That’s A Wrap

My video tech class finished a month-long mini-movie project.  I was skeptical at first, but we not only had a lot of fun filming our low-budget (under $50) flick, but we also learned a lot about the movie biz.  We scripted the movie, assigned the roles – both acting and production, scouted locations, secured locations, collected and built props, planned stunts and effects, created a shooting calendar and then finally shot.  The first edit is almost finished and we are collecting copyleft music to use.  The idea was a 15-20 min. movie, but I think it will be closer to 30 min.

But Monday we had a wrap party.  Lots of fun.  But they deserved it for more than 15 days on task without losing time during the pre-production and filming.  These kids rock!  We hope to have the movie on DVD with outtakes and bloopers in about 2 weeks.

Second Banana

Just like real life, in this quiz on The Paper site, I am the managing editor! That was my job on the college paper too.

The Big Night

I am actually looking forward to going to Prom this year.  It is bitter sweet.  I have five seniors on yearbook staff plus two in broadcast and six in web design.  Watching these kids grow up was sometimes tiring, but nearly always rewarding.  I’m excited for them, yet sad to see them go at the same time.  I’m ready for the challenges of next year, but wishing I could keep these kids for one more year.

Still Watching…

The Paper on MTV.  I actually watch it on their website.  The second episode was better than the first.  It sill focuses too much on the “in-chief,” but it did show some of the dynamics of the staff plus a great brainstorming session.   I’m hoping the show really gets into the meat of students actually doing interviews and putting the paper together.

Get Some Direction For Your Media Room

AAt the ILPC/UIL state convention in Austin this weekend I saw a demo for a product that I expect to use in my own classroom next year. This is a web-based service designed by a former high school journalism student and three journalism students called Newsroom Director. The software allows you to manage deadlines, staff and to keep your copy stored online. You also get some really great editing and work tracking tools. If this isn’t enough, your students get a way to communicate with each other. This will really eliminate the problem of lost drafts and deleted files. I’m really excited. It only costs $150 per school/per year. Just from what I’ve seen, I recommend it.  And you can use it for both newspaper and yearbook.  Who knows, maybe you can use it for broadcast, photographers and others too.

Conventional Thinking

Tomorrow – April 18, I head out for the Texas ILPC convention at UT-Austin.  I’m taking seven students and a co-sponsor.  Three days in Austin.  And while I’m there my blog turns one year old!  I can’t believe I’ve had more than 17,000 hits, 232 posts (two every three days), and one post that has had more than 1,400 hits on its own!  So, wish me a happy blog birthday on April 19!  I hope to hit 1,000 posts some day.  Wish me luck!

iMovie HD and More Audio Weirdness

A couple of months ago I had an iMovie HD audio problem and I searched around the internet.  I thought we figured it out and solved the issue.

Well, here’s the issue.  You import your clips into iMovie HD and you hear perfect audio as you import.  But when you go back to the clips – no audio.  Video is perfect.  We thought it was all kinds of things.  Bad firewire cable, bad firewire port, bad camera, corrupted preference files.  Nothing seemed to be consistent.

So, yesterday I started surfing the net for the issue.  And I came across the most bizarre solution.  They suggested either opening Garageband or if you had deleted it (we had) to install it and then open it.  Then play around on the virtual keyboard in Garageband and quit.  Then open iMovie HD and your sound will return.

I found this suggested on at least 3 sites.  One suggested that iLife apps get corrupted in some manner when they are deleted or not updated together.  Who knows.  But it worked – so far.  Hope it stays solved.

I’m Going To Summer Camp!

I was accepted to the ASNE summer workshop in Tempe, AZ on the ASU campus.  I’m so excited.  I can’t wait.

The Paper or Plastic: MTV Show Begins A Little Stiff

It is not every day that there is a TV show about high school journalism, so I’m not going to complain too much.  I watched MTV’s The Paper tonight online.  I actually enjoyed some parts of it.  The look of a high school newsroom is just about right.  The ubiquitous cell phones, the catty back biting, the girlfriend and boyfriend on staff are all fairly accurate.

But some of the scenes were obviously staged.  Such as Amanda (the new editor) laying out poolside – which only reinforces the comparisons to the High School Musical character Sharpay.  Some of the characters were obviously plastic too.  The girls practicing powder puff football in uniform.  That only happens on TV.   The advertiser who forgot his check.  Plastic.

I did like the fact that the staff actually did put out an issue in this episode and explained a few journalism terms.  I wish they were available for download, so I could use selected bits in class.  I’ll keep watching – I just hope it doesn’t turn into a soap opera set in a j-classroom.

Heartbreaking Photos From The San Jose Mercury

Just like the title says heart breaking.

If you are a young journalist thinking of working for a newspaper, here’s a good reason why you might want to rethink that.

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