I think my biggest takeaway for the year is understanding the importance of the undocumented citizen. With each assignment we’ve finished, in a small way, each assignment was building off of that (for me at least). Especially with the sound piece. Starting from an archive to re-tell and re-purpose an event or person was paying homage to their sacrifices, and their lives in a format that is not typically used.
I feel like the project had a way of unintentionally teaching a real life lesson outside of the digital environment. Step back and really focus in on the people around them rather than themselves, and make it your business to let their story be heard.
A lot of times in a digital environment, we create with a purpose to spark conversation about something, by telling other people’s stories it creates a platform for their achievements to start a discussion.
Working as a producer in this class has given me a deeper understanding of digital media that I was never able to achieve as just a consumer. I have gained an appreciation for all of the nuance required to create anything meaningful in these various mediums. The difficulty of finding the perfect shot, the frustration of searching through code to find the one error ruining the whole website, the struggle of reading a script and speaking naturally, with every project came a full list of challenges that I would never have anticipated. That’s what makes the finished product so fulfilling though. Overcoming those challenges and making something that you can’t just delete or destroy like all of the failed versions that came before it. Something that earned the right to exist. Something that shares a little piece of yourself with the rest of the world.
Now when I watch television or movies, or listen to a podcast, or admire a beautiful website, I am always trying to see through the perspective of the creator. Attempting to appreciate all of the carefully considered decisions that took place before that piece saw the light of day. Maybe I will continue to create, but maybe not. Either way, I will never again experience media in the way that I did prior to taking this class.
Ah yes. The semester is finally almost over and I’ll finally be done with this class. Just joking.
So this class is definitely not what I thought it would be. When selecting an english course all I was looking for was a class that fulfilled my last gen ed english requirement and didn’t deal with old literature. Well, I at least got half of that. While requirement wise, I did not get anything out of this class, I thoroughly enjoyed all the work we did. Coming into the semester I thought “Writing for the Web? Like writing for websites or online newspapers? I guess they’re different?”. So I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
What the class ended up being though is completely different. Website building, video, photo, and audio editing, while completely opposite from what I thought I would be doing, I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Especially the video editing, so I’d have to say that was my favorite project from the class. This has definitely been the class I enjoyed the most this semester because I enjoyed being able to sit down for a couple hours at a time, listen to some music, and create something that is my own. And that feeling of creating something original, that you came up with, and then knowing enough to actually make it, is a fantastic feeling.
I definitely recommend this course to another student because I see the benefits from it, even if you aren’t going into a career in media production. I’m not. As long as the course description is a little longer than “writing for the web”.
I’ll be honest, the only reason I stayed in this class after finding out what it actually is was that it was the only class that fulfilled the last class I needed for my Minor that didn’t conflict with my other classes. I would certainly recommend the class for someone in the media production track, but I am still somewhat disappointed I did not get the practice in writing that I wanted.
I am glad that they changed the title for future students so they aren’t blatantly lied to like I was.
While I don’t necessarily plan on using most of things I learned in this class for the type of career I’m looking for, it was pretty fun. I think learning the basics of these programs allowed me to get a much deeper sense of appreciation for high quality audio, videos, and pictures that I took for granted before. This stuff is not as easy as the professional make it out to be.
I also found it pretty entertaining to find out just how powerful the Disney corporation is in The Remix Manifesto.
So I don’t know if this blog post will actually qualify as an “ultimate” post, but it is the last one and I wasn’t able to title the second to last post “The Penultimate Blog Post,” but that disappointment aside, I enjoyed this class. At the beginning of the semester, I was pretty sure that I was not going to be this class’s biggest fan…by a long shot. Technology and I do not get along and this class seemed really overwhelming, especially where the programs we were using were so complex.
I thought it was interesting though to learn about the culture of remixing and the controversy behind copyrighting things. To see the points on both sides of the copyright argument between the creater and the remixer, but it’s tough to see which side I agree with more, although I am more partial to the side of the remixer.
Learning, not to master the technology, but to work my way through it with a basic understanding at the least, was something that I’ve been fairly proud of being able to do. I do believe that having a basic understanding of how to use some of this technology will help me in my aspirations of becoming a writer. I think that in this day and age, having an understanding of technology is essential regardless of your career path and something that you need to have if you want to further yourself and your potential. While also being introduced to new technology and controversies in the sense of copyright, I have also been introduced to new types of media, from the short documentary to podcasts. Although I knew these things existed, I myself hadn’t had much exposure to them and I didn’t realize how interesting I would find them.
All in all, this is a class that could be challenging at times for myself, I did enjoy it. I think a large part of my enjoyment and willingness to work on my understanding of the programs we used was because of my classmates and Dr. Campbell. I know that sounds cheesy, but without the willingness to help and the support of so many people in the class, I would have given up many weeks ago.
The class felt like the techniques for video and sound editing.
Framed in a specific way.
Very short lengths of time focused on one specific thing to keep the reader from getting bored and distracted.
With a specific theme in mind.
I think these major stand-outs stick in my mind because they are highly relevant to me with Youtubing.
If you do monologue, for the love of dog, change up your visuals.
Also, leave a gap at the top of your head and the edge of the frame you weirdo.
Can vlogs have a theme? A message? Perhaps. Maybe look at the to-do list and try to come up with a way to frame the day?
Keep learning ways to improve your video editing skills.
Maybe glue a pompom over your camera’s mic to make the wind sound not so prominent when recording outside?
A vlog from before this class:
A vlog from after this class:
I think it’s obvious which one is better quality.
From my work this past semester I’d have to say the idea of copyright halts creativity. People who copyright are selfish and only want their work linked to their name; when in reality allowing their work to be remixed into something new would allow that work to be constantly repurposed. Who wouldn’t want to see their work become something new? Having work that has the potential to be repurposed and reused over and over can only be taken as a huge compliment, right? Every project I created this semester has incorporated something that had already existed. Even in the short film “A Brief History of John Baledessari” there were brief images and maps that’s obviously didn’t belong to him, but were still included because it is a part of his story. A huge majority of images, audio, and film will not belong to us, but are apart of us, and could help tell our story. Nothing should belong solely to one person, one group of people, or one corporation. This kind of ownership creates limitations in how we can express ourselves.
Another part of the semester that really sticks out to me is Ira Glass’s words on the power of the anecdote. “There’s a guy and he wakes up, and he’s lying in bed and the house is very, very quiet, unearthly quiet. He put his feet on the floor and walks to the door of the bedroom, and again very, very quiet. Walks downstairs and looks around, its just unusually quiet.” Ira Glass is trying to make the point that you could take something like this, a very simple, boring story and create suspense and momentum that makes it that the listener or reader wants to hear more. Being a good writer is having that skill to make the most boring story something that people still feel intrigued by.