The quality of production was great as well, I really enjoyed the way you handled the How-To and video package.

Final Reflection Blog

We finally made it to the end of the semester, and it’s time for the final reflection blog we knew we would be doing since the first day of class. I’m going to go in chronological order, and write up a trip down memory lane.

Our first assignment was to simply getting to know our cameras. Mine can be found here, and it’s simply just me moving the camera around and taking a few pictures. If I was given this assignment again, I wouldn’t think twice about it, having used it throughout the semester. But at the time, I was still figuring out how to shoot video, and how to go through the pictures and video you have already taken. I also had no experience using a memory card and a memory card reader. So I had to teach myself how to use them. It turned out to be pretty intuitive to use these things though.

Our next assignment was a photo essay, produced with and without natural sound. We got to be really creative for this assignment. And it made us think about the pros and cons to using the nat sound. I remember walking around campus and thinking about what I would do for the assignment. For just about the whole week, whenever I was outside, I was thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to take pictures of that could make a good photo essay. While walking around I noticed just how many signs told people what not to do, and thought about a commentary on how instructed our lives are. I thought it would look better with a darker tone, so I decided to take the pictures at night. It was during this assignment that I felt for the first time, like you said in class, that we would be the producers making the technical decisions for what to shoot and how. Since this assignment involved sound though, I had to teach myself to use the recording device. I spent about an hour or so with it figuring out how to turn it on and get it to record. Once I figured it out, It was an easily accessible tool for the rest of the semester. But it required that initial bit of effort to get it to work.

Our third assignment was a video. I called mine Traffic and Nature and tried to be creative like the previous assignment. Thanks to the first assignment, I already knew how to use the video on the camera. And I used the sound from the camera since the video automatically records the sound. But different from the first assignment, I was trying to create something instead of just testing the different mechanics of the camera. I had to think about what I wanted in the video, and how it would look to the audience. I took the assignment in a bit of a different direction than I think we were supposed as it didn’t quite have a beginning, middle, and end. I tried to make something like a scene in the movie. And more than anything else, I was just trying to test my ability to create something I was thinking of. Given how I wanted to make a lot of attempts shooting the scene to make it look how I wanted, I didn’t really want to involve other people in it. I just wanted to practice making what I imagined be in the video.

For assignment four, we had to create an audio piece. Thanks to the second assignment, I just grabbed my recorder when I was ready to go. I knew how to use it, and it felt natural to me. I was proud of this piece because I covered an actual event–the shooting that happened on Green Street. I was shocked when I first got the Iliini alert, but then I knew I had to go over there and see what was happening. It was the first time I covered something live instead of making an appointment or going to a scheduled event. But in editing the audio and presenting it, I realized that I still had a lot to learn about editing. And I realized there was a lot of room for improvement in my narration.

Our fifth assignment was, in my opinion, the hardest individual assignment. It was the video package, and I went to a scheduled event on tai chi and qigong. After the event, I conducted interviews with the instructors. However, upon editing, I found that the audio for the interviews wasn’t working. The assignment was not even close to being complete without the interviews. So that night, I looked for another source, and contacted the Kung Fu academy. I was able to meet with them that night, and got more interviews. The project actually turned out better than I think it would of been originally with the original videos. I had multiple sources in the video to get different perspectives on it. The editing was also harder than it was for the audio since I had to edit it for the video as well as the audio.

The sixth assignment was my favorite, as well as the favorite for most of us I think. It was the how-to video, and I decided to demonstrate how to shoot a free throw. I went out to the basketball court near my dorm to film it. The difficulty in terms of editing was about the same as the last project, but we didn’t have to find sources. Instead, we got to be creative and make it fun deciding what the steps should be. I added music to it for the first time, using royalty-free music clips.

Our final assignment was our group project on colorism. We wanted to teach people about colorism, and discuss what we should be doing about. We worked together throughout the semester, and I received tons of help from my classmates after class in editing the projects. A lot of us would be there at night finishing editing, and we worked together a lot. But this was the first time we worked together in groups for the same grade. It was by far our largest assignment, combining each of the elements we did during the semester along with a website. And it was cool seeing all of the different mediums coming together to focus on one topic.

A Semester in Review-J215

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Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

At first, I was not confident in my ability to use the camera.

Photo taken of my view from the balcony.

Our first project, camera practice, intimated me because I was unfamiliar with the camera functions. In fact, I did not leave my apartment to take pictures. Instead of walking around campus looking for photo opportunities, I safely stood on my balcony. Looking back, I am proud to say that I now look for more interesting opportunities rather than just the safe option.

Luckily, for my second project I left my apartment and took pictures of food on campus! I am really proud of this assignment because one of my photos was published in the Daily Illini! This class took on a new meaning once I was able to use my work in a printed publication and I am grateful for the opportunity.

My third project for me taught me the importance of titles. I worded my assignments the “Chiefs of Apartment of 215.” However, I did not show cooking in the apartment in my videos. I now understand the importance of highlighting what a video will show. I also learned the importance of taking interesting footage and clips. My goal at this point in the class was to make my project more unique and memorable.

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

My audio package was my first opportunity working with broadcast writing. I learned the skills needed to write and speak for broadcast. For this project I chose to focus on the hiring of Lovie Smith. While sports is not my preferred writing topic, I was excited to work outside my comfort zone to produce a very novel project.

For my video package, I chose to cover the 40 under 40 Award in Champaign. I developed interview skills in interviewing while using a camera, which I found to be different from my typical interviews. As a journalist, this project allowed me to feel comfortable with a camera.

I definitely enjoyed completing my How To video the most. I presented on “How to use a Fitbit.” I used new filming techniques, such as using sequences, to convey my message. Filming this project, for me was a more natural experience than my previous projects. By this project I was able to have confidence in my ability to film and edit.

The project I will remember most when looking back at Journalism 215 is my final group project. Being able to collaborate with a hardworking, motivated and fun group made this process memorable. I am so proud of our project, “Voices From the Field.” Every aspect of this project was completed as a cohesive group and I am so thrilled with the outcome of the final product.

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.

Fleur de lis marquee light

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.

Critique of Fangi Liu (Casati)

Arts program with Tashi Kyil Tibetan Buddhist Monks

Hey Fangi, I thought this was a really cool idea for a story. I enjoyed the way you started off, however I thought it could have been stronger if you put nat sound in for your introduction and conclusion. For me personally, I thought that the nat sound made a big difference in my own project and I thought it could help yours a lot as well. Also, I liked that you had nat sound in your interview. It helped set the scene which seems to be really important in these audio packages. The one thing I was wondering about though, was who we were speaking with in the interview. It didn’t seem like you introduced your interviewee, and the story was interesting so I wanted to know who we were talking to! Overall it was well done and a nice story. Thanks for sharing!