Looking back at my own Soundslides project, I really wish we would’ve come up with a better title. I don’t think International Dinner has much flare to it, and although interesting, it just doesn’t jump out at you and scream, “Check me out!” This was the first thing I noticed while critiquing my fellow Online Journalism student’s Soundslide projects, which you can view here. The title is the first thing you see and I think most of us could have put a little more thought into them. I just found that I had no interest in even listening to the project if the title sounded lame. Which I know is just plain rude, so of course I would attempt to give the project another chance to redeem itself. Another first impression was that the initial audio of the story really needed to sound good in order to hook me into the story. If the story had an introduction and the speaker was clear or the ambient sounds were fun and snappy, then I was intrigued. If not, it seemed like two strikes and you’re out. Maybe I’m being overly harsh. This was a difficult assignment and I’m so happy that Dr. Landreville allowed us the opportunity for a “practice run” with a partner before the solo project. Here are the three audio-visual stories that I critiqued:
I think Dyann and Brooke pretty much knocked this one out of the ballpark. (I do not know why I keep making baseball references, weird!) It’s easy to forget to do one in these type of stories, but a good introduction really helps to set a pace. The ambient sounds were clear and loud and inviting, which prepared me for the first speaker. The edits and cuts were very smooth. Brooke suggested to me to add a second of silence between edited statements to help with flow. I noticed this technique in her story and it really accomplished the goal. The ambient noise was a nice touch, and it was never distracting or overbearing upon the speaker. Dyann did a fabulous job on the photos and I think they correlated nicely with the audio. I also liked how multiple speakers spoke briefly. The only suggestion that I have is that perhaps they should have switched the last two speakers. The story’s conclusion lacked the sparkle of the intro. Even though the last speaker spoke of team pride, the guy before him spoke of the teams’ goals and that would’ve been a nice way to end it. Great job, ladies. You totally rock!
I have to admit, at first, I was turned off by the subject matter, mainly because when the class blogged about story ideas, everyone wanted to do this one. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this project. I think the audio was done well; I honestly didn’t even notice any cuts with the first speaker, it totally flowed. The second speaker spoke a little fast and mumbled, so he wasn’t as clear, but his contribution was beneficial to the story. I do think the images and and the audio worked quite well together. The story did end a little abruptly, and I think a conclusion of some sort would’ve helped round out the project. The ambient sounds were fabulous and when I heard the kitty meow, I clutched at my heart. Great job guys. Thanks for making me want to go and adopt all of those animals!
I was anxious to check this project out, mostly because I had read Cameron’s blog about his computer problems, and I was hoping it all worked out for him. I left my partner, Anna Rader, high and dry to do the Soundslides portion alone whilst I underwent asthma treatment, and I was terrified she would experience these sort of issues and be unable to complete the project on time. (I had a mini freak out.) Anyway, I really enjoyed the photos of this project and I think the cuts were pretty darn smooth. The artists were, well… artsy fartsy and quirky, and that appealed to me. I also giggled when the artist spoke of selling his first colored markers masterpiece in a hotel lobby in Paris. The ambient sounds were quiet and minimal and I didn’t really notice them. My only suggestion would be to somehow wrap things up instead of just ending the piece. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Good job!
I can’t wait to view the solo projects. I learned so much from this project and I really hope to make adjustments and improve my work next time around. Wish me luck!!!