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My Experience Beyond the Exhibit

We attended the Latin House Gallery this week as a class and the artwork and displays were very different than what I had imagined.

Written by Emily Reeter

Going into this class trip, I thought that I would be encompassed with Latino inspired artwork with vibrant colors, character, and years of history.  However, I was surprised to have found some engaging videos, and art pieces that played immensely on emotions.  Some of the exhibits left students feeling intrigued, while others had people feeling very uncomfortable or uncertain about how to feel.

The most controversial exhibit was Gressman’s video and photos portraying a woman dressed in drag style, operating a surgery on her own body.  The video was gruesome, and at some points disturbing with heavy, punk rock music blaring in the background.  Throughout the video, she used a drill to open her womb and cut it up revealing her intestines and inner body parts.  That instant was already enough to make my stomach turn! But, as time went on she started to eat her intestines and smile while doing so.  The class was very confused on the direction of the video and the message she was trying to get across.

However, my personal take away from the creative, but graphic video, was that the woman doing that to her body wasn’t happy with herself, and was frankly uncomfortable in her own skin.  I think she wanted to demonstrated her disgust and disapproval with the audience.  She succeeded because everyone watching felt uneasy, and uncomfortable much like she probably felt in her position in life physically and mentally.

Another thing I also found intriguing about this exhibit was that they had a section called the “touch station”.  It had the real props from the filmed performance sprawled out for people to pick up and look at.  It was neat because it brought the film more to life and it helped imagine it more as a reality since everything was right there in front of you.

Overall I really enjoyed the exhibit and thought it was stimulating compared to other art programs I had attended.  All of the art was very different and although I thought it was morbid it got my brain working and asking questions.  I enjoyed how all of the exhibits were engaging and brought up unique conversations within the class.  It made my experience way more enjoyable and enhanced my understanding of the different pieces.

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The Power of One Glance-LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO

 Written by Carol(Yining) Wei

LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO, The tear of Saint Peter. This is an a cappella Renaissance masterpiece written by Orlando di Lassoand was performed by Los Angeles Master Chorale last Saturday night. The chorale did an excellent job express the intense human emotions in the show, including the anger and obscenity of the mob, the shame and regret of Saint Peter, and the immense pain of betraying a friend/a saint. The choreography was amazing and the body language perfectly illustrated the emotions and the ambience. The climax of this show was the moment Saint Peter rejected his belief in front of the mob and the sanctity of that one glance Jesus gave to Saint Peter. And then the regrets and desparation follows.

My favorite chapter is XV. Vattene vita va which translates to “Go away, life, go”. It was a touching scene depicting Saint Peter’s immense pain and struggle against the thought of suicide for his shame of betraying Jesus Christ. The chorale’s performance was wonderful. Their body and facial expressions were so convincing that it is as if they were going through the emotions of Saint Peter. It was an incredible scene and intrigued me into a lot of thoughts.

Photo credit: LA Master ChoraleBeing non-religious, I do not necessarily agree on the part of suicide being “an even greater sin”. In my opinion, suicide is a choice that every life has the right to make(and suicidal behavior has occurred in other species such as the lemmings, for higher survival rate of the whole species). Also, children did not choose to be born and given a life to, and thus should be granted the right to end it if they see the need to. It is a choice to die and go back to being part of the nature without human consciousness. We have always been here, and we will continue to exist. Every particle in me has been in the universe for billions of years, and will still be in the universe for billions of years to come. My consciousness as a Homo Sapiens could leave me, but my existence never leaves the world.

Also as a starter in French, I was happy to find connections between Italian and French. For instance, the word “vita” equals “vie” in French, and “va” also means to go in French. I just love to discover and learn the connections between languages, and possibly learn more about the cultures through those links. After going back home, I was lucky enough to find the album Lagrime di San Pietro on Spotify so I can still enjoy the pure beauty of this extrodinary chorus piece even after the performance.

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Silence in a Crowded Room

Written by Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

Last night I attended the Los Angeles Mast Chorale: Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St.Peter).  This eye-opening experience, truly showed me the impact that the silent pauses in between songs have on a performance.

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Transformation Through the Loss of Limbs

Written by Kamani Harris

Limbs carry large meaning within your life, as a piece of you that makes life easier, connects you to the earth, and connects you with other beings. But they can also represent deeper meanings such as negative and positive attachments, parts of who you are, and ones emotional stability. Continue reading

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“Limbs”: Transformative, Impactful, and Captivating

Written by: Nora Guerrero

Erica Gressman performing “Limbs”.


The Krannert Art Museum had the privilege of having Erica Gressman, artist, perform her piece “Limbs” for an audience much eager to watch and listen. At first sight, I thought the structure was a sculpture. It was not until I had a closer look that I could recognize that a human body was inside the costume. Was it one person? Or two? This was exactly what intrigued me from the start.

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Struggling with grief: A performance art

Written by Syed Ali

Erica Gressman, an artist based in Miami/Chicago, performed her art piece Limbs in the Krannert Art Museum, showcasing a range of motion and music. Limbs consisted of Gressman dangling on a wire, moving and struggling with confinement and facing detachment.

In the beginning of the performance, Gressman, wearing a gray reflective suit, made small movements and was overall still. It felt strange, but seemed very statue-like and beautiful in a way. Eventually, the movements became more clear and I saw that she had various limbs and faces; I felt completely entranced by the dim lights and atmospheric music. Continue reading

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Breaking Limbs at the Krannert Art Museum

Limbs, an intriguing and eerie performance by Erica Gressman at the Krannert Art Museum

Written by: Bill Xun

Photo by Bill Xun

When I first arrived at the Krannert Art Museum, I had no idea what to expect.  The gallery was packed, with people and lights surrounding a strange metal tripod with some sort of sculpture of a figure hanging underneath. The figure was an unmoving combination of limbs in white. What could it mean?

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Eric Gressman–Emotion of Limbs

Written by Tim Gao

In Krannert Art Museum, Gressman amazed all the audience.

Photo by Tim

Last night, Eric Gressman, an Chicago-based Latinx queer artist, introduce the audience to his art world.Using proficient body language, Gressman performed to give the audience a life message. Continue reading

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Self-Struggling, Self-Seeking and Self-Accepting: Limbs by Erica Gressman

Trapped in a “weird and even monster-liked” body, she was struggling, seeking, and finally, accepting.

Written by Zhenbang Wu.

Photo by Zhenbang Wu

Debuting at KAM, Limbs combined struggling movements and removal of limbs with violin-like electronic sound and lights, given by Chicago-based Latinx queer artist Erica Gressman. “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes.” As for me, it is all about self-struggling, self-seeking and self-accepting.

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Now What?

Photo by Maty Patino

As I sat down, I was trying to see whether it was two people or just Erica. The confusion intrigued me. Suddenly, everyone went silent, and I saw Erica began to move. Out of nowhere, she began to remove parts of herself. My first thought was that all the extra parts she had connected, the legs, arms, face, were the different perceptions that people had of her. Or the different “hopes” that people had upon her.

Photo by Maty Patino

Once she started twirling really fast, and uncontrollably, I knew it was more than what people thought about her. It was what she thought about herself and how she was trying to deal with it. During this time, I began to get goosebumps. “BOOM,” Erica hit herself in the back of the head. What now? Will the performance stop? No, Erica kept going. This further showed how no matter how hard something gets, you should never stop doing whatever you have to do to get wherever you want to get. Life does not stop for any of us, so why should we stop for anything?

Photo by Maty Patino

Towards the end of the performance is when everything hit me. What happens after we lose a limb? A special person? Are we really still the same? What did we learn? How do we move on? How do I seek for help? So many questions and no specific answer. Out of this performance, I got that everyone is going through something, whether is losing a person, losing a job, losing your home, anything. Loss is part of life, and we are unable to escape it. Whether it is putting a fake smile on, or expressing yourself through other mediums, we need to keep going no matter how hard things are.
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Dazed Paradox

Have you ever truly lived in the moment… Free of thought or even more important free of judgement?

By: Deja Cook- Reynolds

The performance by Erica Gressman: Limbs was, as I interpreted it, a performance about one living in the moment of their own skin. The shocking truth about how one is  just ” in it”, skin, and how everyone else around them is observing, looking, and critiquing it, skin, Continue reading

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Know ourselves through the world


In the beginning, it’s like magic the performer just keep tearing her arms and legs down, then sometimes hang herself upside down, it must be so hard to keep doing that, and the cage is definitely very strong so it’s possible for her to do such a performance. The background music was changing all the time to harmonize with her performance; the music was sometimes scary, sometimes slow, sometimes like thunder, sometimes like snow. If I’m going, to be honest, I think the show is quite scary at the beginning; it’s like a ghost that couldn’t find his home. And that’s the amazing part of art; different people would interpret the meaning behind every piece of art differently. The performer or the artist are expressing their own feelings, emotions, and their own point of view of the world, with their own way of expressing them. But as for audience, or someone just passing by a piece of artwork, through the performance or the artwork, the audience would have their own interpretation of the work, yet the interpretation that the audience has towards the artwork, was no more than what’s in their mind, their own feelings, their own point of view of the world. As the performance coming close to an end, the performer take off her sleeves, her pants and cloths one by one, and what’s inside of those clothes, was just a black suit. And then with the music went lighter and lighter; she just leaves the stage, walk out of the performing area. To me, it feels like a human finally give up the entire disguise that protecting him, and finally come back to the real, and true self. Because the limbs that she dragged down are empty, the material would probably be something that’s light, maybe even paper and the clothes she took off was just a suit.

This is a very unique experience, the performance was created by the performer, the artist who made the music, the people who set up the stage, people who control the lights, and the staff works in the museum who told us not to bring bags inside, and finally, the audiences. Everyone in this performing area created everything all we see and feel. This kind of harmony is unique in the world, one of a kind, it never happened before and never will happen again.

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Such a ‘Peculiar’ Performance

I watched the first performance I’ve watched in Krannert art museum last night.

written by LinJie Yang

I just had a quick review of the material professor given us before the performance. To be honest, it made me really uncomfortable to see such a dreadful ‘statue’ standing in the center of the hall when I just entered in.  The statue looked like a monster with 3 human-like faces, four arms, and four legs. Its limbs were all tied by strings.                                                                                           

photoed by Linjie Yang Continue reading

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The Way We See Things: Erica Gressman: Limbs

Written By Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

When I first arrived to the Krannert Art Museum on Thursday night, I had no idea what to expect.  Having attended the Solo exhibit the previous night, and witnessing a completely new type of art that I had never seen before, I had no idea what was about to happen.  Little did I know, my mind was about to be blown, yet again.

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A New Perspective: Limbs Ligaments, Parts: My body is there Gallery

Written By Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

I have always appreciated all different forms of art.  From music, paintings, and dance, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching it all.  However, this week I experienced a completely different sensation when I attended the Solo exhibition of queer Latinx Art on Wednesday.  Continue reading

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All about Krannert Center for the Performing Art’s 50th Anniversary Opening Celebration.

Written by: Fatimah Ibidunni

Lobby on Opening Night

I’ve never seen Krannert come to life in the way it did last Friday night for the 50th Anniversary Opening Celebration. Wow. I knew Krannert was a big deal, but until this moment I didn’t realize how much of a big deal it really was. There were tons of people who filled the lobby young and old alike.


Being a child and making a flower





Adults enjoyed casual drinks amongst the many (and I mean many) bars located throughout the lobby, and kids enjoyed the crafts that were set up downstairs. What was common for everyone young or old was the genuine enjoyment of great food and music present at the opening event.


Trombone player who took his role VERY seriously!



My favorite part of the night had to be the performance by the band! They would situate in an area of the lobby and perform Jazz tunes. These students were very into their character and really made the music great to listen to but also fun to watch them in action.



Soundboard used to control sounds during performances



What about what goes on behind the scenes? It takes a lot of work to make sure the sounds from the performances were heard in great quality. I had a chance to interact with the guy behind the soundboard and let me tell you all that stuff is very complicated and they deserve their props too!


Happy 50th Anniversary!





All in all, I enjoyed my time at the opening party. If anything I wish I stayed longer throughout the night to see the party really get started once everyone had a few drinks in them. I thought the ambiance was fantastic and it just has me geared up to see what the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has in store through this year of celebration!

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Happy 50th Anniversary Krannert!!!

Written by Kamani Harris

Photo by Kamani Harris

Walking into the Krannert Center for Performing Arts for the first time this semester brought back so many memories of going to Black Chorus practice and performances and also the awesome performances I saw during my theater classes. I reflected about how much I really admire and appreciate this place and why I feel so much excitement going to this celebration of there 50th year. I couldn’t wait to be in a place with many others who are also as grateful and adoring as I am.

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For your Senior Year To-Do consideration…

Written by: Nora Guerrero

Light projection of the Krannert Center’s Opening Night.

The Krannert Opening Night Party celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Krannert Performing Arts Center. A night full of community, local food and beer/wine vendors, and music surrounded hundreds of eager faces. As a Graphic Design senior in the college of Fine and Applied Arts, I had never in all my college career visited an opening night party. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to have experienced it my last year. I would highly recommend this event to students for things to do before they graduate!

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A night to remember!

Written by Xuan Huynh

A night full of excitement, cool colors, fantastic music, and even better people.

Krannert’s opening was everything I expected and more! I loved the activities and the different foods they had to offer.  The T-shirt stand really stood out to me because I love fashion. In addition to that, I thought the scenery was amazing. As soon as I entered the building, the altering lights immediately grasped my attention. It made me feel like I walked into a disco dance in the 80s. On top of that, I loved the music! It was very the stimulating and, energetic. It made me want to dance! With that being said, the entertainment was amazing but the aspect I loved the most was the diversity and joy that filled the room. People from different cultural, ages, ethnicities were coming together to celebrate a wonderful event.

People watching and listening to the performers

Photo by Xuan Huynh

The lights look beautiful

Photo by Xuan Huynh

The performers

Photo by Xuan Huynh

The area with food

Photo by Xuan Huynh

T-Shirt Stand

Photo by Xuan Huynh

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Making it Happen: Krannert’s Opening Night

Written by Alyssa Pappas

While I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the amazing performances at the Opening Night of the Krannert Center of Performing Arts, none of it would have been possible without the people who made it happen.

Photo By A.Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas


First of all, this jazz band made this crowd happen. They brought all of these people together to experience their music. That is amazing to me.

It was definitely the highlight of my night.  I absolutely love jazz! Getting to see it live was a great experience!


Yet, this would not have been possible without other people who were actually not in the band.

These people are the production crew and staff. Maybe it is because I work at a job in which I help with production as well, but I really did not want their work to go unnoticed.

Photo by A.Pappas


For example, there was this man in the room in which a jazz band was.  This man worked on the levels of the different instruments and really supported the band.

So, seeing him aid the band that I loved listening to was really interesting!


Photo by A.Pappas


Other people who also had a huge impact on the night, was those who helped with the children crafting center.

My experience with them was extremely positive. They were super helpful and kind to everyone who wanted to craft.



Photo by A.Pappas


All of the work, all of the behind the scenes people, and all of the acts/musicians, made this all happen. They all brought a huge group of people to experience a night filled with music and art.

So, a huge thank you to all of those who contributed to making the night happen and making this experience one I will never forget.


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Krannert-A Magical Night

Written by Yining Wei

The 50th anniversary opening party at Krannert last Friday was a fabulous celebration of art and culture. What I loved the most were the live bands, which were Ranky Tanky and Baracutanga. Their music was funky and jazzy, and I loved how creative and spontaneous their music sounds.

It was already 7pm when I arrived, and the classmates and professors were nowhere to find. The Krannert was packed with people of all ages, but predominantly adults in their forties or above, and college kids who were either volunteering or just here for the party. Little kids too, running around  with their parents and giggling nonstop with their buddies. I had to find the professors. So I sqeezed myself into the crowd, saying ‘sorry’ and ‘excuse me’ every two seconds. Everyone was enjoying the show and partying with the appropriate tipsiness-partying like real adults. But I could still smell the strong scent of wine and beer when I was crossing the room and I was not a fan of that.

It was loud in the hall, the music was Jazzy and fun, and the people around were having a great time. The purple, red and blue lights was constantly moving and changing its colors. That dizziness from the loud music and the ever-changing colors of the lights got my head spinning a little too much. I liked the music. I liked how the old ladies had feathers in their hair like Kathy Bates did in Disjointed and how they were dancing with so much simple joy and happiness.




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50 Years of Entertainment

Written by Maty Patino

It’s not easy staying alive for 50 years.

Photo by Maty Patino

My mom would always tell me that growing up gets harder as we progress in life. However, I don’t think it was really hard for the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to grow. As time went by, I know they grew better and better. This is proven through the fact that there was so many people at their anniversary that there was points in which it was hard for us to walk through at the Krannert. There were people of all ages, gender, ethnicity, and probably religion too. The best part of all this is how people come together at one event to celebrate a huge accomplishment.


Photo by Maty Patino

Photo by Maty Patino

Whether it’s acting or not, it was beautiful to see how much the artists themselves enjoyed what they were doing. They were dancing around, interacting with the people while still performing, and making everything seem joyful. I do not play any instruments, but the way the first performance went made playing an instrument look so easy. It was exciting to see all the enthusiasm these artists portrayed.

Photo by Maty Patino

Photo by Maty Patino

There was dancing on the floor and on stage. Again, all these artists showed that they were having the time of their life. I think that is the beauty of art. The artist get to portray exactly what they want. Interpretation may change by the people, but they know exactly what they want the audience to feel. Because I felt joyful, along with many others, it is why the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has been successful for 50 years.

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Viva La vida: Krannert 50th Anniversary Celebration

50 years of passion and love for music, for art, for life gathers in one night.

written by Zhenbang Wu

Photo by Zhenbang Wu

Viva la Vida, Long Live Life. If you ask me to summarize the Krannert 50th Anniversary Celebration, that’s exactly the word that crashes into my mind. During the past 50 years, people came to Krannert to enjoy art. And more importantly, their passion for music, for art, for life has already become part of the art. Continue reading

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When I hear music, I see unison.

Written by Andrew Duran,

This past Friday my class and I went out to celebrate the 50th Anniversary for Krannert. All throughout the night I witnessed moments I truly enjoyed of passion, joy, and a general aura of togetherness that stemmed solely from our common interest of music.

The night kicked off with high energy as a band performed a sort of dance routine while simultaneously playing their individual instruments. It was a performance like no other as the crowd that surrounded them danced along and reciprocated the energy that was given.

Photo by Andrew Duran

On the left, a picture is posted that perfectly encompasses the vibe of the performance.

If you look at the man with the saxophone and the trombone player in the background, it is pretty obvious that they have love for what they’re doing.

That love and passion they possessed for their art was felt throughout the performance and made that experience all the more enjoyable.



The event possessed separate areas we were allowed to explore and in a separate section a jazz ensemble was performing. However, as amazing as the jazz performers were, it was not them that caught my attention. In the corner, a gentleman and a lady were dancing to the music that was playing with not a care in the world that they were the only ones on that floor.

Photo by Andrew Duran




This couple went on to dance for the entirety of the performance and I couldn’t help but smile along to their steps to the beat.




As the night went on, I found myself thinking how special it is to, not only be able to do what you love but, be able to witness others doing what makes their soul sing. Pictured directly below, I was able to capture a performance that had the crowd in awe. These individuals sang a song called “Freedom” and it was beautiful to be able to witness their hearts being evident in each of the words that left their mouths. With each lyric that they sang, a new part of their story was told for the crowd to hear.

Photo by Andrew Duran







Photo by Andrew Duran









When I hear music, I see unison. These words could not be more true than the time I spent celebrating the 50th anniversary with countless other students that I have never met before this day. The conversations and relationships I was able to form off music alone goes to show how truly special this art is. Despite the differences that we all share, it’s amazing to be able to be brought together off the common passion of music.

Photo by Andrew Duran

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Dream of Krannert-50th Anniversary Celebration

Written by Tim Gao

Krannert Center was established at September 7th, 1968. Yesterday was its 50th anniversary and there was big cultural exchange eventat night for celebration.

Photo by Tim Gao

Mucca Pazza

Photo by Tim Gao

The event officially starts at 6:30 p.m. with the amazing celebration kick off performed by Mucca Pazza. The whole orchestra is dressed up like a group of nutcrackers with delicate clothes. This is a special group, which was not performed on the stage. They were performing among the crowd and trying to interact with the people around them. Their passionate performance  led the enthusiasm of people in the center. More and more people were getting closer to the crowd  and started dancing around the orchestra because of the brisk and active rhyme. The kick off was so impressive that makes people hard to forget.

Ranky Tanky

Photo by Tim Gao

The second show i watched was performed by Ranky Tanky in front the Foellinger Great Hall. Ranky Tanky is the band from South Carolina, which performs the timeless music of Gullah culture. The music is very rhythmic and the whole band is lead by the singer. The music cooperates with the colorful neon lights, makes the atmosphere of the  Krannert Center becomes extremely attractive and active.



There were many other wonderful performances in different sides of the Krannert Center. Meanwhile, people were enjoying the delicious food and immersed in the beautiful music.

Photo by Tim Gao

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Opening Night at Krannert

A night full of celebration, diversity, and arts.

Written by: Emily Reeter

I’ve never been extremely into the arts, so opening evening was a whirlwind of excitement and curiosity for me.  They had a variety of musicians, food, and entertainment set up for the evening.  The event attracted people of all ages and ethnicities to the Krannert Center to all celebrate the excitement of another powerful year of arts at our university. They had an array of different genre bands, performers, and cuisine to impress eyes and ears of all generations. 


Throughout the evening Krannert continued to pick up and grow louder with laughter, music, and the hustle of new spectators. My favorite thing I experienced was the various live music.  They had different genres and bands ranging across the United States from Louisiana style to a band from South Carolina.  I enjoyed experiencing the different cultures through their style of music along with the ways they performed and portrayed their style of music.  It was unique to see such a range of talents within the same building at the same time. My all time favorite was Ranky Tanky, a band that is known for west Africa music. The performers were extremely vibrant and passionate about their work.

With this being my first opening night, I didn’t know what to expect or whether I should go in  having any expectations.  After my visit, I know that I will be returning to several more cultural and art driven events.  I loved the feel of the venue and the dedication and joy the artists offered to the community.

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A night of clashing music

Written by Syed Ali

The Krannert Opening Night Party at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts was a fun, loud, and joyful experience. With interchanging colors and music at every corner, it was a rather unique experience for me.

I enjoyed the colorful atmosphere and the bands/music the most at the party. The singers and musicians were mostly new to me but I ended up loving their music. In the beginning, it was the New Orleans Jazz Machine that began jazzing things up in the studio theatre. Following them was Ranky Tanky and the spontaneous Mucca Pazza.

The smooth jazz was nice to listen to, especially after the stressful first weeks of college. While I’m not generally a big fan of jazz, the Jazz Machine crew really made the night dance-worthy. At some point, I saw people dancing away to the right of the studio; the music was light but moving, and I was excited to stick around.

Ranky tanky was another music group that really brightened the mains stage of the center. The loud trumpet, the singing, and the guitar made the experience really stand out. I noticed (rather late of me) that the lights constantly changed from one color to another. It made things pop out, complimenting the music nicely. The sounds of people laughing and dancing only added to the already lively atmosphere.

After the performances of Ranky Tanky came the band Baracutanga. Their music brought South American rhythms onto the stage and made a seamless transition to a different atmosphere. I really enjoyed the distinct singing and the fun collaboration the band had to bring the music alive.

Afterwards, I got to enjoy a late night band performance by AJ Ghent. His music really brought things together. With his funk/blues style music and expert guitar playing, it was a great way to end the night.

Ranky Tanky, my favorite music group from the night 

Seven-piece band Baracutanga

Pop-Up performance by Mucca Pazza

AJ Ghent – the party just started






Photos by Syed Ali




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Live in Color

Music is the muse of enjoyment. Now, pair that with food, people, beautiful lights, and you have created a moment for people to live.

By: Deja Cook- Reynolds

Opening Night at the Krannert Center for Performance Arts was a better experience than I thought it was going to be. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were there; kids, college students, professors, etc. were all in the same space just enjoying the atmosphere. I loved seeing that.  I think the live music and the diversified food venders did a wonderful job of pulling people in and inviting them into a open space where they could just be themselves, not worry about outside judgment, and try new things! Honesty, I think that was the most enjoyable about the night, the open space and the freedom for people to be themselves.

A gloomy day never stops the precious and serenity of enjoyment

Ranky Tanky

Opening Night: 50th Anniversary


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Looking Back – Final Reflection by Tyler C. Soetaert

Tyler Soetaert hosting Jayhawk Newsbreak.

This has been an interesting semester for myself, to say the least. Between accounting lessons about contribution margins, to Professor John Broholm’s life lecture’s in ethics, it has been a roller coaster. It is hard to even find a place to begin. Finding the words to describe my Journalism 550 class is almost too difficult for me, even as a writer. To you, the class may sound like your typical upper-level class for a specific major, but for the 18 individuals who went through the process, it is an entirely different world. For the professor, who just got to Kansas for the first time all the way from Champaign, Illinois, it was an entirely different world. Whether I was sinking or swimming, this class is one that has engraved its place in my heart. Here is a look at my journey along the way.


Video Essay

Video Essay: A Jayhawk Jumprope routine at the Rec Center in Lawrence, Kansas.

In the first class endeavor, my peers and I were assigned to a “video essay”, which would help serve as a smooth beginning for more things to come. This was considered a light assignment in which we only needed 12 total shots to tell a story. I shot a person I had met on spot at the gym. He was more than accommodating, as I documented a famous Jayhawk Jumprope routine that is said to have you losing serious weight in weeks. This routine is considered important for its impact on the body and how quick-paced the workout is. That being said, these factors gave me reason to go for more than just “a video essay”. Usually on your first class assignment, you may slack off some, but that wasn’t the case for me. I saw opportunities where I could catch the sweat dripping off his brow, or his hair moving vigorously to the thumping of the jumprope. I saw opportunities to grab every angle of his workout, including his hands that were constantly moving with the rope. Additionally, who could argue an element such as NAT sound when there is a jumprope slapping the ground every second. All in all, this was a great beginning project, the only issue was that my partner and classmate, Patrick Sullivan, decided to out-do me on this one.



A new piece in the Spencer Art Museum for their African Art Exhibit, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Only a week would go by until the students of J550 would be exposed to some of the first real work they would put together in this class. Dr. Janice Collins introduced to us our first VO and VOSOTVO assignment. This assignment was an interesting journey to say the least. I remember vividly, walking into a music recital on Wednesday evening of that week, and being chased out being a full-time professor. Clearly, the music school felt no need for the recognition that I felt they deserved. Nonetheless, we must always have back-up plans. This is one of the many lessons Dr. Collins preached throughout the course fo this semester. So, plan B would have to prevail. I visited the Spencer Art Museum the next day to put together what was considered more of a rushed process. I was able to obtain fantastic footage of all the beauty that the museum holds. My story angle covered the new “African Art Exhibit”, which was considered the final centric piece to the international puzzle of art. My only complaint comes from the time frame I had to work with in creating this, and Dr. Collins was able to notice in my scripts how the process was a bit rushed.



A cloudy day on campus at the University of Kansas, where students have been concerned for safety.

After a small water break, the class was back in action, ready for the next VOSOTVO. This time around, I took on a serious topic that would eventually carry into some of my later work in the semester. The topic of guns on campus is one that we can all discuss, but may not be one that we all agree on. The controversy that guns have caused on school grounds in 2018 alone are alarming enough to have students at KU on their toes. Dr. Collins saw the potential in this story and encouraged me every step of the way to really dig deep and find the source of the issues at hand. I was able to get some emotional soundbites and some creative shots. My only regret in this project is the in-depth shooting that I didn’t seek until later in the semester, when this topic would eventually become one of my final packages. All in all, the severity and emotional tone provided the project with some “head-turning” ability.



An Ad Astra sponsored running event for the Lawrence community.

At this point in the semester, the class was beginning to feel a bit worn down. Between multiple current events and video assignments, the class was starting to struggle treading the water. This is just when Dr. Collins showed us we can swim. For our VOSOTVO three, I decided my topic would encompass a local business who gives back to their community. I gave the spotlight to Ad Astra Running in downtown Lawrence. This is a company that provides people of any income, race or gender opportunities to connect with the community, and commit to a healthy lifestyle. The company offers 5k’s, free programs and more that have been driving forces in bringing together a running community in Lawrence. Even people with disabilities are more than encouraged to join every endeavor, and I wanted to capture the man behind the madness. This project was very smooth process for me. I was able to obtain the shots I needed, plus the right interview. I was able to interview J, the man who started Ad Astra and his running programs. Additionally, I was able to obtain graphics from different events they have held in the past. The diversity of visuals accompanied by the best qualified interviewee made this a good project. My only issue came in some of my script writing, which was a little lengthy.

The one difference in this assignment was the VO and the VOSOTVO. Every project leading up to this had the same topic for both. This time, the topics would be different. My third VO stood as an announcement for the J-school’s big career fair on March 7.


Package #1

David O’Hara, KU Lacrosse team captain.

The day would come where the class would have to step-up the production and workload in their projects. Bring on package number one. In this assignment, I was able to work with my partner, Patrick Sullivan, on a story regarding the KU lacrosse team and their expansions. Patrick and I both have friends who play for the team, so the boys were more than welcoming to our company. We conducted interviews, got a wide range of action shots and even added stand-ups, which turned out better than I had hoped The best part about working with Patrick is that he is able to see eye-to-eye with me on most occasions. Alternatively, he is not afraid to tell you what he wants. The package was an interesting story about and up and coming program, and working with Patrick made the process enjoyable and smooth.


Package #2 and Final Newsbreak

A registered gun owner who conceals on campus shows his firearm in the package.

The end of the journey finally arrived. At some points in the semester, it felt like it may never come. In my second package, I was able to continue on the somber topic of guns on campus. Dr. Collins pushed and pushed me towards going further into this story, and I felt the want to trust her. This professor is one that finds a story in anything, so a topic like gun violence is something she believes should never be short in content. I was able to get more than one perspective in student interviews, I obtained raw footage of a concealed weapon and I was able to grab some of the most gut-wrenching NAT soundbites of the semester. I began my package with a loud gun cock and then began to tell a story of the dilemma that has every KU student on their toes. The one issue I ran into was the final interview. I originally had planned to interview staff at the office of Provost, however, plan C had to prevail as I interviewed a faculty member who is part of the student safety board. Finally, this package would be used as a part of our final news-break. The class had already pushed through their first agonizing news-break, now with hopes that the final would be better. I took the stage, with one chance only, at a live broadcast featuring my work. I was nervous, but the results show different, in my opinion. Take a look.


Throughout this amazingly fast semester, I have learned more than I could have hoped to gain, not only through the Journalism 550 class, but even more so through a stranger, from the University of Illinois, who guided us along our journey. This stranger knew none of her 18 students in her first taught class at KU, nor had she met with the other 26,000 on campus. But, this stranger changed a group of students lives and made some of the closest companions in a matter of months. It’s safe to say, this person is a stranger no longer. Not only did Janice Collins show her students the value in professionalism but she preached the value of life. Dr. Collins chose to see the potential in all of her students — the good, the better and the best. I remember the first day like it was yesterday and when Dr. Collins began to spoke, everyone began to listen. “I will throw you all in the deep end, but I will not let you drown,” said Collins, “I will teach you to swim.”

Ever since that beginning day, I felt in my gut that I could instill some sort of trust with Dr. Collins. Over the semester, the “after-class” conversations only grew. The trust was slowly evolving into a beautiful relationship, and not just with me. She developed a certain connection with all 18 individuals in that room. Ever since the day Collins dropped me in the ocean, I’ve only gotten better and better at treading water. I just wanted to take this final part of my reflection to thank the wonderful teaching job done by Dr. Janice Collins. This semester has been a journey, but a journey I will not soon forget.

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Self-Reflection Final: By Patrick Sullivan

Final Self-Reflection

Before I dive into the actual reflection on all the work I did this semester, I want to say how truly grateful I am for getting to be your student this semester. I took me too long to realize how lucky we all were to have you for your one semester at KU, and I just wanted to preface my reflection with a HUGE thank you.

Video Essay: “Ball Park”

Now that the semester has come to an end, I can say that this was my favorite project. I loved the creativity that you let us have with it. You basically gave us no instruction other than that the finished product needed to have a beginning, middle and end. I typically struggle with coming up with ideas quickly, but this idea came to me relatively quickly.

I came into KU with a double major in Film (and Finance), which is why this project probably was probably my favorite. However, I quickly learned that I wasn’t getting everything out I wanted out of the film major and switched it over to journalism my sophomore year. That being said, I really enjoyed getting to work on this project.

VO and VOSOTVO 1: Captiva Show and Song Release

This was one of those project where it took me much longer to find out what I wanted to do, and I basically sat there twiddling my thumbs until this somehow came to be my idea. I think I struggled with this at first since this was our first set of VOs and VOSOTVOs, but it turned out okay for the short amount of time I actually worked on it.

I am a little bummed with the final project because I was supposed to interview the whole band and go to their band practice, but all-in-all it was okay.

VO and VOSOTVO 2: Video Game Takeover

I thought this was one of my better ideas for a story, but I just couldn’t quite make it turn out how I wanted. Looking back, I probably could have gotten some better film of the actual game and done a better job explaining what exactly the game is. I had a decent variety of medium and tight shots, but basically did not have a wide, establishing shot. I also noticed that I didn’t “say it, see it” when I mentioned the title of the game. I was really pleased with my interview. Murray, the guy I interviewed, was clearly very passionate about the game and gave me some very good soundbites. It was actually hard to select one to use because there were about four or five that I liked.

VO 3: Out of Hand Art | VOSOTVO 3: KU Lacrosse Brand Identity

For my VO on Out of Hand Art, it was just almost too easy doing a story on Tom Babb. After becoming a quadriplegic his freshman year of college, he has accomplished more than nearly anyone I know in college. He is truly an incredible story and this small part of his life is just a great story to see.

For my VOSOTVO, I knew I wanted to do a story on the KU lacrosse team because they have been gaining traction over the years I’ve been here, but I just didn’t know quite what yet. I interview the president of the team, David O’Hara, and he gave me a great interview. My original idea of doing the story on the team growing evolved into why the team has seen so much growth, and it was pretty much due to the brand identity created by O’Hara. I think this piece turned out pretty nice, but I would have liked to have some footage of their practices or games shot.

Package 1: KU Lacrosse Expansion

After doing my last VOSOTVO on the lacrosse team, I knew there was a bigger story there and I wanted to focus my package on it. I worked on the package with Tyler, and we work very well together as a team. We pretty much just see eye to eye on what we want things to look like. We went out to the team’s practice together, shot some footage, interviewed a few players and got this thing thrown together with almost no hiccups. I am really pleased with how this turned out. The only thing I would have changed if I could redo it was my script. I feel like it wasn’t incredibly conversational and I could have had some more fun with it.

Package 2: State of IFC

This was another project that I had a hard time coming up with an idea for. I was really swamped at this point in the semester with all of my other classes and I kind of put it off too long. Frankly, it turned out better than I thought it was going to but I still wan’t very pleased with it. I would’ve liked to have an interview with someone from an opposing viewpoint but the only interview I had scheduled from that side canceled on me and I just didn’t have a plan B in place. I also think I could have shot some better B-Roll for this project. I got some nice shots of the fraternities on campus but I would have liked to have some actual footage of the hearing that took place for these four students. This was probably the project that I would like to have back the most.

Final Newsbreak

I previously said that the Video Essay was my favorite project, but I lied. This was definitely my favorite project of the semester. It was basically everything we had been working towards all semester, and it came down to one final newsbreak. I really wish we could have gotten to this point a little bit earlier so we could have done more than two of them, but I understand this is a process. Other than my final package, which I said I wasn’t too stoked about, I think this newsbreak went really well. I landed on 3:30 on both of my newsbreaks and felt really good with how they turned out. It was my first time being on camera in that studio and I felt really comfortable up there. I think I could have done a little bit better with ad libbing when I had to close up the show, but I know that will come with practice.

Thank you again for an awesome semester, and I hope our paths cross again at some point! Have a great summer!

-Patrick Sullivan

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Grant DeMars Final Reflection

This semester was undoubtedly the hardest semester I’ve had so far in college. Outside of this class, I was anchoring a newscast once a week, working a part-time job, taking some extremely challenging political science classes, and traveling around the country almost every weekend for my second job judging dance competitions. Aside from all that, though, it was also the most rewarding.


This assignment was something different than anything I had done before. I’ve had experience in telling stories through VOs, VOSOTs and packages, but have never had to do it without words. My favorite part of how this project turned out was the nat sound that I had. You could hear how the ice would crack as the water lapped over it, geese honking on the frozen lake, and ice crushing together from the waves abasing the shore. This assignment definitely helped me look for new angles and creative shots, and required me to practically get on the ground and hold the camera myself in order to get the “money shot”.


Not going to lie, I slacked off on the VO and VOSOT assignments. Looking back, I definitely could have found a way to make this story more visual and interesting. The shot’s were pretty static, boring, and not the best quality because of the lack of lighting. I easily could’ve shorten upstairs in a brighter room and had my subject do more than just stand and let me shoot b-roll. It was a good story, and I think my script was written well, I just could’ve executed the editing and shooting better.


The opioid epidemic is something that I had a lot of experience on reporting about from my previous internship last summer, and I had wanted to do a local story about it in Lawrence for awhile. I think the story turned out alright, but I had to resort to getting some video of opioid pills from CNN Newsource because I could not find any pharmacies that would let me shoot in them. I wish I could have done this story as a package, and talked to someone who had used the opioid treatment services that the story was about.


The VO was pretty easy, as it was a story I made for KUJH a couple days before. I wasn’t sure if I should have added motion to still pictures or not, though. The VOSOT was not my best work. I didn’t have and NAT sound and definitely could have taken more shots, but I let being in a hurry to complete the assignments affect the quality of my work.


This story idea had been in the back of my mind for awhile, and I’m glad I got to do it before the trend died. I already had the vision for the story in my head, so I think that’s why it turned out so well. Standups are my favorite thing to do, and I think that mine was interactive and creative, and served the purpose of giving information that I didn’t have that much footage for. One correction I knew I’d have is that one of my interviews was kind of against a wall.


Again, I could’ve worked harder on this assignment. I never did a timed read-through, which was why it was so short. Aside from that, I think my writing and delivery were pretty good. I’ve definitely improved this semester in making my delivery more conversational, but now need to work on keeping my energy up throughout my anchoring. I also made the weather graphic, which I think turned out well and worked for everyone else to use.


I’m really pleased with myself on this assignment, and wish I had worked as hard on the rest as I did on this. I was nervous that my package wasn’t over a visual enough topic, but I really think that I found ways to make it work. I also think that my writing was good, and little details like incorporating NAT pops of a mouse click or keyboard typing added to it well. On the news break, my timing was perfect, which is what I was most nervous about. One issue I had was my CNN reader not having any type of video or graphic. The only video I could find was someone talking at a podium, so I didn’t think that it would work. Had I had more time, I probably would have tried to find a creative way to edit it, or made a graphic with a headshot of the subject of the story.


I think that I was one of the few in this class who had a clear idea in mind of how I wanted to pursue television news as a career after college. I think that having the end goal in mind definitely helped me stay on top of things, and my ambition to succeed has always helped me in completing difficult tasks. I really lucked out taking 550 a semester later than I was originally supposed to, because Dr. Collins has had one of the greatest impacts on me out of all my previous professors. From advice on job interviews to her inspiring talks, I always learn something from her. I can’t wait to see how I use everything I’ve learned this semester throughout my future in the field.

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Cassidy Ragland-Final Reflection

At the beginning of the semester, I had no interest in pursuing a journalism degree. I had tried print media and I knew it wasn’t for me, and I was bitterly taking journalism classes because I had already come this far, might as well finish it. The first day of class I felt so unexperienced and overwhelmed I considered dropping. Thank God I didn’t. Throughout this class I have developed a passion for broadcast journalism. I had so much fun writing and researching stories, I felt like I was fulfilling my creative side by shooting with a camera, and I’ve always had a passion for performing and getting up to anchor seemed natural. I even loved being floor manager during news breaks. For that, thank you Dr. Collins. I’m so glad I didn’t give up, because now I can see myself pursuing this career in so many ways.

It all started with the video essay. I had never picked up a camera and I was so nervous. I thought I had a good topic, but I was clueless about the shots. I needed more tight shots, but overall I was just relieved I got it done. It took me hours to teach myself Premiere, but I was really happy for my first time editing.

For my Vo1 and VoSotVo1

I was nervous to make a turn. Originally I had a completely different event in mind, but that fell through. Dr. Collins had taught us all about having our plans A, B, and C, so I went on with plan B which was the International Jayhawk Festival. Walking in I was instantly inspired. I had some editing issues, but I really liked my shots for this one. Writing the story I enjoyed as well. I’ve always been more of a conversational writer, so broadcast seemed to be right up my alley.

Next, we had our Vo2 and VoSotVo2. I wasn’t as happy with this one. I felt like the shots I got wasn’t as interesting as the ones I got in my first Vo and VoSotVo. I thought the topic was interesting but it wasn’t easy to write a story about it. The actor I interviewed was adorable, but I could have done a better job steering the interview. Overall, I would say I did pretty mediocre on this one. I was still figuring out sound editing as well.

For our Vo3 I really liked how my shots turned out. I felt like I had a lot to work with and with the music I had some great nat sound. This was also difficult to write about, but I thought the storytelling through the shots was good. I got a little too audio-happy in editing, but overall I was happy with this one. For the VoSotVo3, I was a little less happy with it. I thought cyberbullying was a relevant topic and I used one of my current events for it. I felt like I was grasping at straws to write this story and it became too late to change the topic. I wish I had a more interesting background for the interview, but I couldn’t think of anywhere for a cyberbullying story.

I really had a great time filming package 1 and package 2. The stand up for package one I thought was nice, however there was a crisis with the audio. When we went to review our stand up our audio was completely gone. We refilmed the stand up, but without the Quidditch posts it was boring. So our plan C was to lay down an audio track to go over our first stand up. It worked, not awesome, but I was content. The second package I loved the nat sound with the singers, but I should’ve given it more time to breath and brought the audio down way more. I loved the topics and writing both of these stories was a lot of fun.

The news break was way funner than I thought it would be. I’m pretty comfortable in front of the camera, but I could feel how nervous I was about my package. Overall, I felt pretty good about my delivery.

Thank you so much for a wonderful semester, Dr. Collins was honestly one of the best professors I’ve ever had and I learned so much more this semester than I thought I would when I initially enrolled. Thank you.

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Final Reflection-Olivia Roberts

At the beginning of this semester, I was a scared timid student who absolutely had no foundation of the level of journalism I needed to know for this 550 class. With that being said, I’ve never encountered more stress and tears in my life over a class. So where do I even begin… Should I start at explaining to you the real life lessons I was taught by Dr. Collins? Or should I begin telling you the level of improvement I reached from the beginning to end of this semester?

Well… in general, I am so thankful for this class. This class taught me I can do anything I put my mind to. Which, anybody can until they are truly tested. What really tested me was putting in all the effort I possibly had without having the foundation I needed to even get me started. I honestly had to teach myself from the ground up. By first, learning what a VO and VOSOTVO meant. Everybody in this class already knew what they were and what they meant so that already put me behind and my confidence level sunk quickly. But nonetheless, I picked myself up and kept going. Because in reality thats all we really can do. This class has taught me so much about myself, about life, about school, about being a good student, about loving/helping others around you that I was truthfully sad for this class to come to an end. So… the only thing my classmates and I still have to remember this class by is the group chat Dr. Collins wanted us to create at the beginning of this seamster. We all still communicate in even though the semester is now over.


My first project I had for this class was called a video essay. This video essay was where Dr. Collins let us begin by showing her our skill level and expertise on story telling. We were able to tell any story we wanted. What better way to begin your first project by showing everybody your best friends 21st birthday party! This was a fun, exciting project I liked because it was a way where I could produce, create, and edit the video how I wanted it. I wanted my viewers to be just as excited as I was to watch this video. So I wanted to add close shots of her face, people laughing, and bring out the emotion of the party by telling the main character’s story.



My first VO/VOSOTVO were fun to create. The Chef of the sorority house I live in allowed me to capture his daily routine for lunch. “Chef Nate” and a “Warm Meal” show Chef Nate preparing and executing his medal prices throughout the day. These two videos show how he creates meals for my sorority house… because its a lot of work trying to feed 100+ women! The only thing I had some trouble on was trying to get good angles to show the viewers. Furthermore, this was my second time learning how to become better with the Adobe software so these two projects took me awhile. VO 1     VOSOTVO 1 



My second VO/VOSOTOV were interesting to shoot. I wanted to shoot something that I found interest in, that I enjoyed listening to and that I could expand my knowledge on. So I found out that CAPS was holding a seminar about mental health and how it can effect students. This was my first time bringing a camera into a seminar. A lot of people were suspicious about the camera. But it all turned out OK and I was allowed to recored. VO 2  VOSOTVO 2


                   My third VO/VOSOTVO were fun to shoot. My VO was about kids/family time at the Natural history museum at KU. I captured emotional, fun-filled shots of kids, parents, and grandparents. It was a happy time and the Natural History Museum was very nice to let me video this event. I became more confident as asking officials and those who put on events if I can shoot. My VOSOTVO, was also exciting to shoot. I watched a two hour Puerto Rican film about a man trying to find a better life in the United States. These two projects were fun and informative.

VO 3     VOSOTVO 3



My first package was fun to create. I worked with my partner in the class, Jackson. Jackson and I got along really well and had a great time together. We worked on our first package about two KU basketball players and coach Bill Self. It was fun seeing a different aspect of journalism, diving into the sports sides of things. I met new people while doing it and even got to see a live standup for one of the KC sports shows. First Package 1



My second package was done by myself. I was very excited to write a story on the topic I did, which was the renovations of the KU freshman dorm halls. This was thrilling to learn what actually went on in the freshman dorm halls by getting down to the nitty gritty of why the KU freshman dorm halls are so outdated and unhealthy to live it. It was interesting getting to interview three people and listening to their different view points on the topic. I enjoyed going out and shooting the shots as well. I liked watching the reconstruction of the dorms and seeing the dirty environment the freshmen live in and call home. I was glad I could cover this story and make sure to keep people aware that the freshman dorm halls need to be renovated and kept up to date. I enjoyed doing an informational piece for this class. Second Package 


My news break was so exciting to create and do. This was my favorite yet. I loved being able to act like I was a “real life” news anchor. Even though writing a script was hard for me at the beginning, I became ore confident and soon was able to love writing scripts. My favorite part was being able to make the script as exciting and interesting as I wanted it to be. I loved dressing up, seeing my classmates all dressed up and acting professional. Not other people I would have rather experienced those two news breaks than with the people I did it wth. Towards the end of my news break, I had to keep talking for 15 more seconds. That was the first time ever I was put on spot like that on live television. Im glad I experienced that though so I can be better next time. I was proud of myself for trying to look as natural as possible. I was told I looked very sincere on camera. News Break 


In conclusion, this journalism 550 class was one of my favorite classes I have ever taken in my entire student career. I thoroughly enjoyed my classmates, my professor and the projects that were assigned. I will be forever grateful for the obstacles I overcame. I will never forget all the memories and laughter, stress, and tears this class brought to my life. So… thank you to the 550 class for giving me a memory I will never forget! And thank you Dr. Collins… for showing me how a professor will go to the ends for her students because she cares so much for them. Thank you for teaching me how not to take life for granite and always enjoy the present because you never know where life may take you tomorrow. Oh, and thank you for teaching me what a VO, VOSOTVO, a package and a stand-up was.

-Olivia Roberts

#Journalism550 #Dr.Collins #success #TheUniversityofKansas

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Final Reflection- Emma Fotovich

What a semester! At the start of the semester I remember being on my own. I didn’t really feel a need to talk to anyone, and I certainly didn’t feel like staying engaged in the class. To me, the class felt like another check in the box. Looking back on this is when I realized how wrong I was. This is the first class at K-U where I have felt like I have made lifelong friends, and I had the amazing opportunity to have Dr.Collins as a professor. I will never forget the times we had in class, and all of the times she has encouraged not just me but the rest of the class to succeed. With her mentor ship I finally felt like I was getting a full understanding of the career I’ve been perusing all this time.

My first assignment was a video essay and looking back I remember how I was more or less just trying to get by. I could have put more time into it or be more creative but I went with the bare minimum. Looking back I wish I had tried to use the advanced cameras. I could have been better prepared for future assignments if I had tried them out. I learned to not always stay within my comfort zone, and I should always try new things.

The next assignment was our first VO. I remember having an easy enough time shooting and editing, those are my strong points, but oh man I was nervous for reading allowed with the video!! I remember thinking, oh geez I don’t want to do a live package thing. Getting up in front of people is nerve-wracking for me, so this was a struggle but I overcame it. My lesson I learned is that there is nothing to fear because my whole class was rooting for me as we all grew closer.




Now, going with this VO was the accompanying VOSOTVO. I also struggled with this because I did not know how to use the audio kits here at KU. I was not well versed, and it showed in my final products because my audio was either spotty or nonexistent. I kept that in mind though as I continued through the class.  I did like my story topic, however. I was able to get some cool and creative shots of campus while the snow was still on the ground. That created another challenge though because the next day I went out to get a few more shots, all the snow had melted. I learned to always be proactive. News waits for no one.

The next VO I felt more confident in my abilities so I decided to go with a more difficult idea. I decided to film animals. I always underestimate how much pets hate cameras, but I continued with my original idea as I told the story of Kate and Jingles. I was glad to spend some time learning more about emotional support animals throughout the process, and I felt more confident with my reading abilities for this VO.




The next VOSOTVO I felt pretty comfortable with as well. Looking back on it, I wish I had picked two different topics to really challenge myself to do great things, but I’m content with how both these videos turned out. Again, I wish I had used an advanced camera, but it was not until later when I finally decided to give it a try. I mean, who wouldn’t be content spending time with this cute kitty?





Our final VO was over something near and dear to my heart. It is the place where I live, aka the scholarship halls. I wanted to do the piece as a way for people to learn more about them, because sometimes I feel like people forget the Scholarship halls exist. I felt as if I had done well with it, but I wanted to work harder on getting more interesting shots. The shots I got weren’t as great as they could have been.

My VOSOTVO was one that I was passionate about. I love to dance so it was fun to be in the environment and get fun and interesting shots. I also loved doing the interview I did, the person I picked was spunky and definitely interesting to talk to. I love seeing groups of people be passionate about something. I learned to always get more feet shots when doing videos on dance, though. I didn’t get enough and later I regretted it.

This marks the end of the VO and VOSOTVO as we moved full force into packages. I was a little nervous to do the packages because I personally have never had to use three different sources, but I worried for nothing as it all worked out. My partner Courtney and I had to go with plan B though for our package, because plan A fell through. We very quickly decided to re-visit my old VO, and I was given the opportunity to redeem myself. Our topic was on the Scholarship halls, and we got nicer shots, amazing interviews, and felt very confident about our package as we turned it in. I finally felt comfortable to use the advanced cameras as well. It was fun to work with Courtney on the project.

oooh, I also got to what I would consider to be the most awkward stand-up ever. Brace yourselves for a photo ahah.





Wow, I need to work on not being so awkward!

This brings us into the final leg of my class, the time where we all as a collective started swimming, the time of the final packages and the beginning of our News Breaks! I had the opportunity to do a package on an amazing classmate of mine. I was able to do a package on Cain Lever and his poetry event! The slam poetry event was so fun, if anyone has an opportunity to go then definitely do it!! I was super happy with how my package turned out, and with the exception of spelling Loville’s name wrong, I felt confident. (I promise he spelled it wrong I just wrote what he said!)

I had this feeling that I had really started swimming. And with the news breaks too I loved feeling like a true team with my classmates. We all worked really hard in that class, and we became so close that those news breaks were a perfect example of how far we came. I felt nothing but love and support from everyone, and I learned so much., I’m so glad I stuck with it.


Oof, another bad photo of me, I need to not be so awkward!

ALSO: Cain I swear if you don’t post that shot I got of you all over social media I will fight you!

Overall I really owe it to Dr. Collins and all of my classmates. Without them, this class would not have been possible. I really want to thank Dr. Collins for always believing in her students, and never ever thinking we couldn’t do it. Her positive attitude helped me through a rough semester, and made me value more than just the grade. I value the experience and the knowledge gained, as well as the friends I’ve made. You know you’ve became close with a class when you all want to stay in touch after the last day.


Overall I’m so glad I took this class. It has been the best opportunity given to me at KU, and I don’t regret anything about it. But hey, everyone always remember, Dr. Collins always wins the lottery! (Still salty about that question, but I will overlook it for the memories that this class gave.)

I LOVE YOU ALL! We did it!

-Emma Fotovich



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Jasmine Keys Final Reflection

Before I could even type this, I started tearing up…standby….this class and semester have been quit the journey for me. Just like anybody in college, I had a lot of personal things going on and a busy schedule, but coming to this class everyday made me feel at home. I met so many great people, from all walks of life, that I hope to see or hear from in the future. I believe that everyone you met, makes an impact on your life and this is true with Dr. Collins. She was the first black female professor I ever had. I remember on the first day of class, I ran home to tell my mom how awesome that was, and how excited I was for the semester. I knew this class would be challenging but I was ready to sink AND swim!  Continue reading

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Helen Luna Final Reflection

I can’t believe the semester has already come to an end. It’s crazy… I remember at the beginning coming into class after already missing the first day and thinking I could already tell how bad this semester was going to be but man was I wrong. I can honestly say that this class has taught me things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Dr. Collins, in the short time we got to know each other, you have made such an incredible impact on my life. I have never come away from a class with so much knowledge. You not only taught me skills that I will use in my future career but you have made me look at life differently and I just want to say thank you for taking your time to get to know each and every one of us and pushing us to be our best.


The first thing we did was the video essay. I remember doing my plan b because the first idea I had didn’t work out. I tried to go outside and create a video similar to the seasons in a day video we did as a class but it didn’t work out. I pretty much just got tight shots the entire time.


For the first VO and VOSOTVO, I decided to do about the gym and how the weather affects gym goers. I chose this topic because at the beginning of the semester I started getting into working out and I felt like it would be fun to do something I was interested in. I panned quite a bit which at the time, I didn’t realize we shouldn’t do unless it’s really necessary.


For my VO2 and VOSOTVO2, I decided to do it about de-stressing when the semester gets difficult… I felt like at this point I was starting to get better shots and I was learning to work the camera better. I also felt like I was getting better at finding a story and story telling.


My VO3 was about Clinton Lake and getting away. This was kind of like a plan C… I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to do but since I like to drive out to Clinton Lake and relax sometimes and just get away, I felt like others might like to know about it too. I really liked the shots I got of the lake as well.


My VOSOTVO3 was my favorite one to do. I felt like it was the most news worthy and most realistic. I was able to speak to a teacher at Lawrence High School about the president’s proposal to arm teachers and I had a really interesting conversation with her. I feel like I could’ve gotten better shots and I should’ve gotten more here.


The first package was fun for me. I worked with Grant and we decided to do our plan C in this case as well. We were having a hard time with our first ideas and he came up with the JUUL story. It really showed me how you can find a story anywhere and it was nice being able to work with Grant and get good SOTs and video. This was also when I found out that Grant got the CBS internship. Go Grant!!!


The second package was definitely hard work. After the first Pause 4 Pups event I went to turned into a complete disaster I had to think fast… I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to pull a package together if I waited a whole week until the next event but I did just that and I got it done. I liked the interviews I got and I feel like the shots I got of the dogs were pretty good too. I really tried to get a variety of shots here.


and finally… the final newsbreak. During the first newsbreak I was definitely nervous and you could tell. I was over thinking the entire time and it was my FIRST time reading off the teleprompter and doing anything in front of the camera. The second time I made myself relax and I tried to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I know I need to slow down when I read… that’s definitely something I’m going to need to work on but I’m still proud of myself for getting through it and getting it done.

Now that everything has come to an end, I’m able to look back and appreciate all of the work that I put in this past semester. I’m grateful for the learning experiences and the amazing memories I got to make with this class. I know that I have a lot to work on but I have come a very long way in the last four months and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us!

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Jackson Schneider – Final Reflection

Well, here it goes…

First off, Dr. Collins, I owe you an apology. When this semester began, I did not think I was going to like you. You came in with your big-time knowledge about journalism and broadcasting and I stubbornly thought you weren’t going to be someone I got along with.

Wow, was I wrong. I have never had a professor that genuinely cares about her students and their success like you do. I instantly began to grow to like you and learn from you quickly. Your teaching method was intense and immersive and, at times, overwhelming, but I have never gotten so much from a class as I have from this one. So, I am sorry for ever thinking I wouldn’t like you because you are hands down the best professor I have ever had.


As for my journey throughout this class, I began with little video experience and it showed in my first project. In my Video Essay, I had numerous shaky camera shots and blurry ones as well. I accidentally forgot a tripod when I filmed this video, creating the bad, shaky shots. As for the story line, I thought it was all there for an early video essay.

Moving on to the first real news stories we did on the year, the VO1 and VOSOT1, I thought that my Farmer’s Ball story was a good start to the year but the structure and planning of my story layout needed a lot of work. I thought I had a good soundbite, but it was a little long. Overall, I thought I did a good job. 

In my VO2 and VOSOT2, I began to put things together a little better in terms of structure and planning of my shots, and getting a good interview. For a story that was about the new upgrades to the union (what I would consider a horribly boring topic), I think I did fairly well.

When we set up our third stage of projects, we had to finally do different topics for the VO3 and VOSOT3. That provided a very interesting challenge. Having to find not one, but two separate stories, was a challenge I have not been faced with before. I think that it made me better though because I had to utilize a plan C.

The growth that I got from PACKAGE1 to PACKAGE2 is evident to me because I moved on from sports to a human interest story that I truly enjoyed. The second package was a story about my high school teacher whose son is battling cancer.  It’s a story I have followed since the beginning. I truly enjoyed who I worked with and how I got to know the situation and gain perspective on a community I am closed tied to.

The NEWSBREAK was an entirely different situation. I have never done any live TV of any sort before in my life and it was so intimidating but also amazing at the same time because it was a blast and it confirmed what I want to do with my career. This class helped me grow so much in my journalism career and I am so glad to have been given this opportunity.

Dr. Collins, Thank you for everything.

-Jackson Schneider

This semester has been a true whirlwind. Being in 18 credit hours and classes that I have been challenged by all semester long with having the opportunity to be elected to two different campus organizations executive boards. I am lucky for all the experience KU has offered me including journalism 550. This class was easily the hardest journalism class I have taken at KU. It challenged what I already knew about reporting and opened my eyes to so many different things. More then that it gave me a group of people who turned into life long friends. I feel so lucky that our class got so close and that from our first video essays to our news breaks we were all in it together.

Video Essay

Our first assignment was our video essay. This ended up being my favorite project we did. For Dr. Collins being new to KU it was fun to describe the idea of what Allen field house is and the traditions behind it. This video project was a fun topic to cover and I had plenty of video to choose from. I did forget my tripod so many of my shots are shaky. If I could redo it I would bring the tripod and and sure volume levels are correct so you can’t hear my voice in the background.

VO and Vosotsvo 1

Our next assignment was to do a VO and Vosotvo. I was very nervous about this assignment. At this point in the semester in terms to this class I felt as though I was drowning, I was overwhelmed and didn’t think I was qualified for this class. I had never written a script before and had no idea what I was doing. I felt better because the entire class was unsure exactly what we were doing. I felt like we were all struggling together. We kept being reassured that we would not drown we were learning to swim. For this one I chose to cover the flu and how to stay healthy. This was a big topic at the time due to the time of the year. My interview was not the greatest but I enjoyed going up in front of the class and reading my script. It was the first time that I felt like being a reporter was a capable goal.

VO and Vosotvo 2

The second VO and Vosotvo I was feeling better then the first. I felt as though I had a better understanding of what I was doing. This time I chose to do it on students choosing housing for the upcoming year. I was also in the process of signing a lease at the time so that helped with my inspiration for this one. I interviewed one guy first but sadly the interview didn’t record sound. I learned from that quickly to never leave an interview without checking and having headphones in while it records. In the mess of that not recording we also had two snow days at KU both falling on our class days. This through the class for a loop but we were able to Skype with Dr, Collins which was helpful to get feedback on what we were doing. My biggest regret and mistake of this package was not getting enough footage. I had a minimal amount to choose from. I believe it could have been better but it was a learning point for me.

VO and Vosotvo 3

This VO and Vosotvo we were not allowed to do the same topic. I was originally worried about coming up with two different story idea but it turned out being easier then expected. KU had just won the big 12 for the 14th straight season and I believed that would be a great VO to cover. I got some good shots but Allen Fieldhouse is very restricted and was hard to get in to take video. This was an added challenge but I believe with that I still persevered and got a good video. This was also the first assignment where I was more confident in my scripts. After spending Mondays in the news room writing scripts along with doing them for class I felt as though I was able to write a more conversational script. For the vosotvo which ended up being my favorite vosotvo I did was my friend Taylor who was auditioning for the bachelor of fine arts program at KU. It was a different type of subject then I had done before but I believe that’s why I liked it so much. There was a lot of movement as I got the chance to film parts of the dance she was preforming for the audition. If I could do it again I would make this vosotvo into a full package along with that I would like to get better angels of different movements. This was the point in the class I was starting to swim. I was still struggling a little but learning to swim slowly but surely.

Package 1

The package was a daunting task of the class. I knew that we were working up to it but at some points it felt like I would never be able to do a full package. For this we got to to work with our partners and I was lucky enough to be paired with Katie. She was an awesome partner and we worked very well together. We chose to do ours on the no smoking policy that will be implemented this upcoming summer. We focused mainly on e-cigerttes and vaping which is a common activity amongst students. During this project I had to do the most research out of all of the videos we had made so far. I wanted to make sure that we got all the facts right about the policy and what students could expect. I felt as though we got interviews that we were able to work with. The standup was an added stress because neither Katie nor I had ever done one before but it ended up being a lot of fun going out and shooting it. I thought this package came together really well. It was a large help having a partner for the first one to get our feet wet in making these packages.

Package 2

The second package we were on our own to shoot, write our script and edit. This was the first time we were completely on our own with little to no guidance and it tested our abilities to build off everything we had learned this entire semester and put it into one final package that would go into our live news breaks. I chose my package idea after seeing tours on campus and remembering my first tour at KU and falling in love immediately. I am an out of state student and know many others who are also from out of state so I went deeper and did some research about the increasing trend at KU of out of state students. I was lucky enough to score an interview with the senior associate director of admissions. She was one of the best interview I was able to get all semester. It was clear interviewing her how much she cared about each students that walked through the doors at KU. I had a few shaky shots in this video which I wasn’t thrilled about but I was working with weather and wind. I also thought that audio levels were okay but when played later in my news break the interviews were quiet. This is now something that I will always check. Little things that you learn along the way that once it happens once you will never forget.

News breaks 

The news break were the end goal of the semester and I doubted many time we would ever be able to pull off a newscast but we did it! I am beyond proud of our class and myself for coming as far as we did. One of my biggest struggles is talking to fast when I present, read out loud, talk, really anything. This is a continuing problem I will be working on and practicing. It was helpful to have classmates encouraging me along the way. We each were there for each other and without all the teamwork these wouldn’t have been possible. For me the hardest part of the news breaks was the weather. I was unsure how to best read the weather to make it interesting for a viewer. Going back and rewatching my news break I can see places I can improve like moving my papers and talking to fast. This was an amazing opportunity though that a JOUR 550 class hadn’t gotten to do before.

WOW! Looking back at this blog and seeing all that we have done and all that I have accomplished this semester I am still in shock. This was easily the hardest class I was in this semester but also the most rewarding. I came out of class a better journalist but also a better person. I learned life lessons and had deep and meaningful talks with both Dr. Collins and with my fellow classmates. This class challenged me academically but also personally. I grew as a person and I feel as though I can come out of this class saying that I am better because of it and each and every person in this class has made that possible. This class turned into a family that will never be broken. It is sad to see us all go our separate ways. Saying goodbye for the summer is always hard but it is harder this year knowing that I won’t be returning this fall to this same JOUR 550 class filled with so much love and passion. I feel so lucky that I took 550 when I did and that I had the chance to take it from Dr. Collins. She was an inspiration everyday to live life to the fullest and to not take a moment for granted. This is something I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I would finally just like to thank everyone in this class and most importantly Dr. Collins for bringing us all together to make this amazing and swimming family we are.


Caroline Appleby

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Time flies – a self reflection by Cain

What a semester. This was a class and a teacher like no other. Never did I expect to meet a person like you, Dr. Janice Collins, who will always have an impact on my life. You taught us lifelong lessons that few teachers care to teach, and you were an example of how to try to live one’s best life. Always smiling… It’s seems like our time in class together was short, but I guess time flies when you’re having fun. It’s hard for me to sum up the semester knowing that you’re not coming back to KU, but I know we’ll see each other again in the future. I’m just really happy to have met you!

Now lets get into the nitty gritty. I took journalism 550 already with a beginners understanding of video editing and broadcast writing. During this course, I practiced while working in the newsroom and while doing class projects (creating VOs, VOSOTs, packages, etc.). I learned a lot from my mistakes in this class and feel a lot more confident with making videos.

Video Essay – “Good Morning Procrastination”

The first project we did was the video essay. It was very open ended, so I just made a very basic video about sleeping in. I got shots that I thought told a story about hearing your alarm go off and choosing to stay in bed instead of starting your morning. My shots didn’t explicitly convey that message though. I learned the importance of carefully choosing shots that make the message easy to comprehend, especially when there is no dialogue. I had things that were related to the message, but they were too ambiguous to move the narrative. In retrospect, there’s a lot of shots I wish I’d add and replace in the video to make the message clearer.

You can watch the video below.

First VO and VOSOTVO – KU Bus Drivers on Ice

Filming my first VO and VOSOT was fun and stressful. I had a very short time to prepare my tripod and camera for the SOT because the bus driver was on a tight schedule so my interview shot had terrible lighting. I learned not to shoot someone with bright lights behind them. I talked to him a lot before while he was driving and told him the type of questions I’d be asking, so he had time to think about them. I think because of this, he gave me some really good responses to my questions. Dr. Collins always talked about warming the interviewee up and making them feel comfortable on camera so they’ll look relaxed on it too. A couple of my other shots were overexposed which I just need to pay closer attention too while filming in the future. While writing the script, I really focused on writing towards my video. After this video, I started writing my script before I went out to shoot though.

You can watch the videos below.

Second VO and VOSOTVO – “Comfortable” Album Release

The next VO and VOSOT I made was about the release of the album “Comfortable,” recorded and produced by local KC artists Campaign Maka and Glokage. I got a really good interview with Maka and some decent B-roll, but I should’ve gotten better shots of Maka recording in his studio or working on his computer. I think I had a good variety of shots and angles, but I could’ve had more action in my video. I also needed to look at my white balance or color correction because the color looks off in some shots. Overall, I liked the VO and VOSOT. I got a really good soundbite from my interviewee, so he really made the video more exciting. Again, I need to be more deliberate with the shots I pick though.

You can watch the videos below.

One Day, One KU VO

This video was easy to film for because I just focused on getting a lot of wide, medium, and tight shots of the flags and the sign explaining the fundraiser. I already had a script written, so I knew what shots I needed to get to match VO. I wish I had gotten a SOT for this one because I saw the faculty putting the flags into the grass earlier in the day before I filmed. I didn’t have my camera or tripod with me at the time though, so I couldn’t do it. I think this was one of my best VOs just because the white balance and color is good. I put a lot of thought into framing too, but I probably could’ve had shots that were better framed. Overall, I was really happy with this VO.

You can watch it below.

Unpacking Whiteness VOSOTVO

This VOSOTVO was also pretty easy to film. I got shots of the panel, the crowd, and the event’s pamphlet. I don’t have a good zoom on my camera, so it was hard for me to get tight shots of the speakers. I also should have had natsound of the people talking quietly in the background. Writing the script for this was tough because it’s a touchy subject and I didn’t know how much detail I needed to go into. Dr. Collins stressed using the pregnant I (sell, tell summarize), but with a topic like this, it was hard to decide a sequence to tell the details in. I also wish I had’ve gotten an interview with one of the panelists, but my camera died while I was shooting. Instead I used my phone to interview someone who had went to the event. Also at the beginning of the video, I did a tilt, which Dr. C always says not to do. I don’t know if it hurt the video here, but I don’t think it did anything to necessarily help it either. Still, I liked the end result of the video.

You can watch it below.

Justice For All Package

I really enjoyed working with my partner Tiffany on this. We had to go all the way to plan C, but we made it work. We filmed the exhibit that the organization Justice For All erected on campus called the Art of Life. We got three interviews easily because there were volunteers all around the exhibit. We got a lot of wide, medium, and tight shots of everything around the exhibit too. Some of the shots weren’t white balanced which I need to always remember to do. Tiffany and I also worked together on making the actual package. It was nice working together because we got to see each others workflow. Writing the script for this was hard because we were scrambling to find a story after our first ideas fell through. I was still really happy with our script though and the package as a whole.

You can check it out here.

Pause 4 Pups Package

I made my second package by myself which was pretty difficult. I wanted to do a standup bridge because I liked the one I did in the previous package. I didn’t have anyone with me though so it was hard to get a good video of me and the dog. I got some really great B-roll shots and even better interviews. Everyone I interviewed gave me really good responses to my questions which made it easy fit into my script. I had already written parts of my script before going to the event. After filming there, I just added more details to the script that I learned while I was there. I really enjoyed making this video because I really like dogs. Like I’m actually about to buy one next week (so drop potential dog names in the comments). I also found it was really easy to get B-roll because there’s so much action in the shots with the dogs. The last shot was in auto focus, so it goes in and out of focus when the dog gets closer to the camera. I was trying to do a rack focus type of effect, but it didn’t really work. I was still really happy with my final package.

You can watch it here.

Jayhawk News Break

This was definitely my favorite part of the class. Working with my classmates in the studio was awesome. I enjoyed working audio, being producer, and monitoring the set as floor director or camera monitor. As floor director, I felt like the hype man for all the anchors, and I hope that I actually did help bring a little more energy into their news break. I liked being producer because I felt like I was in control of the show. I also really enjoyed anchoring. I’ve never been camera shy, but I’ve always had trouble bring the type of energy an anchor has on television. I think I’m starting to learn how to have that trustworthy and welcoming demeanor though. I really liked doing the weather. I wanted to freestyle it, and I did. I think I should have prepared more by watching more weatherman talk about it because I didn’t know enough short punchlines to make the weather informative and entertaining. I need to practice how comfortable I look on camera too. I felt relaxed, but I shuffled through my papers on set. That will obviously just come with practice, and I’m looking forward to doing it more in the future. It was cool to do and my first time ever being the anchor of a news break.

You can watch the video below.

This class has inspired me to want to create my own show for KUJH. I’ve already started planning and proposing it to our news director. I’m really interested in producing, directing, and anchoring. I feel like this class gave me so many opportunities to fail safely, but, more importantly, to learn. I’m so glad that Dr. Collins graced her presence out here in Lawrence, Kansas, and left us all a little more wiser. We’ll miss you :'(


Cain Lever

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Courtney Johnson Final Reflection

Do you want to swim or drown?

The moment Dr. Collins asked my class if we ever used Adobe Premiere and I was the only student that didn’t raise their hand, I knew I was already behind. This semester has been nothing short of a challenge for me, but also nothing short of a blessing for me.

The first assignment was the video essay. I knew what I wanted to do the video on, but I asked Dr. Collins constant questions until I felt I was ready to shoot. I thought I needed more examples so I could have the perfect project. It was a struggle for me because it didn’t get a variety of wide, medium and tight shots. I learned my lesson.

The next assignment was VO’s and VOSOTVO’s. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to drown because I never did an actual VO or VOSOTVO before this class. This was my third time filming and I’m proud of how my shots improved.


By the time the second VO and VOSOTVO came around, I thought I had everything under control because I filmed the majority of my video early, except my interview because I forgot the mic. I rescheduled my interview for the following week and it was just my luck that Kansas had an ice storm. I literally filmed my interview thirty minutes before my meeting with Dr.Collins. I learned to double check everything from my experience with this VO and VOSOTVO.

The third VO and VOSOTVO had to be two different topics. I got nervous because I just started improving my script writing and knowing I had to do two… man… can you say throw the lifejacket. I did both my VO and VOSOTVO on student events because I thought students would love to see things that could each week or month. My filming became easier and all I needed to remember was say it, see it. It slowly became easier for me as I continued to do more VO’s and VOSOTVO’s.

Next up, are the Packages! I never did a package before this class, but I got to the point in the semester where I would just have to do it. I have to give a lot of credit to my partner Emma, she made this possible. I came up with an idea to shoot and that fell through but Emma saved the day. I thought the stand-ups were fun and added life to the package.

For my second package, I had no idea what to do my package on. I choose at the last minute to do it on the Persian New Year, Nowruz. When I say I didn’t know anything about Persian culture,    I mean it. I wouldn’t let that stop me from getting my story though. I learned a lot about Persian culture and got to tell a story. While making this package I finally got the courage to just do everything on my own and not ask a billion questions. I just had to do it and keep working until I thought it was perfect.

All of those projects prepared us for our Jayhawk Newsbreaks. I enjoyed doing the newsbreak because we wrote, edited and produced them all ourselves, not too many can say they did that. I believe working the newsroom shifts and gaining a lot of camera experience made me want to do this more.

This class has made a huge impact on me this semester. I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to become a journalist. I’ve gained a great group of friends and met one of the best professors in journalism. Dr. Collins saw the potential and drive that we had allowed us to grow.  At first, I thought this would be extremely hard because we didn’t know Dr. Collins and she was new to KU’s program, but I can say she is one of the main reasons I want to stick to journalism. Yes, she is successful, but she sees what other professors don’t see in many students and that is opportunity.

She is an inspiring person that challenges her students for all the right reasons. It is because of her that I know how to do VO’s, VOSOTVO’s and Packages. I wrote, edited and produced my own newsbreak, which is something I never even thought of doing. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Collins. I know we’ll see each other soon.

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Kathy Wong Final Reflection

It’s hard to believe that this is the final reflection that I’m writing for this class. It seems like just yesterday that we all started and was told that we had to learn how to swim. It’s been quite a journey and it’s been a fun one. We’ve worked on so many different projects this year and with each one, I’ve seen myself get better and better. From being someone with zero video experience to doing my own news break. I feel pretty accomplished. I’ve made so many lasting relationships in this class and with the aid of Dr. Collins I’m ready to tackle any challenge ahead.

My first assignment was a video essay and looking back at it now I remember the struggles that I had with finding an idea and shooting the video. I remember that my two previous ideas had fallen through and then with this one I had to reshoot the video three times because I wasn’t happy with the results. I wasn’t very familiar with premiere either, so it took me quite a few hours to edit the video. With this video essay, I learned that my shots need to be able to breathe.

The next assignment was our VO. I remember freaking out over the weekend trying to think of a good idea. Thankfully we had some snow and I decided to whip out my camera and walk around campus. Once again it took me hours to film and afterward I couldn’t even feel my hands. I really liked the shots I took and had fun. I just really liked how the snow created this beautiful landscape all around me.

Our next assignment was a VOSOTVO and I decided to detail the icy conditions around campus. Once again I spent several hours outside filming. I felt like I didn’t get enough shots on the first day, but heard there was more snow coming the next. However, it didn’t snow the next day and the snow had begun melting. I ran around and decided to get some tight shots of areas with some snow. Eventually, I was able to get all the shots needed and put it all together. This time around I was more at ease with premiere, but it still took me a little longer than everyone else.

My second VO was about the natural history museum. I really enjoyed walking through the museum and looking at all the displays. It was tough to decide which shots I wanted to use since there was so many that I liked. Knowing my way around premiere now, I was even able to teach what I’d learned to some of my classmates. I learned that I need to be more confident in presenting in front of the class,  and decided to work on that more.

My second VOSOTVO was over an event hosted by the Natural History Museum. I had fun looking at the fossils and seeing the excitement on the students’ faces. I took a variety of shots and all at varying angles. I tried to get some tight shots of the faces of students and their awe at looking at the cool fossils, but it was hard for me to get a good angle. I was able to put all the videos together and it went even faster than it did before.

For all of these previous assignments I had learned that I really needed to let my shots breath, so I tried even harder to do that with these last few.

For our final VO, I decided to show the construction around the Central District. I remember creeping around the construction sites and stepping through the muddy terrain to get these shots. I was worried that they’d shoo me away from the site, but luckily they didn’t. The problem that I always have with any of these projects is that I always take an abundance of shots and then am unable to decide which ones to use with the limited time constraint that we have.

For our final VOSOTVO, I decided to film what students are doing before Spring Break. For most of my shots, I stood at a second story window in Anschutz library and shot the video looking down at students on the floor below, that way I would be able to get some tight shots of their face and emotions while studying. I liked how all of my tight shots turned out and was able to experiment with a lot of different shots.

Our first package was an interesting topic. My first idea was whether students and professors are affected by daylight savings time, however, I was unable to get into contact with any professors. It was by sheer luck that I stumbled upon this exhibit outside of the j-school and I couldn’t thank the heavens enough. The topic was about abortion, so I knew I’d get plenty of good soundbites. This was also the first time that I did a standup and I wasn’t too excited about it. I feel like I’m too awkward on camera, so I tend to stay away from it. While putting the package together I had so many good soundbites that I had a really hard time choosing what to cut. Our video turned out to be 2:45 with everything, which was way past the allotted time. So I painstakingly tried to find things that I could cut out. Although we did get it cut down, we had to talk real fast in order to get all of our scripts onto the track. Thus, our tracks sounded incredibly fast and our edits were as well.

A piece of our final project was another package. I had chosen an event at the Union, but when I got there to film, I found out that the event was canceled. I started to panic and freak out, worrying that I wouldn’t find anything else. On my way back to return my equipment, I saw the students setting up this table and holding this event, so I decided to start filming. It was hard for me to get the right angle to get a good shot of the action, but I managed and was happy with the results I got. Looking at this package in comparison to my last one, I can see a lot of improvement. My track didn’t sound rushed, although my voice is a little soft in comparison to the action in the videos.

I was extremely nervous about our news breaks. I feel like I’m a really awkward person on camera and I also get really self-conscious. I stumbled at times on the words and I did look like a deer in the headlights in the beginning, but I managed to tamper down my nerves and “perform” like Dr. Collins said. I made some stumbles during the weather, but everything else went smoothly. I found that after the initial nerves, I did feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. What I’d like to work more on is looking more natural on camera. I looked much too stiff and didn’t smile a lot. I noticed from watching everyone else’s news breaks that they seemed to be more comfortable and at ease, so I’d definitely like to work on that. I think the news breaks were a great experience and I’d love to try it again.

Each of these projects helped me grow more and more and helped me come more out of my shell. I got to meet so many cool people and became friends with everyone in class. This whole semester has been an incredible learning experience. I’d like to thank Dr. Collins for all of her help this semester. Without her encouragement and positivity, I don’t think I’d ever been able to make it through the semester. She was always my biggest supporter and I’ll be sad to see her go. She was the best mentor anyone could ask for and I’ve learned so much under her care and guidance. So, thank you so much. This is Kathy Wong and I’m signing off one last time for Off the Shelf and Online.


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End of the Road – Tiffany’s Final Reflection

Wow, what a semester!

This was my only class I took, but having a full-time job at KSNT News made it somewhat stressful. I started as a Breaking News Producer, working primarily on the web and going out to cover breaking news scenes if no reporter was available. Now I’m training to become the new Morning Producer and will take on producing the morning show on my own.

Despite how stressful juggling this class and my job was, Dr. Collins was an amazing professor. She had to juggle learning the ropes of our journalism department at KU, as well as helping us become better journalists.

The first assignment was the video essay. At first, I was unsure what to do for this even though it was probably the easiest assignment. At work, I got sent to cover a church that caught fire. With Dr. Collins’s permission, I used that video for the video essay assignment.

Our second assignment was to do a VO and VOSOTVO on the same topic. Since flu season was in full force, I was wondering how gyms were dealing with it and what precautions they were taking.

There was confusion when it came to set up an interview. The staff at the rec center thought I was wanting to talk more on the medical side, but my focus was on the gym (working out while sick, wiping down equipment, etc.). It eventually all worked out and I got some good video and an interview.

With the second VO/VOSOTVO assignment, I panicked a little about finding something. Luckily, at work I covered this groundbreaking ceremony a church put on. That day was so windy, dirt was blowing everywhere. So while dirt was blowing into my face, I tried to keep my shots as steady as possible. I was also dealing with clouds moving in and out, so the lighting in some of my shots was a little bad.

For the third VO/VOSOTVO, we had to do different topics. Initially I thought this would be easy because I wouldn’t have to do an interview. My thought process behind that was to cover the last women’s basketball home game and use soundbites from the post game press conference. I then remembered I would have to transcribe that entire press conference and almost all of those questions weren’t mine.

I decided to switch and make the game my VO. Jose actually had the same idea so we both covered that game. It was cool to see how our minds worked and the different shots we used; really cool to see that play out. I was happy to be covering a sporting event because in previous semesters my focus was on sports.

As for the VOSOTVO, I chose to cover one of the veggie lunches the Ecumenical Campus Ministries puts on every Thursday. The interview went smoothly, but getting shots was a struggle for me. The tripod I had was so unstable it made my shots shaky. Some of my shots were also dark. I was kind of disappointed with how it turned out because I knew I could have done better.

I was excited to move on from the VOs and VOSOTs and start doing packages!

Cain was a great partner and was very helpful. Our first idea was to cover how law enforcement was preparing for March Madness. Then we switched focus to how bars were preparing for it. Cain was able to get some video over the weekend since I worked and wasn’t able to. He eventually suggested a new idea to me…our Plan C! Again, with both of our schedules he was able to go shoot video and 3 interviews easily, as the Justice For All Group was on the Stauffer-Flint lawn.

We worked together to write the script and help each other with our stand-ups. Some shots weren’t white balanced properly, but shooting video outside can be challenging. All in all, I think we did a good job working together to make the first package.

Then came our second package. This was done individually, which in my opinion, was less stressful because we didn’t have to coordinate with our partners. Everyone has such different and busy schedules

However, this package brought more stress than I had anticipated. Once again, my first two plans fell through and I went to Plan C.

I was so excited for my Plan A and am still sad it fell through. I was on the app Nextdoor and came across a post coordinating a walking group. It got lots of engagement and so I took a shot and emailed the woman that posted it. Right away she was willing to do the story. It was difficult trying to find a day they were walking that was also on my day off (and also was on a day with good weather…). I met the woman near the Levee Cafe, just north of the river. The issue was it was only her and one other woman. I worked with what I had and got great shots, hoping to attend another walking session with more people.

Well, I met her again and it was only her. She wasn’t very happy and said she wasn’t going to put in the effort anymore if nobody was going to show up. She was very sweet and sympathetic, apologizing my story didn’t work out.

Then it was on to Plan B. When I first moved to Lawrence, I was very into health and fitness. I came across this company called Fitness Kitchen that makes healthy meals and packages them up to sell. They seemed excited that I wanted to do a story about them, but they were very slow in responding to my messages. The Sunday before the package was due, I decided I would have to move to Plan C.

It all fell right into place that Sunday. At work, I was sent to cover a veteran that was turning 100. As soon as I walked in, one of the employees was extremely helpful and eager to help me do this story. Without asking me about it, he immediately grabbed family members and asked if I could talk to them, basically doing the hard part for me! It then clicked that this would be my package.

I interviewed, Art, the veteran turning 100, his brother and two of his sons. I didn’t do a standup because I was pressed for time, as I had to write and edit this as a VOSOT for our 5 p.m. show. Everything worked out and I’m so happy I used this story for my package.

I was very excited to do the news breaks because I want more practice anchoring. I found it hard to time everything right and I was short for both news breaks. In the second news break, the teleprompter wasn’t loaded for my news break. I pointed it out a few minutes before I was set to go, but I don’t think anyone heard me. I then got distracted when I saw we had an IFB, so as I was adjusting that I had less than 30 seconds to get back in my spot. My rundown still wasn’t loaded and we went right into my news break and I pointed it out live on air, without realizing we were live. I quickly heard Dr. Collins in my ear telling me to keep going and I was mad at myself that I didn’t realize I could easily look down at my scripts.

Luckily, my package was the first thing to run, so the person running teleprompter was able to get my rundown loaded before I was back on camera. Everything else went smoothly, other than the fact that I was about 30 seconds short.

This class left a huge impact on me. Being older than everyone, I felt pretty out of place and felt as if I wouldn’t be able to connect with anyone. I was completely wrong. This class was hands down, the best group of people I’ve ever had a class with. I formed great friendships and connections that I’ll always treasure and hope we can continue to talk to each other and meet up every now and then.

Dr. Collins is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to be in her class. She made sure to make everyone feel that they matter. She spoke with everyone individually and took the time to get to know us. She didn’t have to do any of that, but listening to her stories and just observing her, I learned she’s an incredible person and genuinely cares. She wants to make a difference in everyone’s lives and I find that so inspiring.

When I was offered a full-time gig at KSNT, I was so nervous signing my contract. I trusted her and asked if she could help me look it over. She went through each page and pointed out things to me I didn’t understand. She also pushed me to gather the courage to ask for what I want. I was scared about signing a three-year contract and she gave me advice on how to negotiate it down.

On the last day of class, she did something I’ve never experienced a professor do. She wrote down messages for each of us and read them out loud. Walking in that day, I didn’t expect to cry, but I started to feel a little emotional listening to her and especially when she started crying. Being in such a big college, it’s hard to make connections with your professors, but Dr. Collins made it a priority to form connections with each one of us. I’m forever grateful for her and I’m so sad to see her leave. She’s a great professor and an even better person.

Thank you Dr. Collins for believing in us. Thank you for making me believe in myself and making sure I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Smiling….Tiffany Littler.

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Aksinya Kichigina| The End of The Semester

I chose this photo for a reason…because we look unprepared, funny, and all different!

Wow! What a semester…Overall, it was AMAZING! If I go back to the beginning of the semester, I thought I wouldn’t do well in this class…I didn’t think I wouldn’t learn a lot, but I only knew/thought that it would be so difficult to keep up with all the work that was outlined to us and, at the same time, earn a good grade. But, I proudly can say that my hard work, passion and love for journalism, and my desire to learn and become better paid off. However, without Dr. Collins’s support, her inspiration, hard work and passion, I could not achieve everything. This class wasn’t just about attending the class and earning grades…this class was about gaining experience and knowledge, learning to be ethical and professional, multitasking, critical-thinking and resolution. I don’t know if it’s a right thing to write about Dr. Collins and how inspirational she was…but I guess I’d love to…not because I want a better grade…laughing…but because Dr. Collins should know it.

Dr. Collins is a totally different professor compared to the professors I have had in some of my classes. Besides being a truly happy person, she is amazingly kind and sweet to everyone; she is supportive and carrying; she is a strong and tough woman on the outside, but on the inside, she is emotional, generous, and sincere…and I loved it about her. Thank you, Dr. Collins, for everything…you are in my heart.

As we began this semester, I realized we would have to do a lot of work…and our first assignment was a video essay. This assignment, itself, wasn’t difficult; instead, it was interesting to do. We had to make a story using only footage.


I didn’t have issues filming this video essay; I actually enjoyed it because I spent a couple of hours at South Park filming children playing and having fun. When I began editing my footage, I did not have any troubles. For some reason, I felt confident. Though, my challenge was to pick good shots. I always tend to have a lot of footage, which makes it harder for me to pick the best shots. Despite this, I put b-rolls together and began writing my script. I will admit that it was challenging to keep 3C’s in mind. But, I think I was able to accomplish it. When it was the day to present, I did not feel as nervous as I felt during my first VO and VOSOTVO. I felt happy inside because I was able to accomplish the first goal… and this assignment was just the start.

The next assignment we had to do was VO and VOSOTVO…and we had to learn new information, keep up with that information, and also do great. I learned about the structure of Pregnant I, as well as the formula for VO and VOSOTVO and their elements.

https://youtu.be/xoH9hDpO8e0– VOSOTVO

https://youtu.be/FsqcI51-vmQ– VO

This assignment also was quite challenging for me to complete. As Dr. Collins said at the beginning, “You always need to have a plan A, B, C, and D.” So, since that day I try to follow her advice. When I decided to film my VO and VOSOTVO on the Virtual Reality event, I got so excited. I reserved the equipment, contacted a coordinator two days before the event began, and had a good spirit. However, when it was the day to film, the coordinator emailed me and said that the event was postponed. I felt desperate at the moment, but I had to follow with a plan B. So, I decided to do a story about this year’s flue activity. First I contacted the Watkins Health Center, but the administrator told that all the physicians were busy and could not have time for an interview. After I heard it, I began to panic. I only had half of the day to find a story idea and film it. Then, a couple of my co-workers told me that there was a Career Fair going on at the Union. So, I rushed to grab my equipment and go to the Union. I got a lot of footage that day; but I didn’t know how it would turn out. When I got back to my office, I checked my footage right away and felt some sort of relief. Next day, I began a writing and editing process. When it was the day to perform, I felt nervous. I was not confident in my story. I read through the script so quick, I believe, and I stumbled a couple of times. My timing did not work out either, and I also did not have a patting at the end. Another problem was overlaying a SOT with a b-roll that didn’t make an impact on the video. I also realized after watching my video was that my edits were also too quick. I learned something new and keep carrying it on with me.

Overall, this first VO and VOSOTVO was a learning experience for me, and it was so important to have Dr. Collins’s critique….and I believe I was always trying to listen to her advices and follow them.

As we moved forward, we reached our third assignment or the second VO/VOSOTVO. This video project could’ve been done better but it was just another learning experience for me. If I improved in one thing, there was still something left or new I had to perfect.

https://youtu.be/bmUIpajejTU– VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/rsnxtJw154Q– VO

The second VO and VOSOTVO felt less stressful or challenging, though I experienced some troubles as well. What I liked the most about this assignment was the individual time that we had with Dr. Collins. She was able to explain each student what she or he needs to improve or continue working on. Personally, I found it beneficial to me and my work. The original idea for my second VO and VOSOTSO was supposed to be a celebration of Chinese New Year at the Plaza Library. However, this plan fell through because I was not allowed to fil inside of the library. Then, when I came to Kansas City for the weekend, I had no choice but to film something there. Fortunately, weakened turned out to be nice and warm; that’s when I realized that it could be a great story to film. I came down to Loose Park in Kansas City and began gathering footage. It was an enjoyable time. My next step was to write a script. During the process, I repeatedly read out loud to make sure I sounded conversational. However, as Dr. Collins noticed in our Skype meeting, my script was written for a meteorologist rather than an anchor. Then, Dr. Collins began giving me various ideas on how I could improve it. While we had only 30 minutes, we had accomplished a lot. I revised my script a couple of times and made sure everything was clear and concise. When the writing part was done, I began editing. After a couple of days, Dr. Collins sent us a document with her critique to each work. I believe it helped everyone learn something new from each other’s work. What I had to improve for my third VO and VOSOTVO was to let shots break for a second or two because viewers have to see a story not a number of different b-rolls. Also, I learned that I need to avoid cutaways. Individual meeting was a great help to improve out writing, editing or reporting skills, as well as learn new things. So, a big thank you to Dr. Collins for that.

Our last VO/VOSOTVO was fun to make because it had to be two separate stories.

https://youtu.be/UxCzElfTouk– VoSotVo


The third VO and VOSOTVO was an opportunity for us to show what we have learned based on Dr. Collins’s feedback and critique. This time we had to do a VO and VOSOTVO on a sepearte subject. For some reason, maybe because I had a good spirit, I was lucky to schedule an interview with an assistant general manager of IHOP on Tuesday when the National Pancake Day happened. I did not struggle with filming, plus my interview seemed to go smooth. However, as soon as I checked my footage when I got to school, I noticed that audio of the interview disappeared by itself. I was almost crying. I tried various ways to improve the audio, but nothing seemed to work. Therefore, I decided to reschedule an interview. Next day, the manager did not seem happy, and she strictly gave me 2 minutes to film the interview. I felt nervous. Though, I was able to manage ask some good question, and even pick a good soundbite. When I began my writing, I did not struggle with writing conversational. I always pretend that I am talking to someone and telling him a story of what happened today. Actually, I learned from Dr. Collins. When I presented my VOSOTVO in class, I did not feel too nervous. Though, I could have slowed down a little bit while reading my script. My other mistake that Dr. Collins pointed out was spelling. So, this means I need to always double-check my spelling of lower thirds. Overall, I am satisfied with my third VOSOTVO. For my VO, I chose to do a story about kids exploring their DNA. I was lucky enough to be able to film children; but before, I had to ask a permission from their parents. Whenever I deal with children I enjoy filming. Therefore, I had some good shots to pick for my VO. Also, as I began writing my script, I felt that there were a couple of time where my writing could have been improved…and thankfully, after Dr.Collins graded this two video projects, she was about to make corrects in my script and give an overall feedback. I believe this VO/VOSOTVO were the best out of other VOs/VOSOTVOs.After these assignments, we finally moved on to News Packages!

Before we could go to our Spring Break, we had to complete our first news package. We all had a partner, which was nice to get some extra help. My package was about an interesting and fun event. The local Pet World hosted an educational event for the community.

https://youtu.be/3V9wQxM17TA– News Package

Oh, boy! This package was quite difficult to put together. First of all, my plan A or B did not work…and I had only 2 days to find another story, film and interview people. Luckily, I reached out to Pet World in Lawrence, and its manager let me come in and film “Feature Creature.” I felt comfortable recording kids holding a python, interviewing workers and a visitor with her daughter. When I begin writing the script, it was a little bit a challenge because I was stressed. I was stressed because I had limited time and some issues with audio. Though, as I finished writing my script, I felt great about it. However, as I showed my package to class, Dr. Collins was able to notice some mistakes within my work. For example, I had a jump cut, and during my stand-up I did not look at the camera as much. Other than that, I was happy with the outcome of my first news package in this class. However, I knew I could do a better job…and it was my goal to perfect the second news package.

https://youtu.be/mnGd8Yg9nTk– News Package (Final)

As we came back from the Spring Break, we had to do another news package, the final one, as well as practice our first news break. But before I begin writing how I completed my final news break, I will write about my final package called “Easter Egg Hunt in Lawrence.” Overall, I think it was my best work I’ve done. My plan A worked perfectly! I went to South Park to film Easter celebration of the Lawrence community. That day was so sunny and bright that it was hard for me to see on the screen what I was filming. I was irritated, but still tried to have positive attitude. This is something I need to work on…in any situation I need to stay optimistic. To write the script was natural for me…I learnt how to keep in mind that I need to write the way I’d say it, but after revise it. It is important to write a story rather than overwhelm myself with what I should say. To put my package together wasn’t challenging; instead, I tried to work ahead. However, I also was preparing for my first news break. Overall, my first news break was an interesting experience. I learned how to anchor, do weather, read scripts without relying on Teleprompter, be a camera operator and floor director.

https://youtu.be/RqmSjk229SI– Final News Break

The final project, which was the final news break, was awesome! I felt confident to anchor on camera, act natural, smile, and come up with stuff when I didn’t read a line for my weather forecast. I was prepared to present my final news package, CNN reader and weather. Luckily, when I made it on time, Dr. Collins was happy with the turnout. It made me happy! This final news break and package were two great things that I think I’ve done for this class in terms of assignments. But I think I’ve grown as a journalist a lot, which I am proud and thankful to Dr. Collins. I’ve honestly learnt a lot of great information in this class and also made great friends. Everything I’ve learn, I’ll keep in mind and carry it on with me.

Thank you, Dr. Collins, for everything.

Aksinya Kichigina

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Jose Montoya – JOUR 550 Final Reflection

This semester I decided to enroll in Journalism 550 taught by a visiting professor from Illinois. At the beginning I knew the basics of video production and had spent two years in the studio helping out at Media Crossroads in the library. I knew this was good experience, but didn’t implement it to pursue my career. To start, here’s a picture of me in early December with my favorite professor Dr. Bernie Kish.

Rock Chalk! 🔴🔵

A post shared by Jose Montoya (@talkinwithj) on

When I met Dr. Janice Collins she put a smile on my face. I was ready to start this class and work with many familiar faces. Before the class I knew Jasmine, Riley, Cassidy, Kathy, Patrick, Tyler and Jackson. Little did I know this group of friends would become very close and dear to my heart.

The first assignment our class completed was the Video Essay. I think this project was a fun way to get into the idea of “storytelling.” I decided to film a group of students playing frisbee. It was fun up until I lost my SD card. This meant that I had to use my other SD card with half of the footage that I had. Luckily the video wasn’t too long and I was able to turn in a pretty good video for my first one in the class.

This screenshot is from the video. It was a fun project to do and picking music to go along with the shots was pretty great as well. “Frisbee with Friends” and can be viewed below:

The next six videos our class completed were VO’s and VOSOTVO’s. I chose a few great topics for my videos and i am excited to reflect on them.

The first VO and VOSOTVO I did was very rushed. I had to work on a tight deadline since I was in Indianapolis from Thursday to Sunday and the project was assigned on Tuesday. I chose to talk about Greek Life KU and made a short video using B roll of a meeting from the Multicultural Greek Council.

The biggest lesson I learned from this project is that writing transcripts for each quote is difficult. My interview lasted about five minutes and Darius Jones (the person I interviewed) is very long winded. Therefore, I spent way too much time typing his answers for a short SOT I was going to use later. Either way, I learned more during the interview and had some footage of Darius to work with.

I don’t think I should have chose this as my topic, but I am glad I got it finished in time which helped me learn how to be proactive and prepared for the other video projects. The videos “Greek at KU VO” and “To be Greek at KU VOSOTVO” can be seen here:

The second VO AND VOSOTVO for this project was even easier than the first. I had plenty of time to work on it since we didn’t have class and it was the perfect story to tell. One thing I found out quickly is that 8am classes didn’t get canceled which meant students still had to go to class. I also had a lot of opportunities to get some great B roll.

The downfall of this assignment was the end result. First of all, many of my edits were too quick for the eye. While I was editing I thought they were fantastic and smooth, but after watching it again a few weeks later, I changed my mind. If I were to do this project again I would film the same amount of B-roll, but I would be more selective with my shots.

I thought this was perfect because I imagine that I was the only one shooting video in Lawrence about the school cancelations. #IGotTheBreakingNews

The videos I made, “Classes Canceled Tuesday VO” and “Students go to class before school cancellations VOSOTVO” can be seen below.

I think my interview was good and my NAT sound turned out awesome. On the grading rubric I was told I needed NAT sound so I thought that was weird since some great sound is there in the video. Even though I got a poor grade on this assignment, I think this is my favorite VOSOTVO of the year.

The next project let our class split of into two different topics. I chose basketball for my VO and Rise at St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO.

My VO turned out great for having shaky shots because I filmed without a tri-pod. I am very impressed that I got to work alongside Tiffany on this project. We both told different sides of the story and it was cool comparing our different VO’s while watching them on YouTube.

My VO, “KU WBB Senior Night VO,” can be watched below. I am very pleased with my script and how much I paid attention to details while presenting this project.

My VOSOTVO was very challenging because the talk I went to was in the dark and therefore I had to work with a different lighting compared to my other video projects.

My interview choice was excellent because he spoke that night and gave me a better idea of why this event was so important to St. Lawrence Center and KU. It was also a success because there were a lot of people there as well. I like how the video turned out, but if I could improve one thing, I would make my NAT sound go into the beginning of the video. This would have changed the mood almost instantly.


Then came spring break…..

I don’t know why I added more projects, but I had four major projects over the next month for different classes and team videos. It was difficult to handle, but it was helpful that I picked a package idea far in advance of the due date.

I decided to film Quidditch for my first Package. My AWESOME partner (Cassidy) and I killed it with an awesome script and some excellent B-roll of the Kansas Quidditch team playing in their annual Kansas Cup. We spent a lot of time filming various matches which helped while we were picking what shots to include in our package.

Another good thing that we did was interviewing. We shot six different interviews and they turned out fairly great. We decided to chose the best quotes even though some of the audio got caught by some wind while we were filming.

Shooting a stand-up was pretty different. I enjoyed doing one, but something didn’t turn out how we wanted…. Our audio didn’t work! I was so upset and fund out a few hours after filming. I decided to try to re-film on campus, but it didn’t have as cool of an effect. We decided to VO our stand-up and layered it over our voices. Obviously it didn’t work out too great, but I think it’s a funny story to learn the lesson about audio and filming stand-ups.

Either way, I am glad that my partner this semester was Cassidy. We have known each other for a little bit and have had some fun memories added to our list because of this class.

The video, “KU Club Quidditch,” is featured below:

After doing this video project and getting a good score, I was excited to start on a new package. I decided to film a Pooch Eggstravaganza over Easter weekend at South Park in Lawrence.

The dogs were soooo cute! I am so happy with the footage and the interviews I had, but my audio didn’t go well because the event played music the whole time. It was upsetting because my shots had different songs in them and could potentially distract the viewer while they are watching it.

Maybe I should have chosen a different idea, but I think it worked pretty great. I decided to shoot a stand-up and the same thing with the audio caused me to re-think adding it. After some thought, I decided against it and cut the TRT of my video by 9 seconds. Overall, this was an effective decision for my news break.

If I had to do this project again, I would have prepared myself by bringing headphones and talking to more people about their experience at the egg hunt. I had a lot of dog footage, but I didn’t interact with as many people as I hoped I would.

The package, “Dog Egg Hunt,” can brighten anyone’s day. Especially with the video of the dog barking at the end.

Holy cow! That was a lot of reflection and we still haven’t got to the news break.

What a perfect transition to talk about our famous in front of the camera part of the class. I really enjoyed doing the news break. Even though preparing for it seemed to take forever, I am glad it is over. My first run went “okay” at best. My classmates say I did well, but I didn’t think so.

My frustrations were with the timing of the show. I thought that I had everything timed out, but some things didn’t work out during my practice. I got upset and didn’t get to finish how I wanted to. Apparently I have a lot of energy so I guess that’s a pretty okay trait to have.

Attached below is my second news break which ended up being awesome!

The second news break went so much better! I wasn’t scheduled to go first, but I decided at the last minute to switch spots with Cain. He was an awesome classmate and let me go. I had a smooth run and was very pleased with the end result. Could have I done better? Sure, but at least I did something to improve my broadcast presence.

I think the part of the news break that was my favorite was the weather. I enjoyed tying sports to something that is vital to a newscast. Some people (Dr. Collins and every broadcast professional) would agree that weather is the biggest reason why people watch the news. I would agree.

Honestly this class was pretty fun and I am glad I did so much with so many great people. Meeting new people from different countries and states was an incredible experience.

The last part of this project was working on the Monday edition of KUJH. I think this was fun for the most part because I got to do it with some of my friends. Aksinya, Jackson and Kathy stayed for the show with me and Cain, Caroline and Olivia did things before the show with me. Even though I did an extra hour of work each week, I think it helped me prepare for the newscast and gave me a better idea of collegiate broadcast journalism.

I will forever remember this semester and the great connections and friends I made along the way. Thank you for everything you have done for me as a journalist and a future storyteller!

Smiling…… Jose Montoya

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Reflection 2 – Jasmine Keys

Whoo! Where do I begin…this has been a jam packed 3 months. I have sinked to the bottom of the ocean we are swimming but luckily I had a floaty. I lost my goggles, breathing mask and the actual group a couple of times but boy have I survived. I’ve learned so much in these last couple of months and know I have improved my skills. Everything that we have done has been a little more challenging but I know it will help us in the future. Continue reading

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Grant DeMars

I think that the video essay was a good project to start out with. I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted to do until I got to Clinton Lake and saw how cool the lake looked partially frozen over was. I think I got some good shots with great nat sound of the ice cracking as the water hit. However, as I moved around I think my white balance got a little messed up because I was shooting so much white, frozen ice. I definitely should have double checked it to make sure but thought it would’ve been fine since it was on auto.

Continue reading

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Self-Reflection 2: VO, VOSOTVO and Video Essay by Patrick Sullivan

Video Essay: “Ball Park”

The video essay was a great project to start the year off on. It really gave us a lot of room for creativity and the ability to make our own narrative and shoot footage for it. Usually it takes me awhile to come up with an idea of what I want to do for my assignments but for some reason this idea came to me fairly quickly. Continue reading

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Cassidy Ragland Self Reflection

Video Essay

For the video essay I was really nervous. I thought my topic was good, but I was nervous about using the camera equipment for the first time. I panicked a little when Dr. Collins said in class that we weren’t supposed to do pans. I had done pans when I had filmed the day before, so I was worried I wouldn’t have enough footage. I had plenty, so that was good. Using Premiere for the first time was extremely frustrating, because I was teaching myself and I felt like it took way too long to edit. But, I am proud of myself for learning and teaching myself. I took note of the things I needed to do, like have more of a variety of shots and to use video transitions, and I got ready for the first Vo and VoSotVo. Watch my video essay here. 

Vo & VoSotVo 1

Continue reading

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Reflection Blog 2- Olivia Roberts

Looking back on my videos, I think I have improved a lot in different aspects. These aspects would be my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence. The first aspect I think I’ve improved on would be my mentality. I have drastically improved in this part of my performance  because coming to this class, I didn’t even know what a VO or a VOSOTVO was. I didn’t know what the word stood for nor how to create one. So my mental state in J550 was full of anxiety, nervousness, questions, and doubt. I knew Dr. Collins expected a lot and so I knew I needed to step up and push myself to understand how to create these videos. I then became more nervous when I found out we had to create them every single week. My stress level rose a couple notches. Even though I emailed Dr. Colllins numerous amounts of times and asked a lot of questions, as well as stayed after class, I finally am now “swimming,” according to Dr. Collins.  The second aspect that I thought I have improved on would be my creativeness. After the first two weeks of presenting, I became more comfortable with my shooting. So as a student, I tried to develop my skill set and shoot more creative shots. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Trying to be more creative helped my editing as well. The third aspect that I have improved on would be my editing skills. My editing was not very good in the beginning. My editing skill set began with everything else, from the bottom.  Even though editing still takes a long time for me, I am becoming more comfortable with tools on Adobe and learning where how to navigate this website better. Getting better at editing has almost helped me advance my creativeness throughout my videos as well. The final aspect that has improved is my confidence. In the beginning, this class brought my confidence down a lot, especially as a journalist and student. But, I chose not to get discouraged and I worked really hard. I learned everything that I needed to know about VO and VOSOTVO’s within a couple of weeks. My main goal was trying to reach my classmates levels as well. In the end, being told by Dr. Collins that I am officially swimming made my day because I worked so hard. I have a lot to reflect on because I struggled so much in the beginning of this class. I didn’t think I would make it out alive! But in general, I am very thankful for the struggle because it made me a better journalist,  student, editor, producer and writer. Furthermore, this class has taught me how to become better listener. For example, every week Dr. Collins expected us to have the “who, what, when, where, why, how” underlined and bolded for our current events. If one does not follow the rules for the current events, no points. I was one of the few who got zero points on the first current event because I did not listen properly. Being one of  the few scared me because I was so embarrassed. It was just a simple rule to follow and I didn’t, even though I still tried. After that, never again did I miss any points on a current event. I made sure I wrote everything down exactly.

Looking back on my first VOSOTVO to my last one, I can say my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence have all improved. I personally liked the third VOSOTVO I did about Student mental health, only because y shots were more clear and detailed. But I think Dr. Collins liked my last VOSOTVO the best about a Costa Rican Adventure. Even though some clips in my Costa Rican Adventure were a little fast, I porously did that. Because I did not want to milk it and draw the film out o be boring. Every little thing I do in my VOSOTVO’s and VO’s in general have a point to them. My least favorite video I created was probably my video essay. Reason for this is, even though I thought it was fun and exciting to watch, I just had such low confidence making the film because I did not know what to do or how to create the video. This was the first video we made in class so my mentality, creativeness, editing, and confidence were so low.










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Aksinya: Video Projects’ Progress

After completing Video Essay, three VOs and VOSOTVOs, I feel less nervous about my performance, writing and editing skills. However, no improvement will be noticed if Dr. Collins did not give us a critique.

Our first video assignment was a Video Essay. It probably sounds easy and not a lot of work to do; however, I felt I had to do my best to show Dr. Collins my filming and editing skills. I did not have issues filming this video essay; I actually enjoyed it because I spent a couple of hours at South Park filming children playing and having fun on a warm day. When I began editing my footage, I did not have any troubles. For some reason, I felt confident. Though, my challenge was to pick good shots. I always tend to have a lot of footage, which makes it harder for me to pick the best shots. Despite this, I put b-rolls together and began writing my script. I will admit that it was challenging to keep 3C’s in mind. I revised my lead and tag several times to make it more concise and conversational. But, I think I was able to accomplish it. When it was the day to present, I did not feel as nervous as I felt during my first VO and VOSOTVO. After Dr. Collins gave a critique to me based on my work, it was mostly a positive feedback. I felt happy inside because I was able to accomplish the first goal. However, more work was ahead of me; I faced many challenges.


Our next assignment that was slightly different from a Video Essay was the first VO and VOSOTVO. This assignment also was quite challenging for me to complete. As Dr. Collins said at the beginning, “You always need to have a plan A, B, C, and D.” So, since that day I try to follow her advice. When I decided to film my VO and VOSOTVO on the Virtual Reality event, I got so excited. I reserved the equipment, contacted a coordinator two days before the event began, and had a good spirit. However, when it was the day to film, the coordinator emailed me and said that the event got postponed. I felt desperate at that moment, but I had to follow with a plan B. So, I decided to do a story about this year’s flue activity. First I contacted the Watkins Health Center, but the administrator told me that all the physicians were busy and could not have time for an interview. After I heard it, I began to panic. I only had half of the day to find a story idea and film it. Then, a couple of my co-workers told me that there was a Career Fair going on at the Union. So, I rushed to grab my equipment and go to the Union. I got a lot of footage that day; but I didn’t know how it turned out. When I got back to my office, I checked my footage right away and felt some sort of relief. Next day, I began a writing and editing process. When it was the day to perform, I felt nervous. I was not confident in my story. I read through the script so quick, I believe, and I stumbled a couple of times. My timing did not work out either, and I also did not have a patting at the end. Another problem was overlaying a SOT with a b-roll that didn’t make any impact on the video. I also realized after watching my video that my edits were too quick. But, I learned something new and keep carrying it on with me.

https://youtu.be/xoH9hDpO8e0 – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/FsqcI51-vmQ – VO

The second VO and VOSOTVO felt less stressful or challenging, though I experienced some troubles as well. What I liked the most about this assignment was the individual time that we had with Dr. Collins. She was able to explain each student what she or he needs to improve or continue working on. Personally, I found it beneficial to my work. The original idea for my second VO and VOSOTSO was supposed to be a celebration of Chinese New Year at the Plaza Library. However, this plan fell through because I was not allowed to film inside the library. Then, when I came to Kansas City for the weekend, I had no choice but to film something there. Fortunately, weakened turned out to be nice and warm; that’s when I realized that it could be a great story to film. I came down to Loose Park in Kansas City and began gathering footage. It was an enjoyable time. My next step was to write a script. During the process, I repeatedly read out loud to make sure I sounded conversational. However, as Dr. Collins noticed in our Skype meeting, my script was slightly written for a meteorologist rather than an anchor. Then, Dr. Collins began giving me various ideas on how I could improve it. While we had only 30 minutes, we had accomplished a lot. I revised my script a couple of times and made sure everything was clear and concise. When the writing part was done, I began editing. After a couple of days, Dr. Collins sent us a document with her critique to each work. I believe it helped everyone learn something new from each other’s work. What I had to improve for my third VO and VOSOTVO was to let shots breath for a second or two because viewers have to see a story not a number of different b-rolls. Also, I learned that I need to avoid cutaways.

https://youtu.be/bmUIpajejTU – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/rsnxtJw154Q – VO

The third VO and VOSOTVO was an opportunity for us to show what we have learned so far based on Dr. Collins’s feedback and critique. This time we had to do a VO and VOSOTVO on a sepearte subject. For some reason, maybe because I had a good spirit, I was lucky to schedule an interview with an assistant general manager of IHOP on Tuesday when the National Pancake Day happened. I did not struggle with filming, plus my interview seemed to go smooth. However, as soon as I checked my footage when I got to school, I noticed that audio of the interview disappeared by itself. I was almost crying. I tried various ways to improve the audio, but nothing seemed to work. Therefore, I decided to reschedule an interview. Next day, the manager did not seem happy, and she strictly gave me 2 minutes to film the interview. I felt nervous. Though, I was able to ask some good questions and even pick a good soundbite. When I began my writing, I did not struggle with writing conversationally. I always pretend that I am talking to someone and telling him a story of what happened today. Actually, I learned that from Dr. Collins. When I presented my VOSOTVO in class, I did not feel too nervous. Though, I could have slowed down a little bit while reading my script. My other mistake that Dr. Collins pointed out was spelling. So, this means I need to always double-check my spelling of lower thirds. Overall, I am satisfied with my third VOSOTVO. For my VO, I chose to do a story about kids exploring their DNA. I was lucky enough to be able to film children; but before that, I had to ask a permission from their parents. Whenever I deal with children I enjoy filming. Therefore, I had some good shots to pick for my VO. Also, as I began writing my script, I felt that there were moments where my writing could have been written more concisely. I thought it was not as conversational as it could be. Also, I think my VO is quite lengthy. I did not get a chance to present my VO in class, but I hope Dr. Collins will be able to provide a critique to us again.

https://youtu.be/UxCzElfTouk – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/m2mIkM-HZzw -VO

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Reflection #2 – Jose Montoya

The last six weeks have been really fun. Our class has worked on a few style of videos including: a Video Essay, VO and VOSOTVO. The next thing we are working on are packages. Overall, I am excited for the next six weeks of the class.

In the video essay, I ran into a few problems. I misplaced one of my SD cards which didn’t help me when I was trying to film for this video. I also had very terrible audio quality for my project. I enjoyed the script I wrote to the project and think it was a great learning experience for me.

In the first VO and VOSOTVO, I talked about KU Greek Life. One of the issues I ran into was the fact that I was leaving to Indianapolis on Thursday morning and the assignment needed to be turned into Dr. Collins that same day at five. It was hard to think of an idea so I used my Current Event #2 for an idea.

In the second VO and VOSOTVO I couldn’t come up with an idea that would work for our class. I was going to film the women‘s basketball game, but it didn’t seem like a good idea at the time. Too bad because this was the game the Jayhawks beat #23 Oklahoma State. Instead, I wrote about school being canceled. I think my NAT sound was wonderful, but I was disappointed when I saw my final video. I felt like I did a good job on the video, but I noticed some mistakes that I knew I could fix in the next assignment.

In the third video I was set to get the best NAT Sound possible. I chose to use RISE at the St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO and the KU Women’s Basketball game for my VO. They both turned out great and I am happy that I chose these topics. This time I didn’t run into many issues and the editing process went fairly smoothly.

Personally I think the class is going well overall. One goal I have for this next project is to ask for help. I don’t think I am great at asking for help and I think that could improve my academic performance in this class.

Video Essay “Frisbee with Friends”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CYS2_pRG5I

VO 1 “Greek at KU”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg5oVnu891k

VOSOTVO 1 “To be Greek at KU”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQogo-zfcL0

VO 2 “Classes Canceled Tuesday“: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdPYgWzeRLA

VOSOTVO 2 “Ice Storm Cancels Classes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd1KMLuaDcs

VO 3 “Unlucky Senior Night”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiHb1ms-wC4

VOSOTVO 3 “Good News at RISE”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NeYtwDPGeM

St. Lawrence Center Activity

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Jackson Schneider Self Reflection – March 7, 2018

Our first video project in JOUR 550 was one that I was excited, yet unsure about. Being a person who has focused far more on radio than video, I had a lot of skills to try and develop. I was relatively pleased with how this project turned out, considering it was the first video we did, but the shaky shots really irritated me. That, of course, can be attributed to me forgetting a tripod (yikes). That, however, is a lesson that I learned the hard way, and you can bet I won’t do that again. View my Video Essay .

I was more comfortable with how my first VO/VOSOT project. The subject was something that I am involved in and passionate about, so it was fun to cover. I thought that my soundbite was interesting, but I will agree it is a bit long. I think that the nat-sound I got could have been better. I probably should have integrated more music into it, consdering the topic is a radio station’s battle of the bands. Overall, I think as a first VO/VOSOT, the project turned out well. View my  VOSOT 1 .

There are few better ways to illustrate stories being everywhere than my VO/VOSOT 2. I racked my brain for days trying to find a topic, but couldn’t seem to find one. Then, one day, while sitting in the newly revamped KU Union dining area, I thought to myself, “wow, this is so much nicer than it used to be, I bet people really like it.” From there, I shot up and ran to get a camera and I knew exactly what to do. I think that my shots fit “say it–see it” fairly well for this video, as well as giving a relatively boring topic some life. I think that the project turned out really well! View my VOSOT 2 .

Generally, you would expect that a student would gradually progress with each attempt at a VO/VOSOT, but I honestly feel as though I regressed a bit. I struggled with windy conditions and a shaky tripod, had some blurry shots, and conducted an interview with bad lighting. All of this combined to create a very average product. All things considered, I think it could have turned out far worse, but I’ll take it for now and must improve as we move forward towards packages. I can’t continue to make no or minimal progress if I hope to get where I want to go someday! View my VOSOT 3 

Other Links:

VO 1

VO 2

VO 3


-Jackson B. Schneider

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Cain Lever: a journey worth reflecting

My Video Essay “Good morning Procrastination” was easily the most fun assignment to do. Dr. Collins gave us no guidelines at all, so it was a pretty simple assignment. Basically, I just woke up one morning and decided to start filming a ton of stuff in my room. To create some kind of story, I started filming my shower to show a sequence of events. I tried to tell a story by showing my bedroom and then my shower and bathroom. After showing my video to the class, I realized the importance of editing. The order I put my shots in can make the difference between a coherent video essay and a nonsensical one. Although my video wasn’t nonsense, it lacked certain shots that would’ve made the story easier to follow for the audience. For instance, a close up of the actor looking down at the phone and then up at the door would’ve made it more obvious to the audience that the shots of the shower were meant to represent the actor thinking about starting his day but deciding to stay in bed instead.

My first VO/VOSOTVO was about KU bus drivers and icy roads. Getting film for this was easy, but I realize now I could’ve gotten even better shots. I needed more shots of the actual bus drivers. I only had one person in my video and that was the guy I interviewed. Getting more shots of bus drivers at work would have made my video felt more personal. Still, I thought I cut up my shots well. My script could have been a lot more conversational too. I think that after doing this video, I started to realize the importance of having a script in mind while filming. That way when I’m on the scene, I can look for shots that I know will go perfectly with whatever I wanted to say. I could’ve used a wide shot near the Chi O fountain to show all the buses on Jayhawk Blvd and all the snow that was there too.

My second VO/VOSOTVO was about Campaign Maka’s new mixtape, Comfortable. I tried to get more shots that related to the subject I was talking about in this video, so I got a lot of shots of the recording equipment he has. I needed more shots of him actually using the equipment though. At the time, he wasn’t planning on recording anything, but I could’ve asked him to show me some music on his computer. Then, I could’ve gotten shots of him at his desk working which may have been more entertaining than just to see a mic, headphones, a piano, and so forth. Learning from my mistakes from the last video, I got shots of awards he received knowing that I wanted to talk about them in my script. I came with a plan in mind of what I was going to say already, so when I got into his studio, I already had a pretty good idea of what shots I needed to take. I had fun trying to mess with the rac focus on the piano, but I need to mess with that effect more to find the best way and best times to use it. I think it’s hard to do a 30 second video on an artist that isn’t a household name, because I felt like I had to give him prominence in the script without sounding promotional. He is a rising artist in KC, but I didn’t know how much I had to emphasize that in my script to show that he is a newsworthy figure.


For my third VO, I made a video about ONEDAY, ONE KU, a 24-hour fundraising event on campus. I had been working in the newsroom a lot prior to making this video, so I felt I was getting a great understanding of how to get good video and write to your video. I knew the facts I wanted to address in my script before hand, so I got video of the sign and close-ups of important things that were written on the sign. In my script, I just wrote to the video and used the sign as my primary video for talking about the major facts of the event and used the video of the flags to talk about whatever filler details I needed to address. At this point, I think I really was beginning to understand how to film affectively so I can  “say it and see it.” My biggest problem was that I had trouble getting low shots of the flags. I really wanted to get a rac focus shot of a line of flags, but I had a lot of trouble keeping the camera steady while changing the focus on the camera. I think with better equipment this would have been easier. However, I think that I’m capable of getting good rac focus shots with my camera, I just need to continue to practice it. I also wish I knew when people were putting the flags in the ground, because I wanted a shot of that.

For my third VOSOTVO, I did a video on the event Unpacking Whiteness. This was an interesting event because it was set up in a circle instead of a normal panel. My camera doesn’t zoom well, so it was hard for me to get any close ups of the speakers. I still think I got some decent shots. My initial shot was a tilt. I know Dr. Collins has said multiple times not to use a tilt, pan or zoom in these videos unless we could defend why we used it. I had seen CNN do a similar shot for a DACA event. I thought that it was an interesting beginning to the video, but Dr. Collins still didn’t approve of it. I think if there was a poster or sign above the crowd that the camera was on at first, then it would’ve made more sense to have that. Now, I’m realizing how shots like those can be effective, but otherwise they’re just unnecessary. I want to learn more about those rules and when it’s okay to break them. My camera died at the end of the event, so I had to use my phone to get an interview.

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The Road Traveled…So Far – Tyler C. Soetaert

This semester, I remember the first day of class in Journalism 550 almost better than I remember any other day. “I’m going to throw you in the deep end, but I’m going to teach you how to swim, says Dr. Janice Collins, a visiting distinguished professor from the University of Illinois. A visiting professor that may be here just a little shorter than we had hoped. “You will learn how to swim, I won’t let you drown,” Collins said. This stuck with me and through weeks and weeks of getting over different hurdles, I believe it began to resonate with all 18 students in that lab room.


Video Essay: A Jayhawk Jumprope routine at the Rec Center in Lawrence, Kansas.

In the first class endeavor, my peers and I were assigned to a “video essay”, which would help serve as a smooth beginning for more things to come. The video essay was a light assignment in which we were required to gather 12 shots or more and compile it into a story. One with a beginning, middle and end. My video essay was about a famous Jayhawk jumprope routine that serves as a quick daily workout for the average student. I was able to catch a student in the action of doing his own routine at the Rec center, gathered a compilation of shots and put the story together. I really wanted to focus on the natural sounds of the jumprope slapping the ground, as well as capture the sweat and detail in the student’s face. I wanted people to see how the jumprope routine exhausted the individual in a short period. For a first project, I believe it went well and I should have worked on obtaining for close-up shots.


Art Exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

A week would pass after the first video essay, and eventually we were introduced to the first VO and VOSOTVO project. This came as expected for me, but the class emotion in general was still slightly overwhelmed. The first project would almost appear as two in itself given the request for both videos, however, real world business would ask for the same most likely. For my first VOSOT, I decided to admire the new African Art exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum near campus. This exhibit served as the last piece of the Sallie Casey Thayer collection, and the “final corner of the world” for the museum. It seemed as if the missing culture in the museum was that of African culture. I ran into an issue as my original idea had to be scratched and my tripod then served as an issue more than an asset when gathering the film. Nonetheless, I did acquire some beautiful shots for my first piece, which you can see in the links attached at the bottom.


University of Kansas campus on Jayhawk Blvd.

After a short break and recovery, our class was back in the saddle for VOSOTVO number two. The second piece I put together was a more emotional piece. This VOSOT could potentially serve as a very timely and heart-felt package coming in the near future. I wanted to touch on the issue of gun’s on school campuses. I addressed the current climate of guns on KU’s campus and how students felt about the new conceal and carry policy that was put in place last July. The responses I got were incredibly interesting and gave me different perspectives from different students. It is not hard to notice the 70% of students who do oppose the new gun policy on campus. Through this project, I felt that Dr. Collins was very emphatic on the topic and believed that I have the skills and ability to make this a remarkable, emotional package that dives deeper into the conflict and uncomfortability of a pro-gun campus.


“Ad Astra gives back”, a story that was done for a local business and used as VOSOTVO number three.

After a reflection, multiple current events and a handful of video assignments, I could sense the class was being worn down. Dr. Collins knew that one more project would truly improve the abilities of everyone in the room and especially ones who may be just short of the mark. A very compassionate person, Dr. Collins emotionally thanked her class for the birthday wishes and reassured myself and my peers that she is here to help us every second. The class began their third VOSOTVO and I decided my topic would encompass a local business who gives back to their community. I gave the spotlight to Ad Astra Running in downtown Lawrence. The company has an upcoming Run Walk Lawrence event, as well as their famous Irish Mile which are all centered around bringing in the community for a healthy and positive reason. The company reaches out to anyone of any physical ability or social class in Lawrence that is looking for an outlet. The project went better than the others, and fairly error free. I didn’t every shot that I may have hoped and imagined, however, the story fell together nicely. The one large difference in this third project was the guideline of creating a VO on a separate topic. My third VO stood as an announcement for the J-school’s big career fair on March 7.


Bottom line, I am enjoying this class more than I had thought I may. More importantly, I am really appreciating Dr. Collins for her belief in her own process, and for connecting and caring for us as people before students. That can go much further than some educators may recognize.

Video Links:

Video Essay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4EU39YYEtI

VOSOTVO 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPU9Fx-ljI

VO 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzpOil7l6-g

VOSOTVO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DExvEbp0_A

VO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRxcTm3t_PE

VOSOTVO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n61-l1oc6a4

VO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K9YMWPL1xI

Caroline Appleby Reflection

The video essay was the first thing we did in this class and I thought it was such a fun assignment. That was easily my favorite topic I did all semester. I did it on the Allen Fieldhouse clean up for dance marathon. A lot of people don’t get to see what happens after a basketball game so it was an interesting new look. I didn’t bring a tripod so some of my shots were shaky. I think the content was strong but I wish I had shot more so I could have had more options form what to choose from.

The VoSotVo assignments have been a learning experience. Each one I can see my improvements on each one. The first VoSotVo I did on the flu. This year was a large flu outbreak so I thought it would be a good topic since it was relevant. My shots of Watkins I liked but my interview wasn’t my favorite. I wish I would’ve interviewed someone from Watkins about their opinions on the flu.

The second VoSotVo I did on how students are choosing their housing for next semester. I liked this topic because everyone is in the same place with this. Picking where you live next year is a hard decision and also a big decision. My first interview the sound didn’t work so I had to go with plan B but it ended up working out well because I liked the second interview better. My shots were shaky. The tripod I used was not great and I didn’t make sure my shots weren’t so shaky. I realized that as soon as I was editing it.

The third and final VoSotVo was my favorite one I did. It was obviously better then the other ones because I had learned from the other two. I also really enjoyed my topic. When shooting I was able to capture a lot of movement when Taylor the girl who I interviewed was dancing. I also learned a lot during the interview and from her about the dance program. The other topics I was more comfortable with but this one was more out of my comfort zone.

The last one we also had to do a separate VO. With KU being such a big basketball school I was thrilled that we got the Big 12 conference title for the 14th year. I thought that this was a perfect and timely VO to do. I got some really good shots but didn’t have a ton of variety. If I were to do it again I would make sure I took more shots but my Kansas sign shot is easily my favorite I have done all semester.

In all I can see my improvements from my first video to now. I have come out of my comfort zone more with topics that are beyond what I am use to. This though has made me a better journalist and I have learned a lot from these projects. The hardest part for me was the script writing but I think I have been improving on that and my delivery.



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Helen Luna: Reflection of work so far

Video Essay:

The video essay was a lot of fun for me. I think I was a little confused about it and at first I kind of panicked because I couldn’t think of what to do. My initial plan didn’t work out so I thought about what I could do in my own apartment. I thought something that college students might like is a quick tutorial on how to make something cheap and easy. I ended up really liking how my shots came out and I enjoyed the process of creating the video.


When we were first assigned the VO I kind of knew what I wanted to do right away. I knew that I wanted to talk about the fact that it was really cold outside while not making that the main focus. I’m not sure why but I thought we were supposed to pan and tilt so I used quite a few pans and my video didn’t turn out as well. I definitely knew what I had to change in my next VO.


When I first shot my VOSOTVO 2, the weather was nice and I really liked my shots but I thought it was necessary to pan for some of my shots. After the Skype session where we discussed my footage I realized that they were unnecessary and I had to reshoot. The shots were a little blue and I didn’t like my shots as much the second time. I felt like at this point I was getting the hang of the VOSOTVO thing.


My final VO was a lot of fun to create. I love going to Clinton Lake and relaxing and I thought more people should know about how nice it is to go out and sit around and take a break from everything there. I actually loved the shots I got and I was able to take shots from different angles that I thought turned out really well.

I chose to do my final VOSOTVO over one of my current events. I really liked the story that I was doing and I reached out to a few teachers at a local high school and finally got in touch with Susan Micka and I really enjoyed getting to speak to her and getting a look at Lawrence High School. I didn’t get the shots I wanted inside of the high school but after discussing the video in class, I realize I could’ve shot some footage outside of Lawrence High School that would’ve been better.


All of these projects have definitely helped me in some way or another. I feel like I’m a lot more prepared now to work on the packages and even the news break. I think the most helpful part of it was being able to present and be critiqued while presenting our projects. I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable talking and reading more conversationally. I do think I need to work on writing conversationally which is something I’m not used to so might take a little time.




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We’ve come this far– Emma Fotovich

This semester is already half way over, and as time passes I realize how much I have grown in regards to broadcast. When we first started this journey together, I was definitely nervous that I was going to struggle and drown, but as I got more confident in the abilities I already had, and confident that I was going to do well in this class. That confidence boost was definitely needed to continue down this road though.

Video Essay:

The first assignment was the video essay. This assignment was pretty simple, just film something. I loved what I came up with because it involved my beautiful dog. I knew I picked a good story when the whole room errupted with a chorus of “AWWW”. The one thing I struggled with on this assignment though, was the camera. I didnt know the camera well enough to make this essay the way I wanted it to be. The shots were grainy, and I yet again underestimated how camera-shy animals can be. Overall it went well though, and I loved the way it turned out.

VOSOTVO 1 and VO 1:

The second of our assignments was the first of the long legacy of VOSOTVO and VO we had to complete. I felt pretty confident at first, but as i continued to finish the assignment I realized how unprepared I was for it. I feel like now I have learned so much. The biggest challenge I faced was underestimating the power of the weather. I did my assignment on the snow, but when I went to go film the snow, most of it had melted. This created the first of many challenges. I then decided, rather than do it on the snow I should focus on how change in weather is bad for students daily lives. This worked a lot better in the end, and went down in history as my first VOSOTVO and VO sicne they were both on the same topic.
VO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciEjSem5z68
VOSOTVO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FpeFQl3VoE

VOSOTVO 2 and VO 2:

The second group of VOSOTVO and VO went suprisingly well. It did help to get to meet with Dr. Collins to really improve my script writing. I was glad to have the help because it made writing scripts in the future easier. I sadly did not get my audio to work on this assignment, but I was glad to get to cover my favorite topic once again. I love doing stories on animals. It alwasy warms everyones hearts. I also got to kill two birds with one stone and get to follow a cat around with a camera, because yet again animals are afraid of cameras. If I had to change something with this VOSOTVO and VO however, I would get better shots, and really work hard at making sure the shots I do get are quality.
VO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4EefprugIo
VOSOTVO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGplqyQcYpY

VOSOTVO 3 and VO 3:

This was my favorite assignment. For my VOSOTVO I covered a local dance crew, and it was so fun to attend their practice and see how they run things. I was glad I got to cover something I am interested in as well. My problem with the VOSOTVO though, was that again my audio didnt turn out how I wanted it. I will make sure to fix it for next time.

As for my VO, I covered the scholarship halls. I enjoyed my topic, but I just wish I had gotten better shots. I wanted ones with people in them, but the day I shot there was no one to take video of because of the cold. I also was not too pleased on how my script turned out, but as usual I always win some and lose some.
VO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHvIiLIOmmA
VOSOTVO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di01JPceihQ

Overall, I really am enjoying this class. I have learned so much about myself and broadcast that I am gaining confidence. I am loving every minute of this class and I cant wait to have many many more.

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Tiffany Littler: Reflection of progress so far


The video essay was easy for me because I killed two birds with one stone. At work, I got sent to cover a church on fire. I thought this would be a simple VO to use for the video essay. One issue I had though, is I misunderstood the way Dr. Collins wanted our scripts structured. So during class I was scrambling to write everything down on a piece of paper before it was my turn to present.





My VO/VOSOTVO 1 felt like a bit of a train wreck. There was miscommunication between officials at the rec center and it felt like it took awhile to get an interview set up. So I wrote down different ideas and made it to Plan E. Thankfully, my Plan A worked.

VO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1su0k6yV8M&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz&index=37

VOSOTVO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gVc18XtlU&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz&index=43

I got the interview done and wanted to get b-roll done of the rec center, but the woman I needed to speak with about what I was allowed to shoot, was on lunch. So I had to come back a few hours later to get the b-roll and everything worked out.



The VO/VOSOTVO 2 was much easier for me than the first one. I didn’t have any issues with miscommunication between employees. I didn’t have an interview set up beforehand, but I didn’t have any issues with getting a quick soundbite.

VO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRLuMNNW-Qc&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz&index=81&t=0s

VOSOTVO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0lHVB8W8Is&index=76&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz

Getting video was hard because it was a very windy day and dirt was flying everywhere. Despite that, I think it turned it alright.



Originally, I wasn’t sure what to do for the VO/VOSOTVO 3. I used to cover a lot of sports, so I figured it would be fun to cover the last women’s basketball home game of the season. I thought I could use it for my VOSOTVO because getting a SOT would be easy with the post-game press conference.

VO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9s_p5dn3T4&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz&index=106

Then I realized I wouldn’t be able to transcribe the interview properly, so I just decided to use it for my VO. I had a hard time editing because the main focus was the seniors, but I also wanted some action shots. Really, only one of the seniors made a great play and that was on defense. I think it worked out in the end, because I used a lot of closeups of the seniors getting recognized.

The interview went great for my VOSOTVO, however trying to get good b-roll was difficult. The tripod I had was very unstable. The light panel I had flickered. I didn’t have time to check out different equipment and redo everything, so I just worked with what I had. I’ve had many issues with equipment and have said something each time I check the equipment back in, but nothing seems to be done. That makes it sometimes hard to get good video. Other than that, I was satisfied with my VOSOTVO.

VOSOTVO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIFDCKzdEqY&index=107&list=PLqpN7C8wHXjYSqJXh2GkQsBIXMfzgDLYz


So far in this class, I’ve improved with time management and organization. I’ve learned to listen more, because there are very important details in our assignments that I sometimes forget. I’m looking forward to making packages and news breaks and hope I can continue improving and make things I can use for my newsreel.

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Progress so far: Kathy Wong Blog Post 2

It’s now the beginning of March and there’s been so much that has happened in that time span. We’ve created a total of three VO’s, three VOSOTVO’s, and a video essay. With each assignment, I’m learning new things and skills that further progress my abilities on video editing and shooting, as well as script writing. Although the start of this class was quite daunting for me, I’ve actually come to love this class a great deal, and I’d even say that it’s my favorite one. Before this class, I’ve only had experience with making two videos, both of which I had very little idea of what I was doing. I remember the first time I rented equipment and I had no idea that I was supposed to grab a tripod or a mic. I had no idea how to shoot video and I generally panned and zoomed a lot. However, with this class, I’ve learned to absolutely never do those things and I’ve picked up quite a few new skills.

Our first project was a video essay and I was extremely nervous about it. After hearing about the project, I immediately decided to do the topic over the day in the life of a college student at KU. I spent the next few days planning my shots out and filming, but after looking at the footage  I was dissatisfied. It seemed boring and absolutely awful, so I went back to the drawing board and decided to film one of my friend’s D&D sessions. However, after filming, much to my dismay, I found that none of the sounds had actually been captured and instead, all I heard was this incessant static. I tried putting the audio into audacity to try and adjust it like I saw on a youtube video, but it didn’t work. So I trashed everything and I felt like I was grasping straws at that point to try and find an idea. After nearly having a panic attack, my roommate suggested that I film the historical items on display at the Union. So, the next day I spent hours in the Union filming, but when I began editing I realized that we couldn’t have any zooming or panning in the shots, and that was basically every single shot that I had. So I went back and reshot the videos and then spent hours in the lab editing. Editing always seems to take me the longest, as I’m not too familiar with adobe premiere, but after watching some youtube tutorials I felt like I got the hang of it. Writing the script seemed easy at the time, but after our critique, I realized I was horribly wrong. My writing wasn’t conversational at all, and I strived to improve on that aspect. From our critique, I was able to learn from my mistakes, which was to let my videos breath, and I worked on improving them for my next project.


Our second project was a VO and VOSOTVO. This time I chose to do my projects over the recent snow storm and change in weather in Lawrence. For my VO I shot videos of the snow and frozen nature and for my VOSOTVO I did about the same, but added more shots of the snow covering the campus and focused on shots of students walking through the snow. While shooting I paid close attention to keeping the camera still, not panning, and not zooming. I worked more on getting a variety of shots and spent hours outside filming. After filming I worked on editing the videos and I learned some new features, like hold frame and stabilizing. These came in handy for my still shots because the wind caused the already horrible tripod to be even shakier. I worked on the script once again but had trouble with trying to say it and see it. This problem caused me to cut some of my videos into shorter segments because I wanted everything to match what I said. This turned out to be a bad idea because I once again didn’t let my videos breath. From our class critique, I learned that it was imperil that we made sure to lower the sound on all of our videos in order to make sure that the audio wasn’t too loud.



VO 2 and VOSOTVO 2 were next. This time my project was over an event hosted by the natural history museum. For my VO I went around the museum and took shots of the different exhibits and artifacts on display and for my VOSOTVO I went to the event that was hosted at the Union and got shots of the table and people who visited the table. This time I wanted to make sure that my audio was perfect. Aksinya taught me how to lower the sound on all of my videos in premiere. However, while editing the video, for some reason the audio would completely disappear when I tried to lower the sound. I eventually got help from one of the lab technicians and they helped me sort it out. Yet, I ran into another problem. When I went to save and export my video, it deleted all of my work and I had to start all over again. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I realized that my biggest mistake while creating the script was that I was writing it after editing my footage. No one had ever told me that there was a specific order when creating our projects, so I never knew, but I stored this information for my next project. After my conference with Dr. Collins, I was also able to get a better grasp of how to become more conversational in my script writing. The conference really helped me a lot and it assuaged most of my fears about the next assignment. During this assignment, I was even able to help one of my peers edit and coach her on script writing. It made me feel really good that I was able to help someone else, even though I felt like a rookie compared to everyone else in the class, but I realized from helping my classmate that I’ve made a lot of progress so far.



For our most recent assignment VO 3 and VOSOTVO 3 instead of normally having our project over the same topic, we had to choose two different topics. For my VO I decided to shoot footage of the Central District Construction project on campus and for my VOSOTVO I decided to shoot footage of students preparing for midterms and Spring Break. My troubles with the VO were that I couldn’t get a good shot of the construction occurring due to the fence around the area. I zoomed in the furthest I could on the camera, but just couldn’t get the tight shots that I would have liked. For my VOSOTVO the troubles that I had were with the shakiness of shots. All the tripods that I rented seemed to be all broken, thus I had to press down on the tripod to keep it stabilized. While editing my footage, I ran into the same problem as the last assignment. For whatever reason, whenever I tried to save my footage and export it, it would delete all of my work. This happened twice, and I was so frustrated by the end of it. While editing, Jose pointed out that my rule of thirds for my interview was incorrect. I was dismayed because that was the aspect that I focused the most on during this assignment, and I was mad that I had inadvertently messed it up. I had made sure my subject had enough headroom and everything, but she was looking in the wrong direction. I stood on the left side of the camera and told her to look at me, instead of having her look at the right side. This is what bothered me the most about this project and I was really disappointed in myself. During this assignment, I was once again able to help a peer with her videos and script.



Although I was very apprehensive about taking this class, I feel as though I made the right decision. Every day I’m able to learn more and more about the different skills required in broadcast journalism. Dr. Collins is one of our biggest supporters in the class. Her passion for her teaching is what makes the class thoroughly enjoyable and I appreciate her enthusiasm.

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Reflection of VO’s and VOSOTVO’s Courtney Johnson

When we received our first project I was happy because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. That went down the drain fast because I overthought my Video Essay. I’m glad we started with that project because that allowed me to understand how I should do my VO and VOSOTVO. I took the critiques from my Video Essay and applied them to my most recent projects. Looking back on my Video Essay, I could have edited my shots better, got better angles and did wide, medium and tight shots. Continue reading


A painting from the African Art Exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

First of all, I am happy and excited to be challenged the way I already have been by Dr. Collins and the J550 curriculum. That being said, the workload and norms imposed from day one have been challenging for us all. It was the first day of class, and from the first sentence Dr. Collins spoke, I knew the regular pace around the J-school would not be the same, for good reasons.

That being said, this first project brought a few challenges by itself. First, I managed to rent a broken tripod, and immediately I was experiencing filming and stabilization issues. Nonetheless, I was able to rely on nifty editing skills to help reduce the error as much as possible. Next, I took my camera, half working microphone and broken tripod to my first event– the student recital series at Murphy Hall. After 20 minutes of filming, I was approached by one of the dean professors at Murphy Hall, and at that moment, he decided to halt any creative progress I had made while filming. In the profession, we must learn that not everyone is tolerable of media. In this instance, the professor was not a fan of media coverage, especially during his recital. Lastly, I had some minor editing issues and lost part of my film.

Given all these uphill factors, I was able to climb and progress towards a fairly well produced VOSOTVO. I believe as time moves forward, we will all progress as reporters, story-tellers and difference-makers. I truly believe that, and I also believe in the process Dr. Collins is instilling for this class. I created a short VO and VOSOTVO covering the Spencer Art Museum’s new African art exhibit. The piece displays the beautiful exhibit and people who have contributed.

Here is the link to my piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPU9Fx-ljI


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Olivia Roberts: VOSOTVO Reflection

I thought this previous week was hard. Leading up to presenting my VOSOTVO was very challenging. The reason why I thought it was challenging was because I have never created or even put together a VO or a VOSOTVO. I had trouble of knowing where to put my video clips or  how it needed to look like. Getting Dr. Collins insight on how it should look was very helpful. Furthermore, I thought getting one-on-one attention was very much needed. It helped me by putting me the same page and understanding what was needed for this assignment. I think these one-on-one times will be very beneficial. Creating and making VO and VOSOTVO’s are not easy to make. In other words, I liked this project. Even though i found it very difficult throughout, I am happy I have the basis and building blocks of knowing how to make one. This time and for the rest, it won’t be as hard.

I enjoyed watching everybody’s VOSOTVO’s. I thought they were all very good and nicely put together. In a way, I feel very accomplished that I know how to make a VO and VOSOTVO. In the beginning of this project, I didn’t even know what those terms meant. So I am very proud of myself for taking the time learn this, get a better foundation, ask questions, and be able to learn it. Making this next one coming up won’t be as much of a struggle because i will be better at making it and have a better understanding of what its supposed to look like.

For this coming up VOSOTVO, I will work on presenting by keep my tone of voice at the same level. What I mean by this is that I will not always have different tones or emphasize one of my word or sentences like I have been in the past.  Ido like presenting though and working on my voice, making eye contact, and gaining confidence. In the end, I will be a pro at all of the things I had no idea I could!

The picture I inserted into this blog was my favorite clip in my VOSOTVO. This picture was part of my first shot starting my video. I liked it because it showed Chef Nate walking into the kitchen preparing to make everybody dinner and that was what my VOSOTVO was about. I thought this clip set the scene and mood for and gave a good idea of what the VOSOTVO would be about.

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Self-reflection 1: VOSOTVO, VO and Video Essay by Patrick Sullivan

Video Essay: Ball Park

I really enjoyed working on the video essay project. It gave me a lot of room for creativity and freedom to go have some fun with editing. I struggled at first to find an idea of what I wanted to do it on, but I knew that I wanted to go down to Potter’s Lake because of the scenery. I really hope to have more projects similar to this. My one criticism on this project is my title. For some reason I could not come up with something more creative; I probably didn’t spend enough time on it.

VOSOTVO and VO: Captiva

I also struggled to find a topic on this assignment as well. That typically seems to be my problem with these assignments. I can usually find good ideas for stories but they would require footage that I cannot get or are not localized. However, once I actually had my idea and my interview the assignment wasn’t difficult at all. I think I shot and edited the footage in under two hours. I think the main thing that I need to work on for my next project is writing more conversationally and delivering my VO without sounding so rigged.

Overall I am having a great time in this class and cannot wait to get working on the packages and news breaks. I have confidence that I will be able to get my writing and delivery on a better track.

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Cassidy Ragland Reflection 1: Meditation and International Festivals

Coming into class I was very nervous. I felt like I didn’t have as much experience as everyone else and that I was going to fail. Thankfully, after the second class I started feeling more hopeful. I have really found a passion for broadcast that I wasn’t finding with print journalism. I consider myself a creative person and shooting video gives me a lot of satisfaction. I like that I have artistic say in what I shoot and edit which has given me a lot of confidence. Dr. Collins has really taken the time to talk through everything and I really appreciated it. I feel like I’m getting better every time I shoot and write and it’s a really awesome feeling.

Video Essay

For my video essay I decided to shoot a Mindfulness and Meditation Club meeting at the KU Union. I filmed almost the whole hour and felt pretty good about my shots, until Dr. Collins said in class the next day we weren’t allowed to use pans or zooms. That took out quite a few of the shots that I had, but luckily I had enough to make the run time. Feedback that I got was that I didn’t have any tight shots and that some of my shots were shakey. I had never used Premiere before, so that was overwhelming at first but I got the hang of it.



For my Vo and VoSotVo I felt a lot more prepared and confident. My plan A was to film the Tyler the Creator concert, however, that failed miserably. So I went with my plan B which was to film the International Jayhawk Festival. I got some great, vibrant shots that I was really happy with. I took the criticism about my tight shots and I made sure to incorporate those. I loved my nat sound and my sound bite, so I was really disappointed when it didn’t work on the projector in class. It worked on my laptop so I had no idea that would happen. I felt really good about my delivery and that my script was better than it was last week.




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Through the Lens: A Self Reflection by Cain Lever

My First VOSOTVO, VO, and video essay

I had a lot of fun while making the VOSOTVO and the VO. It was easy to find shot of buses and snow on Jayhawk Boulevard. I think the hardest part of filming, for me, was the interview. Since the bus driver was on a schedule, he didn’t have a lot of time to talk. On my bus ride to Jayhawk Blvd., there’s a parking lot where the driver always stops at for about 5 minutes. I was prepared with questions, but I didn’t think about where I would get my shot of the bus driver. I ended up putting him in a spot where the sunlight ruined the shot. I also had my camera set at an angle that was too low. My footage was usable, but it could’ve been a much better shot.

I enjoy producing videos, so I didn’t have a lot of trouble doing that either. I think I struggled more with writing to my video edits. How I decided to edit my video was to write one or two sentences at a time and then find video that I knew would fit to those sentences. It made the process easier, but I realize now that I didn’t think enough about how the script sounded. I needed to be and could’ve been more conversational. I know that the snowy weather is pertinent to all students. I could’ve made my script more conversational by being more personal while also speaking with caution. Part of the problem were my shots. If I had more shots of people on the buses or the bus drivers, I would have had more freedom to speak personally. I also need to work on my delivery. I think that my delivery will have more character when I’m talking about subjects that matter more to me. I need to find a way to talk colorful about matters I don’t care much about while not sounding fake and cheesy. I think by writing more conversational, I will sound more conversational in my delivery. I also forgot to include my slate in my VOSOTVO. If you’d like to watch my VOSOTVO or VO, then click the hyperlinks.

I really enjoyed making the video essay too. I don’t think I conveyed my idea well though. I needed one or two more shots to explain exactly what was going on in the video. I’m starting to realize how deliberate I must be while producing videos. I don’t necessarily need sound to convey a message, but instead, I can use artifacts, facial expressions, and rhythm to make the viewer see and feel whatever I’m trying to convey. I’m looking forward to doing more projects like these after having learned so much more. I think that if I start to report on topics that really interest me, than I will naturally write more conversational scripts and produce more appealing visuals. If you’d like to watch my video essay, then click here.

-Cain Lever

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Jackson Schneider: Reflection 1

The beginning of this class has made me stressed more than I have enjoyed it, but  that’s okay. A lot of what I’m doing is completely new to me, in terms of the breadth and depth of the things we’ve covered already, so it’s bound to stress me out. The stress has gotten better though, having completely finished a video essay and our first VOSOTVO projects, I’m starting to get the hang of things, little by little.

The video essay was fun because I got to mix that experience with another one, covering a sporting event. I traveled to Manhattan to cover Kansas at Kansas State men’s basketball. It was a highly anticipated game and the atmosphere was electric. I got some good shots, but a lot of them were shaky because I made a rookie mistake and forgot a tripod. Rest assured that will never happen again.


I took that lesson and put it towards our second larger project, the VO and VOSOTVO. This was confusing because it is two separate videos, just structured slightly different. I made sure to have my tripod and took as careful, steady shots as possible. I seemed to have lacked on good shots with nat-sound though, so I will work on that in the future.

Through the first five weeks, I have grown to like this challenging,stressful course because the subject matter is important and interesting. I like to be pushed and challenged because it makes me better, and I hope that continues throughout the semester so that I can push to become my very best.

Below is my VOSOTVO project on 90.7fm KJHK’s Farmer’s Ball, a battle of the bands.

-Jackson Schneider


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Aksinya: Sunshine Joy and Career Fair


This class is awesome!

It’s been five weeks already, since I am in this class. First week turned out to be quite stressful. I did not know what to expect, and I did not know how successful this class can be for me. Dr. Collins is very energized and inspiring professor, so I realized she would help us succeed. When I saw the syllabus, I got nervous because of the amount of work that needs to be done this semester. But, it’s probably better because this prepares us for the future. Therefore, our first two assignments were Video Essay and VOSOTVO.

Video Essay Project

The Video Essay assignment was very interesting to film, edit and present. However, I experienced some challenges. First, the tripod I used turned out to be broken, specifically its legs. So, it was hard for me to stabilize it every time. Despite this challenge, I believe my footage turned out nice and bright. But, before filming children playing on the playground, I had a different plan. I filmed dogs playing at the dog park; however, my forage turned out to be blue and lacked sound. Obviously, I felt upset, but I realized I had to move on and avoid making the same mistakes. Therefore, the next day I went to South Park to film children having fun; but before, I triple-checked the sound, white balance, and gain. After an hour of filming, I returned home and watched my footage; I could not be happier with the result. The next step was editing. When I put pieces together, I always thought, “What will be my focus?” So, I constantly changed footage and its order; eventually, I was able to finalize my first video project. After I was done editing, I began writing my script. For some reason, I felt good about what and how I was writing. But also, thanks to Dr. Collins, we had a script example. I tried to follow 3C’s, and I believe I accomplished it. I did not find it challenging to write conversationally; probably it’s because I am not a native speaker, and I always use simple words when I write and talk. My last stage was to present my Video Essay. When I go upfront, I always feel nervous and my heart is pounding fast. Though, as soon as I begin speaking, my nervousness disappears. I felt energized and happy to present my Video Essay, because I love doing stories about kids. Based on the Dr. Collins’s critique, she motivated me to do even better. Therefore, I was ready for the next project.

VOSOTVO and VO Project

My next video project was VOSOTVO and VO. Unfortunately, it was not as successful and smooth as the Video Essay. First of all, my plan A, which I was the most excited about, failed. I was ready to go and film, but the event got postponed; and I lost my opportunity to do a good story. Then, I decided to do a story about the flu season; however, the physicians, I wanted to talk to, were busy on that day; plus, I would be the third or fourth student to do a story about the flu season. Once again, my plan B failed. Then, while I was at work, my co-worker told me that there was the University Career Fair at the Union. At that moment, I felt he was my life-saver. I ran to the Dole to get equipments, and I found out that all the JVC cameras were gone. I felt upset, but did not let my mood to take over. The only choice I had was to reserve a tiny Canon camera that does not white balance, have a clear focus and sound. To make my story nice, I decided to change my mood and think positively. I was at the fair for two hours, and I had over 150 b-rolls. When I returned to my office, I checked my footage; honestly, I did not know what to expect. However, I was happy that the footage turned out ‘okay.’ I wrote the script, and I felt confident about my writing. However, I was not confident about timing. Though, I practiced as much as I could to perfect it. Then, when it was time to present upfront, I felt nervous once again. My goal this semester is to learn how to calm this feeling down because it distracts me from showing my emotions and personality. Also, even though I tried to sound conversational and natural, I think I failed. As my VOSOTVO was showing, at the end of the video I did not have any patting; so, it went black. Therefore, this is something I need to improve for the next VOSOTVO project. As Dr. Collins told us, “Say it, see it,” I think I did a good job on that, except of the SOT. For some reason, I included an extra b-roll, which did not make sense, over the interviewee. Overall, all this is one step forward to be better and perfect myself and my work. Next time, I will improve my video by adding patting at the end, practice timing myself, work on being conversational and showing my personality, avoid unnecessary b-rolls in the video, and stay more optimistic.



I enjoy this class because of its energy and Dr. Collins’s positivity, and motivation. I am looking forward to learning and practicing more in this class.

– Aksinya Kichigina

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Staying Clean VOSOTVO Reflection Courtney Johnson

“Say it, see it” and “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable” has been my biggest take away thus far from Jour 550. When I don’t know something I begin to feel uncomfortable but this class is preparing me for that. This class has been challenging for me, but it is making a better journalist.

Our first project was a video essay, and I didn’t know what to expect. The video essay went well because it was a simple assignment however, I did overthink it. When I thought out my video, I just knew it would be like the Instagram makeup tutorials. That idea failed because I simply didn’t follow the instructions. If I had to do my video essay over I would move my camera to get close-ups and shoot in sequence (wide, medium and tight shots). I know that was preparation for our VOSOTVO and it truly helped.

The VOSOTVO and VO was the next project we had. I completely overthought this because I was too concerned about how to do the actual project. I never did a VOSOTVO, so I was nervous how mine would turn out. My script writing and shots are starting to improve. When I do my next VOSOTVO and VO I will add padding to my last shot, to save me from dipping to black. I will also work on my timing with my script and videos.

As I watch my classmates videos, I don’t think they are better because we are all on the same level. However, when they receive feedback I take that into consideration for my own video. We’re all growing together and learn something from each other’s projects. We’ve been thrown in the deep end, but we’ll swim together to succeed.

Courtney Johnson




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Seasons Changing- VOSOTVO #1

Emma Fotovich

This first VOSOTVO assignment was definitely a learning experience for me. I have always been pretty understanding of how to use cameras, edit videos, talk to sources and so on, but I have never been very good at script writing. My thought process has always been “Well, video is worth a thousand words” but I now know how crutial it is to have a well-written script. I also learned that practice helps make things easier so that is an important realization as well.

I also spent a great deal of time learning what stories work and what didnt. Next time I will try to not just scratch the surface of a story and instead dive three levels deeper. I know I have a lot to work on and a lot of improving to do, so I will continue to strive to do better. And strive to not procrastinate… As I tend to do.

I am also looking forward to it warming up, I feel like stories come easier when its not so cold outside! Brrr…


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Tiffany Littler: Reflection 1

Coming into this class, I was a little nervous knowing we had a visiting professor. I didn’t know what to expect and was worried about the structure of the class. However, I’ve been satisfied so far with this semester. Dr. Collins has shown great professionalism and treats us as professionals. She shows that she truly cares about us and wants us to succeed. I’ve been enjoying the little life lessons she gives, mainly how to manage our stress. Sometimes I feel like there’s so many of us in the class and not enough time to get everything done.

With the video essay, I killed two birds with one stone. At work, I got sent to cover a church that on fire. I decided to use that footage my video essay. With the feedback, I learned I need to work on my sequence of shots . That will help me both in class and at my job.

My VO/VOSOTVO 1 felt like a bit of a train wreck. There was miscommunication between officials at the rec center and it felt like it took awhile to get an interview set up. So I wrote down different ideas and made it to Plan E. Thankfully, my Plan A worked. I got the interview done and wanted to get b-roll done of the rec center, but the woman I needed to speak with about what I was allowed to shoot, was on lunch. So I had to come back a few hours later to get the b-roll and everything worked out.

I procrastinated on editing my VO and VOSOTVO which backfired on me. I finished my VO and script the day before everything was due and was going to finish the VOSOTVO on the day it was due. When I went to work on that, my VO had somehow gotten deleted on my laptop and my Adobe Premiere software started messing up (which I still need to get fixed). I started coming up with every excuse I could think of because I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to get everything done in time before class. About three hours before class, I rushed over to Dole and was panicking to get everything done. I surprisingly finished everything with about an hour and half to spare before class.

For future assignments, I learned my lesson about procrastinating. I now realize the importance of having multiple plans in case something goes wrong.


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Reflection – VOSOTVO – Jose Montoya

I feel really good. Before I met Dr. Janice Collins I knew this was designed to challenge students in the newsroom. When I got to class on the first day, I was even more excited to go on this journey to better my reporting skills.

So far our class has done a VO, Video Essay and VOSOTVO. The Video Essay was fine. I enjoyed doing the assignment and had fun with the editing process. I shot the video on 2 SD cards and ended up misplacing one of them. This meant I only had a little footage to work with. It made me upset, but I’m glad my Plan B ended up working out. Another unfortunate part was having little nat sound. The group I filmed did not give excitement when they scored and I did not get my money shot while keeping the camera on the tripod. Overall, it was not a hard assignment and I am looking forward to doing more Video Essay’s in the future.

As for the VO and VOSOTVO, there are so many options to film. I did not have time to get any footage until 12 hours before leaving to Indianapolis. I decided to film my advisor and have him talk about Greek Life. There have been four deaths on college campuses in the last 14 months because of alcohol related incidents. That is how I wrote my VO script. I think it worked out well and I am excited to do another one next week.

I am also happy how the script to my VOSOTVO turned out. I feel like the words were conversational and gave meaning to the story I was trying to tell. The story idea also flowed smoothly and it was a topic I knew a lot about. I think I should continue improving my editing skills especially with audio. Another thing that needs to improve is having the interview match with nat sound throughout the story. Overall, these things will improve by practicing more and more.

As a class, I think we did a great job at focusing on the assignment. All of our projects came out good and I am excited for next week’s videos.

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Helen Luna: Blog Post 1

The first day of class, I was unable to get my car started and I wasn’t able to make it. From that first moment I thought “I can already tell how bad this semester is going to be…” but I was wrong. It definitely hasn’t been easy but I know that I am learning and have already learned some very useful skills that will help me in my career. Although I’m still working on being more comfortable, I’m not nearly as afraid to present as I was just last month and I know that by the end of the semester I will have gotten so much better at speaking to an audience.

Our first assignment was the video essay. I actually had a lot of fun working on it. I started out outside… I was going to make a video essay about my neighborhood but due to the wind and the amount of noise I was dealing with, I had to restart. At that point, I didn’t have too much time until I had to turn in my camera so I had to think of something fast. I then decided I’d make a quick tutorial on how to make french toast. I had fun in the process and I think I got some really good shots the only problem I ended up having was with my audio.

When we were assigned the VOSOTVO, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I tried to think of something to do with the recent change in temperature and came up with the idea to ask my friend about how that affected her gym going experience. I liked where I was going with it at first but I think I got a little carried away. When looking over my script I felt like I wasn’t really clear about what my subject was. As far as my video, I had some unnecessary pans and know now not to do that. As far as my presentation, I feel like I really wasn’t able to deliver it with excitement and I know for my next project I need to write better so I can read more conversationally.


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The Chill of Winter: Kathy Wong Blog Post 1

This is the first blog post I’ve ever done in my life, so I’m pretty nervous and excited. Before starting this class I’ve only ever had experience with making two videos in my life. I had decided to take this class in order to become better at making videos, even if broadcast wasn’t necessarily the field I was heading towards. So it’s no surprise that I felt extremely nervous and even nauseous before the first day of our class. The night before I contemplated dropping the class and enrolling into another version of 550; however, my mom talked me out of it. So here I am, currently in our fifth week of class and although I feel stressed and anxious, I’ve found that I really enjoy our class. I’ve already learned so much in just these five weeks. I now know a lot more about the features in premiere and how to shoot video and each week I finding myself learning more and more.

The first project in the class was our video essay. I felt like the assignment had me on an emotional roller coaster the whole time. My first attempt, the day in the life of a KU student, seemed boring to me after filming it. My second attempt to film my DnD group ended up with the sound to be wonky. At that point I felt like I was gripping straws. I was freaking out the tI’d have nothing to show the class, however with some guidance from my roommate I was able to come up with one final idea. It turns out that being without a lot of video experience I spent hours upon hours of filming. I was never satisfied with my work and I made the mistake of panning and zooming, a big no no in the class. Thus, I spent more hours reshooting work. After hours of editing, I eventually was able to get a product that I felt was decent. From a classmate I was able to learn how to stabilize some of my shakier shots and I stored this information to use again in the future. After our critiques in class I was able to find parts in which I needed more work. I had shortened the ending, making it  zip past the screen. I noted this mistake and decided to ensure that I wouldn’t do the same in the next assignment.

The VO and VOSOTVO was our next assignment and I felt like it was just as challenging as our video essay. At first I was at a lost of what I could shoot, but I eventually decided on the weather. Next I stepped into the cold for hours on end to shoot video Monday evening. By the time I came back from shooting I couldn’t even feel my fingers or face, but it was worth it because I enjoyed my shots. It was forecasted that we would have gotten some more snow on that Tuesday, but unfortunately we did not, so it blew a hole into my plans of shooting some video of snowflakes falling from the sky. Another thing, much to my dismay, was that the weather allowed it to be warm enough to the point where the snow began to melt. I scrambled to get some more footage and decided to do some tight shots of areas where some snow had been left untouched by the sun. Then came the hardest part, editing the video. It’s probably because of my lack of experience, but it took me 6 hours before I had finished editing my videos. But though those trying hours I was able to learn about frame holding and some other techniques, like coloring and lighting. I found it shocking that I was able to even teach these techniques to a classmate. I feel like I ‘m always the rookie in the class, so it felt good to be able to help teach someone else. The next challenge was the script. I’m more used to writing for print, so it’s a challenge for me to come up with a more conversational style, however after our critiques in class I was able to grasp how to become more of a conversational writer. I thought I had shaken off the mistake of cutting videos short, but I made the same mistake once again when showing my soundbite. I learned that the interviewee needs to be in the shot for five seconds in order for it to be easier for viewers to process the lower third. I was saddened by the mistake, but it’s just another step within the learning process.



I really enjoy our class, and although I had been apprehensive in taking the class in the first few weeks, I’ve come to love the energy and the positivity of the classroom. I love how supportive everyone is and how much everyone is willing to help each other. It feels good to know that the people in class have my back and I have theirs. The class never fails to teach me something new and that’s what I look forward to every week. I hope to learn new things in our upcoming assignments and to steer away from my previous mistakes.


Caroline Appleby Blog 1


The class before Capstones start is always one where there is a great deal of pressure. As a student the main things on your mind are your grades and if you’re ready for the next level. JOUR 550 is a large stepping stone in the journalism school. In this class so far I feel as though I have become a better journalist in a short period of time. Many classes in the past weren’t able to give me critiques that would help further my career but coming into 550 each day knowing that I will leave knowing more then I did the previous class period and that I am one step closer to my end goal is a great feeling.

The first assignment we did was the video essay. I enjoyed this project more then I originally had thought I would. It is a simple but interesting assignment and to see what everyone else did was very fun because it shows different personalities. It was also helpful to get critiques and know what to improve on in our upcoming assignments. One thing I like about this class is that it isn’t focused so much on the grade you are earning but what you’re learning from each assignment and the take aways.

The next assignment was the VO and the VoSotVo. I had made VO’s before but had never done a VoSotVo so that was a learning curve but I overcame it. Choosing a topic for me was the hardest. I couldn’t think of anything that would be able to be accessible and allow video. With choosing my topic late I was decently happy with my video but I do know that there were things that I could improve on. My script writing is something that I am really looking to improve which I have gotten better with being in the news room but I know that there are still things I can improve on.

So far this class has been challenging and like none of my other journalism classes but I am enjoying the challenge. I think we have a very fun class that gets along well and the partners have been very helpful. Katie has been an awesome partner. If either of us have a question we just shoot each other a quick text and she is always happy to help. I look forward to new breaks because I think we will work very well together.


Caroline Appleby


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Jasmine Keys – Reflection 1 (VO, VOSOTVO, Video Essay)

This class has been pretty challenging so far, and I was not expecting to do this much in a month and a half. I like challenging though, and I think I have grown and learned so much already! Having a new professor and starting a new class can be very stressful but I think we all will get a hang of it. I’ve also been stressed because I have other intense classes this semester and it’s lowkey kicking my butt. I also have two jobs so I’m really getting experience this semester and I don’t want to complain.

For the first assignment we did, which was the Video Essay we could shoot anything. This is good and bad because my mind was all over the place. I think I work better with having a main theme then being able to shoot anything. I will be honest I waited last minute to pick a topic and shoot so it wasn’t my best work. I tried and did what I could and it actually turned out pretty okay after editing. I also take very long to edit so this was another challenge for me, but I was forced to get it together.

For the VO/VOSOTVO project, I wanted to do way better than our first project. I tried to get a better camera put waited again last minute to film, so I got stuck with the Canon. I learned this is a problem for me and I need to start getting better at narrowing down a topic fast. I think this is my number one problem and I think too hard or broad about topics. However, on this assignment I was a little faster about editing and had better shots. I can only get better from here and critiques we get in class really do help. I plan to use the JVC camera for my next assignments and make sure to watch out for bad audio because that seems to be a problem as well.I also need to work on more conversational scripts.

Links & Photo:



Video Essay: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvWqgOWxB4Q

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Assignment 1 McQueen


Before this assignment, I had never truly used a professional camera before. We had one at home that my dad would use and I would take it and take random pictures. I also learned from this assignment the different shots and angles to video and photography. I really enjoyed this assignment because it helped me come out of my comfort zone and taught me something new that I will be able to carry with me as I pursue a career in journalism.  Continue reading

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Assignment 1 Kerndl

Hi! My name is Angela Kerndl.  I am extremely relieved to be done with Assignment One.  The shooting and editing was a bit stressful and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing for most of the time while we were using Adobe Premier. That being said,  I am really looking forward to seeing improvements in my work throughout the semester.   I can’t wait to learn more about all things multimedia!

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Assignment 1 Li

Hello, this is Emma from Taiwan. Ready to find out how I felt about the first assignment of JOUR 215? Let’s start then!

Assignment one gives me the opportunity to make good use of tripod and to really concentrate on the subjucts by being attached to the equipment like I
was a part of it. For instance, I was almost lying on the ground in order to capture the stiff texture of the tiny rocks and wood pieces on the soil.
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Assignment 1 Smith

Hello! My name is Cassandra Smith and this is my very first blogging experience ever and I am so excited to be doing so for my multimedia class! I am a senior in Broadcast Journalism with a focus in history and music. I am thrilled to take this class as it ties in all mediums of the broadcasting world: Photography, video, and audio. I have experience with videography through my Television 1 class, but photography is a whole new animal for me.

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Assignment 1 Barakat

What’s up everybody! My name is Zack. This is my third journalism class I’m taking at school here. I am learning a lot so far and hope to learn more as time goes along. I hope to work in sports and entertainment someday and am looking forward to building my skills to be able to do so. I enjoy doing new things and I like to keep my life exciting. This is one of the reasons why I chose this field of study because everyday is different. I love being active and doing things that are fun and I think this field has plenty to offer in that respect. One of my favorite quotes is, “The best teacher in life is experience.” Hopefully many more experiences of which will come!

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Assignment 1 Blanco

Walking into class the first day, I did not know what to expect. Boom, off the bat everyone received their own equipment. From that point on I knew this class meant business and that we will be jumping into things quickly. When assigned the first assignment, I was comfortable with it since I have had some experience with cameras prior to this. The part that I had no clue about was adobe premiere. I have seen others use it and was introduced to it, but editing and doing it myself was going to be something I needed to learn.

View from the balcony of my apartment.

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Assignment 1 Schmitt

Assignment One is officially in the books, and I cannot wait to see where this Multimedia journey takes me! I really enjoyed this project because I was given the creative freedom to take pictures and videos of whatever I wanted. For me, I was able to shoot all of my images in my apartment building, which has 24 floors. I felt as an artist that there were enough objects and scenes to explore right at my doorstep. In my high school television class, I was able to use a camera very similar to the one I was given in this class. With that being said, this project gave me the opportunity to brush up on my past skills, and learn new ones, as well. I am by no means an expert photographer or videographer, but I love learning and cannot wait to continue to develop and improve. Continue reading

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Assignment 1 Caudell

Journalism is, to put it simply, a discipline of many required talents. One such talent is the ability to use a camera. Up until this point in my journalism career, I’ve had very few instances where I was tasked with shooting. That all changed when I got my first assignment for Dr. Collins’ Multimedia Reporting class. Albeit being a relatively easy beginning endeavor, tasking me with just taking a variety of different shots in the hopes of becoming acquainted with my camera.

The Ikenberry Dining Hall and SDRP at night, lit up with lights and the high spirits of all the students within

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Assignment 1 Polcyn

Hey! My name is Thomas Polcyn, and I am a sophomore in Broadcast Journalism. I actually came into the university planning on going the print route but after taking some of my journalism classes and getting involved on campus I have decided to go the other way. On campus I am one of the assistant sports editors at the Daily Illini, and am also the campus representative for Barstool Sports! With them I have learned a lot about writing, editing, and using social media. I’d consider myself to be pretty strong in the areas I have taken before, but I definitely have a lot of room to improve still and am looking forward to doing just that in this class.
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Assignment 1 Williamson

I’ve always liked to take pictures, even though I really haven’t ever known that much about it before. It’s been an entertaining hobby that I picked up on when I was little, watching my dad fiddle around with the camera on family vacations. We often joke with my dad that his grand-kids won’t know what he looked like while my sister and I were growing up, due to the fact that he was the one taking so many pictures, rather than being in any of them. If you’re reading this and have any interest in seeing the video I made for my assignment, you can check it out here!

I was really excited for the class after our first meeting, especially upon finding out the teacher was fun, but could teach me a lot, and also after receiving the nicest camera I’ve ever held in my hands. The first assignment worried me, however, as I was learning a lot. There was a new camera, with new focusing options, as well as new software programs, a new computer system, and other things. I was worried my nervousness and inexperience may have hindered my ability to take really good pictures and videos for the assignment.

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Assignment 1 Griffin

Going into this class, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. I thought, ‘Yeah we’ll probably do some writing, maybe a view voiceovers, just some boring stuff.’ But on my first day that mindset was immediately changed. During the first class period, we were handed an entire camera kit that contained a $2000 dollar camera. My eyes lit up. I cradled the camera like it was own baby. Yes, I have always had a knack for finer things in life and at the time was least expecting our journalism class to lend us such a nice camera for a whole semester, but this brought forth an excitement for a class here at UIUC I’ve never felt before.
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Assignment 1 Sullivan

I do not consider myself a photography novice. When I was seven years old, my dad gave me his old Minolta film camera from the 70’s, and he taught me to shoot with it. I still use it to this day. I have also worked with iMovie; my friends and I made a documentary together when we were seniors in high school. To my surprise however, I found this first assignment quite challenging overall.
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Assignment 1 Sabitt

During this assignment, I found it very difficult to complete. I had no previous camera experience and this assignment allowed me to learn how to use a camera in many different ways. I saw this assignment as a way for me to begin my multimedia journey. I found that my photos were not as well- done as other students in the class but I’m not too worried about that considering how I viewed this assignment as more of a learning experience.
Going forward, I would like to put together better quality. As previously stated, this wasn’t as much about quality to me, as it was an opportunity. I received some help from friend both in and out of journalism while doing this project. I have no previous camera experience and needed to know my way around the camera and tripod further, even after Professor Collins description. I think that the start of this class has been a bit overwhelming. It’s a lot to learn, and a lot to learn fast. I’m excited and motivated by Professor Collins’ positive energy and know that while I will struggle at time, I am also going to make it through and learn very valuable skills that I will need even if I weren’t Journalism major. Continue reading

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End of Semester Reflection


When I started this semester, I was very nervous about entering J-215. I had heard from friends that it was very difficult and demanding, which scared me a bit, despite the fact that I have a history in both radio and online content.

It didn’t take long for me to figure things out and get my footing. In the first assignment I started working on my photographic eye. There was a bit of shaky camera work here and there, but there are some shots that I’m still very proud of and shocked that I was able to create such great work so early.

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All Good Things Must Come to an End



A leaf with dew drips on it.

This semester was great because of Dr. Collins and J-215. This course was one of the best journalism classes I’ve taken at this university.

Our first assignment was a little tricky for me because I had to get used to using the Canon T5i. I grew up in a journalist lead household, but I never had the opportunity to use that specific DSLR camera.

Matthew at the Academy of African American Arts rehearsal on Tuesday night.

Matthew at the Academy of African American Arts rehearsal on Tuesday night.

The photoessay assignment came a little easier because I started using my camera more frequently after assignment one. We were required to have two versions, with sound and without sound. This assignment allowed me to truly focus in on video and music production because I needed to truly find the most ideal music to fit the pictures. My editing during this time was growing as well. After being in an After School Matters program at IMPACT Family Center for more than six years allowed me to come into this class more familiar with the concepts, skills, and experience to succeed.

Rev. K. Edward Copeland in Pastor Davis' office after the three night revival at Grace Fellowship Church.

Rev. K. Edward Copeland in Pastor Davis’ office after the three night revival at Grace Fellowship Church.

Champaign--Matthew's affordable drum practice items. (Left to right) kick drum pedal, kick drum practice pad, snare drum practice pad, stick bag, and sticks.

Champaign–Matthew’s affordable drum practice items. (Left to right) kick drum pedal, kick drum practice pad, snare drum practice pad, stick bag, and sticks.

For the third assignment, I decided to capture ‘A Day in the Life of Grace‘. I decided to do a video essay on my church’s conference in October. It was pastor’s appreciation month, and Rev. K. Edward Copeland came as a guest preacher on the second weekend of October.

All of the assignments kept becoming easier.

Assignment four was great! I am enrolled in J-335, which is audio journalism. This assignment was relatively easy because of my other class I was pretty versed with Adobe Audition.

Assignment five allowed me to shine light on my home, the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center. A Tale Without a Head talks about the problems the center has

Catching the Beat… This was a personal touch. Me and my buddy James Sims decided to do a how to piece about playing drums. This video shows one how to do a single stroke roll and a single paradiddle. I pushed myself on this project to get clear sound and video from different angles and everything.

Infographic displaying information about 'How to Protest'.

Infographic displaying information about ‘How to Protest’.

Our final project was the greatest one of all. We decided to do a website to be more creative and to refer to future employers. I completed the photoessay, edited the audio package, and did the infographic.

Don’t lose faith. If you know a lot of material and know how to work all of the cameras or if you don’t, please know that you will survive if you work together and utilize Dr. Collins’ active centralized empowerment. Have a blessed day and hit me up if you need me. 🙂

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A Semester in Review

Me in Paris

Me in Paris








We made it! Looking back, this semester flew by and I can’t believe all that I have learned. With how many bumps in the road I hit along the semester, I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and thankful for Professor Collin’s support along the way.

Tight Texture

Tight shot of a woven basket

We started with the semester with a “Get to Know Your Camera” assignment, where we learned the basics of using the camera and the other equipment we were given. Having taken photography classes before, I went into this project pretty confidently. However, if I’m being completely honest, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I had never really worked with video before and I was intimidated by the thought of having to put the photos together.

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Final Reflection Blog

We finally made it to the end of the semester, and it’s time for the final reflection blog we knew we would be doing since the first day of class. I’m going to go in chronological order, and write up a trip down memory lane.

Our first assignment was to simply getting to know our cameras. Mine can be found here, and it’s simply just me moving the camera around and taking a few pictures. If I was given this assignment again, I wouldn’t think twice about it, having used it throughout the semester. But at the time, I was still figuring out how to shoot video, and how to go through the pictures and video you have already taken. I also had no experience using a memory card and a memory card reader. So I had to teach myself how to use them. It turned out to be pretty intuitive to use these things though.

Our next assignment was a photo essay, produced with and without natural sound. We got to be really creative for this assignment. And it made us think about the pros and cons to using the nat sound. I remember walking around campus and thinking about what I would do for the assignment. For just about the whole week, whenever I was outside, I was thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to take pictures of that could make a good photo essay. While walking around I noticed just how many signs told people what not to do, and thought about a commentary on how instructed our lives are. I thought it would look better with a darker tone, so I decided to take the pictures at night. It was during this assignment that I felt for the first time, like you said in class, that we would be the producers making the technical decisions for what to shoot and how. Since this assignment involved sound though, I had to teach myself to use the recording device. I spent about an hour or so with it figuring out how to turn it on and get it to record. Once I figured it out, It was an easily accessible tool for the rest of the semester. But it required that initial bit of effort to get it to work.

Our third assignment was a video. I called mine Traffic and Nature and tried to be creative like the previous assignment. Thanks to the first assignment, I already knew how to use the video on the camera. And I used the sound from the camera since the video automatically records the sound. But different from the first assignment, I was trying to create something instead of just testing the different mechanics of the camera. I had to think about what I wanted in the video, and how it would look to the audience. I took the assignment in a bit of a different direction than I think we were supposed as it didn’t quite have a beginning, middle, and end. I tried to make something like a scene in the movie. And more than anything else, I was just trying to test my ability to create something I was thinking of. Given how I wanted to make a lot of attempts shooting the scene to make it look how I wanted, I didn’t really want to involve other people in it. I just wanted to practice making what I imagined be in the video.

For assignment four, we had to create an audio piece. Thanks to the second assignment, I just grabbed my recorder when I was ready to go. I knew how to use it, and it felt natural to me. I was proud of this piece because I covered an actual event–the shooting that happened on Green Street. I was shocked when I first got the Iliini alert, but then I knew I had to go over there and see what was happening. It was the first time I covered something live instead of making an appointment or going to a scheduled event. But in editing the audio and presenting it, I realized that I still had a lot to learn about editing. And I realized there was a lot of room for improvement in my narration.

Our fifth assignment was, in my opinion, the hardest individual assignment. It was the video package, and I went to a scheduled event on tai chi and qigong. After the event, I conducted interviews with the instructors. However, upon editing, I found that the audio for the interviews wasn’t working. The assignment was not even close to being complete without the interviews. So that night, I looked for another source, and contacted the Kung Fu academy. I was able to meet with them that night, and got more interviews. The project actually turned out better than I think it would of been originally with the original videos. I had multiple sources in the video to get different perspectives on it. The editing was also harder than it was for the audio since I had to edit it for the video as well as the audio.

The sixth assignment was my favorite, as well as the favorite for most of us I think. It was the how-to video, and I decided to demonstrate how to shoot a free throw. I went out to the basketball court near my dorm to film it. The difficulty in terms of editing was about the same as the last project, but we didn’t have to find sources. Instead, we got to be creative and make it fun deciding what the steps should be. I added music to it for the first time, using royalty-free music clips.

Our final assignment was our group project on colorism. We wanted to teach people about colorism, and discuss what we should be doing about. We worked together throughout the semester, and I received tons of help from my classmates after class in editing the projects. A lot of us would be there at night finishing editing, and we worked together a lot. But this was the first time we worked together in groups for the same grade. It was by far our largest assignment, combining each of the elements we did during the semester along with a website. And it was cool seeing all of the different mediums coming together to focus on one topic.

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Empowerment in Multimedia Reporting

headshotOn the first day of multimedia reporting, Professor Collins went around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves. From the back row, I told the class that I was a junior majoring in agricultural communications with an emphasis on journalism. Professor Collins’ response was, “So you have no experience with this?” It was true that I had very little experience with photo, video, and audio even though I had completed the prerequisite courses. I felt I had to prove myself, so from the start, I took this course seriously.

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We Made It


Me performing at the Krannert Center For Performing Arts



Me competing as a Fighting Illini

I can’t believe the semester is over! When I first started Multimedia, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have had some experience with Digital SLR cameras, but I have never really produced any video news packages before this semester. This class has given me a new love and appreciation for journalism and media. I think overall my work has definitely improved from day one.


The first project required us to take a variety of shots. This allowed us to get to know our projects. The Sigma 17-70mm lens let me take some great shots… I knew it would be a good semester after using this camera. When I exported my finished product I didn’t select “maximum render quality,” so I realized after what the video quality should have been.


A picture I took of a cow on the University Dairy Farm

The next assignment was the photo essay. This was one of my favourite assignments. One of my teammates is an Animal Science major, so she took me out to the Illinois Dairy Farm to get some pictures. I named my photo essay “The Story of Dairy.” I got up close and personal with the cows and tried to capture how dairy gets from the cow to your refrigerator.

The third assignment was the video essay. I can truly say this was my favourite project of the semester. I created a video sequence of some of my athlete friends playing their sports. The end result was great. Initially I took out the natural sound from the video, but I realized after I should have kept it in. I released a video on Faccebook of the same video but with natural sound. I got a lot of attention on social media. This project made me see I could do something with media in the future. Check it out here!


My freshman year roommate Emily Osoba taking the field

Assignment Four was an audio package. I did my story on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra coming to the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. I love classical music and the theatre so I knew I would have a lot of fun with this. Luckily one of my friends is family friends with two of the violinists in the orchestra, so I got to listen to them play a duet and I got some great interviews with them. It was such an honour to listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! Check out my piece here.


Krannert Center : Courtesy of Kwain Photography


Larry Neuman and Qing Ho with us during intermission







The next assignment was a full news package. It was just the beginning of the fall season when I shot this package, so I thought a fall theme would be great. I decided to write a story on Curtis Orchard and how they get the most business during the fall season. I got some great shots in the pumpkin patch, and some interviews with the manager and a few locals. This was one of the first few packages I have ever done, so it was definitely a learning experience. Looking back, I think I could have incorporated an interactive standup… but overall I was happy with the finished result. Watch my news package here!


A little visitor at Curtis Orchard

Our last assignment before the final was a how-to package. I once again decided to go with the theme of fall. I made a video on how to make pumpkin pie. I got one of my teammates to make a pumpkin pie at her apartment, and then I documented the whole thing. This assignment was not only fun to make, but the finished product was delicious to eat! Initially I wasn’t sure how I would frame my shots, so I just experimented with a bunch of different angles. I put some ukelele music in the background to make it more enjoyable. Watch my how-to piece here! 


The final product of our pumpkin pie


A spokesperson at the Freedom Forum

The final assignment was the real test of everything we have learned this semester. I worked in a group with Matthew, Anatta and Anaja. We were given the topic of “Student Protests,” so we had to produce five elements that tied into that topic. I worked mostly on the news package, how-to package, and the website. Overall, I learned a lot about finding sources for the stories. I had to find away to bring everything back to student protests, so that required a bit of planning. I also got to work on communication and teamwork skills with my group. In the real world you have to be able to work and compromise with people… so this project was a good test for that! Checkout our website here! 

I had such a great semester and I learned so much. I was heartbroken returning my camera today. I actually started looking up Sigma lenses I could potentially purchase for my Nikon SLR just because I enjoyed that camera so much. Thank you Dr. Collins for you kinda words and guidance… I have learned so much from you and this class. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

–  Jade Hilton

Twitter + Instagram : @jadehilton21

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A Semester in Review-J215


Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

Looking back at the semester, I am proud of my change in confidence. I have grown as a journalist by adding new skills to my journalistic experience. I am excited to now utilize my skills gained in Journalism 215 and apply them in a future job.

At first, I was not confident in my ability to use the camera.

Photo taken of my view from the balcony.

Our first project, camera practice, intimated me because I was unfamiliar with the camera functions. In fact, I did not leave my apartment to take pictures. Instead of walking around campus looking for photo opportunities, I safely stood on my balcony. Looking back, I am proud to say that I now look for more interesting opportunities rather than just the safe option.

Luckily, for my second project I left my apartment and took pictures of food on campus! I am really proud of this assignment because one of my photos was published in the Daily Illini! This class took on a new meaning once I was able to use my work in a printed publication and I am grateful for the opportunity.

My third project for me taught me the importance of titles. I worded my assignments the “Chiefs of Apartment of 215.” However, I did not show cooking in the apartment in my videos. I now understand the importance of highlighting what a video will show. I also learned the importance of taking interesting footage and clips. My goal at this point in the class was to make my project more unique and memorable.

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

Photo taken from google images of Illini Football field

My audio package was my first opportunity working with broadcast writing. I learned the skills needed to write and speak for broadcast. For this project I chose to focus on the hiring of Lovie Smith. While sports is not my preferred writing topic, I was excited to work outside my comfort zone to produce a very novel project.

For my video package, I chose to cover the 40 under 40 Award in Champaign. I developed interview skills in interviewing while using a camera, which I found to be different from my typical interviews. As a journalist, this project allowed me to feel comfortable with a camera.

I definitely enjoyed completing my How To video the most. I presented on “How to use a Fitbit.” I used new filming techniques, such as using sequences, to convey my message. Filming this project, for me was a more natural experience than my previous projects. By this project I was able to have confidence in my ability to film and edit.

The project I will remember most when looking back at Journalism 215 is my final group project. Being able to collaborate with a hardworking, motivated and fun group made this process memorable. I am so proud of our project, “Voices From the Field.” Every aspect of this project was completed as a cohesive group and I am so thrilled with the outcome of the final product.

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Final Project Reflection- Muno

Words of wisdom to anyone reading this post for advice on the final project: DONT PROCRASTINATE!!!!!!!! The final project takes a lot of time and work. To save yourself a few all nighters, and a lot of stress, periodically work on the project. PC gives you a lot of time to work on the project so start early. The more work you have done for your “check-ins” the more feedback PC is able to give you so that you can make your final project the best possible, (and this project is worth a ton of points). You have the flexibility to choose your final project topic so choose something you are passionate about! If you chose your final project to be about something you’re interested in, your final project won’t be such a pain. Since you are spending so much time on this project, put your best foot forward because you can possibly use this for professional purposes. So invest the time and effort it will pay off for your grade, and potentially your future.


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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!


Wow, I cannot believe the semester coming to an end! It has been a long journey, but as the title suggests, Time really flies when you’re having fun! It has been an incredible time in Multimedia Journalism. I have learned so much throughout this process, and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you below.  Continue reading

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It’s actually over: Jour 215, it’s been real.

img_0543(Me and Sharon Cooper, Sandra Bland’s sister after her visit to class)


Wow, Journalism 215 “Multimedia” is actually over. As I sit here writing this, it’s amazing to look back and realize that this semester has gone by so fast. Over the span of these 16 weeks, I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot including how to use a digital single lens reflex camera, (DSLR for short), how to create an audio package, and especially how to make a story out of limited resources. It means so much to me that I feel better prepared for my career as a broadcast journalist because of Dr. Collins’ class this fall. As you continue reading, you will get insight into what my experience was like this semester:

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I can’t get you out of my headline….

When I first signed up for this class, I wasn’t necessarily sure what to expect. After going over the syllabus on the first day of class, everything seemed extremely overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle this class with everything else going on in my life, but I’m so happy I stuck with it!

I hadn’t had much video experience, so I wasn’t sure how my skills, or lack thereof, would work with the all of the video projects, but I LOVED learning all these new skills the entire semester. I’ve always had a love for photography, but after this class, I really found a love for video and am absolutely considering incorporating video work into my future career.

This class is not a joke and certainly is not a blow-off class. Professor Collins has extremely high expectations, but they are not unrealistic and she is an amazing resource to use along the way.

For Assignment One, we were to make a photo essay and learn to use the camera equipment. I chose to create a story of gardening around my apartment. I found this assignment to be pretty straight forward since I already knew how to use the camera, however this was dipping the toe into the water of learning the basics of Premiere.

Assignment Two was a fun one! It was the photo essay with sound and I chose to tell a story of putting a record on a turntable. My sound bites were the noises used from taking out the record to putting it on the actual player, pressing play and then the song. The only thing I didn’t understand how this project was that we had to create two different videos: one with sound and one without. It seemed a little unnecessary to make one without.

Led Zeppelin album from my record collection.

Led Zeppelin album from my record collection.

For Assignment 3, we were to focus solely on video and I absolutely loved this assignment. I created a story line on my roommate who works with her hands but struggles from arthritis. Things got a little hectic during the initial editing process, but I’m so happy with how everything turned out! Love, love, love this assignment.

This is Maddie putting in lightbulbs at her job at Cream & Flutter.

This is Maddie putting in lightbulbs at her job at Cream & Flutter.

Assignment four was the audio package and I chose to do my coverage on the Made Fest during Pygmalion. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this project because I don’t like hearing my voice and broadcast is not something I have any interest in doing. I found myself getting super flustered during this project because I didn’t realize that my audio was pretty much unusable because of the bands playing in the background. This was a perfect example of why not waiting till the last minute is a bad choice, because if I had, I wouldn’t have had time to go back and re-interview new sources.

Icon for the Pygmalion component, Made Fest.

Icon for the Pygmalion component, Made Fest.

For Assignment 5, we had to incorporate all of the pieces into a final package. I chose to do mine on the end of the farmers’ market and found this to be surprisingly stressful. It wasn’t super prepared but everything turned out great.


The final independent project was the how-to piece and I absolutely loved this project. I chose to do mine on how to make juice and I thought this was super fun. I created my own little production studio in my kitchen and played around for the first time with different angles. It took me awhile because of how differently I had shot it, but I’m really happy with it! Get creative on this piece, it’s super fun!

Ingredients for the green juice recipe!

Ingredients for the green juice recipe!

Our final project was absolutely amazing. My group worked so well together and created a project that we were all equally proud of. We all contributed in different ways, with different portions highlighting our individual work. We decided on creating our own website on weebly instead of using the standard one and it turned out amazing! We interviewed lots of amazing people, took our own survey that got over 100 responses and learned so much about mental illness and each other. The main goal of our project was to take the idea of an uncomfortable topic, such as mental illness, and make it something comfortable to talk about. my main contribution was to create the video of Cate Lao, an Urbana resident with early-onset alzheimer’s. We shot the video with two cameras, which made the editing difficult on my end, but the final product was so worth all of the work. This project was amazing and I’m so happy with everything.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this class and am so happy Professor Collins is on staff at this University. Take this class seriously but have so much fun with it!

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It’s The Climb – Final Reflection Leahy


Here’s me! With some gum (ew).

3 months, 6 assignments, 1 group project, and 1 semester later, and I’m finished with Jour215. What a journey it’s been! Starting out as a little sophomore, I had never done anything multimedia. I remember receiving my camera bag and being terrified – what do I even do with this thing? But I knew I wanted to work hard and learn a lot.

After only one year of journalism, I was (and still am) not sure exactly what I want to do with my career. So I knew the more I knew (broadcast, video, writing, etc.) the better off I would be. So I set out with my camera bag into the sunset. Continue reading

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J215 — What a semester

This is me :)

This is me 🙂

This semester has flown by. The class has progressed so fast, and with it, all of us as journalists and individuals have to. I was really scared to start this class because I thought I would not be very good at shooting and editing because it isn’t something that I have had to do for a project or news story before. But I am happy with the progress I have made and I have learned almost exactly what I want to do with my career.

It was crazy how much knowledge I have gained from the first project to now. The first one was just getting to know our camera and practicing shots. I had a lot of fun with it.


Original Photo from my first assignment


Original Photo from my first assignment

Our next assignment was to do a photo essay with and without natural sound. This was one of my favorites because it was interesting to put the sound with the photos I got and to see it come to life, even though it wasn’t live video. I really enjoyed this and I realized I liked photography more than shooting video in real time.


My original photo from my first Photo Essay

For the third project we did another Photo Essay that formulated a story with not only the images or video we provided, but also with sound that narrated the story we were trying to tell. I decided to focus on something common for the average college student and crafted my story with all of the elements. I realized I was pretty good at capturing a scene in the moment and got better at close up shots.


Isaiah Michl in his room as he plays video games. Original picture from my Photo Essay

Our fourth project was to do an audio piece and I did mine on Social Justice in Athletics. This was right after Colin Kapernick took a stance during the national anthem that sparked national protests and even outrage from many and I thought it was timely to focus on that in collegiate sports. This assignment was a little tough because it taught me how important it is to get good audio. I struggled a little bit because I would get a good interview but was not aware of my surroundings and I learned that you have to get the best audio you can.


Lauren Smitherman from the Illinois Women’s Soccer team. From my Audio Piece. Photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Productions

The fifth assignment was  to do a video story on any topic of our choosing. This was hard because it was the first time that we weren’t being directed on what to do. It was time for us to look up events or find something that was prominent and newsworthy and create a story from it. This was one of the hardest projects I had done because I went through getting turned down for interviews and lots of things falling through and I had to figure out how to make a plan B, plan C, plan D. It was also hard not being able to include everything that I shot as well. I did mine on the play Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, which first premiered during the wake of the Baltimore riots during a pivotal time in 2015.

Darrell Hoemann/Illinois Theatre Dontrell Jones III played by Vincent Williams and Erika played by Diana Gardner during a rehearsal of Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea in the Studio Theater at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Directed by guest director Tyrone Phillips, the play runs Sept. 29-Oct. 14.

Darrell Hoemann/Illinois Theatre
Dontrell Jones III played by Vincent Williams and Erika played by Diana Gardner during a rehearsal of Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea in the Studio Theater at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Directed by guest director Tyrone Phillips, the play runs Sept. 29-Oct. 14.

Darrell Hoemann/Illinois Theatre Dontrell Jones III played by Vincent Williams and Robby played by Xavier Roe during a rehearsal of Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea in the Studio Theater at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Directed by guest director Tyrone Phillips, the play runs Sept. 29-Oct. 14.

Darrell Hoemann/Illinois Theatre Dontrell Jones III played by Vincent Williams and Robby played by Xavier Roe during a rehearsal of Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea in the Studio Theater at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Directed by guest director Tyrone Phillips, the play runs Sept. 29-Oct. 14.











The sixth project was our How-To piece. Professor Collins advised us to choose whatever we wanted to do our video on, as long as our editing, lower thirds, and shots were clear, concise, and had all around flawless editing.

I did mine on how to fold a t-shirt in the fastest way possible and I loved how my video turned out.


Photo from my How-To Video with model Dave Kendziera

Our final project was on the Psychological Effects of Racism with our main focus being on Colorism. In this project we had to work in Groups of 4 and had to implement all edits of media into the project with 5 components that went to it. We had to showcase everything we had learned in this class. It was one of the hardest projects I have ever done because we went through many hardships and it was hard for our team to create as one unit. Overall, we got it done but I learned a lot about it. You can read my reflection here and you can view our entire project on Weebly.



I learned so much in this class and it has shaped me to be a better journalist! I am so excited for what my future holds and i hope to continue to perfect my craft and get better at what I do. This class taught me lots of things that I need to improve on in class, with journalism, and as a person. I am so thankful. Professor Collins is the best!

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Done! :) :( – Muno



Looking back at my first project now (after I’ve finished the final project) I can see how far I’ve come this semester. I still remember struggling so much with the first assignment. Our first assignment was basically to explore our cameras. I never used a professional camera before coming into this class so I had no idea what I was doing.


UIUC Delta Gamma Sorority House

But that was the point of the assignment, just to play with the camera and get acquainted. I am a perfectionist by nature, so this assignment really irked me because I was trying to seek “perfect” shots. I would take 5 pictures of the same thing, trying to get my idea of the perfect shot. Let me tell you, the pictures you see in magazines and social media are not real. Those pictures are edited and photoshopped to appear perfect, so trying to achieve this unattainable task is not possible and will leave you frustrated and drained.


Memorial Stadium

For assignment 2 we had to create a photo package. We had the freedom to take pictures of whatever we pleased so I chose to go to Memorial Stadium. I had so much fun taking pictures there. I felt much more confident and comfortable using my camera for this assignment. After assignment 1 I recognized what I needed to work on, and in assignment 2 I practiced. I liked how much freedom we were given. I chose to base my project around football for my theme, but we could do whatever we wanted. It was cool to present our projects to the class to see everyone’s creativity, it was interesting to see how everyone thinks/sees differently which was evident through each person’s unique package.


Flowers at West Quad

Assignment 3 was a video package. We took the skills we had built up to this point but added a video element. I kind of did this package wrong I realized after the fact. We were supposed to have a story behind the theme of the package, but I forgot that component. So don’t take advice from me on this assignment lol read the syllabus and follow instructions.


Courtesy of Iheart.com

Next up, audio package. Truthfully this was not my favorite assignment. I am a visual person so audio isn’t my strength. This assignment emulated what you do in the class JOUR 335 (Audio Journalism). I went to the I Heart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas so I brought my recorder with me to the concert and interviewed people while I was there. My audio quality wasn’t the best, but I did recognize my mistakes and was able to fix them for my next project.


UIUC National Coming Out Day

Fifth package: video news package. This was my favorite package and my best package. This is the point in the semester where I saw how much I developed as a journalist. It’s crazy to think I had more issues with my very first assignment than I did with this package. I tossed around multiple ideas and pursued a few of them before I finally was set on what I would ultimately do. In this project, I learned a valuable lesson about commitment and perseverance which are essential to getting the best story and being a strong journalist.


How to Make an Egg-cellent Omelette

The how to video project was fun and easy. You get to demonstrate how to do something youre good at. Before you start write out a list of the steps and the type of shot you plan to use. This will be a helpful guide for you. Another tip is to take more than enough b-roll. It’s always better to have too much, rather than not enough. In my how to video I demonstrated how to make an omelette. Most of my shots were medium and tight shots , so I was thankful that after every other step before moving onto to the next I took extra b-roll of close up and extreme close up shots which helped me avoid jump cuts.



Last but not least our final project! Best advice: pick a topic you are interested and pick group members that are accountable. This project requires a lot of time and effort. Having something you enjoy working on with people you enjoy working with will make this project less of a burden. My group members and I worked on this project together every step of the way which produced a great end result.

Thats a wrap! Get excited, this is one of the most amazing classes you’ll ever take. PC pushes you and challenges you because she knows what you are capable of. By the end you will see how much you’ve grown as a journalist and as a person.

For the last and final time…

For Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Heather Muno.

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Profound Reflections of a Nigerian Sojourner

This has been such a fast-paced and interesting journey to say the least. The progression and level of comfort that I feel is really amazing. I can barely even remember the first concept type of assignments such as the one where I was instructed just to go home and play with the camera.

It was also nice to incorporate some of my personal interests into the early projects such as the one where i got to film my Buddhist temple. One with sound and one without sound. The hair washing video was probably the most difficult concept videos because I had no assistance. I’ve really grown to appreciate film and art PERIOD because it allows me to educate the masses and be vulnerable without literally letting them into my personal space…SHOWING my sacred space without SURRENDERING my sacred place is really vital to my holistic health.

I’m learning how important it is to serve from a place of maintaining personal boundaries. Having Sandra Bland’s sister come in further enforced just what media can do. I rece36696_10150209276925492_536685491_13713030_2556615_n1ntly watched 13th the documentary and it solidified my desire to go to law school and taking this class gives me the skill set and also the ability to present media or the same story from a different medium.


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To Be Continued

James Boyd wears a shirt that says, "UNARMED" in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

James Boyd wears a shirt that says, “UNARMED” in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Up until this point, every journalism class I had taken at UIUC was easy. It all came naturally so I never felt much pressure to get my assignments done. However, this class challenged me from the start and by the end I think it truly humbled me. Continue reading

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Assignment 1 Welch

After completing my first assignment for multimedia reporting, I’ve felt slightly overwhelmed with how quickly things are moving, but I’m definitely more prepared to take on the remainder of the semester. I’m learning how to navigate throughout Adobe Premiere while working efficiently and accurately. I’m grasping the concept of making the best work in the least amount of time, which is something I find pretty challenging but I’m determined to be able to work significantly faster with a better quality of work by the end of the semester.  

Being a full-time student working an unpaid internship in addition to a part-time, I’m a little overwhelmed and anxious for completing my work to the best of my ability, but I’m excited for the challenge and look forward to the rest of the semester. 


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Assignment 1 Kaufman

This assignment has opened my eyes to a new form of media, photography. Writing is a skill I have developed throughout my education, but taking photos for my work is new. I was brought out of my comfor
t zone as I attempted to navigate the new cIMG_4325amera functions. Once I was able to use the camera, I had to decide the most interesting angles for my photos. Reflecting on my project, I am motivated to find new locations for more interesting picture opportunities. My photos this week (see photo on right) were taken from up above, looking down. I chose to shoot my pictures from my balcony and now I want to venture out on campus. My new goal is to immerse myself and take more action based photos. I look forward to gaining new skills throughout this class.

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Assignment 1 Crittenden


Our first assignment in Professor Collins’ multimedia course was both nerve-racking and insightful. Our generation is defined by social media. Being a millennial means you should know  how to take pictures, or more specifically, selfies. With the advent of smart phones and social media sites like instagram, it seems anyone can be a photographer…or a journalist. I no longer believe this to be true. Have I used camera that is more sophisticated than an iPhone before? Yes. Have I used one for a specific assignment where I have to shoot specific angles with stills and videos? No. I now have a new appreciation for photographers and journalists who work to get “the perfect shot.” It takes a lot of patience and hard work to get what you want, especially in a photo. Any small movement or change in lighting can dramatically affect a shot. It was interesting and frustrating to try to capture the angle I was going for a lot of the time.

I finished my assignment and uploaded it. Its not perfect, but I am happy with what I was able to accomplish in a short amount of time, especially while having very little experience working with media in this way. I am excited to see what else the class will have in store for our class.


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Naya C

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Assignment 1 Hilton



The garden outside of Nugent Hall (Photo by: Jade Hilton)

After this assignment I have learned to use my camera in so many different ways. This first assignment required me to get creative with different camera angles. I tried to use subjects with good texture, color, or action to make the picture interesting.

This was my first time using Adobe Premiere so I am happy I now have a better idea of how to use this program. This will be useful for the rest of this class. I am extremely excited for our upcoming projects. It will be interesting to discover how I can use my camera to tell my stories.

You can checkout my Assignment 1 on YouTube.

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Assignment 1 Stephens

Today we finished editing and turning in our first assignment. I’ve never used Adobe, nor have I uploaded a video to YouTube before. I’ve also never used a camera like the ones we were given to take the pictures and videos. But it was still fairly simple to take the pictures and videos; and we were given a step-by-step lesson on how to upload and edit the footage we got. My media wasn’t very high quality, but I completed the assignment.

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Assignment 1 Muno

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Phew! Where do I even start? I have so much more appreciation for photographers, video editors and producers now because I didn’t realize the hard work that goes into this! I did not have much experience taking pictures with a professional camera before so I was starting from scratch. I learned that I need to realize there is no such thing as perfect- which is hard for me since by nature I am a perfectionist. When taking my pictures I would take multiple of the same shot because it never seemed good enough for me, but I realized that being this way made everything much more difficult. When I was uploading it took me twice as long to get started so I was behind from the get-go. Then when I was starting to edit I had so many clips to filter through and we were on a deadline, so this contributed to the pressure and gave me anxiety. But this was the first assignment and it was a learning experience so now I know what to expect and how to improve for upcoming assignments so I can have a smoother experience in the future.

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Assignment 1 Olin

After completing Assignment One in Multimedia Journalism, I feel slightly relieved but also excited. Assignment one required that we go out and play with our cameras. I think that was my favorite part of the assignment. I have never used a camera like this, so it was fun to experiment. I definitely need to teach myself how to properly use this camera because I want to get the best possible quality for each assignment.



Alice Campbell Alumni Hall

Alice Campbell Alumni Hall


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Assignment 1 Eaglin-Daniels


Future meteorologist Matthew Eaglin at NBC 5 Chicago’s weather room.

This first assignment was a great tool to help us, as students, become more connected with our cameras and other equipment. It was very interesting learning another camera compared to the ones I use at IMPACT Family Center, a non-profit on Chicago’s South side that teaches digital multimedia to youth. I experienced the shakiness that easily comes with the added weight from a better quality lens. I’ve worked with different cameras throughout my life, but none ever had different lenses. I see that I need to get used to using different lenses now to become a better photographer and journalist.

Also, I was reacquainted with Adobe Premiere during the exercise. Learning some of the regularly-used softwares in the Adobe suite was part of the curriculum at my high school, Perspectives High School of Technology in Chicago, IL. By the end of the assignment, I had a nice little stress headache, but every second of the exercise was worth it!

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Assignment 1 Henke


I had a lot of fun getting to know my camera. I have never had the opportunity to work with this advanced of a camera, so I went a little overkill with it. I took over 200 pictures and videos of people and places. My friends were getting really annoyed with me, which only made me want to take more. It wasn’t very fun though when I got to class, though. I had a hard time sorting through all of the footage, and I was constantly falling behind when Professor Collins was giving directions. It all worked out though, and a link to my published work can be found here.


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Assignment 1 Most

My first assignment for Jour-215 got off to a bit of a rocky start. In an effort to save money, I had my parents send me a family owned SD card in the mail, and a long delay had me receiving the package just a day before my assignment was due. But like any journalist, I got out and worked with my deadline. I’ve taken a photography class before, so I have faith in my ability to know how to shoot pictures, but I found myself, a previous video editor for my newspaper, struggling a bit to shoot video.

I didn’t come into the assignment expecting myself to shoot perfect video after a year or so not touching a camera, but I was a bit frustrated and critical of my g abilities. I had some ridiculously shaky videos that I deleted from my phones. Some of it was to blame on nervous and shaky hands, but I also can’t wait until I have a little more expertise with the tripod. Being a relatively tall guy, I found the handling of the tripod to be a little awkward and difficult. I hope that over the coming projects I work out how to tripod with more expertise.

As soon as I started editing though, I started to give myself a little bit more credit. My camera work will improve, but with a good amount of video experience and a couple photography classes under my belt, I think I showed an ability to capitalize on negative space and focus on movement and action. The end result are some pretty nice shots, both pictures and videos that despite a little shaky camera work, I am proud of.

Editing as well, felt smooth. I used to make and edit videos quite frequently in high school, but I’ve had limited access to cameras and applications that would let me edit on a computer at a high level. I can’t wait to learn the ins and outs (no pun intended) of Adobe Premiere like I did with other applications like Final Cut.

I enjoyed this project very much, looking forward to working hard on my photoessay.



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Assignment 1 Boyd

Media Table at Huff Hall

Media Table at Huff Hall

I spent my entire summer learning how to work with cameras, and also how to use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 to bring multimedia projects alive. Honestly speaking, I thought that I wasted a lot of time learning how to work behind the scenes, instead of covering a beat and writing about it like how I do here at school. My internship with Village of Romeoville Television included hours of time in the room I dubbed, “The Dungeon.” I edited all sorts of videos for VORTV like Police Department PSAs, Fire safety videos and even a goofy green screen video for the Romeoville Recreation Department. My boss, Kevin McHale is the media coordinator for Romeoville, so he taught me a lot about basic video editing, and the rest I pretty much learned from Lynda.com or trial and error.

All of that being said, I felt very comfortable completing my first assignment for JOUR 215. Using the tripod, zooming in and out, importing media into Adobe Premiere, all of those things are still fresh in my mind from the summer. I kept telling myself that it would be smart to learn how use multimedia to tell a story, and in now in this class, I’m doing just that.

I’m looking forward to our next assignment, and although it may be tougher than this one, I don’t feel any pressure when it comes to trying something new. My old track coach used to always tell me, “You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” So that’s exactly what I’ll strive to do in this class.

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Assignment 1 Maurer

Having taken photography and art classes before, I thought that this assignment would be a breeze. However, I quickly found out that creating a cohesive video is much more difficult than I had previously thought. Having to keep the camera steady while focusing the lens and thinking about composition was challenging, and I think that showed in my shots.

I chose to do the assignment in my room because it is a place very familiar to me, which I thought would challenge me to think creatively about composition, as all of the objects are fairly mundane. I found that I became drawn to certain contrasts and textures in my room that I had not paid closed attention to before.

Tight Texture

While the assignment ended up being more challenging than I thought – and in turn, did not turn out as well as I had hoped – it made me very curious about videography and the possibility of including it in my art. I think that as I progress throughout the class I will come to appreciate, and even like, video. It is my hope that this course will continue to challenge me in ways that I have not been challenged before, making me even more comfortable around a camera and expanding my skill set.

All in all, this assignment has made me excited to experiment with the equipment we have been given for this course and left me feeling inspired to take chances with my art.

The end result of my video is here.

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Assignment 1 goethals

My favorite still, texture shot.

I definitely felt out of my element when I started working on this project.  I’ve never used a camera other than the occasional disposable camera in grade school or a quick selfie on my phone, so I was nervous to get started. I didn’t realize how hard photography and videography is until I was looking through the lens wondering what I should shoot. However, I got more comfortable as I continued shooting, and even  came out with two or three shots that I really liked.

I was confused on the video portion, though. It didn’t occur to me to put action in my videos; an idea that now seems obvious. I was so concerned with following the assignment exactly and making sure I had all the right elements, that I think I left creativity by the wayside a little bit. Now, having used the camera and editing software, I think I will be much more comfortable and creative in the next project.

My video is here.

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Assignment 1 Smith

Still image of a building across the street from Krannert.

Still image of a building across the street from Krannert.

In preparation for assignment one, I was really excited: I had new, fancy equipment; and I had total freedom to capture whatever stills and videos I wanted. Professor Collins first talked about the assignment the first day of class, August 22nd and shortly after receiving the equipment, I went out to complete it. I decided to capture video and stills at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts . Once I got there, I realized there were so many different images I could have shot, so many different angles to capture, and buildings to record so of course I was eager to bust out my equipment to practice shooting.

Once I set up the equipment on Krannert’s steps, the first thing I noticed was a pretty building right across the street and another one adjacent to where I was standing. I began to shoot videos and stills of them. Many sequence shots and stills later, I had about 34 total saved to my SD card.

Completing assignment number 1, I think I am off to a really great start in this class, and i’m excited to see what else is in store for me this semester when it comes to multimedia. As of right now, I already have my first video on Youtube for class 🙂


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Assignment 1 Leahy

IMG_3238Leaving the first day of my new class, Journalism 215 with Professor Collins, I was intimidated and nervous. As a sophomore, this is all new to me. I received my equipment and camera and was sent out for my first assignment.

I had no idea where to start.

I took my camera and just started walking around campus. Our assignment was to get to know our camera and take some specific shots and video. You can watch my final product here, but this is just a snippet of what I learned with this assignment.

I was nervous to approach the quad and set up my tripod, but I realized that to be a journalist and get the story, you can’t hesitate to worry about people looking at you. I began just taking pictures of people on the quad. We’re lucky to have such an amazing campus!

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Assignment 1 Okonkwo

I am very grateful that I took TV-production 1 prior to this class because it gave me prior exposure to Adobe Premiere. If I hadn’t had that previous experience I would have found this simple assignment a lot more stressful than what it needed to be.

Looking at my classmates’ videos I definitely could have been more creative or taken advantage of this weekend but of course I was kind of last minute with my footage.



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Assignment 1 Pugh

Our first assignment from Dr. Collins in multimedia reporting was about getting to know our cameras. On paper, getting the ten still and video shots looked simple enough. But looking at the DSLR camera in my hands, it was clear that I had a lot to learn before shooting. I spent one night watching how-to videos on Youtube. The next morning I went to a park down the street to find something moving that I could film and ended up with maybe five usable shots. In class that day we got a lesson on using our equipment. So I kept going out, taking shots, and asking friends for help. IMG_3852

Take a look at my completed first assignment.

My camera is no longer completely foreign to me. I was anxious before I started, but I am glad Dr. Collins had us jump right in and practice the skills we will be using all semester (and beyond). Taking well-composed photographs and video is harder than I thought. I am starting to understand why photographers have that intense focus about them while they are working. It takes an attitude of initiative and thoroughness to try multiple approaches to get a good shot. I hope to tap into more of that intuition.


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Press Pass Journalism Summer Camp at the U of I !

It is with great Joy and Pride that I announce that I have led and completed my Press_Pass_Picfirst journalism summer camp at the U of I!. Great students from 13 years of age to 17! High school students who have never put a newscast together. Six days later, they shot, wrote, produced, reported, edited, and anchored their own 5 minute newsbreak!….using equipment for the first time! They even did the studio work, technical director, teleprompter, studio camera, playback…and on and on. I couldn’t have had a better group of students. They were truly awesome! They are my Magnificent Seven! Hugs….

Thank you to Dr. Jan Slater who put the idea of a camp into my vision, Rhiannon Clifton for your Directorship, Thomas Warren for assisting with the organization, and Ken Erdey for setup. I’d like to also send a special thank you to Casey Ludwig and Kyle Potthast who kept us going each and every day, John Paul for the impromptu text messages and visits to the Richmond Studios to help me put out fires, Rich Martin for your continued support of my projects-assisting with their success, Susan Conrad for helping me stay organized and ready, Jane Dowler for making sure all of the important behind-the-scenes bolts and screws were tightened and ready just in time for camp, Walter Stroganoff who brought your engineering magic, Taylor Judd and Meghan Smith for getting us set up online and with equipment, Dexter Smith who helped make sure we had the kits to get the job done, Anisa McClinton, Jessica Corso and Elizabeth Jassin for your mentoring and guidance for the students as Interns, Steve Bardwell for the impromptu phone call assistance, and to the parents-who trusted us to give their loved ones an experience of a lifetime. It was a wonderful, intense, 7 days! Best to Everyone! I’m so proud of my students and I look forward to seeing you all go on to do great things!


Dr. Collins

Students Final Projects On YouTube for Viewing!


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MediaPalooza 2016! NewsBreak Time!

mediapalooza 2016

Once again, I had an awesome time working with awesome students AND their parents for Mediapalooza 2016! There were some real stars in the making! It was exciting AND fun to see these students learn and experience what it is like to take a class in the College of Media at UIUC! I threw them, well, softly encouraged them with intensity (smiling), into the task of producing their own short news break! The room was filled with the same feeling one would find in a professional newsroom…Deadline…Technology Problems….Stress….Deadlines….and Running out of time. In other words, Deadlines! Lol…

With great attitudes and lots of support, they gave it their best and believe or not…in less than one hour they helped put their break together. They had no preparation, had not worked in this class lab before nor did they choose their subjects…Yet, still, they were ready for the challenge and I COULD NOT be more proud of their efforts! They literally had about 15 good minutes to put something together. I knew their stories would not be perfect, but their efforts and attitudes were! Two key ingredients towards being successful! We laughed together, worked together, and made something happen. It was so much fun! I’m really hoping to see them in one of my Multimedia or Broadcast classes in the near future!

A special thank you to my student volunteers who helped make this project possible as well as fun, Omoyele Ajayi, Fangyi Liu, Alicia Lee, and Hyun Jun Lee! In all sincerity, I COULD NOT have done this without them. So, thank you! Taylor Judd for his online assistance, Mike Bohlmann and Meghan Smith and their assistance with equipment!

A special thank you to Stephanie Drucker who was leading the march (Great Job!) and Shalayne Pulia who offered assistance just when I needed it (Whew!). Thank you.

Finally, a special thanks to Megan Tucker Zwilling who amazes me each year she pulls a rabbit out of her hat, purse, and laptop bag called called MediaPalooza.

Now….(Drum roll please….rrrrrrrrrrr…..). I present to you …. 15 minutes of FUN at MediaPalooza covering Music and Politics with Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kanye and Free Kesha!

Have a great day!

Professor Collins


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Success at IJEA Once Again!


Once again, IJEA News breaks were a success! I had some really awesome High school students who were eager and ready to learn and make it happen! In 3 hours they wrote, shot, reported, edited, and produced a News Break! This is hands-on experience at its best! In addition, I had THE BEST U of I student volunteers who helped our aspiring journalists every step of the way! With the valuable hands-on assistance and expertise from my right hand…Ken Erdey and my left hand…Mike Bohlmann…we did the almost….nearly….impossible in 2-hours!

Journalists for a Day!

Journalists for a Day!

Help a group of students from Illinois High schools who, 99% chance, we’ve never met or worked with, nor have they met or worked with each other, produce and record a short Newscast! But…WE did it! 4 of them!!!! Continue reading

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Assignment 1 Avilez


Simba Pillow Pet

“Why won’t this start recording?” I asked myself as I repeatedly pressed the photo shutter button. It took me two days to realize there is a separate button to take videos. That was however the purpose of our first assignment. It was meant to allow us to get acquainted with our camera equipment.

When we first received this assignment I wasn’t too worried about it because I own a Nikon DSLR so I’m familiar with the basic settings of this type of camera. I won’t lie I thought I was ahead of the game. Needless to say this assignment was a humbling experience.

Getting the still shots went pretty smoothly, but the videos took some work. After watching a few youtube tutorials I finally found the video record button. I also had some problems with focus when working with the record function. I particularly had difficulty with the pan left and right shots. My focus kept going in and out and you could hear my tripod moving in the recording. Once I got the hang of everything finding places with good light to shoot was fun. I took some shots around my apartment to practice and then I walked to a nearby park to get some natural light shots.

The editing process was much more stressful to me than the actual shooting. I had never worked with Adobe Premiere before and I am kind of a slow worker. I started to get stressed because most of the class was way ahead of me. I worried that I wouldn’t finish the assignment by the end of class especially when I noticed some of my shot were not the correct size. With the help of one of my classmates however I caught up.

After completing assignment one I feel much more confident in the editing process. Now I want to work on my focus issues when filming for assignment two. I also want to plan better for the editing process by choosing the exact shots I want to use before getting to class. I look forward to seeing my progress in these blogs throughout the semester. My video can be viewed here.

The innerself search: taking off invisible covers

Written by Vlada Bazeliciuc

This week, we attended the exhibition of Erica Gressman at the Department of Latina/Latino

Studies. I was very surprised by the content of the exhibition.

When I came in, besides photographs of Erica Gressman, there were also 3 videos of her

performance. Two of the videos were similar to each other. Both videos were dark and sad. I

think in both videos Erica Gressman was trying to explore who she really is underneath the

mask that the society pressures her to wear.

But the third video was different – strange and unordinary.

I rewatched the third video multiple times and I had very mixed feelings about it. Erica Gressman was wearing few things of the doctor’s attire and smoldering makeup. During the course of the video, she was drilling her own stomach and later wires started to show in the spot of her “surgery”. Her costume and the presence of wires projects to disbelief in the modern technology in the medical field. The end of the video was even more disturbing, her face and hair were covered in white splatters that resembled male ejaculation. I think this last detail of the video points out to the rape incidents in the twenty-first century. Overall, the camera was always full and it was hard for me to make connections between the little details.

In addition to the videos, a set of 5 photographs were hung up on the wall. The photos were

very earthy and spiritual. Gressman was holding a sphere made out of sticks and feathers. I

think this set of photos was a cry for help. Gressman represented the society’s expectation

by that sphere and her head was completely inside it.

Of course, this exhibition was not like any other exhibition I had a chance to see. But it was

an interesting experience. I liked how Gressman’s art made me think of the actual meaning

of it and its meaning is probably different for each individual.