Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Life Update Again

I know I just posted one of these a couple months ago. You wouldn't think that things would change enough that I'd feel the need to do one of these again so soon. But they have. I'm changing majors again. I'm going into advertising.

I have actually been thinking about this for a long time. When I first switched over to journalism, I was under the impression that advertising was something you went into with an art degree. I had no idea that journalism was part of the same school as advertising and PR. It wasn't until I'd gotten into the first journalism classes that it was clear that advertising was an option. But I stuck it out because I had just switched, I didn't want to do it again a few weeks later. Plus photojournalism was an option and I really did want to get into that.

Well, it's now been year and a half since I switched the first time.  I have had time to discover everything that is involved with journalism, and I have discovered that it isn't for me. I like being creative, and there isn't much there for that. I kind of figured that out in the first semester, but I stuck it out, hoping to get into photojournalism. Photojournalism is a little better, it is more fun, but there's still not much room for creativity. I was still pressing forward though. I was still working toward that goal until this semester.

This semester I took a video class. It covered both filming and editing. At first I was slightly overwhelmed. I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't know what to film. I did like the editing though. For that class we have to have 14 minutes of content filmed and edited by the end of the semester. I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do. I put that out of my mind for the time being, and thought about the editing.

I decided that if I was going to get into journalism, I wanted to be in television news. I wanted to film and edit news packages. If I worked at a station I wouldn't have to fret over what to film, they'd just tell me. I thought this was a great idea until we had a guest speaker who showed us a reel of footage of himself and his fellow camera-persons being attacked, and people trying to smash their equipment. Even though that's not exactly the norm for them, I didn't want any of that. After that, in our next class, the teacher started talking about ad agencies hiring their own video editors instead of outsourcing. He said it was a quickly growing field. The seed was planted, and I started seriously thinking about changing, but this was right at spring break, so I decided to mull it over for a week.

Over spring break, my friends, we call ourselves the Vagabonds, got together, as we usually do when I come home. For the past few years, almost every time we get together, we've had a lip sync video contest. It stopped being an actual contest a long time ago, but we still do the videos every time just to entertain each other. I had never done a video before, I know, I'm terrible. This time, I was learning Adobe Premiere Pro, and I decided I could use the practice editing, so I got together with my cousin Shaina, and we decided to do two videos. We planned out the songs we were going to do and the clothes we were going to wear. I ordered an article of clothing for one of the videos, but it did not arrive on time, so we just did the one.

Making that video was so much fun. I really wanted to do another one, but our original idea was out until my item arrived. We were going to the zoo a couple days later, so we started brainstorming ideas for filming there, when Sasha had the brilliant idea of doing Katy Perry's Roar. We were going to the jungle, it was perfect. We shot there for two to three hours, going all over the jungle, getting all sorts of interesting shots, it was a blast. And the editing was really fun too, it was harder as you couldn't hear anything through the deafening jungle noises, but still fun.

I was going to be content with just the two videos, but two days before our Vagabond event, I hit upon the brilliant idea of filming the song Radioactive, over at the "Haunted" house across the road from home. It is a very run down property, and with the world just emerging from winter, the landscape looked very bleak. It was perfect for that apocalyptic song. Shaina was not around yet, so Jacob helped me film. We shot one long take before Shaina got there, and when she did, I had another great idea. I asked Jacob if he could be a dead body, and he happily agreed. It was awesome. Shaina was a bit weirded out by it, and did not like our suggestion that she play a body as well, but she was ok with filming it. The footage from that night turned out great, except the camera died before we had enough. We'd have to do a second shoot the next day.

The next day at work Sasha came through my line, and we were talking about the video. I jokingly asked her if she wanted to be another dead body, and she agreed immediately. No hesitation. I was thrilled. That night we all met over at the haunted house for another round of filming. Sasha was an excellent body. She kicked off one shoe for extra authenticity. It was amazing. As the sun was disappearing over the horizon we shot one last take, and, well, I won't tell you what happened with the last take, I do plan on getting these videos up on YouTube sometime, and you can see for yourselves what happened.

The videos all turned out really great for my first try. I had never done one before, so everyone was excited that I had even finished one. Then they were even more surprised that I'd done two. They were absolutely shocked to find out I'd done three! I was so happy with how the videos had turned out, and so happy with the response to them, that I realized I wanted this to continue. I started thinking about the class I was taking, and was convinced by my friends that I should submit the lip sync videos as part of my 14 minutes. The teacher had said no music videos, but he'd said that to avoid getting slideshows and rave footage. My work was so much more detailed than that, I decided it was worth a shot to ask. The worst he could say was no. But he didn't. He accepted all 12 minutes of video. I was ecstatic. I have almost nothing left to do for that class.

So, I said all that to bring it all back to creativity. I loved making those videos. I had more fun with those than I've had in a long time, and I want to keep doing it. Switching to advertising will let me flex my creative muscles, and get me a lot more experience with film and editing. Eventually I'd love to make commercials, and maybe do short films on the side. If advertising is half as much fun as making videos, I know I'm going to love it.

For those of you wondering, no, this won't mean extra time in school. I'm still on track for a fall 2016 graduation. I'm at the point in the classes where everything starts to branch out. Journalism, advertising, and PR, have, up until this point, all been using the same base classes. This semester was the first semester where things started really branching apart. I am dropping one class, but the rest of it is all very useful to me as an advertising student.

I have a lot of plans to continue working on videos in my spare time this summer, and not just lip sync videos, so stay tuned! I hope to get back into blogging more than just once a month!

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