A few weeks ago I finished up my first production project, Food Frenzy. The assignment called for creating a 1:30-2:00 minute short film demonstrating knowledge of storytelling without dialogue, camera operation, shot composition, continuity, and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. I ended up getting 10/10 for video shooting and 8.5/10 for editing.
At this point I’ve been in college for about 4 years, though after some financial turmoil and a change in my major I’m something like a junior, pre-super senior. After my first year there was no longer anything special about a new semester and it always seemed to become more mundane and monotonous. It got to the point where I didn’t even bother to buy new school supplies, the best part. However, this semester felt different. I’ve been eagerly anticipating January 7th since I finalized my class schedule in early November. Finally getting more into my major…things I actually care about. It’s a refreshing change.
My levels of inspiration and passion about my future are at an all-time high thanks to a splendid first week of school. With each class came a greater thirst for knowledge, for action, to create. Perhaps the only low moments were walking into rooms with a sea of glowing apple logos and shiny screens greeting me and feeling poor because I don’t have a MacBook Pro (though I’m more than happy as a PC/Android user). Last semester it felt like school was only a small snippet of my day because my day started in the afternoon and then I was rushing off to work, whereas now I have more morning classes so not only do I feel like my days are more productive, but being a retail robot is not the focal point. This semester I’m taking:
Fundamentals of Production (RTV3200) – The name is pretty explanatory of the course. There’s a 2-hour lecture and also a 3-hour lab. I’m looking forward to the film projects for sure. Our professor has also assigned an internship research paper where we’re required to pursue four internship/networking opportunities so hopefully that’ll help me find something enriching (and that looks good on a resume, lol) to do this summer.
Telecommunication Programming (RTV4500) – One of my favorite classes because it feels like the discussions I have with my friends about why and how content is placed on TV and rated with a little more structure. It’s nice to be able to intelligently converse about media convergence and how all of these new technologies are being handled. If I do end up in grad school somehow, these are the topics I would love to study.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Editing Workshop (RTV4930) – I consider my self-taught editing skills to be intermediate, so while this wasn’t a required course I figured formal editing instruction would be of some use. The department decided to switch from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro CS6 this year but I will probably be spending a good chunk of time practicing both this semester, and possibly After Effects as well.
Advanced Writing for Electronic Media (RTV3101) – Another 3-hour class that meets once a week about writing commercials, docs, dramas, comedies, and all of that good stuff. I do this stuff for funsies anyway so I’m more than ready to learn how to do it the right way and get some critique on my work. My professor has also worked on tons of documentaries and has interests in comedy writing so the stars seemed to align perfectly for me here.
Principles of Macroeconomics (ECO2013) – The lone straggler of required courses not in my major. I’m not particularly thrilled since it’s a distance learning course with lectures uploaded online and an expensive access site for quizzes and homework, but I just need discipline (and maybe Smokin’ Notes!) to successfully get through it since I learned how NOT to do it this summer with Micro.
While I find all of these 2 and 3-hour blocks daunting for my attention span, I’m equally excited about the material that will hopefully captivate me enough to make the time feel like less of a nuisance. Definitely ready for the challenges. I’m finally starting to feel like my education is worth something and that I’m actively working towards my career aspirations. ‘Tis a wonderful feeling!
Though I should probably work on learning how to go to sleep at a decent hour since I’m still up at 4am as if I have not a thing to do tomorrow.
I’m usually not a fan of people using the current year to solely affirm some sort of opinion, but I will go against my one of my minor pet peeves for this instance.
It’s 2012. Like it or not, technology is here and you need to be able to deal with it.
While that is an undoubtedly obvious fact to most of us, there is a portion of the population that prides themselves on not being up to date with technology…or not even knowing how to perform basic necessities. As a technology employee of a large retail chain, I deal with explaining (and upselling -_-) technology to people of all ages and backgrounds on a daily basis; I’m also responsible for some basic troubleshooting and PC repair. As a student, I encounter professors that view technology as an evil rather than an aid — like the ones with a bajillion degrees that don’t know how to turn on a projector or upload a file to a course site.
Many of my customers proudly profess that they are “technologically illiterate” or “I’m never good with those darn computers” or “I’ve got a tech guy/IT person/grandchild that can do everything for me.” Ma’am or sir, that is not okay and you do not have my sympathy. I will refer to this as the badge of technological ignorance, which is a sense of complacency or utter disinterest towards learning how to effectively use technology to one’s benefit. And no, this does not only apply to the older generation. Now that technology is such an essential part of nearly every profession and function of life, it’s almost insulting for these individuals to have the audacity deny it’s importance by refusing to educate themselves. Imagine how absurd it would sound if someone shamelessly touted not knowing how to read. You’d assume that success in life is not a priority of theirs, right?
The technology aversion confuses me. Badge-wearers, riddle me this: would you really rather write out a whole lecture of problems on a chalkboard rather than having notes and examples conveniently at your fingertips? Standing in line to pay bills or writing checks to mail off is more optimal than one-click bill pay? A type writer is more convenient than a word processor? Go back to remembering tens of phone numbers or keeping track of an address book? Being restricted to purchasing only what’s in your town or that can fit in a catalog?
I’m sure the answer is no to all of the above.
I do understand that many may dismiss the need for having basic computer knowledge because they don’t demand the latest and greatest. With all of the online resources, courses, XYZ for Dummies, and tutorials available, there is no excuse for this badge of technological ignorance. I’m not implying that everyone should know the specifications of Intel’s latest processor release. It’s not even necessary to know how the computer functions internally. However, if you own or use a technological device regularly, you should know how to use it. Learn the ins and outs of your word processor, browser, and the control panel and you should be good to go. Have a sense of exploration. Learn by doing. Spend time clicking around. Attempt to figure it out yourself before asking. Change stuff and see what happens — then try to fix it if you break something! READ THE MANUAL! I’m sure much to the surprise of these badge-wearers, proficiency is not a painful, arduous process that is only reserved for those “computer geniuses” with high levels of cognitive function. It simply requires time and patience…and Google.
While I may be preaching to the choir to anyone that’s reading this, it needed to be said. It’s not cool and never will be cool to be willfully ignorant — especially about something that we all encounter daily and can significantly enhance your productivity. As a “digital native”, I understand that what may be intuitive to me may not be as clear to the older generation. Please excuse any assumed pretentiousness, I genuinely want everyone to be as knowledgeable as I am too! To you badge-wearers: burn them and take some accountability! I’m sure your tech savvy friend doesn’t want to answer another question about how to get pictures off your camera and on to Facebook again or how to send that report to the printer. To all the folks out there that are personal tech support to these individuals, hang in there, but don’t be a crutch! They’ll all learn eventually…
I’m way too young to be expecting children in the near future. However, I do enjoy a good laugh and the movie posters alone were captivating. What To Expect When You’re Expecting is a film adaptation of the 1984 bestseller of the same title. The self-help pregnancy book has been a popular go-to guide for expectant parents for decades (my mother even read it when I was inside her tummy 21 years ago!).
Fortunately, the movie is not a boring documentary on the prenatal process, but instead a fictional tale that follows the lives of five couples on the cusp of parenthood. Also featured is “The Dude Group,” a clique of dedicated, though often clumsy, fathers. Set in Atlanta, the storylines of each couple are loosely intertwined from conception to birth. Jules (Cameron Diaz) and Evan (Glee’s Matthew Morrison) star as a fitness guru and professional dancer that discover their unplanned fate on live television during a celebrity dance show. Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are a couple incapable of conceiving that have turned to adoption. Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) is a baby store owner and author, the ironically perfect mom that has struggled to have children with her husband Gary, played by Ben Falcone, a dentist with daddy issues. The overly competitive, former star NASCAR driver, Ramsey (Dennis Quaid), is responsible for Gary’s insecurities and is also expecting a child with his ditzy, young wife, Skyler (Brooklyn Decker). Chace Crawford and Anna Kendrick round out the cast as Marco and Rosie, two young foodtruck owners that find themselves facing conflict after a tryst in the park. Chris Rock, Joe Manganiello, Amir Talai, Rob Huebel, and Thomas Lennon also appear as “The Dudes.”
What To Expect brought the occasional giggle, mostly from the subtle wit and frustrations of Elizabeth Banks’ character and Brooklyn Decker’s nonchalant pregnancy and role as a twenty-something stepmother to the middle-aged Gary. While “The Dudes Group” did provide some humor initially, the dads quickly lost steam and appeared more pathetic as the plot advanced. Knowing Matthew Morrison as the often spineless Will Schuester from Glee, it was interesting to see him play a character with a demanding personality. To be a comedy film, there were a few unsuspecting moments of sappiness that may have activated that pesky tear-inducing allergy I sometimes suffer from during movies.
Given the slow pace, lack of gut-busting punchlines, and predictable plot, I would give this movie an overall average rating. I did particularly enjoy many of the transitions and the fact that it was shot in Atlanta without using all of the exhausted scenery and skylines that we’ve seen in dozens of other films. It appears that the success of the book has generated lots of steam for the movie, so hopefully it won’t be a victim of the J. Lo movie curse. I don’t regret seeing it, however it falls into the category of slighty funny RomComs for me, which are movies that I typically wouldn’t pay to see but may enjoy on a quiet evening in
if there was absolutely nothing else on television.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting was released on May 18th, 2012 and the trailer can be viewed HERE.
2011 was an interesting year for black television, especially black sitcoms. We’ve had the highly anticipated return of The Game and a gaggle of new shows such as Let’s Stay Together, Single Ladies, Reed Between the Lines, and For Better or Worse sprout up. Additionally, reality shows centered around black celebrities such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives remain wildly popular.
While all of this sounds so exciting and dandy, let’s take a minute to look at the figures and dig down below the surface. According to an August 2011 Nielsen Report, African Americans watch the most television. Specifically, Black women watch 40% more television than any other demographic, yet remain one of the most grossly misrepresented and disrespected groups — regularly minimized to being ignorant, loud, poor baby mamas, gold diggers, or the classic “Mammy” figure. With this type of viewing power, one would assume the industry would make more of an effort to cater to their most tuned-in demographic, or that African Americans would use the strength of their numbers to demand better programming. Not to imply that there should be a “black out” on television to match the viewing audience, but at this point we should be on the brink of a potential media revolution.
Considering the boom of Black sitcoms during the 90s and early-00s, our current offerings are puzzling and may even be considered a regression. While UPN wasn’t an official “black” network, with it’s merge to the CW, a popular breeding ground and territory for black shows, new and old, was demolished. Over five years later and we still haven’t managed to pick up the slack from where UPN left off.
- Little/No Network Presence – in 2010 and 2011 cable networks such as BET and TVOne began to venture into creating scripted series; TBS was also the home of four black sitcoms, three produced by Tyler Perry. I won’t go into great detail about any of those shows since they’re fairly new; it’s a decent effort, there is much work to be done. However, the black presence in mainstream, primetime TV on major networks is missing completely. Currently, there are no shows featuring a primarily black cast on any major networks, though many extremely popular and successful black sitcoms (hello — The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince, Martin, Living Single, My Wife and Kids, anyone?!) have already blazed the trail. There number of black actors on primetime television has increased slightly, though they are often only in supporting roles. We shouldn’t be satisfied with just a “token.”
- Negative Celebrity Reality TV – one area where you will not find a shortage of African Americans on TV is on “celebrity” reality shows. Vh1, Bravo, BET, and other networks are basking in the popularity of these cash cows (and that’s not a jab at the stars of these shows). Unfortunately, these shows rarely depict African Americans in a positive light — full of flashy people famous for who they slept with, living above their means, and conducting themselves as anything but responsible adults. Though many people write this type of entertainment off as just a guilty pleasure and can distinguish the behavior of the so-called stars from “normal people/real life”, it does have an impact on the general population’s opinions of Black people. Of course, not all reality shows with black celebrities are like this, and it is refreshing to see loving families and relationships.
- Unrealistic Representation – minorities groups struggle enough just to exist on primetime television, and when they do, they often fall victim to being stereotyped. Are we sick of the indignant black lady, Hispanic maid/gardener, the token black guy, and nerdy Asian yet? On the flip side, what percentage of the audience can really relate to the upper-middle class lifestyle shown in most of these new sitcoms? There is a middle ground — just ask a good portion of the 99%. Metaphorically, we’re still watching The Evans (Good Times) versus The Huxtables (The Cosby Show).
- Dated Ratings System – Nielsen Media Research is still putting boxes to monitor TV viewing in a few thousand homes every year and sending out journals for people to record what they watch. The data from this sample audience is extrapolated to fit the population and BAM! — there are your ratings. That may have worked decades ago, but this is the 21st century. We have the technology to be more efficient and understand our audiences better. Maybe we’re still not there yet for the same reason we don’t have flying cars like The Jetsons promised. Jokes aside, ratings have the greatest priority in what gets put on air and what stays on air. Too many voices are going unheard and uncounted. Social media has undoubtedly been a positive for advertising and networks are finally catching on to Twitter and Facebook, but there is still plenty of room for growth in obtaining viewer feedback.
- Have a voice – you may not be a Real Housewife of South Central or a future star of Olympic Wives and cannot relate to that. If you’re interested in seeing more programming that more accurately reflects your demographic, speak up about it — there are thousands, possibly millions more that agree! Tweet, Facebook, email the networks and let them know and get your friends to do the same!
- Seek entertainment elsewhere – web series are hot right now and have been for a while. They’re inexpensive to produce and can reach a wide audience quickly with less limitations on content. The comedy Awkward Black Girl and drama Anacostia are excellent examples of how successful this model can be. Alas, there are always box sets of our old faves and Netflix when flipping channels fails.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing for quite a while now, and half a dozen blogs later, transitioning through many platforms and writing styles, I’ve started yet another blog.
Really, Noelle? Another one?
LiveJournal, ClassFace (StudyBreakers), Blogspot, Tumblr — I’ve had phases on them all. I’ve maintained personal blogs throughout most of my teenage years, and as I enter my twenties, I’d like to keep that up, but make an effort to separate my personal journals (aka rants and ventpools) from my other work. There were some gems sprinkled in my This Side of the Universe blog, however there are far too many embarrassing posts from an angsty teenage era to ever consider referencing back there or restarting that blog.
I intend for this blog to be different from the others I’ve had — not much about me in particular, more so just about my thoughts about various happenings in the world, new releases, or topics that I wish to expound upon beyond the realms of my noggin.
Unlike my other blogs, my goal is not to develop an audience. If at some point I attract a consistent reader-base, wonderful! However, this time around I refuse to censor myself because I know who’s watching and I won’t be doing much promotion for this blog. I’m really excited about this though! It’s like my little secret (cue Passion Pit’s song of the same name).
Cheers to new blogging endeavors!