A new path: a walk through my multimedia journey

Living and learning through video 

My staff photo as The Daily Illini's managing editor

My staff photo as The Daily Illini’s managing editor

Multimedia has changed my life. Dramatic, I know, but it’s true.

At the beginning of the semester, I blindly transferred into the broadcast journalism from news-editorial. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I was pretty sure news-editorial wasn’t it.

Needless to say, I was thrilled that I enjoyed multimedia so much. Through the video and audio packages, I found that my heart is truly in production.

There are only so many words I can write, but with a combination of multimedia elements, the facts, emotion and background can be told in different and engaging ways.

To be honest, my view of multimedia was not always as rosy.

Assignment one was not my friend. I enjoyed the process, but the final product left quite a bit to be desired.

The snow on the Illini Media balcony

The snow on the Illini Media balcony

The camera shook and I couldn’t get that lighting right. In my constant quest to be artsy and hip, my pictures and videos turned out kind of goofy. What I think I learned from this assignment was not to overthink what to do. When something artistic is warranted, it will happen organically.

This revelation showed in assignment two. The lighting was still bad and the photos came out fuzzy, but I tried to capture emotion more than looking for neat angles. All in all, I think this assignment showed some growth, even if it wasn’t perfect.

One particular area in which I grew while doing this assignment was that I learned to act on my feet when my first plans did not work out. This project went through a number of phases, and I ended up going with my last choice option. I think I made the most of the situation and it turned out O.K.

Assistant Sports Editor Michal Dwojak concentrates on the story he is editing.

Assistant Sports Editor Michal Dwojak concentrates on the story he is editing.

What made these photos a lot better, however, was the audio I added with my assignment three. Admittedly, my audio had very low volume and was not what I would consider to publishable quality. As much as I don’t like to settle for mediocrity, I have come to terms with my audio for this story. Out of all the mediums we covered for this class, audio is the area in which I had the least experience.

With that, I felt that the content, if not the quality of the clips, added emotion and atmosphere to my story that was left out when there were simply photos.

Emerson sells cookies at the corner of Wright and Green streets.

Emerson sells cookies at the corner of Wright and Green streets.

Assignment four was a rough one. Covering the Girl Scouts was not my original plan; I was actually on the way to the event I was planning on covering when I came across the little saleswomen. The light was fading as was going to be gone by the time I got to my event, so I took a gamble and stuck around. I totally over estimated my ability to hold my own camera, moved it around on the tripod like a mad woman and chatted way too much with one of the moms to get any good natural sound.

Live and learn, right?

I wanted to make a great pun leading from live and learn to my how-to video about studying, but I couldn’t think of one, so I guess I’ll just talk about the assignment instead.

Kelsey Bear studies for her physics exam.

Kelsey Bear studies for her physics exam.

Admittedly, I was really skeptical about if this would work out or not because I’ve never had to do anything like this before. It was a blast. Granted, my two best friends were my subjects and I got to distract them from their actual studying, but I think the camera, audio and editing work was a lot cleaner. I was really proud of how this turned out, silly as it may be.

Finally, we had our monster of a final project. I ended up being incredibly proud of my group. Although we had our rocky stages, we took on a hot topic, complex story that even the national media is having trouble covering. I had some of the best interviews that I’ve had in my journalistic career.

A combination of assignments seven and eight, I think that the quality was a lot better than in previous packages. My audio was still soft but I did a better job of getting rid of background noise in this instance. As for the video, I managed to fight the urge to move the camera too much and got a nice clear picture.

The package answered a lot of question and I think we localize and pinpointed a diversity issue in a way that was relatable to campus. I think that stories about diversity can become really vague and broad, without giving a face to the issues.

I think our story did the opposite of that, and even with its technical issues, it is something that I’m really proud of.

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