Hi, I'm Alaysia. This will be my third year in the CKTV Media Productions class and I can say with upmost confidence that these three years have been the best of my life! Cheesy it may seem, but absolutely true. I have created long lasting friendships, learned lessons both media related and life related, and experienced memories that I'll never forget. Kudos and congratulations to you for making it into such an amazing class led by a great teacher. I hope your time in the class will be fantastic! For this week's constructed response, I will be sharing some advice that I wish I knew when I was a newbie. Give these pieces of advice a listen and hopefully you can avoid mistakes I made during the years!
First off, don't be offended by constructive criticism. After a project was completed and submitted for a grade, we'd usually have a critic session. A critic session is essentially where we watch everyone's videos and critic them. The whole class pitches in on things they liked and things that could have been improved upon. In all honesty, I did not like critic sessions at all. I think I was just nervous about the video that I worked on all quarter, being put on the spot to be judged. It really made me anxious to see all the mistakes I made, played on the big TV and criticized. Even though I knew that the criticism was to my benefit, there was still a part of me that took somewhat offense from it. It wasn't until this year that I realized that you shouldn't be offended be constructive criticism. No one's video in the class will be absolutely perfect. In fact, there is no such thing as a video that is perfect because there will always be something that can be improved upon. If one of the videos you see is really great, guess how it got to be that way; through listening to constructive criticism! Constructive criticism is not made to bring you down, it's to bring your work up to the fullest potential it can be. One of the main reasons why I didn't like critic sessions was because of the embarrassment the mistakes I made, caused. To avoid said embarrassment, do your work ahead of time and ask Mr. M for feedback. Get constructive criticism before your project is due so that you can make it the best it can be. You're more likely to receive a better grade submitting a fifth draft for grading than your first. Although revising (TIAS, script, video, etc) may be tedious, time consuming, and at times, frustrating, know that it's only to make your work better. When working with the feedback from Hiki No during first quarter, we had to revise it a total of four times. Each time we received an email with new feedback, it seemed as if the lists of things to change were just getting longer! This goes to show that there is always more you can do to make your work better. Be open to suggestion. Don't have a closed mindset. Don't have the mindset of "No, this is the way I wanted it and it's better." If you have that mindset, your work will never change for the better. When Hiki No approved the final revision, I could see that the feedback helped improve the overall video, though it may not seem like it at the time. When comparing the fourth revision to the first one, a huge difference in quality was revealed. Thank you to those from Hiki No who helped us by giving us constructive criticism! Constructive criticism also helps in the future. If you remember a piece of feedback from a past project, then you can use that information to help you in future projects, ultimately making it better. The main piece of advice I'm trying to get across is to embrace constructive criticism, be open to it, and learn from it.
My next piece of advice is to learn how to shoot manually early on. Up until only recently, now in the fourth quarter, I have been shooting on AUTO settings. I've never learned how to shoot using manual settings and everyone else used AUTO. I tried to learn how, but it all seemed really complicated and confusing. ISO? F-Stop? Shutter Speed? They were all unknown terminology to me. I decided to go the easy, lazy route and continue to shoot automatically. As far as I knew at the time, I wasn't really missing out on anything; it was just more work. Of this year's fourth quarter I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to see if the rants of how important shooting manually is from people online was true. Sure enough, it was. When you shoot manually, you can control how your shot looks. They always talked about compressing your background in an interview but I could never achieve that look. I now know it was because I was shooting on AUTO. I used the dial on the 60D body as a way to change exposure, in reality, making the F-stop number really high. A high f-stop means more of the frame is in focus. When shooting manually, you can change the F-stop to a low number, creating a shallow DOF, and a really nice compressed background. I'm telling you now, learn how to shoot manually before you instill bad habits of AUTO mode! You'll have much greater options for how you want your shot to look and can be as creative as you want! I did a reflective response post on manually shooting a few weeks back if you'd like to check it out. Learn how to shoot manually so that you can use your knowledge to create creative shots.
Third, don't wait until the pitch party to search for your project ideas; research ahead of time. This goes for all quarters and all types of projects. Usually, there are school breaks/ holidays in between quarters. Use this time to think of project ideas. If you wait until the quarter actually starts, you'll already be behind. Take action and get ahead start in the game. Actually, what I would do is constantly check the Garden Island newspaper daily. While checking the newspaper everyday, you're bound to come across something interesting. When that happens, I write down the topic somewhere where I won't forget. Eventually, the topics will pile up right in time for your pitch party! I usually create TIAS' for each topic, and then pick out the top three. For PSA topics, get a general idea for each category. Watch PSA's as examples, but make sure your ideas aren't the same or too similar! Honestly, PSA ideas come spontaneously. For me, there is no real way to trigger an idea. I got my past idea this year on accident by staring at a board game. When you do think of one, write it down before you forget! Always research and write down project ideas even if you've finished the news stories section of your year; you can use them as back ups, for fourth quarter, or for the next year!
Be open to constructive criticism, learn how to shoot manually early on, and never stop researching project ideas are just three pieces of advice I'm sharing with you today. I may add on more pieces of advice later in the future either onto this post or on the "Resources" page. Of course there are countless more tips I could give you, the obvious of don't procrastinate, but I tried to give some specific pieces of advice that may help you. Just do your best, listen to others, and stay humble and your year in media should be great. Well, that is it for this week's constructed response! Thanks for reading! Bye!