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Digital Portfolio: Brooke Strausbaugh

Brooke Strausbaugh, Producer

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My name is Brooke Strausbaugh, I am a senior and a producer in WACS News. Next year I plan to attend Kent State University for Political Science. I enrolled in Multimedia Production because of my interest in video production and because of the WACS News that I saw as a middle schooler. I remember seeing reporters come into my classes and I really wanted to be like them. I also enjoy making videos for projects and I wanted to learn more about that and possibly get better at it.

Since I was a producer I did not put out very many true stories. I covered a few stories but my main focus was the full episodes and In The Halls. My first story was the middle school pancake breakfast and it was not my best work. I covered it alone so when I was interviewing people I was not in a third and the audio cut in and out throughout the video. I think that my comfort level both behind and in front of the camera was the biggest improvement from the beginning of the year to the end. I now feel that I can run and interview or do an in the halls without any worry big mistakes. I also feel more comfortable with editing and from the earlier episodes to the recent ones I think that I improved on making cuts in the episodes and making the transitions seamless. My best project, I think, was the Christmas in the Park episode. I say this because of the challenges that the project presented as far as the size of the event and the collaboration that had to be done between classes. I think that the episode was a success and went off without much problem, minus the near hypothermia we all got while filming. My worst project, in my opinion, was the Pancake Breakfast that I spoke about earlier. My audio was very poor and my placement in the frame was not great. I think that this is a good example of how my work improved since the beginning of the year.

I think that this year has really been informative for me. In the area of editing I think I have improved my transitions and attention to detail. I think I picked up on places where I needed to add a transition or cut a clip closer that I would not have picked up on before I took this class. I also learned a lot about working with iMovie that I did not know about previously. As far as writing I learned how to type in script format as far as using all caps, dot dot dots instead of commas, and spelling things phonetically. I also fell that I gained a better understanding of writing in the tone of voice of another person as I was often writing for an anchor rather than myself. I learned a lot about iMovie this year considering I had never used the system prior to this class. I learned the basics of how to cut and transition and then some more in depth skills as far as enhancing video and audio. When it comes to digital stories I did not learn as much because I was not all that involved in those. My focus was mainly on episode production and managing others’ stories so that was not my strongest area.

For a future student coming into this class I have one simple piece of advice. Do your work. If you put things off and give no effort this class will be awful. If you put a little bit of passion into your work and get things done on time this class will be one of the easiest and most enjoyable classes you can take in high school. Your success comes from your effort. You do not have to produce professional quality videos to ace the class, you simply have to do your best. This class often gets a bad reputation for the amount of work but if you are invested in the work that you are doing there really isn’t that much work to be done. I did have some challenges in this class. I am not very technologically advanced so sometimes I found the editing to be very frustrating because I did not understand what I was doing. However, this got significantly better throughout the year as I grew to be more comfortable on the Mac system. I also found that┬ásometimes I would get distracted with working on the computer and then my work took longer than it needed to. When I focused I got things done in plenty of time though. If I had to start over I think I would learn more about the basics of iMovie right away so that I could get into more advanced parts of it later rather than learning as I went.

My communication and online skills were sharpened by my work in the class this year. I learned how to work with my classmates and communicate with them on a daily basis. WACS News served the school this year by connecting both the school and the community with what was going on in the district. It is easy to keep up with the school events by just checking out the WACS News site. We inform, entertain, and connect the students, teachers, and community members of Alden and beyond. This purpose is the same for the community. We allow them to see what is happening with their relatives and their town. Overall, I really enjoyed this class. I liked that I did my own work and was not closely monitored by an advisor, but when I needed it, it was easy to ask for help. I learned that I really enjoy video editing and making digital projects that I am proud of. I also learned that I enjoy helping out behind the scenes almost as much as I do being more in the spotlight. Being a performer, I am very used to being onstage and being part of the obvious part of the project. This was a new experience for me being a producer and I really enjoyed it.

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Digital Portfolio: Brooke Strausbaugh