What all has changed since my last post? Well, instead of having one package to my name, I have three with one on the way next week and honestly although everything hasn’t gone exactly the way I had hoped, I have to be happy with where I am currently sitting in regards to my class and lessons learned. Ever since the spring semester of my senior year in high school, I have embraced the phrase, “a work in progress.”
I was fortunate enough to be the student that got to directly cover the Michael Johnson case. A 21-year-old who knowingly infected others with the HIV virus had been arrested and Lindenwood was all over local news. I’m going to be honest, I thought I was going to do a mere VO-SOT at first and that would be the end of it but it developed into a package and a story that swept the campus away (Not my package specifically but the story that a student LU committed such a crime). I found out around 2:30 that Thursday about the story and I jumped on it. At 3:30, I was interviewing Detective Sergeant Todd Wilson as he was explaining the ramifications of the situation as well as why HIV specifically received such treatment by the law as opposed to other sexually transmitted diseases. That conversation was followed by phone calls for interviews, there was a meeting with the paper to discuss how to handle the story and honestly, that is when it clicked that this story was going to require an approach that would sensitive to all those involved. I had absolutely no idea how to do that! The majority of my writing experience has taken place at Lindenwood and some still consider me rather new to the campus. Maybe my weakest attribute is my news writing and now I am going to be covering the biggest news on the campus.
Somehow, the package really turned out well. If I watch the final product the only thing that stands out is that I echo on my standup but that is something the common viewer won’t recognize. I’m pleased with this package mainly because of the support I got from friends and professors. It seems I didn’t let anyone down and the amount of knowledge I gained; that couldn’t have been learned another way. If you have a few moments, watch for yourself!
Something to keep in mind, the day I began working on the Johnson case, that morning I was shooting for another package that I thought was going to run that week. Yes, my week was crazy. Yes, I enjoyed every bit of it. This other project was covering the St. Charles Micro-breweries and learning what they had prepared for the fall season. It was hectic coordinating with the three different businesses, especially when one was confused that I was bringing a camera…despite representing LUTV…the student television station. No worries, I still was able to meet with the head brewers of Trailhead, Exit 6 and O’Fallon brewery. SO MUCH FOOTAGE! That is a good thing when you consider it is better to have too much than not enough but seriously, I had dozens upon dozens of clips. It took me an hour just to sort the material I had captured but that wasn’t so difficult as I got to see the quality in my shots improve.
If I am being entirely honest with you, my camera skills before this semester were probably the worst in the program. I had zero confidence and I would do anything to pawn up shooting responsibilities. That said, I was somewhat forced into shooting weather the first day of class and somehow everything clicked. Now, I am not perfect and I don’t make every shot that I envision come to life but I see progress there and that is such a thrill!
The only frustration with this package that rand on October 23rd is that it was late getting to the life broadcast. That mild feeling of failure has never exhausted me so much until that moment. There was an audio error in the package and I refused to allow that to go live. I wouldn’t want to experience that as a viewer so why should I accept that low quality for an assignment. If my name is on something, I want it to be top quality or at least be a representation of my full ability. That was a cruel experience being on camera, finishing my reader, and then seeking the camera on shot switch to the sports desk because my package hadn’t arrived in the system. I was crushed and felt like a moron. This is a lesson learned. Had that error not been detected, it would have been plenty of time. I believe the time could have been made up earlier had I been able to get my script completed and approved before lunch. That is key! I need to become more efficient in my writing. I will figure this out as it is far too much fun to give up.