This is my last blog of the semester (I promise! No extra credit for me…), and with it, I would like to share my last triumph of multimedia: finishing my first news-style video.
While I was originally supposed to film omelets, I forgot about the J-school’s wonky Saturday rental rules and was forced to do my filming on Sunday. I turned my attention instead to the often patronized but little-recognized Kaldi’s in the local Schnucks. The baristas were very kind and let me
shamelessly order them around film them while I fiddled with the camera (which I hadn’t touched in months) and filmed them making coffee very slowly. Our online instructions lied- coffee makers don’t do repetitive things. Their actions are based on customer orders, and if someone needs a drink quickly, I’m screwed. There’s no way I can catch multiple angles.
The reason this project was so significant is because I am terrified of the camcorder. I had an irrational fear of screwing up, missing moments, getting in the way and generally failing. And yes, it truly is an incredibly frustrating art. There are so many “takes” before you can get a clip right, and if your subject is running short on time or patience, you could totally walk away with nothing. I was somewhat unhappy with the footage I got, because I was scrambling to get as much footage as I could, and there were so many things that I completely forgot, such as:
1. Always film on one side- avoid jump cuts
2. Filming the sequence means filming in sequence. Just because you have a shot doesn’t mean it’s in the right angle
3. Film in stereo, not mono
4. Yes, the tripod is long and leggy, but you can fold it down and place it on a counter to make the shot better
After the shoot was over, I mulled it all around in my head and considered all my missed opportunities. There were a lot. It’s so hard not to get overwhelmed while you’re filming and just prove to your subjects that you’re getting something, rather than take the time to remember it all. I now realize why my teacher told me to always do a story that I can have a lot of access to- I would have loved to be able to go back and film different sequences and shots. But what if I have to film and event that only happens once? I will need perfection on the first try. This is exactly what is so scary about film for me- not a lot of room for failure. I need a lot of room for failure, otherwise I don’t feel safe to try.
I did put the video together, and I think it came out well. There are a million small things that I would do differently if I were doing the project over again, such as getting a close-up of the coffee while cream and chocolate was being poured into it, making my script longer, etc., but I turned the video in, and for the longest time I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen. That was pretty big for me, especially since this was the one assignment out of all of them that I was most nervous about and didn’t want to do (I was even more nervous than with Seeing Red, where I’d never taken a real picture before and had no idea what was going on). It’s over and done, and so is the semester. Almost.
I’m really sad this class is over, because it was extremely helpful in building my confidence as a journalist. Like my classmate said, now I have skills that are both uncommon and marketable, and I will be able to do amazing things with them, my mac and my adobe programs. Look out world, a new journalist has just been born.