The students’ final projects

There were eight students, and they worked together in teams of two.

Here are their final videos from the spring 2008 semester.


Wrapping up a very interesting year

This has been quite a journey for me as a teacher, and I’d like to thank my students for their enthusiasm and their patience.

I think the students’ blog posts about the spring semester, in which we focused primarily on video, were very fair and helpful.

Brittany wrote:

I’d like more experience covering actual news this way, not necessarily an issue story, but a news story. Not that they couldn’t be both. But at times, I felt I was seeking the documentary story, and not the news story, which is hard for a journalist and a little confusing. I like the challenge of telling a news story in a way, a visual way, that might not be expected, or in the normal reality of a standard news publication.

Curt wrote:

Now, the best part of the course was, I believe, the time I was able to spend with my hands on a video camera or editing tool. The worst part of the course was, I believe, the (lack of) time I was able to spend with my hands on a video camera or editing tool. While I understand the structure of telling a story, telling that story through video took me well out of my comfort zone.

Kecia wrote:

Out of al the things I learned, I think I am most confident about telling a story and making sure I have a variety of interesting shots and audio. I wasn’t as creative with shot angles and ideas in the first video I shot for class, but now I’ve become more comfortable with thinking about how the angles, sequences and pacing of shots can add visual interest. Now, I also know how to use the tripod appropriately for interviewing and also for controlled movements like panning, tilting and dollying.

Cher wrote:

I feel like there were many practices in this class that were not reflective of regular newsroom practice, and I am not sure how helpful they will be in producing short news videos for web packages for a newspaper. I am not sure that the emphasis on documentary film making and broadcast news styles will serve online journalists. I simply do not think the documentary film making methods is appropriate for producing news.

Eisa wrote:

For the past few years, I have been experimenting with video … back then I thought I was doing a great a job.

The first day we experimented with the camera in class, however, changed that thought right away. The 5-shot technique along with the 10 second rule of shooting opened my eyes to that art of video and film. I have already made two videos that I am really proud of, and I am pretty sure that I will continue producing more video projects.

Laura wrote:

I have enjoyed our class’ exploration of longer films to help us gain perspective about storytelling in shorter formats, which is what I will do the most as a journalist. As much as I loathed doing it the first time, I now see how making a log of shots before capturing the video from the tape is beneficial. The same goes for writing a script. It can be tedious, but it does make the rest of the editing process easier. And, I think the more I edit video, the better I will become at identifying the best shots and writing a script that really facilitates the storytelling process.

Iñigo wrote:

The important issue is that Toolkit II is about how to create journalistic stories and learning how to tell them using a video camera, a bunch of cables, and a microphone. I think that is the real goal of the class. And it is not easy at all.

Shifen wrote:

Shooting video footage, a task that demands extensive visual work and creative thinking, offers me a chance to develop my storytelling skills. It is always a thrill to find a lead, dig the story and present it creatively. In comparison to last [semester’s] Soundslides, video storytelling has been a greater challenge for me, as it is difficult to effectively calibrate details such as view angles and lighting. I believe that a great video narrator must be a careful observer in daily life. I am glad to have spend time learning how to edit video footage, a task that, though it may seem boring, is actually very enjoyable. [I] only wish I could have more experience using Final Cut Pro.

Thanks to all the students. It has been a privilege.