Archive | September, 2010

Nothing New to Report

29 Sep

Alright, we know, we know. We haven’t been blogging neeeeaaaaarrrrlly as much as we should. In our defense, we have been crazy busy with school. We also wanted to have some video to post, but our projects are still in progress, so we have to find something else to talk about in the meantime.

On that note, here’s an update on what’s going on with us lately:
We’re working on a project called “video postcards,” which Shannon mentioned in her post Friday Night Lights. We already screened a rough draft of them in class and we have to continue shooting and editing before our final cut is due on October 19th. As you saw in the previous post, I’m covering high school football. Shannon is covering the Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market, which is filled with characters and has some fantastic foods to offer. Here’s a couple pics from her first day of shooting:

Shannon with camera

Shannon hard at work. She's all business

Couple shopping

Basket of produce


I’m not kidding when I say there are characters there either. I somehow got sucked in to talking to this crazy drummer guy who kept yelling at the locals when they interrupted him and knelt down to drum on the sidewalk. While holding his drumsticks upside down. Good thing I had Shannon’s heavy tripod there to protect me…

In addition to the video postcards, we also just started work on some multimedia projects for Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County. We have a list of topics to choose from and we have 2 weeks to shoot, edit and put together a final piece that is worthy of being used on the Special Olympics site. (Yikes.) So you can expect to see some more of our work in about 2 weeks! Aren’t you excited?

We’re also working on several web projects but we don’t have anything cool enough to show you yet in that department. Shannon and I can often be found in different rooms in the house grumbling about various aspects of html and css or asking each other why the heck our sites look so weird in Firefox. THRILLING STUFF, i know.

So anyways, just bear with us. We’ll try to fabricate some interesting events soon, we promise.



Friday Night Lights

11 Sep

Hey Everyone!

So last night I went to my FIRST EVER high school football game! I feel like I’ve now (at 23) completed my high school experience.

Here’s the story: Megan and I were assigned our first solo video projects this week–video postcards. We were all given specific events or locations around Miami to film and edit into three-minute pieces. The trick was, we weren’t able to use any A-roll. No interviews or talking to people, just images of the event and the natural noises of the space. Megan’s assignment was to cover the high school football game between Belen-Jesuit and Columbus–A MAJOR RIVALRY–so of course I was totally on board to grab my camera and join in the excitement!

As expected, the whole thing, played at the FIU stadium, was a bit over-the-top but I had so much fun! Tailgating for the big game started hours before kickoff and face painting, cheering and dancing were embraced by all. I found myself wanting to join in with the high school juniors and seniors as they cheered their teams on to victory, even thought I didn’t really have a clue who these teams were.  Thankfully, I restrained myself.  Columbus stomped Belen, as was predicted, with a final score of 35-16. (Better luck next year, Belen!) I think  Megan got some really great footage at the game.  She almost got smooshed a few times by some giant footballers, but Megan’s tiny and fast and was able to successfully avoid disaster. I think she was even willing to sacrifice herself to protect the camera. What a trooper! Hopefully you we will be seeing her completed masterpiece here soon!

But for now, here are a few photos from the big event:

Aren't they sweet? I want to paint my face for the big game too!

I don't know this lady, but she sure likes to shoot high school football. No guys, I'm just kidding. That's Megan.

Who knows, maybe these two kids could have led Belen to victory if given the chance...

Put me in, Coach. I'm ready to play.

Huddle up boys!

And, best of all, I didn’t have to actually get in-the-mix with these crazy students–we used our fancy new press passes to shoot everything from the sidelines! Ah, another exciting adventure in South Florida.

With love from Miami,


Jaundice pup

10 Sep

Remember those lilies we got from the flower vendor? This is what happens when they start dying and dropping their bright yellow pollen all over our living room.

Maddie with yellowMaddie with yellow on her neck

Flower Fiasco

1 Sep

Well, it’s the end of our first week of classes, which technically weren’t classes at all, as we had to attend a week of Multimedia Bootcamp. The bootcamp is designed to give us a crash course on all the tools we will need to be able to do well in the UM visual journalism program. And they do not play around when it comes to bootcamp. It goes something like this:

Day 1: Here’s a camera, here’s the basics of how to use it, now go shoot an interview.
Day 2: Here’s Final Cut Pro, here’s how you use it to edit video, now edit your interview from yesterday.
Day 3: Okay, here’s a camera for the weekend, go shoot your first assignment.
Day 4: Edit your assignment into a 90-second piece for your first critique.
Welcome to grad school, get crackin!

So, in true Shannon and Megan fashion, our project ended up being full of problems. We really thought we were on the ball. We had our subject planned out, we thought about what kind of imagery we want, we had a shot list, everything. Our plan was to interview one of the flower vendors that are on many of the streets around town, because we knew we wanted really beautiful B-roll footage. So Friday after class we found one that looked nice and asked the woman who worked there if we could interview and film her on Saturday. She agreed and we spent the rest of our evening planning our interview questions, our shots, etc. We got up early Saturday morning and got there an hour before she did, JUST TO BE SURE. I mean, we were on top of our game, guys.

And this is about the point where things started going wrong. The woman and her husband arrive, only she says she doesn’t feel well and does not want to do an interview. But she says her son will be there tomorrow and he speaks better English, so we can interview him. She also gives us permission to shoot as much as we want. So we shoot a couple hours of B-roll and then go home to regroup. We rewrite our questions, go over our footage and make a plan. Still on top of things, right? WRONG.

Sunday morning we get up and go back to the flower stand at the same time as yesterday. However, the lady neglected to tell us that they open up later on Sunday, so we sat for an hour and a half under an overpass on the side of the road. This is what a cranky, impatient Megan looks like while waiting for an interview that we think is standing us up:

grumpy megan

photo by the lovely Shannon Sanders

Finally the kid arrives and tells us he isn’t interested in doing the interview. No reason, no explanation, HE JUST DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT. I mean, he’s sitting under an overpass for seven hours, so clearly he has a very busy schedule…
It’s noon on Sunday. We have to have our footage by 9am Monday morning. Time to regroup.  In a last ditch effort we went across the parking lot to another flower stand, hoping and praying they would be nice and help us out.


Some flowers we got from the flower stand

And it ended up being the best decision we could have made. The stand was run by a mother and daughter who were so accommodating and sweet and who had really beautiful flowers. We interviewed the daughter, Carolina, who was very charismatic and had a great story of how her family came to Miami and became flower vendors. We actually ended up with some really great sound bites from her that we had to cut out of our final video due to time constraints.

So here’s the final product, for your viewing pleasure. There are of course lots of problems in it, as it’s our first time shooting video, collecting audio, editing video and audio, etc. But we’re hoping that by posting it, we can document our progress as we (with any luck) get better and better.
We hope you like it.
-Megan and Shannon