Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Duncan’s Glorious Summer

Andrew’s Individual Video Project

(a) Duncan, is my family’s beloved dog. He is twelve-years-old and has been a great member of the family. He was always very energetic, spare the last few years when his years began to catch up to him. Despite his physical limitations, he still possesses an inner-energy and addiction to “fetch.” He has not done anything “news-worthy” but I believe that is why I tried to make a story out of him: an old, boring dog. I wanted to challenge myself to compile footage, and then create a story from it. My subject made it even more challenging to construct a story, as he provided little dialogue. I wanted to make a story out of nothing. I decided to focus on Duncan’s comical and youthful spirit. I sought to connect his demeanor and behavior to a human interest. In terms of cinematography, I wanted to collect a variety of shots, using multiple angles that complimented one another. I also wanted to experiment with composing and framing shots. In editing, I wanted to logically sequence the shots to make a fluid product.

Challenges were abundant. I questioned myself during the process, “Why am I shooting my dog as he lays in the grass? How am I going to get a story out of this?” I also had to find ways to compensate for the lack of dialogue. Obviously, a big challenge was getting my dog to behave in a somewhat professional fashion (i.e. not pooping while on camera).

(b) Obviously, my dog is not that exciting. It was tough to make a hard-hitting news story from the stupid things that he does. Thus, I had to resort to a bit of sarcasm to make the video even watchable. This may be inappropriate for the assignment, but it is what worked for me. I managed to construct a story out of footage of my dog, and I feel that my story complimented the style and nature of the footage. My dog is not the most photogenic, but I think that he behaved fairly well. I was hoping he would do a backflip or something, but at least he didn’t do something gross.

I felt that I was able to collect a variety of different angles. And I was happy with the unique shots that I found. I have really tried to utilize the recommendation to “get down to the level of the subject,” rather than shooting from wherever feels comfortable. In editing, I feel that I sequenced the shots appropriately. The progression of the video is logical, and the juxtaposition of different shots is interesting but not distracting.

With the opportunity to redo the assignment, I think that I would have chosen a better subject. One that could speak, did more interesting things, and was more cooperative. I also would have not shot in such direct sunlight, and I would have done better in steadying the camera.

But no regrets right?

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