For my last project ever at Ladue's broadcast technology program, I wrote a poem and made a video to go along with the poem. The picture to the left is a cool shot I got while filming. I decided to write the poem about moving on, and the junction between leaving something old and moving towards something new. I used the season of fall as a metaphor for this transition, because the leaves are falling and changing. To illustrate this in video, I filmed some of the pretty scenery around the area. The day I went to film, there was a huge windstorm that blew the camera over, but besides that there weren't many difficulties with filming. It took a while to get the voiceover perfect, but most of the editing was messing with color and effects to make the shots look really cool. I really like this last video and I feel like it sums up how I feel right now. It has been a great run here at Ladue View and I have learned so much. I will make another blog post around my last day of school to rehash on my 3 years here. Enjoy the video!
This month I produced my first music video! This is very exciting for me because I've been wanting to make a music video for a while now, and I finally did. The song also means a lot to me. I made the video to the song "The Bend" by Farewell Fighter. It took a LOT more work than I thought it would and was also a lot harder to edit. I really like having the creative freedom to do basically anything I want with the song. The song is about not being afraid to love and to keep going no matter what troubles you may have. For the video, I focused a lot on nature for this song, to carry across a message about love for each other and for the world we live in. There were a lot of difficulties in just trying to get the image I had in my head for the video actually on camera, but I am really happy with the final product. This is probably one of my favorite videos to make. I would really like to try another music video in the future..
Welcome back to my blog! It's my senior year, (FINALLY), and for the first month I actually made 3 videos. Two of them were for a collaboration with HEC-TV, a local educational television channel. I made two 15-20 second videos, consisting of a narration of fun facts about the location and broll of each location. I made one on Sumner High School, the first African American high school west of the Mississippi River, and one on the Dog Museum in Queeny Park. There was a surprising amount of struggle in making what I thought was going to be an easy project. First, there was no room to film at Sumner High to get a good shot of the huge building, but I was able to get creative and get some good shots. Also, the administration wouldn't let me film inside the school, but it turned out that I didn't need to get inside shots anyway. At Queeny, the dog museum closed at 4 every day, so I only had an hour each day after school to get there and film, and the park is already 20 minutes away from my house. Then, the museum wouldn't let me film the inside galleries of the artwork, so I had to restrict my shots to the outdoor artwork, and the area between the door and the inside. Once I got the shots, the editing was pretty easy, and I like how each of them turned out. I also made a video on Forest ReLeaf this month. My friend's mom is a director of the organization, which grows trees for communities and public places that need trees, and she asked me to make a video to promote the organization, so I decided to make it for Ladue View also. It was tough to find times to film, because the volunteers are only there in the mornings of Wednesdays and Fridays, and I have school every morning. But, being my last semester of high school (!!), I was able to get out of some classes and film. The people there were all really nice, and just seeing thousands upon thousands of trees was quite an experience. There were a few technical difficulties with the microphone, but I fixed them as best as I could in post. I don't think they take away from the story at all, and overall I really like this video too!
For this years final project, we each had to create a six word story that tells the story of ourselves, and turn it into a six shot video. Each shot had to be a different type and angle. The first challenge for me in this final was just thinking of what my six words were going to be. After much thought, I thought of a six word story that described my life, but they were lyrics from a song. I asked my teacher if I could use six words from a song, and upon receiving his approval, I decided to make my story, "Even broken wings can fly away," from the song "Sanctuary," by Paradise Fears. I chose these lyrics because "Sanctuary" is one of my favorite songs and these lyrics in particular are very meaningful, and have motivated me continuously to keep going even when I feel broken. For the video part, I knew at once I wanted some of the shots to be of birds, hence the "even broken WINGS can FLY away." I went to film birds and the park, and ended up spending two hours filming random animals and plants at the park. It was one of the best shoots I've gone on, I spent a lot of time trying to find unique angles with the leaves on trees and the sun shining through. Also, I got to film right next to a bunny and got an extremely close up shot of the bunny. After many ruined, shaky shots, I finally got some cool shots of birds flying. My final challenge was to figure out what to use for the other shots. While at the park, I also got a really neat shot of a dandelion and blowing the white fluff off of one, and I used it in my video to symbolize another form of "flying away," being free, letting oneself live, etc. I needed two more shots, and I decided to film the looking through of a photo album with pictures of myself and my family. I really, really like how this ended up. The way I see it, and designed it to be, is that there are three different symbols of a broken wing flying away. One literal (the bird), one symbolic (the dandelion), and one relating the words to myself (the photo album), showing myself growing up and branching out.
My last project of the year (besides the final project) was another Senior Farewell video. I love doing "behind the scenes" videos, and since I made the video for last years seniors too, I wanted to find a way to make it different. This was a bigger challenge than I thought, because basically the video needed to have the same message, and therefore a lot of the same questions. I mixed it up by asking the seniors what they thought of each other, which I hadn't done before, and also by asking funny questions such as "would you rather?"'s. This video was time pressed because I had to find time to interview each senior while they each had their own projects to work on too, and in the end I wasn't able to interview one of the seniors. This was a big disappointment for me, but I was able to pull a sound byte from another interview the senior had done. Finding a spot for the sound byte was another challenge, but I was able to make it fit. Another challenge I faced was that one of the days, two hours of my editing randomly dissappeared, and I still don't know why. It was frustrating, but when I finally finished editing, I had 20 minutes of video. The final day I spent cutting the video down until I had a four minute production, which ended up later being cut down even more for the show. After many exports and versions of the video, I was proud of the final product and I think it well represents our Ladue View Class of 2013! I will greatly miss the seniors but I'm excited to be a senior myself next year! It feels crazy to finally almost be on top after 5 semesters of being an underclassmen in the broadcast class.
My newest video concludes the investigative series on the teenage perspective on 21st century tragedies. It focuses on the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, and the 2012 Aurora Century 16 movie theater shooting. This video was the last of 3 in my investigative series. This video in particular I found the most challenging out of the three, for a variety of reasons. My interviewees were less comfortable with these two tragedies than the more publicized 9/11 and Newtown. The video talks more about their experience finding out about the tragedies rather than the teenage perspective on them. Also, it was difficult to find broll to use for this one, even more than the others, because again, these shootings were not quite as publicized as the other tragedies. However, I still think the video was moving and I am proud of the investigative series as a whole. It was a great experience to do something different, and to work on a longer term project. In the beginning, I was going to try to fit all of the tragedies into one video. I'm glad I went with the series format instead, because each tragedy is awful and deserves more than a just few seconds of video.
I have finished the second segment of my Investigative Series on the teenage perspective on 21st century tragedies! This video focuses on 9/11, beginning with students giving their separate accounts of what they remember, and then moving on to how it has and will continue to affect each of them throughout their lives. I also like this video, although it is sad, I think the message is important and clear. One major mistake in this video was an audio blip during an interview. I tried to cover this up, but I couldn't figure out how to, and I thought that the sound byte was too important to take out. Although to some people, editing perfectly and making no mistakes may be what is considered good, I consider the message of the video more important, and I thought the sound byte was very powerful. Another big challenge I had in making this video was deciding what to use for Broll. Many clips I wanted to use were copyrighted, etc, and so I used mainly video of the tower being knocked down. Looking back, I could have used Broll of students I interviewed around school, because the video is about teenagers and they talk about being at school, and I also think I should have used more "reaction" shots. However, I've watched several people watch this video, and the emotion I see on their face when they watch it makes me proud of it, even if there were a few editing blips.
For my first project of the new semester, I focused on the very serious topic of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, CT. This project went through a series of changes and at the last minute turned into an investigative series, in which each month I will cover the teenage perspective on a different 21st century tragedy. At first, I was going to cover 9/11, Virginia Tech, Aurora, and Newtown all in one video, but instead they will be separated in order to be able to add more to each. I really loved making this video and I think the teenage perspective on these tragic issues is EXTREMELY important to our country. Even though adults are the ones making the decisions now, in just a few short years, our generation will be the ones making the decisions. How we act, react, and the choices we make when we are leaders are formed by the events we have witnessed in our lives, whether we remember them or not. My generation has grown up in a world where 9/11 completely shaped the entire tone of our nation since we were just starting kindergarten. Adults know the difference of what the world was like prior to 9/11, but loads of airport security and a natural suspicion of everyone is all my generation knows. We're used to a world in which shootings are something that sadly, aren't too uncommon. Everyday we see and hear news of murders, kidnappings, robberies, attacks, bombings, and every other crime one could possibly think of. It's all that's around us. It's what we've grown up with, and it's what we are going to base our leadership off of. I hope that my video can help those who watch it have a better understanding on the "teenage perspective" of these issues.
The semester is quickly coming to an end, and our broadcast technology final is quite creative: we have a choice of three instrumental songs, each one minute long, and we have to make any sort of video that goes along with the song we choose (music video, news feature, etc.), it just has to tell a story. I chose the dramatic music and came up with the idea to make sort of a comedic public service announcement about procrastination. The beginning shows a student getting an essay assignment, and then the various phases of procrastination going along with the dramatic music to make it funny. I also added a color change, so when the student starts to procrastinate the color goes to black and white, and then as they walk towards the computer to start their essay at the end the color changes back to normal. Filming for this was pretty easy, but it was different that what I normally do because since each shot is only up for two or three seconds, I needed lots of different angles. The hardest part was color correcting, because I had to play around with the black and white color change for a while before it looked good. Also, it was difficult to get the lighting right because we filmed at my house which doesn't have very good lighting, and filming at a computer is difficult because the screen gives out a weird light compared to the rest of the shot. I really liked doing this project because it was a chance to be a little more creative and do something we don't normally do. I also like how mine individually turned out, I was a little worried before I filmed that it would be too confusing and people wouldn't understand, but the color and music help carry it along, the shots are neat and the overall storyline is funny.
I mentioned in a previous post that last month in my AP U.S. History class we made documentaries for one unit. This month, I made a news story about the project and why it is useful, by interviewing the teachers who ran it and students who participated in it. My purpose was to get the idea of using video and technology in the classroom out to other teachers by showing an example of how it can enhance learning. I'm almost done with this video, and my main challenge is figuring out what broll to use with the interviews. I love the sound bytes themselves, I think they're informative, interesting, and inspiring, but none of the broll I have seems to fit with what they are saying. Today I'm going back to film the teachers and students during class, and I think that will cover some of the interviews well. I really like the meaning of this video, because it combines two of my favorite things: video and history. My favorite part of broadcast is when I can combine it with another subject that I love, so this project was really good for me!