At the beginning of the semester, I had no interest in pursuing a journalism degree. I had tried print media and I knew it wasn’t for me, and I was bitterly taking journalism classes because I had already come this far, might as well finish it. The first day of class I felt so unexperienced and overwhelmed I considered dropping. Thank God I didn’t. Throughout this class I have developed a passion for broadcast journalism. I had so much fun writing and researching stories, I felt like I was fulfilling my creative side by shooting with a camera, and I’ve always had a passion for performing and getting up to anchor seemed natural. I even loved being floor manager during news breaks. For that, thank you Dr. Collins. I’m so glad I didn’t give up, because now I can see myself pursuing this career in so many ways.
It all started with the video essay. I had never picked up a camera and I was so nervous. I thought I had a good topic, but I was clueless about the shots. I needed more tight shots, but overall I was just relieved I got it done. It took me hours to teach myself Premiere, but I was really happy for my first time editing.
I was nervous to make a turn. Originally I had a completely different event in mind, but that fell through. Dr. Collins had taught us all about having our plans A, B, and C, so I went on with plan B which was the International Jayhawk Festival. Walking in I was instantly inspired. I had some editing issues, but I really liked my shots for this one. Writing the story I enjoyed as well. I’ve always been more of a conversational writer, so broadcast seemed to be right up my alley.
Next, we had our Vo2 and VoSotVo2. I wasn’t as happy with this one. I felt like the shots I got wasn’t as interesting as the ones I got in my first Vo and VoSotVo. I thought the topic was interesting but it wasn’t easy to write a story about it. The actor I interviewed was adorable, but I could have done a better job steering the interview. Overall, I would say I did pretty mediocre on this one. I was still figuring out sound editing as well.
For our Vo3 I really liked how my shots turned out. I felt like I had a lot to work with and with the music I had some great nat sound. This was also difficult to write about, but I thought the storytelling through the shots was good. I got a little too audio-happy in editing, but overall I was happy with this one. For the VoSotVo3, I was a little less happy with it. I thought cyberbullying was a relevant topic and I used one of my current events for it. I felt like I was grasping at straws to write this story and it became too late to change the topic. I wish I had a more interesting background for the interview, but I couldn’t think of anywhere for a cyberbullying story.
I really had a great time filming package 1 and package 2. The stand up for package one I thought was nice, however there was a crisis with the audio. When we went to review our stand up our audio was completely gone. We refilmed the stand up, but without the Quidditch posts it was boring. So our plan C was to lay down an audio track to go over our first stand up. It worked, not awesome, but I was content. The second package I loved the nat sound with the singers, but I should’ve given it more time to breath and brought the audio down way more. I loved the topics and writing both of these stories was a lot of fun.
The news break was way funner than I thought it would be. I’m pretty comfortable in front of the camera, but I could feel how nervous I was about my package. Overall, I felt pretty good about my delivery.
Thank you so much for a wonderful semester, Dr. Collins was honestly one of the best professors I’ve ever had and I learned so much more this semester than I thought I would when I initially enrolled. Thank you.
What a semester. This was a class and a teacher like no other. Never did I expect to meet a person like you, Dr. Janice Collins, who will always have an impact on my life. You taught us lifelong lessons that few teachers care to teach, and you were an example of how to try to live one’s best life. Always smiling… It’s seems like our time in class together was short, but I guess time flies when you’re having fun. It’s hard for me to sum up the semester knowing that you’re not coming back to KU, but I know we’ll see each other again in the future. I’m just really happy to have met you!
Now lets get into the nitty gritty. I took journalism 550 already with a beginners understanding of video editing and broadcast writing. During this course, I practiced while working in the newsroom and while doing class projects (creating VOs, VOSOTs, packages, etc.). I learned a lot from my mistakes in this class and feel a lot more confident with making videos.
Video Essay – “Good Morning Procrastination”
The first project we did was the video essay. It was very open ended, so I just made a very basic video about sleeping in. I got shots that I thought told a story about hearing your alarm go off and choosing to stay in bed instead of starting your morning. My shots didn’t explicitly convey that message though. I learned the importance of carefully choosing shots that make the message easy to comprehend, especially when there is no dialogue. I had things that were related to the message, but they were too ambiguous to move the narrative. In retrospect, there’s a lot of shots I wish I’d add and replace in the video to make the message clearer.
You can watch the video below.
First VO and VOSOTVO – KU Bus Drivers on Ice
Filming my first VO and VOSOT was fun and stressful. I had a very short time to prepare my tripod and camera for the SOT because the bus driver was on a tight schedule so my interview shot had terrible lighting. I learned not to shoot someone with bright lights behind them. I talked to him a lot before while he was driving and told him the type of questions I’d be asking, so he had time to think about them. I think because of this, he gave me some really good responses to my questions. Dr. Collins always talked about warming the interviewee up and making them feel comfortable on camera so they’ll look relaxed on it too. A couple of my other shots were overexposed which I just need to pay closer attention too while filming in the future. While writing the script, I really focused on writing towards my video. After this video, I started writing my script before I went out to shoot though.
You can watch the videos below.
Second VO and VOSOTVO – “Comfortable” Album Release
The next VO and VOSOT I made was about the release of the album “Comfortable,” recorded and produced by local KC artists Campaign Maka and Glokage. I got a really good interview with Maka and some decent B-roll, but I should’ve gotten better shots of Maka recording in his studio or working on his computer. I think I had a good variety of shots and angles, but I could’ve had more action in my video. I also needed to look at my white balance or color correction because the color looks off in some shots. Overall, I liked the VO and VOSOT. I got a really good soundbite from my interviewee, so he really made the video more exciting. Again, I need to be more deliberate with the shots I pick though.
You can watch the videos below.
One Day, One KU VO
This video was easy to film for because I just focused on getting a lot of wide, medium, and tight shots of the flags and the sign explaining the fundraiser. I already had a script written, so I knew what shots I needed to get to match VO. I wish I had gotten a SOT for this one because I saw the faculty putting the flags into the grass earlier in the day before I filmed. I didn’t have my camera or tripod with me at the time though, so I couldn’t do it. I think this was one of my best VOs just because the white balance and color is good. I put a lot of thought into framing too, but I probably could’ve had shots that were better framed. Overall, I was really happy with this VO.
You can watch it below.
Unpacking Whiteness VOSOTVO
This VOSOTVO was also pretty easy to film. I got shots of the panel, the crowd, and the event’s pamphlet. I don’t have a good zoom on my camera, so it was hard for me to get tight shots of the speakers. I also should have had natsound of the people talking quietly in the background. Writing the script for this was tough because it’s a touchy subject and I didn’t know how much detail I needed to go into. Dr. Collins stressed using the pregnant I (sell, tell summarize), but with a topic like this, it was hard to decide a sequence to tell the details in. I also wish I had’ve gotten an interview with one of the panelists, but my camera died while I was shooting. Instead I used my phone to interview someone who had went to the event. Also at the beginning of the video, I did a tilt, which Dr. C always says not to do. I don’t know if it hurt the video here, but I don’t think it did anything to necessarily help it either. Still, I liked the end result of the video.
You can watch it below.
Justice For All Package
I really enjoyed working with my partner Tiffany on this. We had to go all the way to plan C, but we made it work. We filmed the exhibit that the organization Justice For All erected on campus called the Art of Life. We got three interviews easily because there were volunteers all around the exhibit. We got a lot of wide, medium, and tight shots of everything around the exhibit too. Some of the shots weren’t white balanced which I need to always remember to do. Tiffany and I also worked together on making the actual package. It was nice working together because we got to see each others workflow. Writing the script for this was hard because we were scrambling to find a story after our first ideas fell through. I was still really happy with our script though and the package as a whole.
You can check it out here.
Pause 4 Pups Package
I made my second package by myself which was pretty difficult. I wanted to do a standup bridge because I liked the one I did in the previous package. I didn’t have anyone with me though so it was hard to get a good video of me and the dog. I got some really great B-roll shots and even better interviews. Everyone I interviewed gave me really good responses to my questions which made it easy fit into my script. I had already written parts of my script before going to the event. After filming there, I just added more details to the script that I learned while I was there. I really enjoyed making this video because I really like dogs. Like I’m actually about to buy one next week (so drop potential dog names in the comments). I also found it was really easy to get B-roll because there’s so much action in the shots with the dogs. The last shot was in auto focus, so it goes in and out of focus when the dog gets closer to the camera. I was trying to do a rack focus type of effect, but it didn’t really work. I was still really happy with my final package.
You can watch it here.
Jayhawk News Break
This was definitely my favorite part of the class. Working with my classmates in the studio was awesome. I enjoyed working audio, being producer, and monitoring the set as floor director or camera monitor. As floor director, I felt like the hype man for all the anchors, and I hope that I actually did help bring a little more energy into their news break. I liked being producer because I felt like I was in control of the show. I also really enjoyed anchoring. I’ve never been camera shy, but I’ve always had trouble bring the type of energy an anchor has on television. I think I’m starting to learn how to have that trustworthy and welcoming demeanor though. I really liked doing the weather. I wanted to freestyle it, and I did. I think I should have prepared more by watching more weatherman talk about it because I didn’t know enough short punchlines to make the weather informative and entertaining. I need to practice how comfortable I look on camera too. I felt relaxed, but I shuffled through my papers on set. That will obviously just come with practice, and I’m looking forward to doing it more in the future. It was cool to do and my first time ever being the anchor of a news break.
You can watch the video below.
This class has inspired me to want to create my own show for KUJH. I’ve already started planning and proposing it to our news director. I’m really interested in producing, directing, and anchoring. I feel like this class gave me so many opportunities to fail safely, but, more importantly, to learn. I’m so glad that Dr. Collins graced her presence out here in Lawrence, Kansas, and left us all a little more wiser. We’ll miss you :'(
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.
It’s hard to believe that this is the final reflection that I’m writing for this class. It seems like just yesterday that we all started and was told that we had to learn how to swim. It’s been quite a journey and it’s been a fun one. We’ve worked on so many different projects this year and with each one, I’ve seen myself get better and better. From being someone with zero video experience to doing my own news break. I feel pretty accomplished. I’ve made so many lasting relationships in this class and with the aid of Dr. Collins I’m ready to tackle any challenge ahead.
My first assignment was a video essay and looking back at it now I remember the struggles that I had with finding an idea and shooting the video. I remember that my two previous ideas had fallen through and then with this one I had to reshoot the video three times because I wasn’t happy with the results. I wasn’t very familiar with premiere either, so it took me quite a few hours to edit the video. With this video essay, I learned that my shots need to be able to breathe.
The next assignment was our VO. I remember freaking out over the weekend trying to think of a good idea. Thankfully we had some snow and I decided to whip out my camera and walk around campus. Once again it took me hours to film and afterward I couldn’t even feel my hands. I really liked the shots I took and had fun. I just really liked how the snow created this beautiful landscape all around me.
Our next assignment was a VOSOTVO and I decided to detail the icy conditions around campus. Once again I spent several hours outside filming. I felt like I didn’t get enough shots on the first day, but heard there was more snow coming the next. However, it didn’t snow the next day and the snow had begun melting. I ran around and decided to get some tight shots of areas with some snow. Eventually, I was able to get all the shots needed and put it all together. This time around I was more at ease with premiere, but it still took me a little longer than everyone else.
My second VO was about the natural history museum. I really enjoyed walking through the museum and looking at all the displays. It was tough to decide which shots I wanted to use since there was so many that I liked. Knowing my way around premiere now, I was even able to teach what I’d learned to some of my classmates. I learned that I need to be more confident in presenting in front of the class, and decided to work on that more.
My second VOSOTVO was over an event hosted by the Natural History Museum. I had fun looking at the fossils and seeing the excitement on the students’ faces. I took a variety of shots and all at varying angles. I tried to get some tight shots of the faces of students and their awe at looking at the cool fossils, but it was hard for me to get a good angle. I was able to put all the videos together and it went even faster than it did before.
For all of these previous assignments I had learned that I really needed to let my shots breath, so I tried even harder to do that with these last few.
For our final VO, I decided to show the construction around the Central District. I remember creeping around the construction sites and stepping through the muddy terrain to get these shots. I was worried that they’d shoo me away from the site, but luckily they didn’t. The problem that I always have with any of these projects is that I always take an abundance of shots and then am unable to decide which ones to use with the limited time constraint that we have.
For our final VOSOTVO, I decided to film what students are doing before Spring Break. For most of my shots, I stood at a second story window in Anschutz library and shot the video looking down at students on the floor below, that way I would be able to get some tight shots of their face and emotions while studying. I liked how all of my tight shots turned out and was able to experiment with a lot of different shots.
Our first package was an interesting topic. My first idea was whether students and professors are affected by daylight savings time, however, I was unable to get into contact with any professors. It was by sheer luck that I stumbled upon this exhibit outside of the j-school and I couldn’t thank the heavens enough. The topic was about abortion, so I knew I’d get plenty of good soundbites. This was also the first time that I did a standup and I wasn’t too excited about it. I feel like I’m too awkward on camera, so I tend to stay away from it. While putting the package together I had so many good soundbites that I had a really hard time choosing what to cut. Our video turned out to be 2:45 with everything, which was way past the allotted time. So I painstakingly tried to find things that I could cut out. Although we did get it cut down, we had to talk real fast in order to get all of our scripts onto the track. Thus, our tracks sounded incredibly fast and our edits were as well.
A piece of our final project was another package. I had chosen an event at the Union, but when I got there to film, I found out that the event was canceled. I started to panic and freak out, worrying that I wouldn’t find anything else. On my way back to return my equipment, I saw the students setting up this table and holding this event, so I decided to start filming. It was hard for me to get the right angle to get a good shot of the action, but I managed and was happy with the results I got. Looking at this package in comparison to my last one, I can see a lot of improvement. My track didn’t sound rushed, although my voice is a little soft in comparison to the action in the videos.
I was extremely nervous about our news breaks. I feel like I’m a really awkward person on camera and I also get really self-conscious. I stumbled at times on the words and I did look like a deer in the headlights in the beginning, but I managed to tamper down my nerves and “perform” like Dr. Collins said. I made some stumbles during the weather, but everything else went smoothly. I found that after the initial nerves, I did feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. What I’d like to work more on is looking more natural on camera. I looked much too stiff and didn’t smile a lot. I noticed from watching everyone else’s news breaks that they seemed to be more comfortable and at ease, so I’d definitely like to work on that. I think the news breaks were a great experience and I’d love to try it again.
Each of these projects helped me grow more and more and helped me come more out of my shell. I got to meet so many cool people and became friends with everyone in class. This whole semester has been an incredible learning experience. I’d like to thank Dr. Collins for all of her help this semester. Without her encouragement and positivity, I don’t think I’d ever been able to make it through the semester. She was always my biggest supporter and I’ll be sad to see her go. She was the best mentor anyone could ask for and I’ve learned so much under her care and guidance. So, thank you so much. This is Kathy Wong and I’m signing off one last time for Off the Shelf and Online.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.