Friday, May 31, 2013

O Windows, Where Art Thou?

Immediately following our two week trip spent running around Germany, experiencing two big cities, I spent the past week in a dark, windowless lab here in Columbia, putting it all together. Blood, sweat and tears went into my group’s--  “The Skaters,” as is our unofficial moniker-- final project.

Four extremely good looking people, otherwise known as “The Skaters”.

Okay, maybe not blood. But that’s only because the project was finished last night. Had we run into anymore bumps in the road, I’m not sure what our fate would have been....

Our group had problems. Major problems. Primarily, with the Sony camera that we used. On the beginning of Day 1, we were grateful and excited to be using the camera. Then we ran into troubles with sound. And white balance (a term I now cringe to hear). And memory card formatting. And the mere fact that the camera weighs easily ten times more than the smaller cameras most of the other groups brought along.

Do I look like I know what I’m doing? If so, I deserve an Oscar.

I can hardly imagine the heaping pile of garbage that our fellow classmates, Professor Farrand and Dean Bierbauer anticipated our final product to be. But I doubt it looks anything like what we actually came up with.

For our print piece, Dana came up with a fantastic feature story that tells of the way that Berlin’s rocky history has effected the skateboarding scene. Will wrote an editorial about his personal experience in Berlin as an American skater. Erin used the incredible photographs she took and her experience in Adobe InDesign to create a professional quality, four page German skateboarding magazine called “Spreken sie Skate?”.

Together, for our multimedia piece, in an attempt to stay current, our group created a mock-homepage for our magazine’s website. We focused in on the Tempelhof Airport. It used to be West Berlin’s primary airport, but a few years ago, after Berlin’s reunification, it was deemed too small and closed down. The city decided to turn the runway space (which, even for a ‘small’ airport, is enormous) into a park, which includes but is not limited to a skate park. I cannot imagine what the City of Columbia would turn the space into if we were to ever outgrow our tiny airport. I imagine a few strip malls with a K Mart or two in them.  In the website feature, we included this brief history on the park, along with pictures of the skate area and a time lapse video of the skaterboarders using it.

 Erin and Dean Bierbauer check out the map at the airfield.

Then, there was our video. The one element that we had the least amount of confidence in to start out with, especially when we realized we had transferred nearly all of our video files incorrectly and were unsure if we were able to use them. After twelve hours of relentless Google searches, I managed to find a solution that did not even compromise the quality. And then there was the quality- we were certain that our sound was ruined on two of our interviews. It wasn’t. Unbeknownst to ourselves, we had actually set up the sound the right way. And Final Cut Pro X fixed the rest of our issues.

So two days were spent with Will and I slaving over the same computer monitor, sharing the same set of broken headphones. But we pulled a 4 minute video together that, considering the circumstances, I am proud of. It’s not perfect, and had we a little more time to focus on just the video and not our other pieces, it would look better. A deadline is a deadline, though, and I am happy with our final product. And I’m positive it exceeded everyone’s original expectations.

Professor Farrand and Dean Bierbauer at the Neuschwanstein Castle

I want to especially thank Professor Farrand and Dean Bierbauer for not only taking this trip with us, but particularly for their help with my group. They sat through several long meetings with us. They talked us through our most panicked states. They politely laughed at our obnoxious jokes that we ourselves thought to be hilarious, and they ignored our inexplicable use of terrible British accents. (And Will’s spot-on Robin Leach impersonation).  I do not believe they ever completely lost hope in us- and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Auf wiedersehen!

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