No post, glance, email, search, or text is worth your life. For this week's reflective response, I will be talking about a very powerful PSA on the dangers of texting and driving. I saw this PSA on YouTube, called "It Can Wait", which was actually a commercial made by AT&T. The PSA followed six people on a regular day. It started off with a teenage boy riding his bike. The camera follows him as he rides through the neighborhood and we can hear his thoughts about his surroundings. Then we are introduced to a mom and her young daughter in a car, talking about her daughter's doll. After that, we meet a man on the phone in the car with his wife talking about the lottery and contemplating on where to eat. In the neighborhood, we see a women watering her plants while a man is inside watching tv. Everything in each person's lives is seemingly normal. They are just going about their everyday lives, an average day. However, the mother glances down at her phone, to see that everyone loves the photo posted of her daughter. In that split second, the lives of all of those people change. Suddenly, there is a car crash between the man on the phone and the mom and her daughter. The boy on the bike, the woman watering her plants, and the man watching TV are in shock. They had just witnessed a brutal accident that turned their simple day into a horrific memory. Everything goes into slow motion, and we can see the reaction in each person. Everything rewinds until it is seconds before the crash where the mother makes the decision to look down. Using your phone can wait. That decision can change the lives of a lot of people, not just you. I really liked this PSA because it was just so powerful. Before the crash, the video seemed slow-paced. I think the reasoning for this is because the people were just going about their everyday activities, it seemed so realistic. You kind of got to know a little about each person, so when the crash happened, the video just seemed to be very sudden, shocking. I know that I was shocked, and that it felt heart breaking to see these people get into a crash over a post. Technical wise, I thought it was color graded nicely, had great shots, and excellent sequences. I also really liked the message title with the fill in the blank at the end. Distracted driving is a big issue that can injure others. It can wait. Well, that is it for this week's reflective response! Thanks for reading! Bye!
YouTube, a popular online video-streaming website has grown to have over one billion users. For all of you that may not be familiar with YouTube, it is a site that consists of various types of videos posted by people around the world. Seriously, YouTube has it all. Anywhere from vloggers to DIY tutorials to gaming to music videos, there are thousands of videos posted everyday. Being that anyone can publish a video, most of the content on there isn't all that great. But that shouldn't negate from the fact that there are some channels, or home pages for an account's videos, that share good content. JacksGap is one of my favorite channels on YouTube. For this week's constructed response, I will be talking about the channel, JacksGap, the directed audience, and why you should check them out.
What is JacksGap? The channel originally started in 2012, as a fun recreational activity for twin brothers, Jack and Finn Harries. If you look at some of the older videos on JacksGap you'll see that they were just short little random videos for siblings on their 'gap' year, which is where you take a year off before going to college or university. Fast forward two years, and JacksGap has become so much more than just documenting their gap year. This channel is now about storytelling through traveling. They create documentaries, travel vlogs, feature videos, and mini series. I wrote a blog some time ago based on one of their series, "The Rickshaw Run". It was a four part series about traveling across India in three days to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust Foundation. Just recently they created a documentary about the effects of climate change. They create videos about topics that they think matter, and spread awareness for it. While a video about climate change may not seem very interesting to you, I really enjoy watching their videos because they tell great stories that are accompanied with a high production value.
Who is this channel for? JacksGap is a very family-friendly account. Therefore, anyone can watch it. If you like a good story, then this is the channel for you! Another one of the mini series they've created is called "Following Heart". Following Heart consists of five videos following the stories of women who use technology to do the thing they're passionate about. It's basically like a bunch of spot features. I loved learning about the women's lives and what they love to do. Though, most of their videos are travel documentaries. I enjoy watching those videos because I like seeing the adventurous things they do, and their journey is always told in a really interesting way. If you want to be inspired, learn something, or just want a good story, check out this channel.
Now that you know what JacksGap is, and who it's for, why should you go there? We all know that the most important thing to a video is it's story. As I stated many times earlier, JacksGap tells great stories! Not only that, but in most of their videos, their production quality is quite high. If you watch their latest video on climate change, the cinematography was spectacular, but more importantly, the video engaged me to learn more about how big of an issue climate change is. They use the YouTube platform to spread awareness of things that are important and that others need to learn more about. It's quite inspiring. If you look at some of their travel vlogs, such as "A Day in New York" I found it really interesting how it was edited. It reminded me of some of Casey Neistat's stuff, whom is actually one of their friends! You should check out JacksGap because their work is great, story and production wise, and it's inspiring.
My favorite YouTuber is JacksGap, who creates short documentaries about travel. Anyone can watch them, and should because they post some great content! Below is some of my favorite videos from them. If you have the time, I highly suggest you check them out! They have some great editing techniques, and stunning shots. Plus, they also believe that gear doesn't matter, but the story does. Along with their YouTube channel, they have an online blog, http://jacksgap.com/read/ with the behind the scenes of each shoot, which I find fascinating. Well, that is it for this week's constructed response! Thanks for reading! Bye!
Hey Everyone! I was just roaming Vimeo, and found a very inspiring PSA that I'd like to share for this week's reflective response. This PSA is called "The Heart Project", and promotes stopping bullying, specifically within children and youth. What I like about this PSA is that they show the raw truthful answers coming from children. The children were asked to create a heart using paper and scissors. Then they were asked multiple questions about the heart; "What is a heart?", "What can hurt the heart?", and "Can you fix the heart?". With each question, a few children gave their answers. It really gave a sense of the perspective of various children. In my opinion, asking the children questions and hearing their answers got me more connected to the topic than if you were to just list a bunch of bullying statistics. When asked, "What can hurt the heart?" the children began listing out mean insults, and physically crumpling, tearing, and hurting the paper heart they just made. This was a representation of how someone can feel when they are bullied. When asked, "Can you fix the heart?" the children found it difficult to put back together a ripped heart, even if an apology was made. One of the kids actually said, "When all of those scars are there, you can not make them disappear". This was to show that even though you may apologize over and over, scars will remain on the heart from how you made it feel. This PSA had a simple idea, as Mr. M says, all of the best videos have the simplest ideas. They didn't use crazily creative shots, and I don't think it was necessary to do so. The idea was simple, and I got the message clear. I think it was a very nicely executed PSA. You can watch the PSA below. Tell me what you think about it. Hope you enjoy it! Well, that is it for this week's reflective response! Thanks for reading! Bye!
Hey Everyone! On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we had our third STN practice of the school year. To review, I am on the Convention Recap team with Kaycee. In this competition, we have the whole convention to create a video that recaps and tells the story of it. For this week's constructive response, we are asked to reflect on the third practice, how it went; what worked, what didn't, and what needs to be improved. I think the practice went well. Though we had some technical things to work on, we followed one specific team but there's always room for improvement.
In this practice, Mr. M asked us to do something different. In the first and second practice Kaycee and I did a recap about the whole practice, observing all of the teams and their progress. However, in this practice, Mr. M asked us to follow one specific team, instead of everyone. Kaycee and I chose to follow the anchoring team, which consists of Kallen, Taylor, and Napua. Since the anchoring team does two rounds of practices, Kaycee and I thought it would be best to follow their team. We decided that we should use interviews and have them tell us about their experience so far. We conducted a total of three interviews, one with each team member. They all had great answers, and Kaycee and I could conclude an overarching theme which was teamwork. They all mentioned how important cooperation with your team members is, which I totally agree. That's another thing that I thought worked, the connection between Kaycee and I. I think we work well together; we don't argue and we help each other out. We cooperate well, which is a very essential necessity. We decided to base the video around that theme, because even if it is a recap video, it still needs to tell a story. We also did a better job of thinking more creatively. Kaycee used the Osmo while I got shots with the Slider. We decided it would be cool if we had two shots that uniquely transitioned into eachother. If you've read last week's reflective response, I went over some slider techniques. On the practice, I put those techniques to use. I learned that the slider could be transformed to get shots that would be taken on a dolly or a jib. I set up this shot using the slider where it showed the team working and then descended into a white box. Then Kaycee shot footage on the Osmo going from the white library shelf up to the team working on the desktops. It was a really fun process to shoot, and see how it looked put together. I think we did a good job following just one specific team, and I think that conducting interviews was a good route to go.
Even so, Kaycee and I did have some obstacles and setbacks. While we were filming with the DSLR, we kept running out of battery! We used a T2i, and only had one spare battery pack, not including the one inside the camera. The two packs drained pretty quickly, and I think we had to use one or two more. At the actual convention, we have the whole convention, three days, to film. This experience tells us that we have to bring more battery packs, and keep them on us so that we don't have to stop filming, go back to the room, and then go back down. Although minor, the battery situation has made me realize how we should prepare for the actual convention. Another obstacle we had was with the Osmo. Shortly after the practice started, we had some difficulties with the connection between the Osmo and Kaycee's phone. The Osmo gives off a wifi signal, which we could see appear on her phone. However, it wouldn't connect, therefore, we couldn't shoot anything with the Osmo. We compromised, and took turns shooting with the DSLR while the other person looked for music and started the voice overs. A few hours later we tried connecting with the Osmo again, and it worked! I don't know how, or why it stopped working in the first place, but thankfully it did. After filming, we started editing, leading onto what we aim to improve on next practice...
I think out of all the practices, this practice we spent the most time filming. Kaycee edited while I shot more footage, and recorded a voice over. We spent so much time shooting, that we really cut it close to the deadline. We exported at 1:58, two minutes before the deadline at 2 o'clock! When we exported, we didn't watch it over, because we felt that we didn't have enough time. We managed to submit it on time, but with more editing time we definitely could have made it better. At some parts in the video, the music we had overpowered the interview sound bytes, making it harder to listen to what they were trying to say. Also a minor thing that occurred in the third and second practice was that we forgot to use fade transitions on the lower thirds since we were rushing. However, one main thing in particular that we have to work on is the voice overs. In this third practice, we only created one voice over, and that was it. I think it worked okay with the soundbytes from the interviews, but definitely in the actual convention we will need more thoughtful voiceovers. While the practice was successful, there are still some things that we need to work on.
To conclude, I think Kaycee and I did a good job, but there are some things we could improve on. I think definitely we have improved from our very first initial STN practice, which is great. I enjoy being on the Convention Recap team, it's really fun having the freedom to be so creative. I am very excited for STN, and I think having practices has made me more prepared. For the Crazy Eights competition, I'd like to be on the News Magazine team. Well, that is it for this week's constructive response! Thanks for reading! Bye!
Hey Everyone! For this week's reflective response, I've decided to talk about sliders and some techniques you can use to achieve unique and creative shots. In our class, we actually have a travel slider, that mounts on those big bulky tripods but needs this attachment that hooks onto the release plate so you can put on a DSLR. I think the slider our class has is Edelkron SliderPlus. Having a travel tripod has it's pros and cons. One good thing about it is that it's light, compact, and you can go more distance in both directions since it's on a track. However, one negative thing is that when you put the slider on the tripod it isn't exactly leveled. Therefore, when you can have a steady shot halfway through, but then it can wobble and fall slightly down, disrupting the flow of the shot. The only solution we found for now was to just hold up the other side so that it stays level. Here is a video that showcases the Edelkron Slider, which is the the track-type of slider we have in class. Also notice the really amazing shots you can take, and the difference a slider can make then just pressing record on a tripod, having a static shot.
I've recently tried out the slider during our STN practices, and it's a really great tool to get different shots. Although it takes some practice and lots of trial and error, the slider can add a more dramatic feel to your shot, just by some movement and motion. Plus, it adds some expression and some difference then just having a bunch of static shots. Sliders are pretty famous for adding drama and having that cinematic look. For example, a lot of times in films or cinema movies you see pull in shots, where the camera starts off in the back then makes it's way forward, commonly used to pull up to a person's face. I found this really great video that shows how camera movement, whether it's handheld, from a jib, dolly, or crane, or other tools, there are certain techniques you can use to achieve different effects and emotion. Many films and Hollywood movies use these effects so that the audience can subconsciously connect with the character. I hadn't realized it until now, after watching that video. Certain shots with movement made me feel scared for the character, others made me feel sympathetic for them. I think it all depends on the type of movement occurring in the shot. I think it'll be much easier to explain if you watch the video below.
Pretty neat, huh? I didn't realize that there were so much thought put into the types of movement that goes in each shot. Before watching this video, I didn't think that the movement mattered so much and how much it correlates to the overarching emotion of the film. But now that I know, I hope I can spot these out in movies, and try to use them if I create a short one day. I also hope it may have helped you, maybe if you were thinking of doing unique shots for your PSA or your fourth quarter project, or even for STN! I know what you're thinking, where are we going to get jibs, cranes, dolly's, etc. Well, it turns out that you don't need all those bulky expensive equipment. Going back to the sliders, there are actually ways to use your slider creatively so that you can achieve looks that are similar to if you were to use those other types of equipment. I still have to check if it'll work out on the slider set up we have at school, but if it does, I think it'll be a really versatile tool for our class. Here are some video tutorials that show you the different 'looks' you can achieve by following these techniques.
Well, that is it for this week's reflective response on emotion from camera movement, and how you can create that through creative slider techniques! Camera movement can add a great emotion and create a connection to the audience, and is something you may consider next time you set up your shot. I hope you've thought those videos were very interesting as much as I did. See you all at the 3rd STN Practice! Thanks for reading! Bye!
Hey Everyone! Happy 2016! Hope your winter break was great. We are back here with yet again, this week's constructed response. As Bill Copeland perfectly put, "The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score." Goals are very crucial in improving because a set goal helps you focus your aim into getting better at something, rather than not knowing what you're working towards. Back in October as the second quarter commenced, we were asked to write a blog entry about our goals for the quarter. The goals I set for the second quarter were to have higher production value, avoid procrastination, and do a better job at our Inside Scoops. For this week's constructed response, I will be reflecting on those goals and setting three news ones for quarter three. Three goals that I will work on this quarter is to procrastinate less, improve on the technical aspects of a video, and show Mr. M drafts of my PSA before I submit it.
First I will reflect on my quarter two goals. For the second quarter, I set three goals: have a higher production value, avoid procrastination, and do a better job at the Inside Scoops. The first goal I had was to improve my production value. Production value meaning the technical quality of a video; lighting, composition, audio, etc. I first set this goal as an intention to compose a better interview shot. In the first quarter on the story Kirra and I did on Moses Hamilton, there were multiple things wrong with the interviews we shot. We shot the interviews in front of a wall, therefore no background compression, Moses was too off to the side, not following the rule of thirds, and in the interview with his father, Hawk Hamilton, the shot was blurry. My original intention was to fix all of these visual mistakes. In the second quarter, Kirra and I did a story about the need for resource caregivers on Kauai, and we conducted three interviews. Visually, I thought they were all an improvement composition wise, and I learned that if you want to compress the background better, the 18-135mm lens worked better for me than the 18-200mm that most of our 60D's have. (Although the 135 has the disadvantage of zoom distance compared to the 200, the 135 I found is much easier in blurring backgrounds. I have also heard that the 50mm lens was good in compression too, but I wouldn't rely on it because it's fixed, meaning it can not zoom.) Although I'd say we improved visually, the visuals are only half of it. Everyone knows that the two essential parts of a shot is the visual and audio. Audio makes up 50% of your video. Unfortunately, that is where Kirra and I did not complete this goal. In the interview with the Aguilars, we paired up the sennheiser mics with the DXA-SLR Mini box, and that resulted in a LOT of hiss. We should have checked the mics thoroughly before bringing it out to shoot, and play it back in a laptop to make sure instead of just trusting the camera playback audio. Since that incident, I have discovered that Sony Mic #2 is a good microphone. I've always been cautious about shooting without the box, because I was afraid that I couldn't monitor the audio. However, I learned that you can plug headphones right into Sony Mic #2's receiver and you can monitor the audio without a box! That is now my go-to set up for audio. My second goal I set was to avoid procrastination. This goal was specifically directed towards my blogs. Though, I did not meet this goal. I still end up doing my blogs at the last minute and that honestly is such a bad habit. I need to stop being lazy and just do my blogs whenever I have the chance. My third goal I set was to improve me and Kirra's Inside Scoop radios. In the first quarter, we turned them in on Thursday, the day it was due! That was cutting it too close. We decided that we needed to stop procrastinating, and be prepared for our next set of scoops. In the second quarter, we had to turn in our scoops early because we aired during the winter break. Kirra and I turned in our radio files a week before it was due, and with closer durations to 2 minutes. I met this third goal of improving our Inside Scoops. Sorry for this long paragraph. I had a lot to reflect upon. Continue on reading to see my three new goals for this quarter.
One of my new goals for quarter three is to procrastinate less. It is a goal that I have to constantly work towards achieving because there are so many opportunities for procrastination to take over. Specifically for the future, I want to turn in all of my blogs no later than Saturday. That means no writing blogs at the last minute on Sunday. This will force me to stop watching TV or turn off my phone, and start my blogs earlier in the week so I can get them done on time in order to get that A. I'd also like to put in more thought into my blog entries, and share things that I'd think would help my classmates and myself improve. Besides doing my blogs earlier, procrastinating less affects my other projects, too. This quarter, we have to do PSA's. I recently got my idea approved, so I should be starting on my shotlist right away. I want to be on it, regarding deadlines this quarter. Instead of waiting to start on my shot list or filming, if I get the 'OK' consent, I should be starting instantly after! One of the goals I set for this quarter is the procrastinate less on my blogs and on my PSA project.
Another goal I have for this quarter is to improve on the technical side of a video. I enjoy writing the scripts and finding the real story behind things, I'm not saying it's easy or that it takes minimum effort, but that it's a really fun process. However, as I mentioned earlier in my reflection, Kirra and I had audio issues with our second quarter project. For this third quarter, I'm setting a goal to improve technically. That means having better audio, focused shots, better lighting, etc. I want to make sure I have a great technical side to the PSA I'm shooting. That means I need to plan everything out precisely, and test all of the equipment I'm using. Then in editing, I have to carefully review all of the shots to see if I may need to reshoot. A second goal I have for the quarter is to improve technically.
A third goal I had for the third quarter is to show Mr. M drafts of my PSA before submitting it in for grading. Last quarter, Kirra and I cut it close to the deadline, not planning out ahead enough to show Mr. M our rough cut. So instead, we had to submit the first draft of the video. It is well known that you can never have a perfect video on your first cut. Therefore, my goal is to show Mr. M multiple drafts of my PSA instead of just submitting the first cut. I want to take his constructive criticism, and refine the video to make my PSA the best it can be. A third goal I have for the quarter is to show Mr. M multiple drafts of my PSA.
Overall, setting goals are a necessity in becoming better at something. You need to know what you're working towards and what your purpose is before you can be improve the most. I've only met one of my three goals I set for the second quarter, to get better at the Inside Scoops. The two the goals that I did not accomplish, have a higher production value and avoid procrastination, are similar to my new goals for this quarter. This quarter I will work towards procrastinating less, having a better technical side to the videos I create, and show Mr. M drafts of my PSA before turning it in. What goals have you set for yourself? I wish you the best of luck in fulfilling them! Well, that is it for this week's constructed response! Thank you for reading, Bye!
Hi! I'm Alaysia Navor, a third year student in the CKTV Media Productions class. I'll be publishing 2 blogs each week, posted to the left. You can also check out the tabs, "Inside Scoop" and "Projects" for some of my other work.
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor"