Life and Death in Chicago Youth Theater

Life and Death in Chicago Youth Theater

In this short television news feature, I explored the importance of youth theater in Chicago in a video about The Yard–a student run ensemble putting on their first play, “The 4th Graders Present: An Unnamed Love Suicide.”

Joel Ewing, director of the production and Lead Theater teacher at Senn Arts Magnet High School, reflects upon the many components that formed The Yard and how theater can help young people develop their voices.

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Making videos can be, uh, fun!

Making videos can be, uh, fun!

Yes, making videos can be loads of fun, once you get the hang of it! The moment when you realized you forgot to white balance an entire three hour shoot–fun! And the drive home when you realize the microphone was off during an interview–a blast!

Yes, these two videos were the most frustrating to make–by a long shot–but they also provided me the most insight into how much I truly have to have my ducks in a row while doing the shoot.

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Nicholas Senn’s Coding Club: A Video

Nicholas Senn’s Coding Club: A Video

So much of my most recent video came easy to me, and I feel like I’m finally getting it. I was able to use J and L cuts in order to transition in and out of the interviews. I incorporated B-roll effectively. But most importantly, I told a story with my interviews. Each one transitioned into the next and played off the prior information.

Of course, the video wasn’t without fault. My B-roll was far too long in parts, and the audio was too low in the mix. I’m not sure if I should have scrapped the portions of Mr. Cihlar speaking to the class since he wasn’t mic-ed, but, if nothing else, I should have cut them shorter.

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Interview with Hanlin Guo

Interview with Hanlin Guo

The most challenging assignment thus far in my Digital Storytelling Masters program has been my interview with my classmate Hanlin Guo about her life-altering moment. Though I was able to do the real work that the professor required: have an interview with her, transcribe it, and pare it down to its essential core, I struggled with technical difficulties that made my final product suffer.

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My First iMovie

My First iMovie

Having gotten started editing video in Premiere Pro, I couldn’t believe how easy and intuitive iMovie was to work with. My students in Broadcast Journalism won’t have access to Premiere Pro, so, on a lazy Saturday, I set off to learn iMovie in order to support them. Piecing together the video clips with title screens was as simple as it gets. The program is designed with storytelling in mind, so the producer can edit without much expertise.

After a few technical disasters with Premiere Pro, including some quirks that don’t make much sense, even to my professor, iMovie was relief. But it’s limited in what the user can do. I can’t divide audio between two tracks, can’t get as precise a cut, and can’t do much of what I’m sure I’ll learn on Premiere Pro. But it’s easy and it makes for a fun, stress-free weekend project.

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