Com 210 Wrap-up

                I underestimated Com 210, the work was much more time-consuming than I anticipated coming into it. It seemed as if it would be never-ending work and I hated it because of this. I soon discovered that my problem wasn’t with the course or its assignments, but was really with me. I always procrastinated and when I finally did my work, I just tried finishing it as fast as possible. This type of work ethic wouldn’t cut it for this class, something had to give; I could either continue to approach school with a lazy attitude and likely fail this course or I could stop making excuses for myself, take pride in my work and actually apply myself.

                My favorite project to work on was the audio story; it took longer than I thought it would, but I enjoyed the process of cutting and editing sound bites and made me more excited about my future career. However, the part I enjoyed most was the recording process for the video story. Let me be clear, I didn’t enjoy thinking of ways I could record and write a story that is related to sports radio or sports journalism; that took forever and I went through a few ideas. I even got footage and started editing it, but halfway through, I realized I had no clue where I was going with it and had to start over. I had to get completely different footage to use because I could not think of a way to use what I had and make a story out of it. I eventually ended up filming myself writing a mock draft. This was my favorite part of the class because for this, I had to research my subject for hours then finally write up my article. I was doing what I want to do with my life, for this project. For the first time, it felt like my dream of becoming a host of my own sports talk show and writing for the station’s blog was actually achievable. I have never been more excited about my future than when I was working on that part of my video project.

                This course wasn’t necessarily focusing on skills that I will be using in my planned career pathway, but I learned a lot, and it is good to have plenty of skills in case my career doesn’t go exactly as planned. One skill that I learned that I know I will be using is the ability to run a blog online. We had to embed and post all of our projects on our own blog along with blog posts such as this. This is an important skill to know for me because I plan on getting into sports journalism. More specifically, I want to host my own sports talk show. To get there, however, I will have to spend time working as a writer, either as a beat writer covering a team or managing the blog of the station I will hopefully work for one day. It is very useful to me even now as I want to run my own sports blog in the meantime, building up plenty of work to use as a portfolio to show my prospective employers and possibly, though not likely, gain some recognition online. Something that I would have liked to learn is how to put graphics like pictures or videos in the middle of my articles in order to help give a better visual understanding of what I am trying to say. In my articles that I write, I often times explain things and have a stat or a sample in mind that I would like to put in my work so the reader can see what I am seeing, but I didn’t learn how to do that in this class; however it wasn’t really part of the course objective so I can’t complain. Whenever I had questions or was looking for inspiration, everything I needed was either on the course blog or could be found through it. I never had go to an outside source to find information.

                I used to procrastinate and never really put my full effort into my work, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress. Over the course of the semester, I stopped doing this and started to take school seriously. I became a perfectionist; nothing is finished until there is literally nothing else I can do to it. I won’t turn it in unless I feel the assignment represents my best efforts. I finally started to take pride in my work, and changed my work ethic so nothing is rushed or left to the end. I owe this new approach to school work to this class, Com 210, because it forced me to better my work ethic.

Final Video Story

This was a very time consuming project that fully engulfed me for the past week and a half. I had a hard time finding footage to shoot, I even got footage and was starting the process of editing, but I didn’t like what I was doing and wasn’t sure where I was going with it. Finally I decided to record myself researching for an article and then writing it. I got the inspiration to record myself doing what I love and then shortening the clips to make them faster from the student example video: “Laurissa’s View: Painting and Creation by Laurissa Corbett”. Once I had my footage, over 4 hours worth, I went through it all to find the “best” clips of me researching for and writing my mock draft. I took what I liked and sped up the rate, at which they played, then put it all in order. After, I added titles for the introduction and for each pick of my mock draft, along with the credits. I then added transitions between the clips of me working in order to help it flow better. Next, I knew I needed some form of audio, so I added the song that I used for my audio story to the video. I looked for different songs to use, however I couldn’t find anything that I liked as interesting, but not distracting, background music. After watching what I had, I decided that I needed to add a voice-over explaining what I was doing and giving brief descriptions of the picks I made for Seattle. I split my voice-over into 2 sections, the first explaining what I was doing and why; the second was the player descriptions for my draft picks. For the second part, I had to cut each description using the razor tool and then match up the slides with the accompanying descriptions. I also looked for pictures to put the picks over, but wasn’t able to find any useable pictures of the players and the stadium shots I contemplated using just looked messy, so I went with the black background. I chose Seahawk green for the text, because of course I would, why wouldn’t I for a Seahawks mock draft? Overall, this was a very tasking and time-consuming project, but I am glad I was able to do it, because the subject of my video forced me to get started on my blog, which I will use to help get a job at a sports radio station, preferably in Seattle.

Video Rough Draft

I had a really hard time coming up with ideas of what I can shoot for my video and then actually making it into a story. Originally, I was going to record a baseball game and then myself reporting it, but I couldn’t get any usable footage, so it was back to the drawing board. After watching the example videos, I decided I should record myself during the process of writing an article. I spent hours researching for it and am pretty happy with the article itself. Then I had to convert all the footage to the right type of video (.mp4) and I was finally ready to start the actual process. I still wasn’t exactly sure what to do or where I was going with it, but I knew I had everything. I had to sort through over 4 hours of footage to find “the best” shots of me researching and writing from different angles. Afterwards, I felt like I could have just used pretty much any clip and felt dumb for taking as much time as I did to find the right clips. I liked the idea in the painting example video of taking a clip of me working over an extended period of time and shortening it to speed up the time in the actual video. Once I had clips to the size and speed I wanted, I placed them in order and watched my video. I immediately knew I needed more, it was rather boring just watching me. So I added my actual mock draft after the clips of me preparing my article. I also added a little intro title and transitions in between the clips to make them flow a little easier. Then I added an audio bed; I was looking for quite a while for the right song for my story, but eventually decided the song from my audio story was the best option, in my opinion, so I ended up reusing it. I hope to make the mock draft more visually appealing, but I have been looking for pictures to put behind the text, but I haven’t really found any that I could use. I plan on adding a voice over too. This relates to my subject because it is a video of me doing writing an article for my blog, which I plan to use to help get me a job at a sports radio station, hopefully in Seattle.

Final Audio Story

I did my audio story on the same topic as my previous two projects on, how I am an aspiring sports radio talk show host who also contributes to the station’s blog. This project was more challenging than I expected, due to how tedious the editing was; but it was also a lot more fun and rewarding than I expected. The editing of the sounds to where there was no “kick” and to make everything flow together as smoothly as possible took the majority of the time. First I had to get my interviews, so I used Pamela for Skype to interview four friends who have known me my whole life: Blaine, Ben, Derek and Nathan. Then I edited these interviews in Adobe Audition down to only their responses, like sound bites for a news broadcast. Then I had to decide what I was actually going to do for my project. I listened to Country Mouse, City Mouse by Sarah Vowell from the class website and I loved the idea of doing a narrative essay. It allowed me to say everything I wanted to and use what sound bites I needed. I used 6 different sound bites and I put them together to create 2 montages. The first used 4 sound bites and the second used 2. After I had my story written down and practiced a few times, I recorded it and spliced the 2 montages into it where they needed to be and had to edit the whole narrative again along with the montages so that there were no “kicks”. To edit and cut the clips and put them together, I had to over and over again zoom way in and use the razor tool to see where the sound waves lined up with the base line, then make sure that both parts I was putting together matched perfectly. I eventually got better at it, but it was very time consuming nevertheless. I also had to edit out all of the “umms” and “likes” and any other unprofessional sayings. After this, my rough draft was finished. Later, I came back and added 2 segues leading into my sound bites and cut out 40 seconds of my story because it was too long. I tried to get it under 3 minutes, but it is just past it and I felt like everything I left in was vital to the story. After that, I found some background music (https://soundcloud.com/blocsonic/mgee-atlantic-state-of-mind) that I felt added another element to my story without overpowering everything. It was too loud, however, so I put the very beginning of the song at about -18 decibels and at about 10 seconds in, when the drums kicked in, I dropped it to -21 decibels. I also had to make my segues that I recorded later and put in quieter because the sound was a little off. I also changed the ending to a much shorter ending where I am not as repetitive and made this part slightly louder. I was very disappointed by how my segues and ending all sound just a little different than the rest. After listening to everything with the music, I decided to make my montage sound bites slightly louder too, just so everything was clear. After this, I listened to it all the way through 3 times to make sure nothing was messed up. I was finally done. I am very proud of this audio story and it made me more excited to pursue my dream and I know that I can achieve it if I just stick with it.

Draft Audio Story

I did my audio story on the same thing that I did my first two projects on, how I am an aspiring sports radio talk show host who contributes to the station’s blog. I found this project to not only be challenging, but also fun. It was challenging because it was very time consuming to edit everything perfectly so that it would flow together smoothly. It tried my patience all throughout editing stages and I am overall pretty happy with the job I have done thus far. I used Pamela for Skype to record my interviews and then I took the audio and put it in Adobe Audition. From there, I edited and chopped the interviews to the pieces I might use. After that, I wrote my narrative and used what recordings I could to make the story flow and actually make sense. I only used a small portion of my interviews, but they were vital in completing my audio story how I wanted to. I used a lot of the razor tool in order to cut the interviews and narrative. Then I had to pain-stakingly  edit out all of the “umms” and “likes” and any speaking mistakes made by myself and my interviewees. I had a total of 4 interviews and used a little bit from all of them, though I mainly focused on just 2 particular interviews. This project was more fun than I expected, but it also took longer than I expected. When I was working on this audio story, I kept getting more and more excited about my future and I really feel like if I follow my plan of action by working at KUGR and getting internships at a sports radio station in Seattle, along with keeping an active sports blog going, that I will one day get my own sports talk show to host.

Final Logo

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When I was coming up with the design, I wanted to incorporate my love for sports and my desire to be on the radio. I knew I wanted to use an old fashion microphone with the “pill mic” and a stand, but I wasn’t sure how to add sports to that. After a while, I decided to make part of the mic an object used in sports. At first, I tried making the stand out of baseball bats, but that got messy fast and my bats didn’t look like bats. So I tried replacing the “pill mic” with a football. I sketched a couple different designs with the football and stand, and entertained using a stand that would make my logo look like the Lombardi Trophy was a microphone, but ultimately went with a stand holding the football up from the sides, like a more traditional mic. This design fits perfectly in with my topic, which is how I am working to be a sports radio talk show host. This kind of logo would be the exact kind of logo I would use for my show, because the kind of microphone lets people know that it is a radio show and the football obviously makes it sports radio.

I started by using the Ellipse Tool to make my football microphone and the base of the stand. Then I used the rectangle tool to create the laces for the football and the rest of the stand. I only made 2 rectangles, one horizontal and one vertical. I then copied the horizontal one 9 times (7 were for the laces on the football) and I copied the vertical one twice. After that, I resized all of the rectangles to what I needed. I then made the football and the stand separately, so that I could group the objects together once I had the stand put together and the laces all lined up on the football. I ended up having to ungroup my stand because everything had sharp corners and it looked really blocky. So I made the rectangles on my stand have rounded corners by selecting each one and going to Effect->Stylize->Round Corners… and I rounded the edges by 10 points each. This made it a lot less blocky, but I had to connect the edges and spaces that were created by rounding the corners. I used the pen tool to fill all twelve gaps and finally, I had a good looking stand. My football, however, still needed some work. As I stated earlier, I spaced the laces evenly; this was a horribly tedious process that took about a half hour for me to decide they were as perfect as they would get. Another thing about the football that bothered me was that it was too much of an oval. The Ellipse tool gave me a nice template that was about the length I wanted and the perfect width. But it looked more like a rugby ball than a football because the ends were rounded more than a footballs’, which is still somewhat round, but has more of a point to it. I fooled around with this for a long time. I tried using the pen tool for a while, but I couldn’t get anything that looked natural by itself. Then I tried using the polygon tool, changing the amount of sides from 6 to 3 so it would create a triangle. I lined the triangle up at ends of the football and used the pen tool to try and merge the triangle point into the football, but I was unsuccessful with that after many attempts. So I tried out a few tools and I finally settled on the free transformation tool, using the transformation, not the distort. This allowed me to drag the end of the football out a little bit while keeping the round edge, giving it more of a football shape. This made the football a little skinnier so I had to use that tool to drag out the sides of the ball to the stand again. Afterwards, I played around with drop shadows, 3-D effects, and a few other things to try and make it more “real” but everything I tried just looked out of place. I wanted to add my show’s title, but one: there was no real place for it on my logo and 2: I couldn’t come up with a good show name, so I had to scratch that idea. Ultimately, I would have liked to have done a little more, but I am very pleases with my logo because I spent a lot of time working on it and it got me even more excited to try and get into sports radio.

Final Collage

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First, I would like to say I am much more pleased with my final collage compared to my first draft. I switched out the logo of Community with a picture of myself playing soccer when I was in high school for two reasons. First was that the picture I was using from Community was copyrighted and I was not allowed to use it, but I also never really felt like it fit with the rest of my collage. My background picture is of the Seahawks stadium, Centurylink Field and my second picture is the KUGR radio logo, which I used because my goal after graduation is to become a sports radio talk show host and I was hoping to get my own show at KUGR radio next school year. The television show logo just did not fit with the theme of the picture; sports. So I found a picture of myself actually playing a sport. I have played sports all my life and everything about me personally has to do with sports, so to throw in a picture of my favorite television show would not do the collage any justice, it just takes away from it.

After I replaced the pictures, I really dug into the editing. I was told to play around some with the opacity of the KUGR logo because it kind of stuck out like a sore thumb in the draft, which I did and it didn’t really change much. So I tried playing with the background (Centurylink) in hopes that it would help blend the KUGR logo into it. I ended up making it slightly brighter to lighten up the whole collage and then I changed the contrast to sharpen all the images. Next, I had to take care of the background in my new picture because the soccer field was still there. So I added a vector mask to it and selected the mask. Then I took the brush took and colored in the field around myself and the ball using black and if I made a mistake, I would color over that part with white. This “healed” the image and allowed me to try again. I worked for a long time on erasing all evidence of the soccer field, but when it came down to the very edges, it was rather difficult to erase just the grass and no part of myself or the ball. Finally, I added some text that says “dedication” because that’s what it will take for me to reach my goal of being a sports radio talk show host and that what it takes to succeed in football, soccer, or whatever you want to accomplish in life. If you have a goal, you have to dedicate yourself completely into completing that goal.

Draft Collage

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For my draft collage, I used a picture of Centurylink Field (from Seahawks.com) as the background because I have had a long obsession with the Seahawks and always liked pictures of stadiums packed with fans. I also used a picture of the television show Community’s logo (from comicbook.com) because when I am not busy with school or sports writing, I am watching shows like Community. I picked this show specifically because I think it is hilarious and is an extremely well written comedy; it is my favorite show not named Breaking Bad. Lastly, I chose to use the KUGR radio station logo (from kugr.org) because I want to be a sports radio talk show host and that is my first step. I will be applying for my own radio show to host during the fall semester of 2014.

For my first step, I went to Scripts in the Files dropdown folder and used the “Load Files into Stack” option and selected my three pictures, and this gave me all of my pictures in separate layers for me. Then I used “ctrl+t” to use the transformation tool to re-size all of the pictures. Then I had to cut out the part of the Community logo that was not just a white background and actually the logo, so I used the lasso tool and drew a crudely shaped rectangle around the part I needed and cut it out and that created a new layer for it in the process, then I turned the eye off the previous layer. After that, I took the eraser tool to it and refined the edges some, but left it a little choppy because the logo is a crumpled up piece of paper and that helped it maintain that look, at least that was the goal. I then arranged everything so you could still see the field of play.