Shooting the Planetarium

03 May

We were assigned to find an event or topic, film it, and edit into a final video. My partner and I chose to do a story on the University of Wyoming Planetarium. The edited video is below.

This project ran into more than its fair share of hiccups, beginning with the software not functioning on the school computers. The trial version of the software which I used to edit the program was incompatible with the school software even after it was working, which led to the watermark being difficult to remove from the final product.

The news-gathering itself was a little difficult too. While I enjoyed our time at the planetarium, the first thing the presenter said was that she was serious about keeping all digital devices off so as not to bother other viewers. This made sense, but was highly inconvenient. I ended up recording the whole show with my camera discreetly anyway.

Even then, though, I was disappointed in the lack of moving action in the show. Some planetarium shows I have been to have been pretty impressive – this one was a little less technically impressive and mostly consisted of a PowerPoint presentation on a curved wall. This made for a lot of filmed still images in our final product. The part that was more visually interesting, when the presenter had the Spitz starball running, was too dark, and my camera didn’t pick up any of it.

To add even more issue to the project, the two interviews we had were imperfect, in that while the room seemed well-lit to the camera, the video was not well-lit on a computer screen. This I mostly fixed in editing, which brings me to what I did like about the project. I enjoyed editing video the same way I have enjoyed editing audio. There’s a lot more to do in a video editing project (and this was the first time I had ever seriously edited video), but once I started figuring out Premiere Elements 11 it was fun to use.

I do wish I had had more time than me and my partner gave ourselves. We wanted to finish the project because of finals week, but I think the editing is a little rough in spots (especially the one musical transition toward the end of the video). Uploading the video to YouTube also seemed to decrease the sound level, which I had fixed in editing especially in the interview with Sam. I did like the addition of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets – Jupiter” as appropriate music, however.

I think there was a lot more I could do with the program that I didn’t get to try out simply because of limited time. I also wish we would have been a little bit clearer beforehand about what we wanted from the interviews, which may have made for a more fluid story than the one we have. I was also nervous enough during the filming that the camera is a little shaky, and hiding the camera during the show meant I wasn’t able to get the best shots.

I’m not sure how much I’ll use video in the future. It is not my favorite medium, but I think having some basic idea of how to use it is useful. I think that if I did another project the quality would much improve with what I’ve learned, this being the first time I’d used the video function on my Canon Powershot A3300 IS. The experience was valuable for this reason, especially because I don’t know if I’ll be using video in the future or not. It’s better to be prepared.

-Joshua C Geiger

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Posted by on May 3, 2013 10:43 am in online journalsim


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