Video Storytelling

 

The assignment was to tell a journalism story by using video, audio, pictures. My partner and I chose to do a feature on the local Laramie Burlesque Troupe. We wanted them to explain their thoughts on burlesque and give an idea of what it is. Most everyone has a basic idea of what burlesque is, but the purpose of this project was to give a closer look at the art form. Performers explained what they got out of the experience and why burlesque was important to them. The difference between burlesque and stripping is briefly explored.

It was very interesting to learn a new program. Premiere Pro is a complicated program. It is very well equipped to create a video project; one can do a lot with it. It just was not easy to learn; what I mean is, the steps that must be taken to accomplish a task are not obvious. We had to consult YouTube “How To” videos several times in order to learn how something is done. For example, rotating clip, changing the volume and fading in or out, and altering the size of a clip. We also had trouble figuring out the right boxes to check when exporting the project. The members of the troupe were very helpful and gave a lot of interesting information for the project.

It surprised me how much time this project took. It can become very confusing when you get several layers of video and audio in the program. If I could have done something differently, I would have added more video to round out the story of the project.

I can definitely see how video could be useful in many different scenarios. One can create a video project to uniquely get across a message in an interesting way. Because not everyone has the knowledge of these programs, it is a definite plus to know how to use a program like Premiere. The class guest speakers pointed that out, and after having done a project myself I understand what they meant.

Live Tweeting Event

The assignment was to tweet during an event to report what was going on. I chose to tweet at the local Holiday Market that is held on campus. I first talked to one of the event’s coordinators to hear a little about the purpose of the event. While thinking of what to tweet, I tried to keep in mind what I would find interesting if I had attended the event as a customer.

It was easy and enjoyable to visit with the vendors. I would talk with them when they were not helping a customer. It was harder to visit with a shopper because they were trying to look at the booths. I felt a little awkward walking around with my computer. Sometimes, I felt like I was taking up too much room when I was walking through people or in between booths where there was not ample space.

I enjoyed thinking about what to tweet that would catch people’s attention, and possibly make them interested in coming to the event. I really learned how Twitter could be used to draw in more people to attend an event. If someone saw on Twitter that an event was happening that day, they could just head over. It is not like seeing an advertisement, where one would have to remember the date and time of an upcoming event. Twitter is a great way to let people know there is something going on right now, so they should head over. Also, you can let people know of specific things they should look for once they get there. I tried to do that with my Tweets.

I did not see how to add a hashtag. I looked around and I never found a button to add that. Another problem I had was keeping the Tweets short enough. I would type too much and then have to delete some because it would not let me publish it if it surpassed the limited amount of characters. The camera I had brought with me ran out of battery, so I had to wait and add the photo the next day. So, I wish I could have tweeted that along with the other Tweets as the event was happening.

I can definitely see how Twitter could help in a future career. You could sort through Tweets to find out personal ideas about a topic that is taking place that affects what you are doing in your job. Also, if you needed to get feedback, Twitter would be a fast way to hear what employees are thinking.

Soundslides Project

We put together this Soundslides project to learn how audio and pictures work together to tell a story. My partner and I chose to do the project on an open gym night that is held for UW students who have young children. During the winter months when children cannot play outside, this open gym offers the kids a chance to run and play with other children. This event also is an opportunity for the student parents to meet fellow parents and make friends.

Working with my partner was a positive experience. She was interested in journalism as a subject and has worked on real news stories, and that helped me view this project from a more journalistic standpoint. I feel like we presented ourselves in a professional manner to the parents at the open gym, and because of that it was a positive experience interacting with them and their children. The interviewees were very cooperative and gave interesting information.

It was difficult getting everything edited and into Soundslides, but once we had it in that program, the work went easily. Soundslides was a simple program to understand how to use.

At first I was affraid that the pictures were going to have a wierd lighting because this event took place in a gym. I was also afraid that the pictures would have too much blurriness because the children were always moving. I must say however, that the pictures turned out well. When there was blurriness, I thought it was interesting and added to the photo because it showed movement, and that accurately described the event because there was a lot of movement with the kids playing. Another concern was keeping the childrens’ identities protected. So, I tried to keep most photos at a distance or from the back. The pictures that do show a closer face, we had gotten the permission from the parent.

A difficulty we had was putting the different interviews together. Because they were all their own files, sometimes there was troubles moving from one file to another.

I would not change anything about the project. I am really happy with how it turned out.

Edited Interview

 

I learned how important it is to have pauses and spaces of time in an interview. That is something I will remember for future interviews. Pauses are important because they allow the editor to have more ability to edit the interview down to an acceptable time. If those pauses were not there, then the edited interview would sound awkward and as though it had been pieced together. Even with those pauses in there, it is a meticulous job to make an interview sound like one flowing monologue. I tried to go through and delete long pauses and any “um’s” or long “uh’s” and “ands.” I also deleted a couple spots where the person had repeated themself. It surprised me how difficult it would be to decide on what parts to keep. This interview was about an interesting and engaging topic so, that made it hard to know what was best to keep in the two minutes. The interviewee had an interesting story to tell with several parts to it, and that made the process go really smooth.

Interview

 

 

Interviewing this person went well. They interacted well with the recorder. After a time, they acted as though it was not there. I feel like I was always aware that the recorder was there because I was trying to lean toward it without creating ambient noise, but it did not make me uncomfortable. It was interesting hearing another person’s story and the details that they found important to recall. Containing the interview to five minutes was the challenge because when someone is telling an interesting story, the interviewer thinks of more than enough questions to ask. Overall, I think the interview very smoothly.

Photojournalism

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“And They’re Off”

     University of Wyoming swimmers dive into the pool at the first home meet of the 2013 season.

     Timing was very important at this event. I shot many pictures that were just too soon or right after the peak moment. This photo is one where I got the timing right. I also thought the logo flags added the “Repitition” device to the photo.

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“Fly”

Memebers of the University of Wyoming Men’s Swim Team race neck and neck. The event was UW Brown Team vs. UW Gold Team.

     This was another shot that timing was the most important thing to get right. I took several shots until I got this one. You can see the swimmers and not just splashes of water.

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“Tuck and Roll”

University of Wyoming diver practices during warm up before the diving portion of the meet on October 4, 2013.

     The event happened very fast. The events moved along very quickly, so if I did not get a good shot from one event, then I missed out. It was very noisy in the pool, and everything echoed. So, I could not hear the names of the people competing. The program had names, but did not list the events or have the names in order of appearance.

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“Take the Plunge”

University of Wyoming diver competes at first home meet Friday, October 4, 2013. The event took place at the Corbett Building.

     Again, timing was very important. This involved being able to judge where the person was in the shot and being able to press half-way down on the button to focus first, and then still snapping the photo before the moment was lost.

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“Here’s the Plan”

University of Wyoming Diving Coach Yahya Radman (www.gowyo.com) talks to the Diving Team at the first home meet of the season.

     I thought this was a good feature photo because it involved the coach instructing his team. A problem with shooting all of the photos at this meet was the lighting in the pool area. I switched back and forth through different settings trying to find one that captured the movement well, but also adjusted to the lighting well enough to clearly see what the photo was of.

Photography Experiment

background

“Looking Beyond”

     I originally took a few different pictures with this set up. The others are with the flower in focus. I liked this one the best because I thought that it was more interesting to have the background in focus. My dominant creative device in this photo is “Depth.” Having the background in focus emphasizes the depth, and really, it is the middle ground that is in focus. Having the flower in focus was too typical, and I did not want the flower to be the main subject, but instead, have the feeling of being surrounded by foilage be what the photo is about. The photo is aesthetically-pleasing because of this created “feeling.”

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“Picture this Pitcher”

     My dominant creative device in this photo is “Framing.” This is such a unique and interesting subject, it is like taking a portrait of a person. I wanted the subject to be front and center because it is what the viewer’s eye will immediately go to. The spikes of the leaves in the background help frame the pitcher by using symmetry -there are two leaves on either side of the pitcher.

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“Fire”

     My dominant device here, is “Color.” The color is automatically attention-grabbing and makes the picture interesting. The supportive device of lighting, really helps the photo use color to be aesthetically-pleasing. I also think that the stem and veins in the leaves act as leading lines that draw the viewer’s eyes diagonally from the bottom left to the upper right.

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“Stone Prowess”

     In this photo, the dominant device is “Viewpoint.” The viewpoint of looking up is interesting and makes the photo aesthetically-pleasing by creating shaddows in the stone.

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“They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore”

     I think the dominant device here is “Rule of Thirds.” Although viewpoint is substantially interesting, the three lines of the railings and the dinosaur are what grab my attention the fastest. This man is taking in the enormity of the assembled skeleton of an herbivorous dinosaur on display in the University of Wyoming museum in the College of Geology building.

Hypnotist goes to College

Laramie, Wyo. – Boisterous laughter turns to silence and gasps of wonder as university students try to see what is happening to the students who are falling over in their chairs in the packed room around them. No one was ill; no one was hurt. What was happening, is the students were succumbing to the power of suggestion. They were falling into the control of hypnotist Chris Jones.
It was a night for mind tricks and the unusual, being Friday the 13th. The show was put on by the Friday Night Fever organization of the University of Wyoming. It plans regular events for students to attend on Friday nights.
The show was originally advertised to begin at 9 p.m. However, the start was changed to 10p.m. and then again, to 9:30 p.m. The severe weather in Colorado caused the delay; Jones’ flight had been canceled and he was forced to drive to Laramie from Texas said Friday Night Fever member, Miriam Sandoval. The slight delay did not deter students from attending.
Mahin Sandoval, Lead Student Programmer for FNF, said over 1,000 showed up. They had planned on an audience of about 500 which is usual for the FNF events. Chairs were brought in, but people were still left standing to take in the show. Sandoval said there is usually a good turnout for a hypnotist.
A New Kind of Show
“All I want is for you to laugh” is one of the last things Jones said before beginning the process of hypnotizing.

His method was different from other hypnotists. He began by having the audience hold out their hands, with eyes closed, to imagine a heavy book in one hand and a balloon tied to the other. This is a common piece to a hypnotist’s show. Because not everyone in attendance can be a part of the show, it allows everyone to experience the power of suggestion. Usually, a hypnotist would then ask for volunteers to come up on stage to be the ones hypnotized. What Chris Jones did was different.

Without specifying, he went right into hypnotizing from the book and balloon bit. He got everyone in the audience to focus and then without letting them know, began hypnotizing, so their minds were not preoccupied with thoughts of “Are people watching me? Laughing at me? Am I doing it right?”
Rachel Nedved, one in attendance, said this was not the first hypnotist she had seen, but she was surprised to learn that an entire audience could be hypnotized, “the people who were most willing.”
When hypnotists ask for volunteers, they are not guaranteed to get prime minds to work with. Often, people will run up on stage without being called on. This method of choosing leads to having participants who are not able to go under hypnosis. There are ones who want to prove they can withstand, others who are too focused on getting attention to let their minds focus. Then, a chair is wasted on stage.
Jones knew he was getting the best participants, because they went under hypnosis without knowing they would be in the show. Mahin Sandoval said it was a “whole new idea,” and because he ended up with so many hypnotized, he had to go through the audience to wake the ones he couldn’t use.
A mother who was holding her baby became hypnotized. The 1 year old was not dropped, but thankfully the father had not gone under and took their child from the mother’s lap. This mother was chosen to be in the show when, after Jones’ first command, she informed him that she had not been given a guitar to play like the other participants. After becoming emotional at the thought of being left out, Jones invited the hypnotized woman to come up on stage.
“Focused on our generation”

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Mahin Sandoval said that Jones’ show was different from other hypnotists. She said it was more current and “Focused on our generation.” She described the situations and personas Jones’ hypnotized participants lived through. She explained having the guys playing Halo to work their way up on stage from the audience was an effective visual. The audience members connected with it from having played the game, and the participants were able to give a vivid portrayal. When one is hypnotized, they can only respond to the suggestions of the hypnotist if they have some memory or personal knowledge of what is being suggested for them to act out, or become. The participants were busted at a party and had to explain themselves before a jury. For those participants who were not yet 21, the scenario was serious.
Eventually, they were at a conference with the President. Nedved said this was her favorite part of the show.
“It really comes out what people think,” she said.
Two were Presidential Advisors, several were member of the press, one was Michelle, and Jones was the President Obama to conduct the wacky parade of questions and answers.
It was these same reporters and White House members that would soon be sprawled over chairs for their centerfold shoot as Playboy Bunnies.
About FNF
Mahin Sandoval said that the first time Chris Jones was in Laramie was when FNF got him for March Madness in Spring of 2013.
“He loved it here,” she said, and that he was glad to come back.
Mahin Sandoval said that the event was funded with student fees.

“That’s why we encourage students to attend the events.”

FNF

Miriam Sandoval said that any student can become a member of Friday Night Fever, and that she encourages students who want to get involved to do so.

Usability Test for “100 Gallons”

So I checked out a site for a project that is like a documentary to get the word out about the water in our lives.

www.poweringanation.org/water/

First, I want to say that if you normally use Internet Explorer, you will encounter problems when trying to view this site. After I watched the main video, there were frames that collapsed and condensed up into lines at the top of the page. Underneath, were four boxes that when I clicked on them took me to random sites. So, I switched to Mozilla FireFox, and then the site worked properly.

The main video is really interesting and held my attention, but at the end I wondered what the exact point was because there was no text or talking to explain. The beginning of the video were clips of how water is used. Then, at the end there is a dry pool, a desert, and an old man breathing in like his mouth is dry. So, I concluded that this video is telling me that humans need to conserve water. There is also a clip of a woman putting up her umbrella, and I think that maybe was the most telling -like she is preparing for what is to come -like something bad is to come to prepare for.

After the video ended, because of FireFox, I was able to click on the pictures that had collapsed before. Running my cursor over them, interesting facts showed. If you click on these pictures it will take you to more slides and videos to watch that talk more about water and situations that involve it. There are light blue dots at the bottom of the screen that I thought I could click on as well, but they turned out to be just another way to get to the slides and videos that you could watch by clicking on the pictures. That was a little confusing. I think that the dots could be eliminated because they aren’t needed if I can get to the same information by clicking the pictures that appear after the first main video.

The slides and videos give information and statistics. Below the videos is a lot of writing. It is very informational and interesting, but there is a lot. Maybe a suggestion would be to try and condense that, but it is there for those who want to read further, and for the ones who do not care to, can just watch the video. Because the video is at the top of the slide, some may not know though that all that info is down further. I just happened to move the roller on the mouse and it moved me down there. I really liked how most of the slides were interactive. For example, you could calculate your own approximate water usage, and you had to drag your way through certain slides.

One of these slides explains where water comes from, and I thought maybe that one should have come first. But, you could look at it that it was good to get some of the more interesting material out first.

Finally I clicked on the two word links at the bottom right that explained just what this project was and who was doing it. I will admit that until I clicked on these, I was not sure what the site wanted of me. There was never a direct call to action, such as, cut down on my water usage, or start showering in rain water, or donate to the “100 Gallon” cause. This is really just a documentary trying to educate the public. If you click on the link it will take you to the team and their contact info. For me, I would have just appreciated some of this information to begin with so I knew going in what I should try and get out of this. Because instead of totally absorbing the message of each slide and clip, I felt like I was searching for the overall purpose of the project.

Overall, I think the website was very well done. It was very interesting and interactive. I think because you never leave the page, you never feel lost, and you know I just have to click these pictures to pull up the next portion of information.

When I had someone else check out the site, they initially were intrigued by the beginning video of water in everyday life. After that video they naturally clicked on the picture frames to pull up the other slides and videos. This was natural because they appeared after the first video automatically. And they didn’t even notice the light blue dots at the bottom of the slide, so that was not a navigation issue for them. This person did not click on the same pictures in the same order as I did, but that was just a personal choice. They did not read all the typed info under the videos. They also did not ever click on the “About” or “Why 100 Gallons” link buttons at the bottom. I asked why and they said that these did not stand out to them to click on.

I think navigation was really simple- all you had to do was click on the pictures that automatically appeared after the opening video. They utilized multimedia. And you never left their page, so you could keep track of what you had explored.

I think the biggest thing that could be changed about the site is making the “About” information easier to find. They could have it be one of the picture frames that you can click on.

My media diet

There are some peticular sites that I go to when I want to read the news. Normally, I would read the New York Times newspaper, but since it is not always available to me, I would go to their website. I always learn something when I read the New York Times, and because of their reputation as a reliable news source I trust what I read from them. CNN would be the site that I look at next for news. Because this site is also from a reputable source, I trust the content that I read there. Finally, Huffington Post would be the third place I would check for news. It was mentioned in a class I took once, and I figured that since it was, it would be a good site to get news from. I do read the home page of MSN. It has a slideshow of current events from sports, to entertainment, to government. Sometimes I click on a story there. I don’t know how reputable those sources are, but I still trust what I read there too. I talk about the news the most with my family. I also talk with friends, but I discuss news with family the most. Sometimes, I will discuss a current event with a classmate as well. With any topic, sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree. If I have been reading the news regularly, I would talk about it daily. Otherwise, I would bring something up only if I happened to see something that is interesting. I think to improve my news diet I could read from more sources and check them more often. It usually is best to read around and put together an opinion after you have read the same story told several times.

Here is something I recently found interesting-

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/03/world/middleeast/drawing-a-line-on-syria-us-eyes-iran-talks.html?hp&_r=0