Assignment Breakdowns

Audio Assignment #1 

  • For this assignment, you will select a partner in-class and take turns interviewing one another. The interview will contain the basic elements/structure/technique needed to create a strong, and professional audio clip. The information you gather will be edited and submitted the following week for grading. Students will upload the assignment to their personal SoundCloud, and email the link to the instructor.
  • Clip requirements:
    1. An ID Tag: This is a person’s name, along with other information germane to the story. For this assignment it might IMG_0195be something like: I’m Joe Johnson. I’m a senior majoring in journalism and I’m from Greenbo, Alabama. If you were doing a story on a homeless person it might be: My name is Ann Taylor, and I’ve been living on these harsh streets of Mobile for over 30 years.” The tag should not be the first part of your story. Try and start out with an anecdote, but it doesn’t need to be too long. Think about it as a hard lead for a feature.
    2. The reporter’s voice should not be present. No questions, commentary, voice-overs, etc.
    3. The subject should be interesting. We don’t want to hear about how someone likes the Comm Arts Department (although, I know all of you do). Maybe someone’s first experience in Mobile? (Please, don’t everyone submit a story about that, it’s just a suggestion).
    4. The story must flow and make sense. This isn’t just a series of random questions, strung together.
    5. There should be pauses inserted when necessary. Don’t make it one run-on sentence.
    6. The clip length must be 60 seconds at minimum, and 90 seconds at the maximum.



Audio Assignment #2

  • For this assignment, you will select one person to interview that you do not know, but only after you have submitted a formal pitch that I have approved. Failure to do this will result in an automatic zero. Students will upload the assignment to the course’s SoundCloud, and will be live to the public. Make sure you’re proud of what you create.IMG_0183 (2)
  • Clip requirements: 
    1. Most importantly, make sure this is a story. Remember, this piece will be live. You will not only be putting your reputation on the line, but also the college’s. So pick something you will enjoy. Find a person who is interesting. Don’t go after a professor on campus that everyone knows (unless they have a story NO ONE knows, and hasn’t been reported on by the Hillian). Mobile is full of characters. Have fun with it. YOU CAN DO IT!
    2. An ID Tag: This is a person’s name, along with other information germane to the story. You should be familiar with this from the last assignment. Just remember not to put this as the intro. You want to hook the listener.
    3. The reporter’s voice should not be present. No questions, commentary, voice-overs, etc.
    4. The clip should be 90 seconds at minimum, and 150 at maximum. However, if you feel you have some good stuff, you can go further, but the minimum length will be 3 minutes and the max will be 5 minutes.
    5. Upload the clip to the course’s SoundCloud.
    6. For SoundCloud you must also:
      1. Write an interesting title for your piece.
      2. Add tags that are relevant to the story. Think carefully when doing this. You want people to be able to find your work. However, don’t tag your name, or the person’s (if you select a lone person).
      3. Write a teaser for your story in the description box. Don’t use the person’s name, or the event. You don’t want to spoil the story by giving away all of the details. Think of it like a movie trailer. Well, maybe not a movie trailer — they basically show the whole movie these days. Think more along the lines of an excerpt for a book. Be sure to include the date and year, too.



Photo Assignment #1

  • For this assignment, you will select either a person or an event (when I say event, I do not mean a fund raiser, or meal time in the caf) to photograph. You are allowed to shoot on campus for this assignment, however, do so with the goal of developing your story telling abilities. This photo story will contain the basic elements/structure/technique needed to IMG_0211create a strong, and professional gallery. Students will upload the assignment to their personal Flickr account, creating a gallery, and email the link to the instructor. Make sure captions appear properly, and photos are sized correctly.
  • Photo Requirements:
    1. Tell the story!, You’re not just trying to capture “cool” frames.
    2. You must write interesting captions for each photo. In photos including people, you must include their names. Also, be descriptive. Let people know what’s going on, but don’t give away too much. Remember, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.
    3. Your gallery must include some of these frames: (1) wide (2) tight (3) super tight (4) detailed (5) angle. A minimum of 5 shots will be required, and a maximum of 10 may be used. If you select 5, you must include three out of the five frames, and if you choose to include more than 5, you must include all five frames.
    4. Make sure captions appear properly, and photos are sized correctly.



Photo Assignment #2

  • For this assignment, you will select either a person or an event that you do not know, or have not attended before, but only after you have submitted a formal pitch that I have approved. Failure to do this will result in an automatic zero. This will be more in-depth than the previous photo assignment. This photo story will contain the basic elements/structure/technique needed to create a strong, and professional gallery. Students will upload the assignment to IMG_0182the course’s Flickr account, and will be live to the public. Make sure you’re proud of what you create.
  • Photo Requirements:
    1. Tell the story!, You’re not just trying to capture “cool” frames. This is much more in-depth, so be sure to capture the essence of your subject. Don’t worry about sequence, and try and tell the story as A-B-C-D. People want to feel when they look at photos. Go back and look at some of the works we observed if you feel stuck.
    2. You must write interesting captions for each photo. In photos including people, you must include their names. Also, be descriptive. Let people know what’s going on, but don’t give away too much. Remember, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.
    3. Your gallery must include ALL OF THESE frames: (1) wide (2) tight (3) super tight (4) detailed (5) interesting angle. More than likely, you’ll use these several times.
    4. There is no minimum number. If you can tell the story in five slides, go for it. But, solid galleries usually have 10-15 pictures in them.
    5. Upload to coure’s Flickr
    6. Make sure captions appear properly, and photos are sized correctly.



Video Assignment (SHC Cribs) #1

  • For this assignment, you will shoot b-roll, video interviews, collect audio interviews (you can use interview sound from videos) and nat sound, and still photographs. This multimedia narrative will contain the basic elements/structure/technique IMG_2010needed to create a strong, and professional piece suitable for the Web. Students will upload the assignment to their personal YouTube account,  and email the link to the instructor.
  • Video Specifics:
    1. The story must make sense. It must flow. It must have purpose.
    2. The reporter’s voice should not be present. No questions, commentary, voice-overs, etc. The reporter themselves should not be present on camera either.
    3. There should be a title slide incorporated into the story. Do not use it as your intro. Also, do not use a framed interview of a person for the opening of your story. People should not identify themselves using ID tags.Use lower-thirds used to identify people.
    4. Include the following shots: (1) wide (2) tight (3) super tight (4) detailed (5) interesting angle.
    5. Incorporate all elements (video interview, b-roll, photos, etc.) into this assignment. The only exception will be still photos. These are useful to break up video, but aren’t always affective.
    6. This story should be edited in Adobe Premier. However, if you are more comfortable in iMovie or another editing program, feel free to use it. Make sure your editing is smooth — transitions, audio, fades, etc. Points will be deducted for poor editing.
    7. The length must be a minimum of 90 seconds, and a maximum of 180 seconds.



Final Assignment

  • For the final assignment, you will combine all elements of the course into one, succinct and professional multimedia narrative story, but only after you have submitted a formal pitch that I have approved. Students should select a subject with a strong character(s), as well as visual and audio components. Students are not allowed to do on-campus stories, interview individuals they have a personal relationship with, or cover and event. 
  • This multimedia narrative will contain the basic elements/structure/technique needed to create a strong, and professional piece suitable for the Web. Students will upload the assignment to course’s YouTube account, after which it will be live to the public.
  • Final Assignment Specifics:
    1. The story must make sense. It must flow. It must have purpose. You don’t want your final piece to be about making a calzone, although those are delicious. Create something you’ll be proud of.
    2. The reporter’s voice should not be present. No questions, commentary, voice-overs, etc. The reporter themselves should not be present on camera either.
    3. There should be a title slide incorporated into the story. Do not use it as your intro. Also, do not use a framed IMG_2314interview of a person for the opening of your story. People should not identify themselves using voice ID tags.U se lower-thirds used to identify people.
    4. Include the following shots: (1) wide (2) tight (3) super tight (4) detailed (5) interesting angle
    5. Incorporate all elements (video interview, b-roll, photos, etc.) into this assignment. The only exception will be still photos. These are useful to break up video, but aren’t always affective.
    6. This story should be edited in Adobe Premier. However, if you are more comfortable in iMovie or another editing program, feel free to use it. Make sure your editing is smooth — transitions, audio, fades, etc. Points will be deducted for poor editing.
    7. The minimum length is two minutes, and the maximum length is 3:30 seconds. Projects longer than this will not be accepted.
    8. Upload to course’s YouTube.
    9. For Youtube you must also:
      1. Write an interesting title for your piece.
      2. Add tags that are relevant to the story. Think carefully when doing this. You want people to be able to find your work. However, don’t tag your name, or the person’s (if you select a lone person).
      3. Write a 200-250 word description in the field provided. You don’t want to spoil the story by giving away all of the details. Think of it like a movie trailer. Well, maybe not a movie trailer — they basically show the whole movie these days. Think more along the lines of an excerpt for a book. Be sure to include the date and year, too.

This page was updated on November 20, 2015, in order to reflect adjustments made to assignments.

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