David P. Amelotti

Simply, A Work In Progress!

Month: September, 2013

LUTV Blog #2

In the past few weeks since my last post, I have re-learned a valuable lesson that I thought I had ingrained in my head before graduating high school. I was re-introduced to the idea of sticking to my gut this past week when I was on location for my first package for LUTV. The Daniel Boone home was having “Pioneer days,” a weekend event that transported visitors back to 1819 when Daniel Boom roamed the earth accomplishing extraordinary feats that contributed to his legend. I had been assigned to get interviews and participate in events and I was excited for four hours of conversing with staff, guests to the site as well as the idea of firing a 19th century musket.

Once arriving on location and we begin shooting, my crew who was not as familiar with the concept starting placing doubt in my mind. I was wearing a polo and shorts and there was concern about if that was appropriate. That conversation is too late at 8:45 A.M., we are 45 minutes away from campus in Defiance, MO and the event and my crew was to be finished at noon. I let the extra commentary get in my head so I removed myself from the shots and we focused on interviews. That was a mistake. I don’t have regrets but I have many disappointments and one is allowing this great opportunity melt in my hands.

Interestingly enough, by discussing this situation I also have to acknowledge the lack of communication I had with my crew. Maybe I could have done a better job sharing my vision for the day. There is no going back to fix the mistakes and failure in execution. From here, I can only move forward knowing the decisions I made and how to avoid those errors on future shoots. The worst feeling of this experience wasn’t the disappointment in not firing the musket, it was Brandon and Peter asking me what happened because I missed the concept entirely. Failure is difficult and when you let others down who believe you are capable is near rock bottom.

As far as the package itself, it really was one of the best experiences I have had in college regarding my education. Interviews are my favorite. They are something I truly take pride in because I get to learn about a particular event but whatever the individual on camera says, I’m partially responsible for. Now by no means am I preparing their answers but I feel I have an ability to place people at ease and when I do so, people open up and show personality. I think of the William Ray interview I did. Ray is a Lindenwood University Volunteer and he was incredibly enthusiastic. We placed him on the front steps of a log cabin, pressed record, and begin asking him questions that he seemed to truly appreciate. He was laughing and joking around and those are the characteristics I want to make visible. It may have been the best interview of the day.

For more information on the site itself, checkout the The Daniel Boone Home for yourself!

Editing. The concept seems fairly simple: lay your audio, take your accumulated clips and lay them over. Keep it around 1:40 and everyone is pleased. As Jill told me on Wednesday, there are two different results among people when they make their first package: one makes theirs too short, the other runs longer than needed. To no surprise of those who know me, I went 23 seconds over the preferred run time. My thinking, I’d rather have too much than not enough. With that said, the entire aspect of writing a script, assembling clips, and editing until completed was a very satisfying experience. It was reassurance that I had done something correct. I had strong interviews, good b-roll, and a variety of shots. For my first package, I’m pleased. There are many things I’d like to do better so knowing where to start for the next one isn’t a problem at all.

In fact, my stress that day didn’t come from finishing my package, it was that I was put on weather for the first time in my life and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I wrote a script that I believed to suffice and I practiced in front of the camera for about 45 minutes. There were a few quick prayers before going live. I survived the broadcast and found myself being proud that I didn’t back down.

Another reason why Lindenwood’s television program is so fantastic, providing breaking news to the campus and nearby community. Check this out!

LUTV Blog Log #1

It was bound to happen, my first blog reflecting on the past three weeks; the beginning of my Super Semester Experience. I feel I have always been honest about the fact that it was intimidating making the decision to learn about television. With a background in radio of three years at the college level, my face hasn’t experienced much face time. In fact, I was always told when I was younger I wouldn’t make it in television so I always had my mind set on FM radio.

Our first week of the semester involved the observation of three newscasts from the early morning where stories are gathered, through the rush of getting scripts and rundowns in the hands of talent and crew, and of course the moment where the “On-Air” light goes off and Ed and Jill lead the post broadcast meeting. Last semester’s students in the program made everything look fairly simple. They had a rhythm as they all knew each other and clearly had developed the necessary skills to execute a 20 minute broadcast in four hours.

The light may be bright but no doubt my eyes are a blur trying to speed read my first few lines. First Day as Talent

Jump to the second week and I find myself co-anchoring the first broadcast and writing a number of stories. Do I look at the camera or do I look back at Taylor during the weather tease? Apparently writing in an active, present tense is more difficult than I thought. Without fail, I received the, “You have a really good second sentence,” comment from Jill.

After our first broadcast, Jill asked the class why everyone thought the transition from radio to television was smooth for me. Now, I haven’t seen a recording of the broadcast but I wouldn’t say smooth…if anything I survived the transition. From what others told me, I didn’t blink once the entire broadcast! I can’t recall who said it but the answer was my background in radio, I was beside myself. I thought that was making it more difficult for me but it seems to be an advantage when on camera. I hope if anything results from it, the idea of the LUTV crew working disc jockey shifts at KCLC is very tantalizing. I think it would be incredible to have Tuesdays and Thursdays be the Super Semester crew!

This past week has been hectic with other commitments but I felt almost overwhelmed with all I have learned, mainly with writing. My personal writing style is very descriptive and colorful. I’d imagine everyone else would just say I’m wordy and move along. Being concise, writing in the active tense for every story might seem simple enough but with some situations, I’ve found myself staring at the computer monitor with frustration. As certain tasks become more of a habit, I’m sure I will pick up on larger aspects of my writing to improve upon.

Friday, September 13th, my first VO-SOT will run on LUTV in which I highlight the early success of Lindenwood’s Men’s Soccer. Going down to Hunter Stadium Tuesday evening to shoot footage may have been one of the better experiences I have had in school. The day had already been long but a buddy of mine said he would join me and I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself behind the camera, trying to capture the dominating style of soccer Lindenwood has been spoiled with. The post game interview was exciting as I had to walk out to mid-field to meet with Coach Hutter to find my player. If I could go back, I would time travel to 4:00 P.M. that day and ask to keep the LED light in my bag. Unfortunately, I will be that student who has raccoon eyes on his subject.

With today being my first piece being featured, I don’t have any media to upload from this semester. However, I have this piece from the year prior and after watching some of my fellow colleagues in front of the camera, I know where I need to begin in order to improve my presence in front of the camera.

Industry Blog

As a mass communications student in the 21st century, it is a known fact that technology is continuously being enhanced daily. It seems as if a new phone that is thinner and faster is released every week with more apps available than ever before. Not only are the devices rapidly evolving but so are the methods in which people utilize to stay connected with each other or with the world around them.

One of those methods is social media and not only as a recreational avenue for tech savvy individuals to vent after a stressful day at work or an awkward encounter with a past lover at the grocery store. Technology, in the world of journalism is being manipulated in fashion today that ensures anyone who is in reach can be instantaneously informed about anything from the largest global crisis to the smallest case of theft at one’s local convenient store.

Recently I read, “Journalist’s Dilemma: Combining personal and professional social media” by Debora Wenger where she shares information gathered from various interviews with media professionals who incorporate social media in their professional and personal lives. Interestingly enough was the tendencies of male and female professionals that were uncovered. A fascinating case was WTVA-TV anchor/reporter, C.J. LeMaster who uses his Twitter account for both personal and professional use. However, Jeff Cutler, who is a representative of the Society of Professional Journalists, acknowledges the intelligence of LeMaster who questions every post he writes on whether or not it is appropriate to be shared with his followers.

On the opposite side of the spectrum was WJTV-TV anchor Erin Pickens, who has two Facebook accounts and two Twitter accounts so that she has both a personal and private account on each social media platform. It is acknowledged in the post that more times than not women tend to be more conservative in online activity which is contrary to men who seem more comfortable. As said most concisely by Cutler, “Guys are much less protective of their info.”

If you are interested in reading the full article or wanting more examples of media professionals utilizing social media, you can take the time to read the article by clicking the below link.

http://www.advancingthestory.com/2013/07/29/journalists-dilemma-combing-your-personal-and-professional-social-media/

Maybe you would like the business perspective? If so, check out this video with Case Foundations VP of Communications Allie burns discusses the benefits of employees having both an organizational account as well as a personal account on social media.

Where the last story discussed social media, a service that can be accessed on most technological platforms, the smart phone is the topic of this next article. Being one of the most quickly evolving devices, the smart phone is now being utilized by journalists as a way of being able to keep followers updated at a rate that is nearly instantaneous.

The growing concern of this approach to journalism is how this large amount of information being consumed by the reader is. It seems as if with so much information being made available at such a rapid rate those consumers would become overwhelmed by the flood of details being posted.

In the article, “How reporters use mobile newsgathering,” posted by Debora Wenger on advancingthestory.com, insight is offered to the transformation occuring in the world of journalistic reporting as reporters across the nation and undoubtedly the world are utilizing their cellular devices beyond the basic function of dialing phone numbers.

In the article, reporter Rachel Beech is interviewed on her approach to journalistic reporting with her smart phone. Using an iPhone, she has been able to establish an online presence by consistently and efficiently posting news informing her followers.  The goal with this method is not just to make a post before a rival but to provide factual information.
One aspect of incorporating smart phones I found fascinating was the multiple tasks that reporters are expected to perform with their phone. Not only are they responsible for gathering information for writing their story but a post to followers stating what story is about to be covered is routine. Multiple photos and even video is expected to be provided. Some phones even have a high enough quality where the footage could not only be placed online but could be found on a a live newscast. I believe this was so intriguing because through three years of college education, the concept of being able to write, speak, shoot and edit has been preached. There is a vast appreciation for an individual who has a wide skills set. To me, it is mind-blowing that all these tasks can be completed successfully using a smart phone and that such a simple device to a 21-year-old can satisfy requirements for professional news broadcast.

If you are one that finds the incorporation of smart phones in journalism fascinating, then follow the link provided below.

http://www.advancingthestory.com/2013/07/24/how-reporters-use-mobile-newsgathering/

If you want to see Multimedia Journalism at work, check out this video made by students from BU who covered the Boston Marathon. The entire piece was done using cell phones.