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Weekly Roundup: Volume 2, Issue 4

January 29, 2012

1.Man on the Street
It may seem like a harmless feature in the variety section of local newspapers, but for a painfully introverted budding journalist, MOTS is the bane of her very existence. That journalist is me. That probably sounded too dramatic, but I really do dislike it greatly! As the Senior Staff Photog for the CFF, it’s my job to do MOTS every week (because editors can never convince anyone else to do it). In case you don’t care for newspapers, MOTS is the feature where a handful of people around town (or in my case, UCF) are asked a question and their answers are published. Just a simple opinion collector. Unless you’re uncomfortable walking up to random people and asking if you can get their opinion and take a picture of their face. The latter is the part that said random people are usually most reluctant about. Someone they don’t know somewhere might see a black and white 1-inch picture of their face…and they’re having a bad hair day! To be honest, it has gotten much easier for me. I have to get over myself a little bit, get out of the comfort zone. Though it’s still probably one of my least favorite things about journalism!

But then this week, someone decided it would be a good idea to record MOTS on video, and told me to come get the video camera I’ve never used the day before MOTS is due. Woohoo! The camera was way cool (I didn’t want to return it!) but I found people even more reluctant to answer. On top of that, this week’s question was fairly difficult (I don’t make them up myself): Is adding fluoride to tap water good for public health? The majority of people I approached didn’t have an answer for me. This was one that requires a little bit of knowledge, unlike questions I’ve asked in the past, such as opinions about UCF’s chewing gum policy (it’s not allowed?!) and whether or not guns should be allowed on college campuses. Those are more close-to-home, and easier for the average student to form an opinion about. Also, I had to record myself giving an intro for the video…so embarrassing! I looked like such a dork.

On top of all this, after I turned in the video on Tuesday, I got a call on Wednesday asking me to come back to the office and pick up the camera again, because I needed to redo most of the interviews. Apparently I should have asked people to remove their sunglasses before recording them, and some of the answers weren’t very clear. So I went back to campus and found new victims, and ended up being almost 10 minutes late to my night class because of it. Thankfully, Abel brought me dinner, or I would have been a very unhappy camper!

And on top of all that, MOTS is usually published on Thursdays, and I have yet to see any trace of the video on the CFF website or Facebook. All that headache. If I’m asked to do it again this week, I’ll express my hesitancy.

2.Film classes
So far, in Art of Cinema, we’ve watched Goodfellas and Hitchcock’s Notorious. I’m a big Hitchcock fan, and I enjoyed both films very much, and the class discussion afterward made me appreciate the directing and camera work even more. Both my film classes this semester have been helping me develop my artistic eye. Even while watching Breaking Bad with Abel, I was noticing things like Rule of Thirds more than usual (and BB is pretty much a study on the use of RoT). Next week, my partner in Cinematic Expression and I will be making our first project: a 20 second film inspired by one theme from a list our prof gave us. The film must be made up of (at most) 10 black and white still images, with non-musical sound effects that don’t directly relate to what’s on screen. The theme must be clear, and the film must employ Line and Rule of Thirds. Yep. This should be interesting.

For inspiration, we were shown “What I’m Looking For,” an awesome 15 minute montage by a photographer that explores why she is addicted to taking photos. I wish I could share it, but it doesn’t appear to be on YouTube, or at least it’s buried by all the songs with similar titles (I’m looking at you, U2). We also saw some clips from the film Run Lola Run, which I haven’t seen, but it’s apparently film-y and uses some montage. Here’s one…

See how it’s a mini-story? You might have to watch it more than once, but that’s kind of what we have to do. We can make ours a little longer, but like I said, it has to be b&w and employ one of the given themes. My partner and I are thinking “claustrophobia” or “isolation.” The list also included more general things like happiness, sadness, love, death, fear, etc, but these two caught our eyes more. I’ll definitely share what we come up with!

3.Downton Abbey
I watched the first episode of this highly acclaimed series (it’s won six Emmys and a Golden Globe since it began in late 2010), and about 10 minutes of the second episode. I have to say, I’m very impressed. One of its Emmys is for cinematography, and I can’t agree more with this honor. It’s shot beautifully. The many characters and plot lines drew me in from the very beginning, and it’s set in an era I’m attracted to, so that certainly helps, too. I’m definitely going to keep watching.

Photo from

Maggie Smith FTW! Photo from The Guardian.

Behind-the-scenes photo from

4.Great debates
I watched the final GOP debate, since it was in my beautiful state of Florida. Full disclosure: I’m not affiliated with either of the parties. Or any party. But overall, I didn’t vehemently disagree with what any of the potential candidates were saying, which isn’t to say that I fully agreed with anyone either. But at least it made me feel slightly better about the future. I mean, I’m still turned off my the personal lives of some of the candidates (or one of the candidates), and I wouldn’t be 100% pleased with any of their presidencies, but then again, I’m certainly not 100% pleased with the current one. So…I’m trying to sound so moderate right now, I feel like I haven’t said anything of substance at all! But really, politics isn’t what this blog is all about, though I do like some good political drama. I could talk about it, and it would probably get me a heck of a lot more readers, but I don’t like fighting, and that’s what tends to happen during political discourse. Maybe when we’re closer to November, I’ll state my perspectives on all this a little clearer. Until then…be excellent to each other, whether donkeys, elephants, or some creature in between!

Here are some of my favorites from this week’s shoots. Speaking of politics, I’ll be covering the Big Tuesday primaries around the UCF area next week. Should be pretty interesting!

This is the Rec & Wellness Center’s Biggest Loser program. I was covering a couple days of the tryout week, and the program director didn’t want me to get shots of the contestants, so I had to skip the faces. I’m hoping the paper will want to do an update about the program after the actual teams are formed and such. Here’s the article.

These are portraits of an alumnus, Chris Carullo, whose experimental indie film is being produced and stuff. The article will be published on Monday.

Finally, I shot the HAPPY Hour Student Showcase, which was a conference for education students, with student-led sessions. It was pretty cool. The first photo features Cheryl Conley, Florida’s Teacher of the Year, being “knighted” with a UCF hat. She seems like an awesome teacher, and I found her speech inspiring. It definitely made me want to be a teacher! The article will be published on Monday.

Teacher supplies...made me want to go back to elementary school! Or just buy them and put them on my wall :P

A session on workplace attire/fashion led by Nicole Yello and Jacqueline Michaels

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2012 4:59 pm

    any good tips to share on workplace attire? :)

    • Amy permalink
      February 3, 2012 12:21 pm

      One word: Cardigans. Haha, seriously, these people loved them!

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