Tag Archives: video essay

Helen Luna Final Reflection

I can’t believe the semester has already come to an end. It’s crazy… I remember at the beginning coming into class after already missing the first day and thinking I could already tell how bad this semester was going to be but man was I wrong. I can honestly say that this class has taught me things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Dr. Collins, in the short time we got to know each other, you have made such an incredible impact on my life. I have never come away from a class with so much knowledge. You not only taught me skills that I will use in my future career but you have made me look at life differently and I just want to say thank you for taking your time to get to know each and every one of us and pushing us to be our best.

https://youtu.be/1wTM8qb6p4g

The first thing we did was the video essay. I remember doing my plan b because the first idea I had didn’t work out. I tried to go outside and create a video similar to the seasons in a day video we did as a class but it didn’t work out. I pretty much just got tight shots the entire time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NeuBtg4NjM&index=32&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

For the first VO and VOSOTVO, I decided to do about the gym and how the weather affects gym goers. I chose this topic because at the beginning of the semester I started getting into working out and I felt like it would be fun to do something I was interested in. I panned quite a bit which at the time, I didn’t realize we shouldn’t do unless it’s really necessary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB9dqm3dN00&index=64&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

For my VO2 and VOSOTVO2, I decided to do it about de-stressing when the semester gets difficult… I felt like at this point I was starting to get better shots and I was learning to work the camera better. I also felt like I was getting better at finding a story and story telling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtbQbTkLLxw&index=100&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

My VO3 was about Clinton Lake and getting away. This was kind of like a plan C… I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to do but since I like to drive out to Clinton Lake and relax sometimes and just get away, I felt like others might like to know about it too. I really liked the shots I got of the lake as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C3MPIN55C8&index=101&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

My VOSOTVO3 was my favorite one to do. I felt like it was the most news worthy and most realistic. I was able to speak to a teacher at Lawrence High School about the president’s proposal to arm teachers and I had a really interesting conversation with her. I feel like I could’ve gotten better shots and I should’ve gotten more here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUE8wHNRuSw&index=140&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

The first package was fun for me. I worked with Grant and we decided to do our plan C in this case as well. We were having a hard time with our first ideas and he came up with the JUUL story. It really showed me how you can find a story anywhere and it was nice being able to work with Grant and get good SOTs and video. This was also when I found out that Grant got the CBS internship. Go Grant!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qafDWfeFm_o&index=8&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjaGhCmJmXVM6EHFso3hEp8m

The second package was definitely hard work. After the first Pause 4 Pups event I went to turned into a complete disaster I had to think fast… I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to pull a package together if I waited a whole week until the next event but I did just that and I got it done. I liked the interviews I got and I feel like the shots I got of the dogs were pretty good too. I really tried to get a variety of shots here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxJKQ8KV180&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjaGhCmJmXVM6EHFso3hEp8m&index=15

and finally… the final newsbreak. During the first newsbreak I was definitely nervous and you could tell. I was over thinking the entire time and it was my FIRST time reading off the teleprompter and doing anything in front of the camera. The second time I made myself relax and I tried to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I know I need to slow down when I read… that’s definitely something I’m going to need to work on but I’m still proud of myself for getting through it and getting it done.

Now that everything has come to an end, I’m able to look back and appreciate all of the work that I put in this past semester. I’m grateful for the learning experiences and the amazing memories I got to make with this class. I know that I have a lot to work on but I have come a very long way in the last four months and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us!

Cassidy Ragland Self Reflection

Video Essay

For the video essay I was really nervous. I thought my topic was good, but I was nervous about using the camera equipment for the first time. I panicked a little when Dr. Collins said in class that we weren’t supposed to do pans. I had done pans when I had filmed the day before, so I was worried I wouldn’t have enough footage. I had plenty, so that was good. Using Premiere for the first time was extremely frustrating, because I was teaching myself and I felt like it took way too long to edit. But, I am proud of myself for learning and teaching myself. I took note of the things I needed to do, like have more of a variety of shots and to use video transitions, and I got ready for the first Vo and VoSotVo. Watch my video essay here. 

Vo & VoSotVo 1

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Cain Lever: a journey worth reflecting

My Video Essay “Good morning Procrastination” was easily the most fun assignment to do. Dr. Collins gave us no guidelines at all, so it was a pretty simple assignment. Basically, I just woke up one morning and decided to start filming a ton of stuff in my room. To create some kind of story, I started filming my shower to show a sequence of events. I tried to tell a story by showing my bedroom and then my shower and bathroom. After showing my video to the class, I realized the importance of editing. The order I put my shots in can make the difference between a coherent video essay and a nonsensical one. Although my video wasn’t nonsense, it lacked certain shots that would’ve made the story easier to follow for the audience. For instance, a close up of the actor looking down at the phone and then up at the door would’ve made it more obvious to the audience that the shots of the shower were meant to represent the actor thinking about starting his day but deciding to stay in bed instead.


My first VO/VOSOTVO was about KU bus drivers and icy roads. Getting film for this was easy, but I realize now I could’ve gotten even better shots. I needed more shots of the actual bus drivers. I only had one person in my video and that was the guy I interviewed. Getting more shots of bus drivers at work would have made my video felt more personal. Still, I thought I cut up my shots well. My script could have been a lot more conversational too. I think that after doing this video, I started to realize the importance of having a script in mind while filming. That way when I’m on the scene, I can look for shots that I know will go perfectly with whatever I wanted to say. I could’ve used a wide shot near the Chi O fountain to show all the buses on Jayhawk Blvd and all the snow that was there too.


My second VO/VOSOTVO was about Campaign Maka’s new mixtape, Comfortable. I tried to get more shots that related to the subject I was talking about in this video, so I got a lot of shots of the recording equipment he has. I needed more shots of him actually using the equipment though. At the time, he wasn’t planning on recording anything, but I could’ve asked him to show me some music on his computer. Then, I could’ve gotten shots of him at his desk working which may have been more entertaining than just to see a mic, headphones, a piano, and so forth. Learning from my mistakes from the last video, I got shots of awards he received knowing that I wanted to talk about them in my script. I came with a plan in mind of what I was going to say already, so when I got into his studio, I already had a pretty good idea of what shots I needed to take. I had fun trying to mess with the rac focus on the piano, but I need to mess with that effect more to find the best way and best times to use it. I think it’s hard to do a 30 second video on an artist that isn’t a household name, because I felt like I had to give him prominence in the script without sounding promotional. He is a rising artist in KC, but I didn’t know how much I had to emphasize that in my script to show that he is a newsworthy figure.

 


For my third VO, I made a video about ONEDAY, ONE KU, a 24-hour fundraising event on campus. I had been working in the newsroom a lot prior to making this video, so I felt I was getting a great understanding of how to get good video and write to your video. I knew the facts I wanted to address in my script before hand, so I got video of the sign and close-ups of important things that were written on the sign. In my script, I just wrote to the video and used the sign as my primary video for talking about the major facts of the event and used the video of the flags to talk about whatever filler details I needed to address. At this point, I think I really was beginning to understand how to film affectively so I can  “say it and see it.” My biggest problem was that I had trouble getting low shots of the flags. I really wanted to get a rac focus shot of a line of flags, but I had a lot of trouble keeping the camera steady while changing the focus on the camera. I think with better equipment this would have been easier. However, I think that I’m capable of getting good rac focus shots with my camera, I just need to continue to practice it. I also wish I knew when people were putting the flags in the ground, because I wanted a shot of that.


For my third VOSOTVO, I did a video on the event Unpacking Whiteness. This was an interesting event because it was set up in a circle instead of a normal panel. My camera doesn’t zoom well, so it was hard for me to get any close ups of the speakers. I still think I got some decent shots. My initial shot was a tilt. I know Dr. Collins has said multiple times not to use a tilt, pan or zoom in these videos unless we could defend why we used it. I had seen CNN do a similar shot for a DACA event. I thought that it was an interesting beginning to the video, but Dr. Collins still didn’t approve of it. I think if there was a poster or sign above the crowd that the camera was on at first, then it would’ve made more sense to have that. Now, I’m realizing how shots like those can be effective, but otherwise they’re just unnecessary. I want to learn more about those rules and when it’s okay to break them. My camera died at the end of the event, so I had to use my phone to get an interview.

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.

 

 

Progress so far: Kathy Wong Blog Post 2

It’s now the beginning of March and there’s been so much that has happened in that time span. We’ve created a total of three VO’s, three VOSOTVO’s, and a video essay. With each assignment, I’m learning new things and skills that further progress my abilities on video editing and shooting, as well as script writing. Although the start of this class was quite daunting for me, I’ve actually come to love this class a great deal, and I’d even say that it’s my favorite one. Before this class, I’ve only had experience with making two videos, both of which I had very little idea of what I was doing. I remember the first time I rented equipment and I had no idea that I was supposed to grab a tripod or a mic. I had no idea how to shoot video and I generally panned and zoomed a lot. However, with this class, I’ve learned to absolutely never do those things and I’ve picked up quite a few new skills.

Our first project was a video essay and I was extremely nervous about it. After hearing about the project, I immediately decided to do the topic over the day in the life of a college student at KU. I spent the next few days planning my shots out and filming, but after looking at the footage  I was dissatisfied. It seemed boring and absolutely awful, so I went back to the drawing board and decided to film one of my friend’s D&D sessions. However, after filming, much to my dismay, I found that none of the sounds had actually been captured and instead, all I heard was this incessant static. I tried putting the audio into audacity to try and adjust it like I saw on a youtube video, but it didn’t work. So I trashed everything and I felt like I was grasping straws at that point to try and find an idea. After nearly having a panic attack, my roommate suggested that I film the historical items on display at the Union. So, the next day I spent hours in the Union filming, but when I began editing I realized that we couldn’t have any zooming or panning in the shots, and that was basically every single shot that I had. So I went back and reshot the videos and then spent hours in the lab editing. Editing always seems to take me the longest, as I’m not too familiar with adobe premiere, but after watching some youtube tutorials I felt like I got the hang of it. Writing the script seemed easy at the time, but after our critique, I realized I was horribly wrong. My writing wasn’t conversational at all, and I strived to improve on that aspect. From our critique, I was able to learn from my mistakes, which was to let my videos breath, and I worked on improving them for my next project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI0Knj4SVnI

Our second project was a VO and VOSOTVO. This time I chose to do my projects over the recent snow storm and change in weather in Lawrence. For my VO I shot videos of the snow and frozen nature and for my VOSOTVO I did about the same, but added more shots of the snow covering the campus and focused on shots of students walking through the snow. While shooting I paid close attention to keeping the camera still, not panning, and not zooming. I worked more on getting a variety of shots and spent hours outside filming. After filming I worked on editing the videos and I learned some new features, like hold frame and stabilizing. These came in handy for my still shots because the wind caused the already horrible tripod to be even shakier. I worked on the script once again but had trouble with trying to say it and see it. This problem caused me to cut some of my videos into shorter segments because I wanted everything to match what I said. This turned out to be a bad idea because I once again didn’t let my videos breath. From our class critique, I learned that it was imperil that we made sure to lower the sound on all of our videos in order to make sure that the audio wasn’t too loud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqX08DZQEbs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6wPe2ohxfY

VO 2 and VOSOTVO 2 were next. This time my project was over an event hosted by the natural history museum. For my VO I went around the museum and took shots of the different exhibits and artifacts on display and for my VOSOTVO I went to the event that was hosted at the Union and got shots of the table and people who visited the table. This time I wanted to make sure that my audio was perfect. Aksinya taught me how to lower the sound on all of my videos in premiere. However, while editing the video, for some reason the audio would completely disappear when I tried to lower the sound. I eventually got help from one of the lab technicians and they helped me sort it out. Yet, I ran into another problem. When I went to save and export my video, it deleted all of my work and I had to start all over again. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I realized that my biggest mistake while creating the script was that I was writing it after editing my footage. No one had ever told me that there was a specific order when creating our projects, so I never knew, but I stored this information for my next project. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I was also able to get a better grasp of how to become more conversational in my script writing. The conference really helped me a lot and it assuaged most of my fears about the next assignment. During this assignment, I was even able to help one of my peers edit and coach her on script writing. It made me feel really good that I was able to help someone else, even though I felt like a rookie compared to everyone else in the class, but I realized from helping my classmate that I’ve made a lot of progress so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB3XVS1IWNE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpePH_c17BA

For our most recent assignment VO 3 and VOSOTVO 3 instead of normally having our project over the same topic, we had to choose two different topics. For my VO I decided to shoot footage of the Central District Construction project on campus and for my VOSOTVO I decided to shoot footage of students preparing for midterms and Spring Break. My troubles with the VO were that I couldn’t get a good shot of the construction occurring due to the fence around the area. I zoomed in the furthest I could on the camera, but just couldn’t get the tight shots that I would have liked. For my VOSOTVO the troubles that I had were with the shakiness of shots. All the tripods that I rented seemed to be all broken, thus I had to press down on the tripod to keep it stabilized. While editing my footage, I ran into the same problem as the last assignment. For whatever reason, whenever I tried to save my footage and export it, it would delete all of my work. This happened twice, and I was so frustrated by the end of it. While editing, Jose pointed out that my rule of thirds for my interview was incorrect. I was dismayed because that was the aspect that I focused the most on during this assignment, and I was mad that I had inadvertently messed it up. I had made sure my subject had enough headroom and everything, but she was looking in the wrong direction. I stood on the left side of the camera and told her to look at me, instead of having her look at the right side. This is what bothered me the most about this project and I was really disappointed in myself. During this assignment, I was once again able to help a peer with her videos and script.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yieNC2XxBNY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lPMX51g4CQ

Although I was very apprehensive about taking this class, I feel as though I made the right decision. Every day I’m able to learn more and more about the different skills required in broadcast journalism. Dr. Collins is one of our biggest supporters in the class. Her passion for her teaching is what makes the class thoroughly enjoyable and I appreciate her enthusiasm.

Cassidy Ragland Reflection 1: Meditation and International Festivals

Coming into class I was very nervous. I felt like I didn’t have as much experience as everyone else and that I was going to fail. Thankfully, after the second class I started feeling more hopeful. I have really found a passion for broadcast that I wasn’t finding with print journalism. I consider myself a creative person and shooting video gives me a lot of satisfaction. I like that I have artistic say in what I shoot and edit which has given me a lot of confidence. Dr. Collins has really taken the time to talk through everything and I really appreciated it. I feel like I’m getting better every time I shoot and write and it’s a really awesome feeling.

Video Essay

For my video essay I decided to shoot a Mindfulness and Meditation Club meeting at the KU Union. I filmed almost the whole hour and felt pretty good about my shots, until Dr. Collins said in class the next day we weren’t allowed to use pans or zooms. That took out quite a few of the shots that I had, but luckily I had enough to make the run time. Feedback that I got was that I didn’t have any tight shots and that some of my shots were shakey. I had never used Premiere before, so that was overwhelming at first but I got the hang of it.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmhvP61bIdY&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz&index=13

Vo/VoSotVo

For my Vo and VoSotVo I felt a lot more prepared and confident. My plan A was to film the Tyler the Creator concert, however, that failed miserably. So I went with my plan B which was to film the International Jayhawk Festival. I got some great, vibrant shots that I was really happy with. I took the criticism about my tight shots and I made sure to incorporate those. I loved my nat sound and my sound bite, so I was really disappointed when it didn’t work on the projector in class. It worked on my laptop so I had no idea that would happen. I felt really good about my delivery and that my script was better than it was last week.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtn8uQg3I6s&index=34&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcHdPGQ-A5E&index=35&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

 

Through the Lens: A Self Reflection by Cain Lever

My First VOSOTVO, VO, and video essay

I had a lot of fun while making the VOSOTVO and the VO. It was easy to find shot of buses and snow on Jayhawk Boulevard. I think the hardest part of filming, for me, was the interview. Since the bus driver was on a schedule, he didn’t have a lot of time to talk. On my bus ride to Jayhawk Blvd., there’s a parking lot where the driver always stops at for about 5 minutes. I was prepared with questions, but I didn’t think about where I would get my shot of the bus driver. I ended up putting him in a spot where the sunlight ruined the shot. I also had my camera set at an angle that was too low. My footage was usable, but it could’ve been a much better shot.

I enjoy producing videos, so I didn’t have a lot of trouble doing that either. I think I struggled more with writing to my video edits. How I decided to edit my video was to write one or two sentences at a time and then find video that I knew would fit to those sentences. It made the process easier, but I realize now that I didn’t think enough about how the script sounded. I needed to be and could’ve been more conversational. I know that the snowy weather is pertinent to all students. I could’ve made my script more conversational by being more personal while also speaking with caution. Part of the problem were my shots. If I had more shots of people on the buses or the bus drivers, I would have had more freedom to speak personally. I also need to work on my delivery. I think that my delivery will have more character when I’m talking about subjects that matter more to me. I need to find a way to talk colorful about matters I don’t care much about while not sounding fake and cheesy. I think by writing more conversational, I will sound more conversational in my delivery. I also forgot to include my slate in my VOSOTVO. If you’d like to watch my VOSOTVO or VO, then click the hyperlinks.

I really enjoyed making the video essay too. I don’t think I conveyed my idea well though. I needed one or two more shots to explain exactly what was going on in the video. I’m starting to realize how deliberate I must be while producing videos. I don’t necessarily need sound to convey a message, but instead, I can use artifacts, facial expressions, and rhythm to make the viewer see and feel whatever I’m trying to convey. I’m looking forward to doing more projects like these after having learned so much more. I think that if I start to report on topics that really interest me, than I will naturally write more conversational scripts and produce more appealing visuals. If you’d like to watch my video essay, then click here.

-Cain Lever

Motion and Stillness – Williamson

Overall

Having finished Assignment 3 (which you can check out here) in J215 it’s a good time to take a step back and look at everything that I have learned so far. I was thinking when we were doing this assignment about how much about video and sound editing I had already learned, even with just one assignment that involved the two. I’ve learned things I never would have imagined myself learning, and I’m so thankful for that. It’s been fun, as well as incredibly educational. I learned a lot about the equipment I’m using, as well as to have confidence in my own self and the images and video that I take. Sometimes even when you doubt yourself, the project turns out good in the end!

My Assignment 3 was titled “Motion and Stillness”. The project was a Video Essay, so very similar to Assignment 2, just with all videos instead of pictures.

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Assignment 3 goethals UIUC Walks of Life

For this week’s project, I made my video essay a series of videos of different aspects of a typical on campus, filming people only from about the ankle down. I got this idea because the wide variety of different styles and personal expression on this campus has also been very interesting to me, especially the wide variety of shoe style. I was a little worried that my idea wouldn’t translate as well as I saw in my head into to video, but after spending some time filming from the sidewalk view, I’d say it turned out well and I am very pleased with me work.

 

This is the angle I used throughout my video to capture campus life in a different way.

I definitely felt more comfortable and confident when using adobe premier. I was excited about the project because I was excited about my idea, but I did not realize how time consuming/difficult collecting video is! Since recording every day life relies on things beyond my control, I spent a lot of time filming before I found the perfect shots that I wanted to use for my video essay. I had to get a lot of imperfect shots for every shot that I liked. I was also initially concerned about the project, as a video essay is a little bit of an abstract concept for me and I was having a hard time figuring out how to create a beginning, middle and end in about one minute of video.

My video can be found here.

“Student Life at a Residence Hall” Assign 3 Smith

Students doing homework in the lounge of Illinois Street Residence Hall (ISR)

Students doing homework in the Townsend lounge of Illinois Street Residence Hall (ISR)

For assignment #3, I decided to film the multiple facets of student life inside the public undergraduate dorm, Illinois Street Residence Hall (ISR) located on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It became an interest of mine to see what students were up to on a Thursday night, as well as to see if or how residential life has changed since I last lived in ISR (a couple of years ago, as a freshman).  Students are seen purchasing food, studying, and even playing an instrument in the common areas of the main lounge on the ‘Townsend’ side and the la carte shop CHOMPS.

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