Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 4 Assignments

Summary of upcoming deadlines and the next few classes

Feb. 9: Livetweet assignment (see last week's post for instructions)
Feb. 11: Liveblog assignment (see last week's post for instructions)
Feb. 14: Scavenger hunt assignment

For the next three classes, we're going to finish with social and dive into video storytelling.

  • On Monday we're going to either do an introduction to video if we have class, or we'll do a Snow Day blogging event if class is canceled. For the latter, I sent an email on Saturday with instructions.
  • On Wednesday, we'll do the #JRLWeb scavenger hunt. Several college journalism classes all over the country will be participating with us. The assignment will be tweeted out at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
  • The following week, we'll be going deep on video technique and editing

Scavenger Hunt assignment

Due by the end of the day on Feb. 14

On Wednesday, I'll tweet out the assignment to the class hashtag at 10 a.m. You'll have the entire class period to complete it. Be sure to follow the instructions completely. After you're done, there's a Storify assignment attached to the link. You'll have until Saturday to complete that one.

To turn this in: Embed your Storify on the class blog and write a 150-word recap of the experience with an original post on this blog. The goal was to connect your tweets to a common hashtag discussion, not just with classmates but with other journalism students at other schools. Reflect on that experience. What is it like to report in real time? How does it compare to livetweeting or liveblogging, or even to producing a story for the newspaper?

Video overlay assignment

This is an assignment that will take several parts:

Before class on Feb. 18:

  1. You'll need to interview a staff member at Lehigh about their job (nobody in Coppee Hall, please). Have some questions you ask beforehand, and let them talk uninterrupted as much as possible. You need at least 3 minutes of footage
  2. In addition to that interview, you'll need to come with about 7 minutes of action (b-roll) footage of the person you interview. Get them in a variety of shots doing a variety of things from a variety of angles. 
  3. In class on Feb. 18 we will product overlay videos during lab time, practicing editing techniques. and producing tighter, 2-minute stories. We will leave some time on Feb. 18 for watching.

By Feb. 25, you'll need to produce another overlay video. Same type of assignment, but I want you to tell a 3-minute story about a faculty member, what they teach and what their research/expertise is. You'll need to gather, edit, and upload your video by the end of the day. You should show improvement from your class-time video. Better questions that mean your voice isn't on the audio, and the speaker repeats the question as part of their answer so you don't need artificial ways of introducing the question.

  • For this video, I expect you to practice solid composition learned in J24 and added to in this class. Well framed shots that account for lighting and audio quality. Test your lighting and audio beforehand!
  • Be sure to get permission from everyone featured on camera. Very important! This is a class rule. Follow the guidelines set out in the syllabus for getting permission on camera.
  • I'm looking for a lot of visual variety and very little a-roll screen time (capped at 45 seconds total). Get the professor in a variety of settings - office, classroom, interacting with students. Use both scene-switching and five-shot skills to get lots of visual variety.
  • Get a mix of establishing shots, medium shots, and closeup shots for both b-roll and a-roll. Don't forget, zoom with your feet and pan by changing position, not moving the camera as you record! And make use of the five-shot technique
  • Use b-roll effectively. Use it to cover up cuts of "ums" and tangents in the interview seamlessly. Whittle the audio down to the essentials. Don't be afraid of silence.
  • Add music appropriate for the subject of the story.
  • There should be at least two sources in this video. I'd like at least one interview with someone besides the professor, such as a student. 
  • Follow the style guide handed out in class for titling speakers, credits, and introduction title slides. All speakers should be identified with full first and last names and their position (if faculty/staff) or class year (if student).
  • In the editing process, you need to separate clips into discernible themes. This should emerge from your interviews, so keep the notebook handy, but you also can ask questions that try to cover different areas such as the person's work/school history, their teaching, their research, hobbies they have, what they like about Lehigh, etc. Ask several open-ended questions in these areas and you'll see you get themes emerging from interviews.
  • Try to think about narrative as you edit. Maybe an introduction 30 seconds about who they are and what they do, another minute or so with specifics about their work, another 30 seconds of other voices and conclusion.

To turn this in: Produce an overlay video of 2-1/2 to 3 minutes that features at least four cuts between a-roll and b-roll. Due by the start of class on Feb. 23.

1 comment:

  1. Are we allowed to choose a professor from Coppee Hall for this assignment?