Nearing the end

This may be my last blog for class. As always, I’ll write about the lecture. Judd told the class about storytelling techniques on Monday. Storyboarding is a planning tool I am familiar with because of high school. However I have never been too fancy with it. There are free and costly software programs available for storyboarding. But that seems a little much for projects of short duration. Usually my notes are a shot sheet or a mental reminder of what bases I need to cover.

Now I know the terminology of two types of storyboarding. Back End is for reporting and documentary filmmaking. It is when you use the footage you already shot to organize, outline and tell a story. Judd mentioned how logging each scene is meticulous but will pay off. I have never logged my footage in Excel. I jotted down quotes and times in my small notepad when I listened to our final project audio interviews. I wrote when the good bytes happened and ignored the bad.

Front End Storyboarding is used by animators and ad agencies to make commercials and other expensive projects, like a film. I have seen early renderings of computer-generated movies characters. Workers often draw out every shot before cameras even arrive. It’s a narrowing down process so there’s less to throw out later after more money has been spent. It is interesting how even the sketches of Finding Nemo were labeled “medium” shot or “close up”. You can see that by going to the link below.

The speaker also showed us how we could make a Google document and assign a specific person to get each shot. This also seems tedious. Yet I understand it is important to have people know what they are responsible for. A working progress report would be more essential in larger teams, like for A Thousand More.



Eggs All Day Educates and Feeds Guests

The Culinary Discovery Series held Eggs All Day on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Students attended this upscale dinner that took place in the Culinary Development Kitchen in Columbia, Mo.

The menu was salmon pastrami, scotched eggs, stracciatella Italian egg drop soup, steak and Mille feuille for dessert. Sioux Chef Brent Mannebach talked about and performed cooking demonstrations for each egg-themed dish. The dishes were distributed after each lesson.

“[The students] are going to leave here not just with an education but with a palette,” said Mannebach.



Sioux Chef Brent Mannebach shows students how the pastrami was prepared on Thursday, April 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. Mannebach volunteered to cook for the Culinary Discovery Series event Eggs All Day.



Students wait for the next dish in Eggs All Day on Thursday, April 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. 30 people attended the reservation-only event.


Radio Friends with Paul Pepper

The following are my comments on viewing Radio Friends with Paul Pepper.

I attended a showing on Tuesday, April 7 around 4 PM. In the control room there are a lot of computer screens and devices which are intimidating and perplexing when you don’t know what they do. Travis told me the basics. The shows are about eight minutes each with five minute breaks in between. Paul and James arrange the guests. The pre-show process is similar to how MUTV 23 News works. (Last Wednesday I operated the teleprompter.) Camera shots had to be adjusted so the subjects were in frame.

It was kind of odd to see Paul say the day was May 1. I thought he messed up at first, but then I remembered that all the shows are recorded before they are aired. Travis is really quick at the TD board; he has to be to get the best angles. Vera especially used body language that couldn’t be contained by the medium shots. There’s a cool touchscreen for graphics. Also the control room has nice chairs. But that’s irrelevant.

For a time during the second show, Paul was holding a package of pins. The erroneous noise was picked up by the microphones. Travis didn’t know what they were at first and wanted Paul to put them down. Paul made the shows funny.

Paul’s conversation is all ad-lib. “You learn what to ask by listening to your guests” said Pat at audio. He and Travis both complimented Paul on his ad-libbing skill. It certainly seems like something that takes practice and focus. I’ve never been good at it. Then again, I haven’t been taught it. Perhaps I will learn in the coming years.

I also learned that Travis receives what advertisements to play live before the clip from KBIA. It isn’t his preferred method. It looked like Travis was muttering under his breath, but of course he was talking to Brendan. Seeing Brendan there makes the J school, at least the broadcast section, seem a lot smaller. I like that about it.

I got to see the server room before I left. What a sight. There were so many specific devices. They all came together to make a loud hum.

Lastly I met Paul Pepper, who had nothing but compliments for Travis. He seemed nice and knowledgeable. In the studio I couldn’t help but notice the stands for the table. Travis said they were insulation padding inside Shakespeare’s cups. Hey, whatever works.

Here is the site for the daily show:


Judd Three Times

Judd Slivka was the lecturer this week for the third time I believe. This time the discussion was on mobile journalism instead of social media. We all know mobile journalism kits are a lot cheaper than traditional reporter kits. The bad thing is that the video quality produced with cell phones is sub par. When Slivka told the class how a media company had fired all their videographers because they were only going to use mojos, I thought how foolish. Sure enough, they learned their lesson and hired some camera people back. I did think it was impressive how a short story of a grass fire was shot on a phone and used in the newscast. You have to be ready when newsworthy events happen around you. I did not have the same respect for the car commercial. Yes they shot on iPhones and iPads, but they used thousands of dollars worth of extra equipment and software. Seems a little like making a false claim.

The downside to mobile journalism for me is that I do not have an iPhone or Android. That’s right. I have a Nokia windows phone. Hey, they’re cheap and practically indestructible. I can still have apps, but I do not have access to all of the same ones that you can find in the app store or google play. Hopefully I’ll be able to perform well in the upcoming mobile journalism assignment. I have used the Mizzou mojo kit before, so there’s that.

Another thing Slivka showed us that was really cool was the collection of unique “cotton candy content” packages, such as Steller and Storehouse. I would be interested in reading feature stories in those nontraditional ways. People love interactivity. If I can control which segments of information I see, that’s a plus.

On Steller’s website, you can view projects other people have created: Note that the majority of creations are not journalistic. Journalists can repurpose the app so that it will benefit their readers.


Personal Branding

Judd Slivka was the guest lecturer this week. He talked about social media and how you present yourself to the world and especially employers. It was not a huge shock that 91% of employers look at an applicant’s social networking accounts. Teachers tell the danger of unflattering photos and regretful posts in high school. I know I have made some angry comments before on Facebook, but those days are behind me. I have never bad-mouthed a previous employer online either. I can keep those complaints within my closest circle of friends and family. Or maybe it is better that I keep them to myself. Personally, I think it’s embarrassing when adults do not keep their personal and overtly emotional matters semi-private. The rest was just common sense. Avoid offensive language, inappropriate photos and improper communication. Here’s some information on how to build your personal brand/reputation in the digital realm:

Aside from that, Slivka spoke on Twitter’s importance for reaching a mass audience. It is useful for public relations, but I’m not particularly interested in that. I do appreciate it’s usefulness, though. I once directed a tweet at Louisville Public Works to notify them that a streetlight was malfunctioning (I wasn’t driving). They got back to me the next day or so. More recently, I got a retweet over some 3D printers when tweeting for this class. The account had over a thousand followers. That event ties in to how Slivka said have quality followers. Tweets that reach more followers have a higher chance of obtaining virality.


Writing for the Ear

This week’s lecture was different because we watched a video of former KOMU anchor and reporter Sarah Hill. She gave advice and tips on how to create a good TV style script. One thing that was new to me is hyper logging. She would write all the words down that came to her mind while she watched her video. This helps with the script writing and revision process. It creates the audio-visual connection of hearing and seeing the same thing.

Another thing I noticed was how she would break up her voiceover -even in the middle of a sentence- with nat sound. I thought this would go against contiguity and the overall sound of a package. But she used it very well. It interrupted the monotony of a single voice which audiences are used to hearing. She also shies away from doing stand ups. She has a good reason. Visuals are more compelling.

I halfway wish I could have seen this video/lesson before doing my TV and short video assignments. I need to remember to put my best video first and my second best video last. I liked Hill’s work, especially the story about a man who is blind setting up decorative lights. I wish sometimes that I could have a videographer with me on stories; it would be easier for me and we’d develop a working partnership. Yet I understand why it is so important for us to learn a variety of skills right now.

Here is another of “Sarah’s Stories” that was shown in class. It is lighthearted and seems like it was fun to make.


Effective Video

The most recent lecture was on effective video wherein Professor Greenwood mentioned the importance of hooking your audience from the start. His advice mirrored the Mediastorm lesson on leading with your strongest video. Audiences are impatient, true. So, begin your video with something that sparks curiosity. An extreme close up or an interesting angle can be mysterious and leave the watcher wanting to see more. Also, never start with a talking head. I don’t believe I have ever done that, except for a spotlight I did in high school on an accomplished senior. Then it is acceptable. I can’t think of a time I started with video from the end of a story either; usually my works are chronological. But it is something to consider.

One fascinating thing I learned was the meaning behind “B roll”. I have heard the term for years but only now understand its origin. It is named for having an actual separate roll of film from the “A roll”, or primary film roll containing the main video of a story. Here’s a short explanation of B roll’s first usage in TV:

I have to admit that I have used a dissolve to try and smooth out a jump cut back in high school. I won’t use them anymore because, like the Professor said, they just don’t work.

A big challenge for journalists is anticipating the action. It’s always a bummer when something exciting or visually appealing is going on and you miss it because you weren’t ready. I think I will avoid the dilemma more with practice.

Lastly, Greenwood reiterated what our instructor had said in lab: leave the camera stationary. We will rarely do zooms, pans, dollys or trucks. Those last two are more complicated anyway.