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.