Visual Journalism angst

My Visual Journalism class is going to be the death of me.

The class is project based.  The professor barely lectures.  We are given a large assignment, then spend the rest of the week’s class time working on it.  Usually this involves organizing and conducting interviews, shooting video footage, and spending copious amounts of time in the lab editing.  After hours and hours of work, we turn in our news stories.

I’m an extremely organized person when it comes to large assignments.  I get my ducks in a row right away–I reserve my camera equipment before any of my classmates, I plan interviews, I have a mental vision that, if things go according to plan, will pan out beautifully.

The problem is that things NEVER go according to plan.

With the first video-based project, we couldn’t do our interviews until just before the assignment was due, leaving me to spend 9 hours in the lab in two days.

With the second project, I had three interviews lined up one afternoon.  The first went well, but there was a technical error and I had no sound.  The second interviewee never showed up.  The third actually went well.  But my overall assignment failed to capture two sides of an issue, something I know I’ll be docked points for.

Now I’m on my final project for the class.  I got all my ducks in a row.  I scheduled an interview, reserved the equipment, and had a day by day schedule of how I’d get the work done.  But then, the day of the interview, my subject called in sick.  We rescheduled for the next day.  She cancelled again last-minute, ’cause she lost her voice.  By this point, my equipment was due back at the media office, but I begged my way into keeping it for the weekend.  I then attempted another interview, but once again, my subject did not respond to texts in time, I missed my opportunity on the day she was free, and she is now unavailable the rest of the weekend.  I have to bring the equipment back in early tomorrow and am unable to check it out again.  Which means I have no video footage for my final project.  Which means I am absolutely screwed.

This class makes me so frustrated because I have absolutely no control over the circumstances.  It’s not anyone’s fault my interviewee got sick, and there’s nothing to be done about it.  But I hate being organized, doing what I need to do, and then things not falling together.  It is incredibly stressful.

What am I going to do now?

I’m going to talk to my professor tomorrow, explain the situation, and hope that she’s feeling merciful.

This is becoming so much more stressful than it needs to be.  Can the semester please be over now?

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