Final Blog Post for COM 210

Reflections on COM 210

At the beginning of the semester, we were asked to pick a theme for our blog with the recommendation that we make it “about us.” By choosing this topic, we would have an abundance of information to work with. When we were given our first assignment in Photoshop, I found myself asking, “What’s interesting about me? What’s most important to me?” The second question gave me the idea for the focus of all my projects for this class–‘ohana or family. Because of this, I have two favorite projects—the Photoshop collage and the Audition audio story.

I enjoyed learning the tools in Photoshop, of editing photos, adding background and various layers that enhance images and the stories they tell. If I continue developing these skills, they will come in handy for personal projects and any job I do that involves multimedia work. Earlier in the semester, I actually used Photoshop for another class project—creating a scientific poster. (I’d post it, but it didn’t fully convey the message I wanted it to.)

The audio story is my other favorite project for personal reasons. Collecting data gave me the opportunity to learn more about the members of my family, and produce a lasting memory to share with them. It’s heartwarming to learn that we all share the same feelings, and concept of family. It means we are teaching the younger generations well. Personal feelings aside, I’ve been told that knowing how to use Adobe Audition is a very useful skill in multimedia work.

COM 210 has influenced potential plans for the future. I want to develop the skills we started learning in this class. I want to write and tell stories; this gives me another media to do so. If I work for my daughter’s company, I can now do more than just written content. (The same could be said for any other company I might work for.)

The instructional videos and links that the professor posted for us were very helpful. If I still had problems, I just did a search on the internet. It was usually very easy to find an answer, although I didn’t use any one particular site or source. If I still couldn’t find an answer, our instructor was very helpful and responded in a timely manner to my questions—a critical aspect for any hybrid/online course. Another crucial component of this class is the feedback from fellow classmates. I’d like to thank the students in my peer-review groups who offered their thoughts and ideas on how to improve my work.

Mahalo and Much Aloha!

~Ramona

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Final Video Story Project

Introduction

During my Spring 2013 semester at Washington State University, I was introduced to the Hapa Project. It is a multiracial identity project created by artist Kip Fulbeck. Hapa is a Hawaiian word meaning half, and is used to describe people of mixed ethnicity who are half-white and half-Asian and/or Pacific Islander. As a person of color, I have my own experiences of being a “minority.” However, I never considered what it is like to have a foot in both worlds—not until I watched some of Kip’s videos.

The reason I found myself drawn to Kip’s project is that my own children are 100% hapa. I chide myself for not being more aware of any problems they may have struggled with in terms of identity. I decided to use this project as an opportunity to ask them to share their thoughts and feelings about being biracial. While I have three adult children, only one was comfortable with the idea of shooting a video so the majority of my video centers around my daughter’s narrative.

The two video drafts I posted last week were very rough, unpolished, and unfinished. I struggled with editing the video every time I wanted to add something in the middle. I watched the class videos a couple more times and searched the internet for more information on how to use Adobe Premiere’s tools.

My instructor provided some excellent ideas, some of which I incorporated into my final video. The ambient music is provided by Quietly Concerned under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. All the images shown in the video are mine and are pictures of family members–in keeping with my blog theme of ‘Ohana.

I hope you enjoy our story.

Storyboard:

Time – Segment

0:00:00 – Zoom in and open with the definition of “hapa” and music. Start introduction.

0:07:11 – Add swirl effect and begin images, adding iris box effect between each change.

0:15:04 – Begin part 2 of introduction.

0:26:19 – End intro.

0:27:03 – Begin music fade out.

0:28:26 – Add cross dissolve and begin Janelle’s narrative. Cross fade between video segments.

0:41:29 – Transition back and forth to images of Janelle with iris box and cross dissolve effects.

1:52:17 – Start transitions between Janelle’s video and images of her daughter.

2:19:16 – Begin images of other kids with iris box effects signaling each change.

2:26:08 – End Janelle’s narrative. Begin to fade music back in.

2:3:07 – Begin my narrative.

2:38:01 – Zoom in with Changing Faces text

2:40:01 – Dip to Black and fade music out

2:40:17 – The End

Video Story Draft

Introduction

During my Spring 2013 semester at Washington State University, I was introduced to the Hapa Project. It is a multiracial identity project created by artist Kip Fulbeck. Hapa is a Hawaiian word meaning half, and is used to describe people of mixed ethnicity who are half-white and half-Asian and/or Pacific Islander. As a person of color, I have my own experiences of being a “minority.” However, I never considered what it is like to have a foot in both worlds—not until I watched some of Kip’s videos.

The reason I found myself drawn to Kip’s project is that my own children are 100% hapa. I chide myself for not being more aware of any problems they may have struggled with in terms of identity. I decided to use this project as an opportunity to ask them to share their thoughts and feelings about being biracial. While I have three adult children, only one was comfortable with the idea of shooting a video.

As you can see, this project is far from complete. This draft is missing my part of the narration, and ends rather abruptly. I hope that you will get the gist of my video and can provide insightful feedback. I seem to be struggling more with this unit than with previous assignments. Even my storyboard is messed up because I don’t know how to format it from Excel.

Storyboard

Time Video/Photo Audio

0:00 Open with swirl effect
00:00 – 00;00;20;11 Hapa Title with still photos with cross dissolve between each picture Introduction to Video
00;00;20;11 Dip to black to begin video
00;00;20;12 Video of Janelle with cross dissolve transitions each time she changes the subject Janelle
00;01;43;04 Add picture of her daughter in upper right corner of video
00;01;51;27 Cross fade to new picture
00;01;56;01 Cross fade to new picture
00;02;13;18 Remove corner picture
00;02;17;25 Cross fade to new picture Wrap up (Ramona)
00;02;18;26 Changing faces text
00;02;21;04 End video

Adobe Audition – Final Audio Story

My Family

For my audio story, I interviewed several members of my ‘ohana including my sons, daughter, grandchildren, cousins, in-laws, friends, etc. because I wanted this project to reflect the theme of my blog. I recorded their responses to the question, “What is family?” I left out some of the interviews in my audio story because some of the younger children are too difficult to understand, and others pretty much repeat the answers of others.

I created my story using Adobe Audition software, a digital camera, and Soundcloud. Once the interviews were recorded, I transferred them to my computer to select the clips I wanted to use. I took some of the advice from the article “The New Newsroom” and used an aggressive approach to edit my clips. This article suggests we “select for emotion, keep it short, and reduce redundancies” (Workman).

I went through several editing sessions with each interview. The first time I cut out all the uhms, ahs, and long pauses. After I decided what I wanted to say in my story, I went through the recordings and cut out the responses I wanted to include. For example, my daughter’s original response was over one minute. Instead of using the entire recording, I cut out various sections that fit my narrative. I taped myself for the narrative in separate recordings to make it easier to “splice” everyone together.

Once I decided to add ambient music, I went to the link provided by our instructor (http://creativecommons.org/music-communities). I found the music I wanted to use at http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/432520/quietly-concerned. I used the tools we learned in our tutorial to lower the sound of the music and to fade it at the end. When I was done with the AA session, I exported the file so I could upload my audio story to Soundcloud and post it to my blog.

I want to thank my fellow classmates for their feedback. I think Tim had a better understanding of what I wanted to do with my project and I found his suggestions to be the most helpful. I used his ideas in completing my final draft. I did not incorporate the ideas for change from the other classmates because I was going for a different effect from what they were suggesting. For example, I could have conducted my interviews in a quiet room, but I wanted the sounds of family members in the background. I wanted my audio story to truly reflect the presence of ‘ohana. I used ambient music to tie all the segments together. As Tim mentions, there is a subtle decrease in the music volume while the interviewees are talking. I did this because I wanted my audience to hear the background sounds of family, and to signal the shift from the narrator to interviewee. I tweaked the volumes of the music and my narration as Tim suggested. I hope that this resolves the problem one student had with not being able to hear certain parts of the story. If not, I recommend listening to the story with headphones. As the article Teen Reporter Handbook suggests, “Always wear your headphones” (Teenage Diaries). I played my audio story for my family and they loved it! So, I am pleased with the final draft.

Works Cited

Teenage Diaries. Radio Diaries >>Technical Tips. n.d. n.d. n.d. Web. March 2014. http://www.radiodiaries.org/trh/technical-tips/.

Workman, Karen. The New Newsroom: Audio editing tips: ‘An aggressive process’. 16 November 2011. Web. March 2014. http://opnewsroom.blogspot.com/2011/11/audio-editing-tips-aggressive-process.html.

Here is my story

Here is the URL in case it does not play:

The ambient music is from a track called “The End” by an artist who goes by the name Quietly Concerned. (http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/432520/quietly-concerned)

He shares his music under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. (http://www.quietlyconcerned.com/license/)