So I’m not Mulan, but I’m about to do some serious self-reflection on what I learned during this semester.
As I reviewed my first blog post and reflected on the goals I hoped to reach, I realize that they were kind of one sided. I hoped to learn more about the community, which I did, but I didn’t include any of the new production skills I was going to soon learn. I learned so much about how to properly record audio and video stories and the important tips and components required to make them of quality. I also learned an immense amount about editing and the post-production programs for each.
I didn’t form any production skills/concepts I expected to learn from this class, but clearly exceeded those expectations. Since we were actually forced to navigate and apply these editing programs on our own assignments, I learned so much more than if we would’ve just reviewed them in class. I had to put forth real effort to truly learn the ins and outs of the editing software and I’m really happy about that looking back.
Perhaps the most important skills I learned through this course were the soft skills though. Taking photographs of the public and being forced to ask their name and title was a big step in creating the braveness/confidence aspect, I also learned a ton from the conceptual side of things. It is so important to plan a project beforehand and following through with those plans are just as crucial, it is also important to be able to listen well and be able to adapt in situations that don’t follow the bricks you’ve laid in your mind. Being a good critical thinker is key when editing in post-production and being able to look critically at your work and just when you think you have it done, ask how can I make this better?
The web story assignment was the best at testing my interpersonal communications skills. I literally went into Bart’s Flea Market and waited for customers to come in to ask them if I could interview them. I had hoped to interview a vendor and luckily ran into one. I feel this really upped my annie in the outgoing side of interviewing, it required some serious courage to go up and talk to complete strangers and see if I could ask them some questions and record them, luckily most of them were kind and willing to help. It also took some patience to be able to wait like I did but it ended up adding into the honesty of the story as well, I didn’t bias the interviews by searching for them and got differing views on the subject.
I found the video story project the most meaningful because it ties in aspects from the entire semester, from photography, to video and even editing skills. This assignment also required a lot of soft skills like interviewing, planning and determining what perspective to take on the matter. I also really loved the end product and being able to still use a creative side within the project, from the unique angles used to shoot video to the editing process of being able to add in music and transitions. Shooting B-roll footage for this project was my favorite. There was also a personal meaningful aspect in creating this video. I love being able to promote agriculture and it felt pretty great to be able to generate something that can inform students on campus.
The audio assignment had to be the most challenging for me. However, it was also one of my favorites because of how meaningful it was to the interviewee. I really struggled with the editing software for this project. While it was rather easy to form the right questions and create the interview that I had imagined, I faced a lot of challenges in post-production. I really disliked how many times I had to convert the file back and forth. I also had a heck of a time maneuvering through editing chunks of myself talking and unnecessary information from my interviewee and still making the entire audio file flow. On the bright side, it turned out far better than my initial expectation and I had a lot of fun creating a promotional Instagram post to go along with it.
If I could go back in time I would tell myself to find new ways to promote the field you love rather than focusing so much on diversifying yourself. I had such big plans to get involved in world news and the truth is, it’s just not that interesting to me. Instead of wasting my energy worrying about that, invest it into promoting the livestock industry or finding new ways to inform the public about agriculture as a whole. It is important to keep in mind that being diversified is still a necessity in the field of journalism and that you can be an expert in certain areas at the same time.
All in all, I’m proud as a peacock of how some of my projects turned out. I had to push myself to branch out of my comfort zone and test new styles, concepts, programs and forms of journalism.
It’s crazy that this is the last assignment I am completing of my undergrad work and even more bizarre that I’m graduating tomorrow. What a great class to end things out on. I am excited to continue my education here at the University of Wyoming in the graduate program. As always, go poke.