Behind The Scenes

In Hollywood, it’s a known fact that the people behind the cameras are what make shows happen. Without them, shows and movies would be an absolute mess. They are like the unseen gears in a car that allow it to move. As a sports videographer for The Optimist, I’ve learned that being behind a camera is just as important as being in front of it.

Behind the scenes of a sports videographer is one of the more interesting experiences I’ve been apart of since coming to Abilene. You get into all sporting events for free as long as you flash that magical pass that says “Media Pass”. You get to stand on the sidelines with the players. The only downside to that would be that you’re holding a fairly heavy camera, so when you have to run out of the way to avoid being pummeled, it makes it pretty hard. Of course, as with most jobs in the JMC department, you have standards to uphold.

When filming, you have to almost think ahead of shots that they might use or need. Here at ACU, our journalism department produces shows such as “The Ken Collums Show” and a weekly news desks. These shows get seen not only by the students here on campus, but by the people of Abilene, so we of course only want the best of the best.

Being behind cameras is a job that takes skill and patience. Not everyone can do it, but for those who can and choose to, it can be one of the most rewarding jobs the JMC department can supply.


The Industry Taking over Your Life

The things that we find interesting the most is what we see on television, what movies we love and what we pay to listen to. But does it stop there? No, of course not. We find ourselves in line at the grocery store picking up the first magazine that has our favorite singer, actress/actor or model on the cover. The need to know what is happening on the outside world gives us that satisfaction of how something else exciting is going on besides the usual. 2KnowMyself explains exactly why the average person seeks for the inside scoop of the entertainment world.

As an Ad/PR major, I have gotten the opportunity of learning different roles that one can fulfill in his/her desired field of PR. After doing much research on PSR, I was able to pinpoint what I really had a passion for. See, like most individuals I find myself in grocery stores as well looking to what the latest news could possibly be in the magazines. One pattern I found is that magazines have the tendency to publicize the negative aspect of celebrities. KINJA, shows how majority of store magazines are mostly tabloids. And where there’s tabloids, there’s gossip.

When viewing these tabloids I often think that there has to be a better way that these celebrities can get decent exposure. This is why I devote my time and energy in to researching great ways to be a publicist. When I get the opportunity I can be that aid for celebrities and help them put their best foot forward so tabloids won’t have to display that negative image that we all love to engage in.


Did you know?

  • Social networking sites are a top news source for 27.8% of Americans, ranking below newspapers (28.8%) and above radio (18.8%) and print publications (6%).
  • Students who used social networking sites while studying scored 20% lower on tests and students who used social media had an average GPA of 3.06 versus non-users who had an average GPA of 3.82.
  • 35 global heads of state, every US Cabinet agency, 84% of US state governors, every major candidate for US President, and more than 40% of top global religious leaders are on Twitter.
  • In July 2012 Americans spent 74.0 billion minutes on social media via a home computer, 40.8 billion minutes via apps, and 5.7 billion minutes via mobile web browsers, a total of 121.1 billion minutes on social networking sites.


Social media in today’s society has become the fastest form for news spread in the world. It is something that has shaped and will continue to shape the way we see events, how we share our opinions and how we receive information.

Why is social media have such an additive connotation on todays public? Is it because it’s the quickest way to show the world what our cat is doing? No. It is revolutionizing the way we get our news and the way we give fame to an avid vine user through the art of simplicity.

I would say that the majority of the people you would ask would say that social media does more good than bad. Compared to 20 years ago, if a national crisis occurred, the entire population could be notified in a matter of seconds through a push notification.

One of, if not the only downside to social media is falsified information. It is very easy to throw out non-factual info, but if you are just simply smart in your reading, you can catch the phonies.

With the click of a button you can virtually find anything you are looking for. We are being intuitively challenged with this in the JMC department through live tweeting events, conducting research and presenting findings on how influential and devoted the world is to social media as a whole.



One of the most important things when it comes to completing the tasks given in a project is time management. Being on time is something that will shape the way you are viewed by your peers and most importantly, your superiors.

This past summer, I did an internship for BBDO. Something that was of high importance was being on time. I made it a point, within my first couple of weeks to memorize when my superiors come in to work every morning so that I could always be there before them, and it did not go unnoticed.

But, aside from physically being at work on time it also runs off to being timely in your work or projects that you are given. If you are given a project or task to work on and you do not meet a deadline, it could honestly have a negative affect on your career and overall reputation.

If you are just entering a position with the company and your boss gives you your first project, what do you think you should do first?

  • First, you should realize the opportunities that you now have to make a name for yourself and impress your superiors.
  • Second, when they give you a deadline, let’s say of 3 weeks to complete your project—get it done in 2 weeks and do 2x what they are asking for.
  • The more you do in the beginning, the more they will remember you for the future.

Completing tasks on time (which means before) and better than they asked for will give you a leg up in the company up front and help you in the long run. The JMC department uses project based courses, which require you to hit multiple deadlines within a semester in order to keep you on your toes, and continue to practice being on time with your assignments.

Social’s Media Takeover of Journalism


Social media has caused a 180-degree turn for journalists everywhere. It has been a turn that has caused some pros and a lot of cons. It advanced news to a higher level of importance and to produce more breaking news on social media. However, it did cause the decline in newspapers around the world.

As a junior journalism major I have been taught since I arrived at ACU that social media is where the industry is headed. That became increasingly apparent as I joined the ACU Optimist.

We began to use a the social media website, Twitter the year I began working for the Optimist and it has taken off. The account now has over 500 followers and commands much more attention than the print ever could.

In fact, a research site found that there are 8 significant takeaways from social media’s takeover on journalism. A problem however with that rise is that fact-checking will soon become obsolete as well. A news machine that is always going is bound to make mistakes. Journalism might be headed to interesting future with social media at the forefront. The public and the media are now on the same playing field because the public can respond directly to writers through social media.

A website named the Guardian goes into a few of the the possible outcomes with the social media takeover. The future of social media will be of great importance not just to my generation but the most recent graduates as well. They are having to adapt just as much as students are to the public’s demand for news content twenty-four seven.

The love (mainly hate) for InDesign

If designing is your thing, then the chances are you have heard of the designing program InDesign. InDesign was originally brought onto the scene in 1998 as a basic program that allowed the user to be more thorough with details such as typography choices, html exporting and long-document support. It has expanded since then, updating through the years to its current state, InDesign CC 2014, adding more options and easier functions for users. But, if only that was the case.

As sports director and former editor for the Optimist newspaper, I have a lot of experience using InDesign over the past few years and I can confidently tell you it has been a roller coaster of emotions. I will admit, for the most part, InDesign gets the job done. I can design the sports section of the Optimist and get it to look the way I need it to. But the learning curve for InDesign is not an easy one.

InDesign has many tools that allow you to design in ways you want to design, but these tools are difficult to find and learn. With all the shortcuts, tools and options, the program can appear overwhelming. It normally takes many sessions with InDesign before you can feel comfortable with it. And one thing is for sure, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

If you are able to learn the tricks of the trade, it still doesn’t prepare you for the random crashes you’ll experience. I never understood the importance of saving your work until I worked with InDesign. The unnecessary errors in the program are not too frequent, but they do happen enough to heed a warning.

Overall, the product allows you to accomplish what you need. I just offer a few words of advice: patience and save your work. Other than that, have fun with InDesign.


Lytro Illum changes photography

Photography uses chemical or electronic means to preserve static images. The photographer must take special care when choosing the focus, depth of field, and perspective of a shot. While we have made serious advances in post-production, we can only manipulate the static image using tricks and filters.

These rules have always been true whether using a traditional or digital camera. This is not the case when using the Lytro Illum, a camera that uses light field photography.

Light field photography

Fundamentally light field photography is about capturing more data in an image. David Pierce describes it this way:

The Verge - Lytro Illum Review

David Pierce, The Verge, “Lytro Illum review: this is the camera of the future”

This new technology allows for new ways to manipulate images in post-production. Although very few true light field cameras exist, the technology has inspired new uses of traditional (or smartphone) cameras. The iOS app FocusTwist and Google Play’s Easy Light Field Camera FREE app can imitate light field photography, but they do not use the same technology.

Light field post-production

Traditional and digital photographs don’t allow you to manipulate the focus or perspective in post production. For example, look at these two photos I took using my iPhone. My subject, the grapes, are either in focus or out of focus; I can’t change that after the fact.


Out of focus grapesIn focus grapes







Light field photography changes these traditional limitations. Using light field editing software allows you to manipulate the focus of a photograph in post production. The Illum comes with Lytro Desktop and Lytro has even created a mobile app to allow you to customize and share your “living pictures.”

Interact with the player below to see some of the editing features light field photography and editing software allow.


Illum Reviews

Interested in hearing from Illum first hand users? Check out David Pierce’s review from The Verge (quoted above), David Pogue’s opinion from YAHOO! Tech, or Geoffrey A. Fowler’s piece in the Wall Street Journal.