For my second spring semester here at NSU, I opted to take classes that would enhance my media professionalism and skills. I wanted to start working with equipment, learn about editing, format, software; use as many things as I would use in my daily work in the media. This class did just that.
Before this class I knew next to nothing about video/audio editing. I had never used Adobe Premier before; never heard of a 5 shot sequence. I didn’t know about all the ways you could edit audio separately from your video and easy it is to add voice overs. I wasn’t familiar with terms like VOSOT, VO, etc. I didn’t know what a “full package” meant. In the first week it became apparent that I was in over my head. I had no idea what was going on and it was very overwhelming to understand how little I actually knew about this class. But I stuck it out. I wanted to learn and I wanted my skills to grow.
Even though my skills now aren’t perfect; they are light years away from where they were at the beginning of this semester. I went back to look at my first video and my angels where awful and the audio was shaky. The light wasn’t right and the transitions to the next clip were choppy and too fast. It’s amazing how looking at it now, I can see so many mistakes that are apparent. Mistakes I wouldn’t have noticed at the beginning of the semester. My first video compared to my last shows growth and understanding of what a good media package would look like. It wasn’t perfect; but the audio was better. The transitions were better; I remembered to leave an extra second of audio before moving on to the next clip. I learned how to play with natural sound in the background and it improved the overall content. It was a package I was proud of. I know soon I’ll look back on it and see what I saw in my first video, apparent and sloppy mistakes, and I’m excited for that. Because that means continued growth.
Not only was this class challenging because of the skills being taught, COVID-19 impacted my ability and performance in this class and made it that much more challenging. The first thing COVID-19 impacted was my beat. At the beginning of the semester I chose “Breaking College Stereotypes” as my beat. I wanted to explore all the different pre-conceived ideas college students had before starting college. I wanted to see what stereotypes they thought they would deal with, and where that stereotype stemmed from. Where they told by their parents that college would be nothing but one big party? Was it a common belief in their church that being a college student would mean constantly choosing between God and school curriculum? I wanted to ask all these questions and follow them up with what their college experience revealed to them. Was any of these stereotypes true? Did they encounter any of them in their daily life as a student? If so how did it affect their college experience? If not, how did their perception of college change?
Before COVID-19 I was able to film a few stories from my fellow students. One colleague I spoke with said she was shocked at the support she received as an African American student at what she thought would be a primarily white college. I also spoke with a Christian student who said that while balancing her church life and school life could be challenging it was something she enjoyed doing. I enjoyed it immensely. Part of the reason I want to be a part of the journalism world is because I think there is power in everyone’s stories. Whether you think you’re important or not, your story could change someone’s life. And I want to be the person who helps tell it.
However, because COVID-19 required social distancing it became very difficult to reach out to students and get these stories. Also, before COVID-19 my laptop broke unfortunately and so I was very limited by what I could do as far as editing and formatting as I only had my phone. So for the rest of the semester I made video diaries like the one above. These videos talked about how I felt about COVID-19, what my daily life looked like as an essential worker, how things like Easter holiday was affected, and what I thought the world would look like after this is all over. Even though I would have liked to continue to explore my original beat, talking about current events and how they impacted me was interesting. I did not prep before making them, so every video is my honest thoughts as they came to me.
This semester has definitely been one for the books. Although it did not go as I planned or even thought it would; it was still full of opportunities to learn and grow. Stepping forward into the next semester of my college journey, I feel more confident than ever in my choice to join the media field. This class has solidified my love for media and proven to me that if I work hard and push myself I can gain the knowledge and skills I need to go far. Even as I’m saying goodbye in this class, I’m excited for what the future holds as I continue to be a part of NSU’s Communications Department.