Final Video Project: Digital Storytelling

No matter if you go to Crossfit or workout at Half Acre, being active is what Jeremy, Abigail, and I wanted to portray in this video storytelling assignment. Our goal was to find and compare two different forms of exercising by interviewing qualified people who participate in these fitness activities. We interviewed Christa Munari, an avid Crossfitter, and Henry Jurkowski, an avid weightlifter. Our goal was to ask the two of them why they participate in the activities they do and why they enjoy it.

My favorite part of this whole experience was piecing all of our clips together into one video. We got so excited every time we thought something worked and looked good – Cassie can vouch for us. It was truly so much fun to see everything  come together into one piece.

I also enjoyed the filming aspect of this project. You never really know what you’re looking to film until you’re in the actual filming location. You might have some incredible ideas, but once they’re executed, they might come out differently.

I didn’t enjoy uploading the videos from my phone to the computer. That was stressful and time-consuming. Half of the videos that were captured on my phone said they were corrupted and that really freaked me out. Therefore, I decided to restart my phone to see if it was a technical difficulty. Luckily, that worked.

Another part of this assignment I did not necessarily enjoy was trying to export the project from Adobe Premiere Pro. We couldn’t figure out how to export it into a format YouTube would accept. I had to leave and go to class, so luckily Jeremy was able to figure it out.

What was surprising was how time-consuming video editing can be. You have so much raw data that you have to re-watch over and over again; it gets extremely repetitive. After that, you have to figure out how different pieces fit together. I was surprised we were able to make everything flow smoothly. I have no experience editing video so I thought that was going to be tougher than it was.

I wish we were able to figure out some more of the ins-and-outs of Adobe Premiere Pro. I think it would have been able to help us out with our project. It took us longer to figure out simple tasks when it should have been done more quickly. All in all, we did the best we could with this assignment and I am very happy with how it turned out.

I want to work in public relations, so by having experience with Adobe Premiere Pro, I believe I’d be able to compile a basic public relations video for a client. By learning the basics of how to tell a story through a video, I believe I will be more successful in the future. I’m excited for future opportunities with editing video.

Advertisements

Wyoming football: Live tweeting from “The war”

Wyoming vs. San Diego State

The University of Wyoming football game against San Diego State University was crazy. It was full of emotion for a couple of reasons. First off, it was senior day. Fans were sad to see their favorite players compete in their last game at War Memorial Stadium. Second, there were some impressive plays and questionable calls. Emotions ran high on both sides of the spectrum; fans went from being ecstatic, to sick to their stomachs in a matter of seconds. Being able to capture the emotion and the remarkable game first hand was great experience.


How I utilized Twitter

First, I introduced the event I was covering. Since it was senior day, I decided to include that piece of information in the next tweet. After tweeting these two pieces of information, I decided to tweet every time a team scored a touchdown or a field goal. Right off the bat, SDSU scored a touchdown on the kickoff. Soon after, Wyoming got a field goal.

In the midst of tweeting the scores, I also wanted to capture the atmosphere around me. As I said previously, emotions were running high because it was senior day, and because the referees made multiple questionable calls. I captured this emotion by interviewing a student sitting by us who knows some of the senior players, and by interviewing a Wyoming fan who was upset about penalties, or lack thereof.

In addition to these interviews, Wyoming football games always have various forms of entertainment. Whether these are on the video board or on the field, the crowd always seems amused. The same student I interviewed was sitting with his girlfriend, so I got a photo of them laughing at what was happening on the video board. In addition to this, I also managed to record a short clip of the Western Thunder marching band performing at halftime. These two events weren’t necessarily related to the sport action itself, but were important to the event as a whole. Therefore, I felt it necessary to include.


Hiccups along the way

Biggest hiccup – My phone died about 20-minutes into the game. I was not a happy camper. That morning, I had purposely charged it for extra time so it wouldn’t die. My phone was literally at 73% when it shut off. I was in panic mode for a few minutes, but then I decided to deal with it. Luckily my sweet husband, Stephan, let me download Twitter on his phone. This was frustrating because I was falling behind tweeting the happenings of the game because phone service in War Memorial Stadium is sketchy. I decided to write my tweets in the “Notes” app on the iPhone. Once Twitter had downloaded, I resumed live-tweeting the football game.

Other hiccups – I had lost track of how many tweets I had written due to the technology malfunction, so I ended up tweeting more than required. Better to be safe than sorry, right? In addition to that, I only tweeted for the first half of the football game. I was going to try to do the whole event but I didn’t want to use Stephan’s phone the whole time when he could be using it. If my phone had stayed alive, I would have covered the event differently.

It’s safe to say my phone dying was a huge surprise during the assignment and was something I didn’t enjoy. I’m not sure what I need to do to prevent this in the future… Maybe get a new phone? Mine seems to hate me.

From these hiccups, I learned that even though your plans to live-tweet can go drastically wrong, there are ways to get through it without failing.


Favorite parts of live-tweeting

I love working on a deadline. I know I sound weird, but having worked at a newspaper in the past, deadlines have always pushed me to do my best work. While live-tweeting, these deadlines were short and unexpected – if something tweet-worthy happened, I had to write something as quickly and effectively as possible.

I also enjoyed capturing the environment surrounding the football game. Yes, the actual game action is enjoyable, but the events happening along with the game are more fun to cover. Looking back, I wish I would have had the opportunity to go on to the field and tweet from there. It would have felt more professional but I am only a mere student. Tweeting from the stands was just fine, and allowed me to capture the fan reaction to the game.


Future social media usage

I don’t necessarily see myself live-tweeting football games or other events in my future, but I do see myself utilizing social media in other ways. Possibly independently creating social media pages for various companies! We’ll see.

UW vs. CSU: A new rivalry featuring social media

steamboatVS.csu-rams

This assignment isn’t about effective and ineffective uses of social media. It’s supposed to be, but not this time. This is a test of two rivals. Two rivals who constantly go at it in athletics, but not in anything else… Therefore, this is a competition between the University of Wyoming’s use of social media, and Colorado State University’s use of social media.

Let the games begin.


Social media platforms explored

While evaluating UW and CSU’s use of social media, I noticed right off the bat that CSU has more depth in its use of social media. In addition to the standard social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, CSU also has a prominent presence on Google+, YouTube, and Flickr. In contrast, the only unique social media accounts UW utilizes are YouTube and Vimeo. Neither used Snapchat.

Like the assignment stated, I only evaluated the two schools on their standard social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn).

UW’s social media presence

UW’s social media presence looked solid at first glance. If I were a user just going to UW’s Facebook or Twitter, I’d just think it looked like your typical university social media page. On UW’s Facebook, there were links to the university’s news releases and to other interesting articles relevant to the school. There were also videos including the recent “safety dance” from UW’s defeat against Boise State University. With these observations, it’s evident that UW is posting shareable content on its Facebook. According to socialmediaexaminer.com, this tactic is one of 10 ways to increase Facebook engagement. Twitter was similar in that it shared many of the university’s press releases and other articles, but didn’t have much visually intriguing content. It had mostly links. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, UW’s Instagram presence was also interesting. Each photo was accompanied with a descriptive caption. Lastly, UW’s presence on Pinterest and LinkedIn weren’t the most interesting. It seems as if the Pinterest page only advertises for Pokes gear, and the LinkedIn page isn’t active. I think every university automatically has a page on LinkedIn, but it’s their choice to utilize it. UW does not have a Snapchat.

UW’s branding and message

Throughout all of the social media platforms evaluated, all of them were consistent with the same branding and message. Each had the logo and had the idea that the University of Wyoming is a great place. From working in UW’s Institutional Relations, that was basically the motto. Each presence related that to a point.

UW’s effective use of social media

  1. They’ve incorporated shareable content. According to  socialmediaexaminer.com, “your content should make people stop in their tracks.” One link in particular that is “shareable” on UW’s Facebook is the link titled, “14 Reasons to Drop Everything and Move to this One Wyoming City.” This isn’t a press release written by the University, but it’s something UW-lovers will share.
  2. UW’s Facebook and Instagram page is “driven by visuals.” Each platform uses photos and videos to engage viewers. According to thesocialmediahat.com, “Visuals used in Facebook posts perform better than simply textual posts.”
  3. UW has also created a fun atmosphere on its social media platforms. The best post is the “safety dance” video as previously mentioned. “Do not bore your target audience out of their wits. You, in fact have to give them reasons to check out and interact with your social media presence. This isn’t going to happen without some fun,” according to thesocialmediahat.com. UW does just that.

UW’s improvements to social media

  1. Using more visuals on Twitter. It will help followers engage more.
  2. Possibly beginning to use Facebook live more often. This would increase viewership and make the information more personable. According to socialmediaexaminer.com, it helps viewers engage with the community.
  3. Use LinkedIn more for press releases. UW does a good job using Facebook for them, but using LinkedIn would benefit them more because of

CSU’s social media presence

CSU’s social media presence is also solid. The university uses all five social media platforms efficiently. CSU does a great job engaging their viewers. In light of the Cubs winning the World Series, its Facebook page shared a screenshot of a tweet from Feb. 2, 2016: “It is a rare CSU snow day. Does this mean 2016 will be the year the Cubs win the World Series? -tf.” This post was shared more than 1100 times in less than 24 hours. With that, the school’s Facebook has already created shareable content and has also mixed up its content, another tip from socialmediaexaminer.com. By mixing up its content, I mean CSU not only posts press releases and articles, but also photos and screenshots its followers will enjoy. It’s Twitter page did a better job than UW… By using more visually capturing content, the followers will be more drawn to clicking on and retweeting links. CSU’s Instagram page basically has the same content as its Facebook does — same photos, same captions. Its Pinterest is more in depth than UW’s Pinterest but still has the same idea as selling merchandise. It also touches on things to do in Fort Collins and on the weekends. They also have a College of Health and Human Sciences page with recipes and various healthy habits. CSU’s LinkedIn shares press releases about the college and also provides information about where CSU graduates work today. CSU also did not have a Snapchat.

CSU’s branding and message

CSU also embodied the same brand and message throughout each of the platforms. It had the CSU logo and also made the university out to be a fun and exciting place to be.

CSU’s effective use of social media

  1. The use of videos is great. One video in particular is similar to Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos. Instead, CSU made popcorn treats. Since these food videos are so popular right now, it’s intriguing that the Facebook page is catching on and utilizing the interest people have in those videos. This coincides with “provoking engagement” — a tip from thesocialmediahat.com.
  2. CSU’s Twitter account is also much more engaging. It uses many visually appealing messages to engage followers. Most tweets have photos accompanying them and also have links to read more. These are both shareable and is also driven by visuals (thesocialmediahat.com; socialmediaexaminer.com).
  3. CSU’s used of LinkedIn is effective. It gives a number of how many people graduated are employed in different areas and also shows the success of its academics.

CSU’s improvements to social media

  1. Is it bad that I didn’t really find many?
  2. One improvement that could possibly benefit CSU is the idea that they could share more news releases on Facebook. Since most people use that platform, more people would see that.
  3. Honestly, CSU is doing a great job with its social media platforms. I truly only have that one recommendation.

A huge learning experience

From doing this assignment and learning about social media through these articles and the panel, it became evident that the use of social media is much more important than one might think. What interested me the most was how Jessica spoke about conflict-resolution and that you have to respond. This is parallel to socialmediahat.com’s tip that your social media presence should be humane. “The best brands with successful social media currency are able to add a human touch to their social media presence and interact with friends and followers as a real person would,” the article states. I never thought about the fact that one can’t just ignore negative responses on social media. It’s best to respond and to engage in polite conversation.


WHO WON?

CSU won this battle. Sorry fellow UW students. They’ve just got the social media game down.

 

Jeremy’s love for golf, golf-ball-looking rides (a.k.a. Epcot)

Epcot: Where Jeremy’s dreams came true… Even though he forgot the name.

Plusses and minuses of editing audio

You never really anticipate how long editing audio can take. While editing my 5-minute raw audio segment, it took almost an hour longer to narrow down to 2-minutes than I thought. It’s a tedious assignment, but also enjoyable once you create the final product. Piecing segments of a story together is interesting because you can create something entirely new. It’s cleaner, more concise and much more enjoyable to listen to than the original.

Now that I’ve been through this process, it makes a lot sense why it takes so long to cut. When you’re trying to find pieces of audio that will fit together, you need to listen to the raw audio over and over again to make sure you cut segments at the right spot.

Surprise, surprise

I had a really hard time editing out minor sounds out of the raw file. Even though I did my best, I was surprised these things weren’t easier to alter. I spent hours trying to edit this and I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the audio sound as smooth as possible. The transitions were also really tough because of the speed at which Jeremy was speaking. While editing, I noticed that much of what he said and how he spoke meshed with the next sentence. Therefore, it was harder to cut information out of one section and paste it into another. This was frustrating and no matter how hard I worked at it, it still was not what I wanted.

What I’d do differently

Next time, I think I’d ask my interviewee to speak more slowly. It wasn’t an issue at the time of the interview, so I didn’t think to re-do it and ask him to speak more slowly. I noticed it while I was editing the most. This, I think, would help the process to go more smoothly. Next time, I hope I have the opportunity to make the transitions sound more smooth. Even though I spent hours working on this, I’m sad it couldn’t be more seamless. Next time, I hope to approach it differently.

Jeremy’s favorite childhood vacation

 

This interview experience was interesting. I’m used to interviewing people for accuracy when I’m writing a news story for print, so actually having the raw audio as the final product is weird. The audio recorder I used was my iPhone 6. It was annoying because it would stop recording every once in a while so I’d have to re-start it. I think this happened because the storage on my phone is getting full.

I thought being the interviewer was going to be more stressful than being interviewed. I can talk for hours, but coming up with questions I thought Jeremy would be able to elaborate on was difficult. The funny thing was – after all that difficulty – I ended up only needing to ask two of them. He was able to go on for almost the full five minutes.

Being the interviewee was fun because Jeremy asked about my experiences in Washington, D.C. I felt like I was able to tell my story to its fullest potential in the five minutes and I truly enjoyed talking about it. I also enjoyed asking Jeremy about his childhood experience in Florida. It’s always fun to hear someone recount and commemorate their treasured memories.

One thing we both disliked was the way we sounded after being recorded. We both asked each other, “Is that how I really sound?” I feel like that goes for everyone though… No one likes how they sound! Establishing eye-contact with the person you’re interviewing is also very awkward for me. I tend to just stare and not look like I’m engaged in conversation, so I need to work on that.

After interviewing Jeremy, I kind of kicked myself for not being able to ask more questions. He was just so good at answering what I had asked in the first place! I also wish my phone had worked better. It was giving me such a hard time and I got really frustrated. I’ll just have to make sure I have enough storage next time I interview someone.

Other than these few frustrations, this assignment was really fun. I’m excited to begin editing it down to two minutes.

Photojournalism assignment

“I’ll Fly Away”

image3
University of Wyoming students release balloons in honor of late UW student Ina Goodman, Sunday Oct. 2 at the Bim Kendall House in Laramie.

This non-sports feature photo is from the tree dedication before  “Running for Ina.” I wrote about this dedication for my web story, so I wanted to experience the celebration.

This particular photo was taken before the run at the tree dedication. It was a very emotional time for those attending the event, including myself. The words spoken in her honor were beautiful and it was uplifting to watch so many of Ina’s close friends and family reflect on her life.

It was difficult to get a shot like this. Everyone kept moving around and I didn’t want to block anyone’s view of the balloons flying away.  I held my phone above my head to shoot this. I’m happy with how it turned out.

The creative devices I used for this shot are rule of thirds and color.

  • For rule of thirds, I believe the people count as the bottom third of the photo, the two main balloons fill the middle third and the sky and trees are the top third.

“Branching Out”

image4
Luke Andrews, a senior at UW, walks to the Engineering Building for class, Friday, Oct. 7.

I was walking around campus to try and find frames in nature and I stumbled upon his particular tree. It was interesting because it was a perfect view of students walking to class one day.

I felt like a creep while taking these photos. I was in the tree taking pictures of him. He was freaked out, I was embarrassed; it was awkward. Luckily he told me who he was and I was able to identify him.

It was easy to get this shot, but it was hard to get one that looked good and that made sense.

The creative device I used in this was framing. 

  • I used framing on purpose to see if I could shoot a photo of someone walking through the opening in the branches. Luke is perfectly framed in this photo as he walked to class.

“Look Up!”

image2
Kat Moran, a sophomore at UW, looks at her phone while walking to the bus stop on Friday, Oct. 7.

I was walking around campus to see if anything was going on. Although I felt awkward taking photos of random people, I saw Kat was so involved with her phone. She wouldn’t look up. It’s an interesting dynamic with college students – always on their phone.

It was pretty shocking that I got this shot. I wasn’t planning on standing next to a tree to snap someone next to it. It was kind of a fluke actually but I love how it turned out. The tree is blurred, but it shows perspective and contrast.

The creative devices I used in this was cropping.

  • Cropping was another creative device I used. It would have been awkward to just have a tree trunk in the middle of the photo from farther away. Therefore, I thought it was a better idea to get closer to the tree and take a photo of her with the tree trunk blurred.

“Celebrate”

image5
UW students begin a 5-kilometer run for late student Ina Goodman, Sunday, Oct. 2.

This is the selected sports feature photo I took. It was after the tree dedication as people were beginning to run the 5K. I wrote my web story on this event so that’s how I knew about it. The atmosphere was sad at the tree-dedication, but once people started running people were celebrating in honor of Ina.

It was difficult to take this. I wanted to get more of the runners but the people in front of me were slow. So it shows more of the attendance at the event.

I felt awkward taking these photos. It was a sensitive event. I didn’t want to interfere or upset any close friends or family members.

The creative device I used was viewpoint: 

  • I used viewpoint by taking this shot from above, it shows how many people showed up to run.

“In the Dark of the Night”

thumbnail_img_1092
Hanna Conlin and Tyler Bates sing while walking home from Homecoming festivities on Friday, Oct. 8.

This photo was captured Saturday night after some Homecoming festivities. I was being nosy while walking home to my apartment and wanted to capture people heading home for the evening.

They were singing and walking along and I thought it was adorable. Although I felt kind of stalker-ish, it was worth it. It was very easy to get this shot and the light in the photo made it interesting.

The creative device I used was the rule of thirds.

  • This device works because the couple is in the middle of the photo on the right side.

Dachshunds & creative devices

Photography is hard

Trying to execute a specific creative device is harder than it seems. While taking photos, I would think of an interesting idea and then fail miserably. This was the most surprising… Luckily I got a few good photos.


“Smells and Snacks”

Smells and snacks
Rory the dachshund sniffs and nibbles on flowers while on a walk around Prexy’s Pasture with her master, Anna.

In the first photo titled “Smells and Snacks,” the dominant creative device is the rule of thirds. Rory and the green stems of the flowers make up the lower third of the photo; the flowers fill the middle section. The sky completes the top section of the photo solidifying the three horizontal sections. The concrete and the tree on the right side shows the vertical third.

By using the rule of thirds, the viewer is immediately drawn to Rory smelling the flowers. Rory and the flowers are the focal point of the photo. The many elements fulfilling the rule of thirds creates an aesthetically-pleasing photo.

Another creative device used is establishing size:

  • Establishing size: I laid on the concrete to capture this shot because Rory is only 8-inches tall. I didn’t realize it at the time, but showing how much taller the flowers are shows how small she is. Since she is tiny it’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

“Noses and Snouts”

A nose and a snout
Anna snuggles with her 5-month-old dachshund, Rory, while sitting in Prexy’s Pasture.

In this next photo titled “Noses and Snouts,” the dominant creative device is cropping. I purposely took the photo close to their faces to show the affection between Rory and Anna. Although Rory’s head is blocking most of Anna’s mouth, you can see her smile. If the photo were any further out, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the same emotion.

This photo shows the love in their relationship and also draws the attention of the viewer. This photo is  aesthetically-pleasing because you can feel the raw affection Anna has for Rory.

There are no other creative devices that were used for this photo. I strictly meant to use the cropped creative device.


“Shadows and Snuggles”

fullsizerender-1
Anna comforts her dog, Rory, on an afternoon walk around the University of Wyoming campus.

The third photo titled “Shadows and Snuggles,” features the leading lines creative device. The tree’s shadow is a straight line. With Anna and Rory at the base of the tree, the shadow leads directly to them. A leading line is like an arrow, so the shadow is pointing the viewer’s eye directly to the subjects of the photo.

This direct shot to Anna and Rory creates an aesthetically-pleasing photo because the viewer doesn’t have to do any work to figure out where the subject is. The shadow of the tree does the work for them leading directly to the focal point.

There aren’t any other obvious creative devices used in this photo except establishing size:

  • Establishing size:  The shadow of the tree is very wide making Anna and Rory look smaller than normal. It gives the viewer a sense of how large the tree actually is. The photo is aesthetically-pleasing because it puts the subject and the size of the tree into perspective.

“Nature’s Distractions”

Nature's distractions
Rory is calmed down by her master, Anna, after barking at other dogs and squirrels in the area.

This particular photo titled “Nature’s Distractions” uses viewpoint as the dominant creative device.

While photographing, I took photos from standing on a rock. Rory was squirming because there were other dogs and squirrels in the area so Anna was calming her down. By using viewpoint, it created a better angle showing Anna looking down at Rory, and Rory looking at a squirrel. This is aesthetically pleasing because it tells a story of what is happening in the photo.

There aren’t any other creative devices used in this photo.


“Small Dog – Tall Master”

Little dog – big dreams
Anna and Rory watch a bicyclist while playing in the grass at the University of Wyoming.

This last photo titled “Small Dog – Tall Master” uses the creative device contrast.  The light on the grass behind Anna brightens the photo in a different way. Anna and Rory aren’t fully backlit, but the contrast of the light behind them and where I took the photo from creates an interesting contrast.

This photo is aesthetically pleasing because the lighting outlines both of their bodies is crisp manner. I personally noticed the outline of Rory’s neck the most. They are both the focal point, so the viewer will be drawn to them due to the lighting.

Another creative device is viewpoint.

  • Viewpoint:  I took this photo lying on the ground. Therefore, it creates a different viewpoint for the onlooker. Rory looks larger than normal and Anna looks taller than the trees. It’s aesthetically pleasing though because of how abstract the viewpoint is.