This class is awesome!
It’s been five weeks already, since I am in this class. First week turned out to be quite stressful. I did not know what to expect, and I did not know how successful this class can be for me. Dr. Collins is very energized and inspiring professor, so I realized she would help us succeed. When I saw the syllabus, I got nervous because of the amount of work that needs to be done this semester. But, it’s probably better because this prepares us for the future. Therefore, our first two assignments were Video Essay and VOSOTVO.
Video Essay Project
The Video Essay assignment was very interesting to film, edit and present. However, I experienced some challenges. First, the tripod I used turned out to be broken, specifically its legs. So, it was hard for me to stabilize it every time. Despite this challenge, I believe my footage turned out nice and bright. But, before filming children playing on the playground, I had a different plan. I filmed dogs playing at the dog park; however, my forage turned out to be blue and lacked sound. Obviously, I felt upset, but I realized I had to move on and avoid making the same mistakes. Therefore, the next day I went to South Park to film children having fun; but before, I triple-checked the sound, white balance, and gain. After an hour of filming, I returned home and watched my footage; I could not be happier with the result. The next step was editing. When I put pieces together, I always thought, “What will be my focus?” So, I constantly changed footage and its order; eventually, I was able to finalize my first video project. After I was done editing, I began writing my script. For some reason, I felt good about what and how I was writing. But also, thanks to Dr. Collins, we had a script example. I tried to follow 3C’s, and I believe I accomplished it. I did not find it challenging to write conversationally; probably it’s because I am not a native speaker, and I always use simple words when I write and talk. My last stage was to present my Video Essay. When I go upfront, I always feel nervous and my heart is pounding fast. Though, as soon as I begin speaking, my nervousness disappears. I felt energized and happy to present my Video Essay, because I love doing stories about kids. Based on the Dr. Collins’s critique, she motivated me to do even better. Therefore, I was ready for the next project.
VOSOTVO and VO Project
My next video project was VOSOTVO and VO. Unfortunately, it was not as successful and smooth as the Video Essay. First of all, my plan A, which I was the most excited about, failed. I was ready to go and film, but the event got postponed; and I lost my opportunity to do a good story. Then, I decided to do a story about the flu season; however, the physicians, I wanted to talk to, were busy on that day; plus, I would be the third or fourth student to do a story about the flu season. Once again, my plan B failed. Then, while I was at work, my co-worker told me that there was the University Career Fair at the Union. At that moment, I felt he was my life-saver. I ran to the Dole to get equipments, and I found out that all the JVC cameras were gone. I felt upset, but did not let my mood to take over. The only choice I had was to reserve a tiny Canon camera that does not white balance, have a clear focus and sound. To make my story nice, I decided to change my mood and think positively. I was at the fair for two hours, and I had over 150 b-rolls. When I returned to my office, I checked my footage; honestly, I did not know what to expect. However, I was happy that the footage turned out ‘okay.’ I wrote the script, and I felt confident about my writing. However, I was not confident about timing. Though, I practiced as much as I could to perfect it. Then, when it was time to present upfront, I felt nervous once again. My goal this semester is to learn how to calm this feeling down because it distracts me from showing my emotions and personality. Also, even though I tried to sound conversational and natural, I think I failed. As my VOSOTVO was showing, at the end of the video I did not have any patting; so, it went black. Therefore, this is something I need to improve for the next VOSOTVO project. As Dr. Collins told us, “Say it, see it,” I think I did a good job on that, except of the SOT. For some reason, I included an extra b-roll, which did not make sense, over the interviewee. Overall, all this is one step forward to be better and perfect myself and my work. Next time, I will improve my video by adding patting at the end, practice timing myself, work on being conversational and showing my personality, avoid unnecessary b-rolls in the video, and stay more optimistic.
I enjoy this class because of its energy and Dr. Collins’s positivity, and motivation. I am looking forward to learning and practicing more in this class.
– Aksinya Kichigina