Week 12 – Wrapping Up

We’re almost done with the summer, and this week we wrap up Unit 4 with peer feedback, the final version of your Video Story, and a concluding blog post. There is no final exam for this course, so after this week you are done with COM210.

As you revise your Video Story, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do you imagine watching your video? What is its purpose?
  • What makes your video unique and interesting to watch?
  • Does your project make use of the video medium well by using both audio and visual elements?
  • Have you made use of different techniques from the tutorials (or beyond) to show your editing skills?
  • Are any materials that you didn’t create yourself clearly cited with permission?

Week 12 To-do List

❑ Complete the Video Story Feedback assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete the Final Video Story assignment by Friday
❑ Earn your Unit 4 Participation credit by Friday
❑ Complete the Reflection Blog Post by Friday
❑ Complete the Course Evaluations by August 2

Week 11 – Video Stories

We’re now in the final weeks of the course with only one project left to go. This week you’ll be developing your Draft Video Story, with quite a bit of freedom to choose a format and style that fits your course topic well.

You’ll also be reading about web accessibility and user experience, which is a good time to revisit the design of your WordPress blog and make adjustments. Your blog should showcase your projects effectively, and now you’ve had time to explore your blog and make thoughtful design choices.

As you work on your story, a few recommendations to keep in mind about strong video stories:

  • Make use of both audio and visuals. This is a unique strength of the video medium, and the most compelling videos effectively use both to heighten the experience.
  • Edit with a purpose. Remember the design principles from way back at the beginning of the semester? Make design choices deliberately with your communication goals in mind. For example, don’t just throw in a random sampling of Premiere transitions; think about how those transitions affect the way viewers perceive your story.
  • Respect your viewer. Watching a full video is asking a lot from your audience. Guide your viewer through the story, but don’t make things longer than necessary. Think critically about what your viewer wants to see or know next. Remember that many TV ads tell a complete story in just 30 seconds!

Week 14 To-do List

❑ Go through the Week 11 reading
❑ Complete the Raw Footage & Storyboard assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete the Draft Video Story by Friday
❑ Take the Unit 4 Quiz by Friday

New Title Features in Premiere

Adobe likes to release big changes for its Creative Cloud programs in the middle of April each year, which is not the most convenient for our course schedule, unfortunately. The April 2017 Premiere update includes some fantastic new features for text — but we’re still figuring out the changes, too.

If you are using CC and want to experiment, great! But if you’d rather not have a curveball at this point in your project, it’s better to hold off on installing the update. (This only affects you if you’ve installed Premiere CC on your own computer; the Murrow labs will not be affected.)

Adding text and titles has always been a bit clunky in Premiere, and these changes mean text and shapes work a lot more like Photoshop and Illustrator. There are already some good tutorials popping up online, and this is the most comprehensive one that I’ve found helpful:

Week 10 – Starting Video

It’s now time to start Adobe Premiere Pro, the fourth and final software program we’ll be using for COM210. For this week’s tutorials, you’ll be shooting some video footage and editing it together in Premiere, then exploring some more advanced techniques and transitions with provided materials. Note that you’ll need to shoot some video footage for the first tutorial, so don’t wait for the last minute!

A while ago, a clip about snakes and one baby iguana from the show “Planet Earth II” went viral on social media — it’s well worth the 2 minutes if you haven’t seen it, and also consider how the variety of shots, the sequences, the music and other editing decisions make this into such a dramatic little story.

There is also a behind-the-scenes 360 video showing how the team filmed this scene, too.

Week 10 To-Do List

❑ Go through the Week 10 readings listed on the Course Schedule
❑ Complete the Premiere Tutorials by Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Recording High-quality Audio

Would your Audio Story sound better with higher-quality recordings? Here are some tips. (Photo via Pixabay)

Your draft is completed, but now you realize there are some issues with background noise in one (or several) of your audio clips. What can be done about that?

There are several tools in the software that you can try to use, but they are often difficult to use, can make the audio quality worse, and are time consuming.

As annoying as it may sound, your TAs think the best option is to just rerecord the clip. That means getting access to your interviewee, redoing your narration, or going back to wherever you found background audio and trying again. In most cases, this is actually the simpler, faster, and more effective option.

So, here’s how to make sure you get the audio you want.

1. Brush up on the readings.

Yes, this is a half-answer, but there really is some good stuff in those.

2. Pick a location.

Look for a spot where you know if is going to be quiet during the recording. The dorms, during the day, are often pretty quiet (not so much in the evening). Also try the WSU library. You can reserve a study room to work in or find an out of the way corner. One of those tables right by the entrance probably is not idea because there will be a lot of food traffic. One other good option is classrooms in the afternoon or evening. Once classes are over, the main buildings are mostly empty but still open. Some of the lobby areas would likely work well.

3. Scope out the spot.

Double check a day before the recording to make sure it is empty, open, and quiet. Is it busy during that time of day? Will you be able to have access? Does your subject know how to find the location? Consider all these to reduce disruptions and maximize your recording time.

4. Create a space.

Move chairs and tables so that your mic is an idea distance from the speakers. Are there noisy fans that can be turned off or lights that buzz? Can a door be closed to reduce noise from the hallway? Are there papers that can rustle or chairs that squeak constantly? Limit these before you start recording for the best audio.

5. Try a test recording.

Leave your mic recording for a minute and try some test sentences and silence. Then listen to the recording and see if there are any issues. This is probably the most important step because the mic will pick up things you might not realize. Knowing early will help you reduce the frustration in the editing process.

It may seem like a lot, but following these steps will make your life a lot easier.