Where I’ve been…

Obvious: I have not posted a proper blog entry or update since September.

Reason: I have been taking five classes and working two jobs.

Details: I’ve been taking some some interesting classes at UMass Amherst, such as web design for journalists, investigative journalism, and a film workshop at Hampshire College. 

I’m learning web design and building a portfolio website in a web design class, taught by Brian McDermott, which I will publish at the end of the semester. That’s a huge step up from this blog, which I’m excited about. The website will creatively display my work and resume. I’ve been using and learning Dreamweaver as well as Flash to build my website up from scratch. I haven’t used a single template, which has proven to be a great learning experience. I will provide more details about my website when it’s published.

The film workshop, taught by Abraham Ravett, at Hampshire College is pretty awesome. It’s been a difficult transition from working digital to working analog, but because I have such a solid grasp in camera fundamentals like film speed, aperture, frame rate, and shutter speed, I’ve definitely had an easier time than some of my fellow classmates. The class requires students to work in 16mm black and white reversal film shot on a Bolex and edit projects on a Steen Beck. I’ve transfered pretty much all of my footage to video, but the transfers aren’t that great, which is kind of disappointing considering how beautiful film looks projected as opposed to scan lines and pixels. I’m still working on editing my most recent shorts in Final Cut Pro, which I will likely upload at the end of the semester.

The investigative journalism course, taught by Steve Fox, has taken up most of my time and has been a challenging learning experience. We are investigating and reporting on the Phoebe Prince bullying case and its aftermath. The UMass journalism class is partnered with MassLive.com, so everything we produce gets published on the site. Our articles are published on a blog page which can be found at masslive.com/bullying. My beat is covering the South Hadley School Committee and related matters. My final project for this semester will be a video, which I will link to when it debuts.

Work has been keeping me busy editing various wildlife videos. I’ve recently edited videos on swamp pink, bog turtles, and puffins. They will debut at a biologists conference in February; I am uncertain if they will be published online.

This semester has been far too busy, but it will all be worth it come mid-December. As a prelude to next semester (my last and final semester of college), I hope I will be able to update much more frequently as well as have more time to play around with After Effects, cameras, and documentary work – oh and looking for a job.

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