And…. Cue!

Super Semester- Week 1

It definitely lives up to it’s name; Super Semester. Starting out, everyone hit the ground running. Producers were under stress, content team scattered around Saint Charles, and talent furiously writing stories so they could go over their own scripts before everything goes live at 3 pm. Yet, throughout the craziness, there was a sense of purpose and importance that I bet couldn’t be duplicated anywhere else besides the newsroom.

Who are you?

Starting Monday, I had the come across a great story as a package involving a respiratory virus hitting children throughout the Midwest. The very first person I called, I quickly realized my title; News Reporter for LUTV. Now that sounds pretty official. After introducing my new title, the first source at the local Health Department was very helpful and willing to collaborate with me, even if it was just for our college TV station. Then everything else went downhill from there. The rest of the day I was calling different doctors, other sources to try and get another on camera interview for such a cool and exciting story. Doctors were reluctant to talk about any cases since they can’t give out any information about specific patients. That or people simply didn’t want to be interviewed on camera. After an entire day gone, it was time to take a new perspective. The idea suddenly came that the source didn’t have to be a doctor but a worried parent that wants to help prevent tragedies around the Saint Charles area. After calling the first person, they were willing to help and had actually heard about the mystery illness frightening parents all over.

Getting the right shots

My second item for content was creating a VO-SOT showcasing the Sorority Rush week happening at Lindenwood throughout the entire week. I didn’t set up an interview before hand but as soon as I got there, they were very willing to be on camera and help promote their Greek life at school. Everything ran very smoothly at the shoot as the problems began to show up in the edit room. I realized I didn’t grab enough B-roll as well as getting the interviewee in action. That way as I edited and wrote the script, it was very hard to be creative and keep the story relevant to what I was saying. This is only something you can learn by making the mistake once. After editing everything, the story was ready before lunch even started, which is pretty early as most producers may know. When the story ran, there were some technical difficulties that had the wrong reader on camera, which in turn caused the camera to pan over to the actual reader. On top of that, the video that made it a VO didn’t run which then made it a simple reader story. After re-shooting, they were able to fix that and do everything as it was supposed to air the first time.

Lessons learned

There were a couple things I wish I could’ve done differently if I had the chance to do it again for the first time. First the stories I had came to me too late in the game. Over the weekend I couldn’t find much that sparked my interest, and even doing the VO-Sot on the sorority rush week was something that wasn’t something I was interested in doing. Yet, as the package on the virus came into view, I needed to get it all together before Wednesday’s newscast at 3 pm sharp. Since I submitted the Sorority story first, that is what the Producer wanted rather than the virus that could be aired the following week as it would still be relevant. What this means for me is no wrap around. I am the assistant producer on Monday and then the Producer on Wednesday as well. Because of that, I can’t wrap around any content that I make for that week. It changes the layout of the story a little bit, but that isn’t much of a problem. So all in all, it made me realize I need to stay on top of story ideas much earlier and be prepared to assume I am behind at all times.

So far, I am very excited to try everything and really exceed my own expectations in every section of super semester. I even got to be talent for the football’s half time show during our first home season opener! So if things keep going the way they are now, making mistakes will be the least of my worries.

LPS Halftime Show with Kenny Newhouse
LPS Halftime Show with Kenny Newhouse

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