More of the Same

The professor played catch up this Monday when discussing visual variety. He then moved on to audio (the spine of multimedia). I like that metaphor. It is often easier to write a script that fills in all the information rather than rely on your subject to say all the details necessary for a cohesive story.

I now have a clearer idea of the difference between ambient and natural sound. Ambient sound is “room tone”: each room’s unique audio signature. He said this is basically white noise. I need to get in the habit of recording nothing but the sound of the room. Nat (natural) sound is more focused audio. It tells specific stories of different noise-making objects so your project is more interesting.

Searching room tone on Google gives results of digital cheat sheets. This isn’t very ethically sound (ha, puns). It can be presented as the lie that you took audio of someplace when you actually didn’t. I wonder if my instructor knew such sites existed. Then again, anything seems possible on the internet. Here’s one (that I will not be utilizing, mind you):

The professor also said sound conveys emotion. I would not bet on anyone getting too sentimental during my interviewing on Friday. I do hope that I can find people who love coming to Mizzou After Dark and want to tell people why. This week’s event is dinner and a movie, so I can probably get a mushy couple to say something. Also, there could be a handful of non-students attending. $5 for dinner and a movie is not a bad deal at all.

Finally, the class went over our short videos today. I wrote down some things to look out for next time. There’s always room for improvement.


Week Five Maybe? sNOw Lecture

As you may have deciphered from the title, there was no lecture this Monday due to snow. That did not mean, though, that this week was easy. I had plenty of work to do, including finishing two video packages (for MUTV and class) and studying for my Spanish test on Friday. Yesterday I also went to the last day of Pictures of the Year International judging to get my extra credit. Here is their website where you can view the winners: As of now, they have not declared the winner of “Best Publication”, but I know who it is 🙂

I decided not to film Mizzou After Dark last night because of my schedule. In addition, the sidewalks and roads became slippery with ice around 9 p.m. It would have been bad had I struggled to get home carrying the equipment and landed on the gear in a fall. Luckily MAD has events every week and the project isn’t due until next, next Tuesday. I can edit the video over the weekend.

I feel good on the short video submission. It was not the easiest to edit because the student I interviewed was not excited about being an interviewee. I hope other workers are open to being interviewed. A handful were when I first met with the group a few weeks ago.


Week Four: Writing

Judd Slivka was our guest lecturer this week. He seemed cool. Of course writing is important for context and explanation. He took the lesson further by describing the three basic keys: simple construction, eliminating passive voice and limiting comma usage. I have had problems with passive voice before and my junior English teacher hated it (not that he didn’t adore me as a student). So I’ve tried to weed that out. I also used to frequently use commas with sentence clauses. I feel like my last two years of high school English counteract journalistic writing, especially broadcast. Keep it short and simple. Yet I would try to mix up my writing with various sentence structures to make it more engaging and prove my capabilities.

There is a similarity, though. Mr. Baker adhered to the rule that every word has to have a function. I suppose that is a widely accepted academic concept. Useless fillers like “very” and “really” do nothing to advance a story. In journalism, they waste precious newsprint or airtime. Baker told his classes that writing a paper is like football. You want your words to advance the story toward the end zone (tossing the ball), not stagnate or backtrack it. Disclaimer: I don’t know much about sports.

Here’s an article dealing with the issue:   

That spiel aside, I also enjoyed his discussion on anchor intros. We need to know the format and the different functions (intro, info and toss). Plus I learned what nut graf means. That sounds made up.

Week Three: Visual Storyteling

The lecture this week was about photography basics. I have little experience with still photos, but I was already familiar with a lot of the concepts he talked about because of my experience in videography and elsewhere. I studied leading lines in art history class where artists created a vanishing point the eye is drawn towards. There’s not much difference when using cameras, except it is harder because you have to find the elements, not just paint them. I like this article on the topic: It’s short, simple and helpful. Plus the nature photos are really pretty 🙂

I had never heard of a “Grand Canyon Shot” before but it makes sense to move your subject closer to the camera. Layering is a creative way to incorporate multiple aspects of a single shot. Maybe I can capture something like that. I knew lighting affects a shot but now I know the more specific types: hard, soft, warm or cool.

Another thing to make note of: I will now be taking photos with their captions in mind. I should catch up on AP style, too. (At least I started following them on Twitter.)

On a different note, I met some staff from Mizzou After Dark today. They were all very nice and welcoming. The head PAs (production assistants) and other workers were open to being interviewed in the coming weeks. I think next Friday I will arrive around 4 p.m. when the band starts setting up because that would be a good visual. Even better: the students I talked to were very articulate and knowledgable about all things concerning the program.


Week Two

The first lecture was on Monday in which Professor Greenwood first explained the syllabus. Then he discussed what makes good visual storytelling; you need time and skills. No surprise there. Audio, music, voiceovers, the duration and especially interview subjects are all elements that play a role in how one’s story is expressed. He said it is imperative to find someone who is articulate and can speak to a general audience, thus narrating the package. The class also used the iClickers for a poll on what field of journalism most interests us. I chose broadcast. Later I tweeted that video is my strongest area in reference to multimedia. I believe this is true considering my experience with shooting, editing and narrating multiple videos from high school that aired on the local PBS affiliate station, KET.

Yet now that I look at my old packages, I can see a lot of room for improvement. Some of my levels were all over the place. I notice a slightly tilted shot, a few jump cuts and an awkward transition. But I am tremendously glad for what Fern Creek H.S. allowed me to do. Unfortunately I can’t add video files to my blog using the free plan. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.


Week One: Getting Started

The first lab class was tonight and I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is only five students in the group, myself included. This situation may lend itself towards us being a tight knit bunch of talented people in the end. There’s a lot to remember and do for the course. I’m anticipating exciting and challenging tasks ahead while learning the skills needed to use new equipment and software. It may be tough at times meeting deadlines But like our instructor said, we’ll survive.


Why this?

I’m required to have a blog for my Multimedia Journalism course. It’s a little intimidating but hopefully it will go well. I’ll know more once class starts on Tuesday.