“I get knocked down, but I get up again… You’re never gonna keep me down.”
It never fails… at some point while covering a story these song lyrics fill my head. (Thank you, Chumbawamba). No amount of preparation or research can prevent the inevitable hurdles in the race against a story deadline. Luckily there were no set backs during the interview process. In fact, interviewing the WUOG Ops Director and R.E.M.’s manager was the easy part. It was the opposite end of the spectrum where things didn’t run as smoothly. The technical end and the editorial end.
“Technically” speaking I faced all sorts of new obstacles. The camera I used (Toshiba Camileo) is basically kink free with one exception. It only has auto-focus. When filming inside, the camera tends to go in and out of focus in poorly lit areas (so most indoor areas). To fix this problem I had to figure out ways to properly light each subject using a portable LED light. Sometimes this meant crossing the personal space threshold to get the “money shots”. As a one-man band journalist I filmed every shot, interviewed each subject, set up my own stand-ups, and edited the entire project… by myself. Filming it was a juggling act trying to hold the LED light and camera simultaneously. Then when it came time to edit, time was my worst enemy. The campus-editing lab closes at 10 p.m. and I’m a night owl editor. The issue is pretty obvious.
I also ran into a few editorial challenges. I’ve been trained to write scripts like I’m reporting the 5 o’clock news. That’s not the point of this project, though. This isn’t live at 5 breaking news and it took me a few tries to get that mentality out of my head and out of my script. With a few honest critiques from my professor, professor Hazinski, the project started to flow. I added natural sound breaks to give the story more life and character. I also revamped the script to follow the “see it, say it… say it, see it” rule. For example if I say, “fewer students are volunteering,” the video should show a student, not a DJ sound table (yes, I made this mistake). But with every mistake a lesson is learned and a new perspective is gained.
Meagan Priselac is