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Reflection Blog Post

This semester has by far been the hardest that I have experienced. I feel as though I have gained as much knowledge in this single semester as I did during my four years in high school. COM 210 has been an incredibly informative and engaging course. In this class the opportunities to stretch creative thinking were abundant. I can’t think of any other course at Washington State University that gives students more hands on, real world experience.

My favorite unit was the one involving Adobe Illustrator. Before this class I had no clue that Adobe Illustrator even existed. This class gave me the opportunity to build a foundation of knowledge around the software. I have virtually no artistic ability, but through Illustrator I was able to bring an artistic idea to life. The introduction I was given to the software allowed me to tap into my creativity and produce something like this:

logo-project-final

The video production unit was second highest on my list of favorites. I have always possessed a fascination with video. It is an interest that I intended explore, but I never had the chance until taking this class. The video that I produced (found here: https://youtu.be/IqGB61Mt2z4) is one of the best pieces of work that I have ever created. I put hours into making it, and I learned so much in the process. Now video production is something that I could see myself doing as a career. I am certainly going to use the skills that I learned from this project in the future.

One issue I have with this course is that I don’t think we had enough time to spend with each specific software. Every unit was three weeks, and that is barely enough time to scratch the surface with software like Photoshop or Illustrator. I realize that all the content had to be fit into one semester, so there isn’t much that can be done. I think students would be able to get more out of this course if it was somehow able to be extended over two semesters.

Helpful websites that I used for this course are http://freemusicarchive.org/ and http://dig.ccmixter.org/free_music. These provided the background music that I used in my video story, as well as my audio story. In my opinion music is one of the most important parts of telling a story, and I found the perfect music for free from these websites.

COM 210 has been a very beneficial course. Learning how to use the Adobe Creative Cloud software is something that is both fun and useful. I would highly recommend this course to anyone, regardless of if they are majoring in communication.

 

 

 

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Final Video Story

Music from Video found here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/Migration/Thread_of_Clouds

The idea behind my video was to provide information about my fraternity in a way that is engaging. I went into this project with the intention of creating a video that would earn me a good grade, and would also be able to provide the fraternity with content that could be used as a form of historical documentation.

My first order of business was to put together a storyboard. I listed out all of the ideas for narration and shot choices, along with the time frames of each scene. In the end I didn’t follow my storyboard very strictly, but it was crucial in the brainstorming process.

After my storyboard was complete I wrote the narration for each individual scene and then recorded them using my cell phone. Having the narration made it a lot easier to decide what shots I needed to gather. I spent about two weeks gathering shots from various places around Pullman, and from events that we held as a fraternity.

With the shots gathered and the narration recorded I slowly began editing my video together. I found free to use background music on the internet, and chose a song that created a somber atmosphere. I wanted people to understand the daunting and horrifying feelings that come with starting a brand new fraternity. The music in this video is possibly the most important part. I edited the footage to line up with both the music and the narration. It was pretty easy to do this by using the razor tool.

I think that the coolest thing about this video is that it was made with my cell phone and computer only. I didn’t use any fancy camera or recording devices. I do have a real video camera, but the camera on my phone is better. While I could have produced a higher quality video with better equipment, I think that it is pretty awesome that the things we carry in our pockets everyday have the ability to produce content like this.

Premiere Video Story Rough Draft

Music from Video found here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/Migration/Thread_of_Clouds

In my mind I wanted to create a video that was both entertaining and educational. A lot of people know nothing about the history of any of the fraternities at Washington State University. I wanted my project to give a brief history of our chapter, and also talk about what makes it unique.

Before I go on, it is important to mention that this project isn’t complete. Think of this as a preview to what the final will be. There is still footage that I need to gather this weekend before I am able to finish the project.

The first thing I did in planning was creating a story board, and a script to go with it. I knew that this project was going to be narrated for the entire time. Writing the script before gathering the footage gave me a better idea of what I needed footage of.  I recorded the narration with the microphone on my cell phone. It isn’t the best quality, but my options were limited. After recording, and deciding what footage I needed, I set out to begin filming. I probably spent an hour gathering footage from areas around campus and Pullman.

The most tedious and frustrating part of this project (so far) has been editing everything together. I had a hard time deciding on what background music to use, and I also had some difficulty deciding if I should edit the footage so it is in sync with the narration, or with the background music. I decided to go with a hybrid of both. At times it is more appropriate to sync the footage with the narration, but at other times it isn’t very important. The background music I chose sets a very serious tone, which is what I was after.

In all, this project has been enjoyable, but it has taken way more time and effort to produce than any of the previous projects. I now have a much better understanding of what it takes to make an entire a short video by myself.

Raw Footage and Storyboard

Storyboard

Visual Elements Audio Elements
Scene 1: 0:00-0:15 Shot of WSU letters, shot of Butch outside of Martin Stadium, Shot of logo printed outside of the bookie. Final shot should be related to greek life. Background music (tbd) with narration over the top giving an introduction to WSU and greek life.
Scene 2: 0:15-0:30 Shot of flag or letters. Shots around Stevenson towers (Where Sigma Alpha Mu was founded) Narrator gives description of the birth of Sigma Alpha Mu at WSU
Scene 3: 0:30-0:45 Pictures of founding moments. Shots of CUE (where first chapter meetings were held) Include pictures of the original members. Narrator talks about the humble beginnings of Sigma Alpha Mu
Scene 3a: 0:45- 0:52 One shot of the Mall. One shot of the outside of the CUB. Narrator talks about how recruitment was conducted.
Scene 4: 0:52-1:12 Interviewee 1 being interviewed in front of the greek letters in house.   Interviewee talks about what it was like to begin building a fraternity from the ground up and how it grew.  
Scene 5: 1:12-1:27 Shot of DRA real estate. Shots from around the outside and inside of the house.   Narrator gives description of the acquisition of the house and talks about the importance.
Scene 6: 1:27-1:42 Interviewee 2 being interviewed in front of greek letters in house. Interviewee talks about how the house was able to give Sigma Alpha Mu a better shot at being recognized in the greek community.
Scene 7: 1:42-1:52 Shots of other greek houses within the community. Back to Sammie house. Narrator talks about other houses in the greek community. How they are nicer and well established.
Scene 8: 1:52-1:59 Shots of guys hanging out around house and other places. Narrator describes how Sigma Alpha Mu has different goals in mind. The chief goal being forming a strong brotherhood and helping each other to reach their full potential.  
Scene 9: 1:59-2:14 Shots of brothers doing various things. (Studying, hanging out, retreat) Narrator talks about the values that are instilled in the members.
Scene 9a: 2:14-2:22 More shots of brothers doing various things together.   Narrator describes the significance of these values.
Scene 10: 2:22- 2:27 Shot of interviewee 3 in front of greek letters in house. Interviewee talks about what makes us unique (goals, brotherhood, why he joined)
Scene 11: 2:27-2:42 Various shots from around campus. Narrator recaps on what was said earlier about greek community and WSU.
Scene 12: 2:42-2:54 Various shots from retreat and other leftover footage. Narrator gives closing remarks talking about what sets Sigma Alpha Mu Apart
Scene 13: 2:54-3:00 Credits Credits