Another week has come and gone at HOMTV and this one like the others taught be many lessons.
The week began with me getting my first story assignments which was very exciting. I did have some experience putting together stories so I was ready to get to work. That was when my learning process began.
I got to my first interview of the week with a member of the Parks and Recreation staff for my story on a Track and Field meet I was going to cover on Friday. My hope was to set up a nice outdoor shot, however the army of endless mosquitos made sure that wasn’t going to happen.
When I finally did get everything set up I learned lesson number one of the week, always check your batteries. I put in my battery for my interview only to learn that it was dead. I felt so embarrassed, but my interviewee was nice enough to allow me to go get another battery and do the interview again.
As the week continued I made steady progress on my stories, setting up interviews, getting b-roll and beginning the editing process. Thursday was the day that I went out and got a lot of my b-roll for my story on vacation emergency preparedness.
I had a lot of fun doing this as I tried to find creative ways to shoot for this story. Part of it involved my climbing down to shoot near a highway. While I had my fair share of struggles doing this, it was actually a lot of fun. This led me to lesson #2 of the week, in order to get the best shots you have to be willing to work hard and get outside your comfort zone. Standing near cars and trucks going 70 miles per hour plus, well let’s just say I’ve been in more comfortable places.
Then it was Friday, the day of the track meet I had to cover. But first I had to get one more interview for my vacation emergency story. That went pretty routinely, until I went to upload the footage. The moment I looked at it I knew it was unusable. My subject was completely out of focus. Lesson #3, focus. This lesson of course has a double meaning, the first being the obvious, to make sure to focus my subject to get the best looking shot possible.
However, I think it can go a little bit further. If I would have been completely focused on that moment, I would have remembered the little, yet very important things to make sure I get the best shot possible. The good news was I was able to go do the interview again and I learned another valuable lesson.
So on to the track meet I went. Even with having to do that interview twice, I still got there early and was able to get some pretty good footage of the event. I was only a little intimidated by a professional from channel 10, when he came to get his own story.
But I also saw it as a valuable learning opportunity, let’s call it lesson #4. I observed the types of shots he was getting and took in his attitude towards his work. He was quick and decisive, both things I could definitely improve upon.
When it was time to get my interview for the story I made sure I was in focus this time. That didn’t prevent me from getting to lesson #5, don’t forget the little things. On my first attempt at the interview, I realized only too late that I forgot to change the input on the camera for my audio. I knew getting the interview from the internal camera microphone wasn’t going to be good enough. So I grabbed my interviewee again.
The second run through went great, the audio levels were good, the focus was spot on, and I got some really good sound bites. Only one problem, I forgot to hit record. So that meant I had to get my interviewee one more time, but hey the third time was the charm.
So it wasn’t the smoothest of weeks for my first story, that point being furthered by me finishing up my blog post at 1:30 in the morning. However the lessons I learned this week will only make me better reporter and person in general. I may have had my fair share of screw ups, but I never got down on myself and did everything I could to fix my mistakes.
The brightest part of my week (aside from finishing my stories) was finally finishing the custom work I was doing on my moped.
The picture on the left is the before and the right is the final product. I designed it after the Michigan State Pro Combat jerseys worn in 2011 against Michigan. It was a fun little project and was a really nice finish to the week.
So with all these lessons learned I am ready to begin a new week at HOMTV with my first live shot in just about 16 hours. Time to get some sleep, I really can’t wait for the lessons in store for me this week.