Disability Resources at the University of Arizona – By Lindsey Wilhelm

For my final multimedia project, I focused on the disability resources offered by the University of Arizona.

I attended several Disability Justice Project workshops, where I observed students, faculty, and community members discussing various aspects of disability, such as oppression, history, activism, and justice.

This piece features interviews with the workshop facilitator, Zach Coble, and a workshop participant, Toni Saia.

I also focused on the DRC’s Adaptive Athletic Center, which provides accessible fitness to disabled students, faculty, and community members.

This piece also features interviews with Physical Access Coordinator Sherry Santee, Gym Monitor Kayla John, and Pete “Chief” Padilla, the quad rugby assistant coach and Adaptive Athletic Center user.

As a whole, the DRC at the UA is a valuable resource that provides community and access for disabled people.

Blog Post 5

What It’s Like to Run 135 Miles at BuzzFeed.com

Using a GoPro camera, 41-year-old Josh Spector ran 135 miles in the Brazil 135, an “ultramarathon” in Caminho da Fé, Brazil. “What It’s Like to Run 135 Miles” was produced by BuzzFeed’s Henry Goldman, but since Spector carried the camera during his run, he created most of the videography.

The video starts with Spector speaking to the handheld camera about his nerves for the impending race. As he speaks about his experience with running and the reason for doing the Brazil 135, a montage of his race is shown. There is piano music playing softly in the background during the montage.

Several times throughout the piece, Spector checks in and speaks to the camera. The piece plays with light because Spector films as he runs during the night. As the dark footage is shown, with occasional streetlights and moonlight setting the scene, Spector’s voiceover speaks about how lonely he felt during this point of the marathon.

BuzzFeed stationed several people with cameras at certain points throughout the marathon. Most of the race footage was created by Spector as he held the camera, but at certain points, someone else is filming him, and you can see him running on the path. I would have liked the piece better if it was entirely from Spector’s perspective, but this footage was nice because it gave a different view of his run.

The piece ends with Spector running through the tape at the end of the race. A text slide states that his finishing time was 32 hours and 49 minutes. The piece ends with a still photo of Spector’s bare feet from the back, showing the blisters covering his heels and the soles of his feet.

This piece is one of the best multimedia pieces I’ve ever seen because it was so original and interesting to me. Running 135 miles sounds absolutely impossible to me, and to watch someone’s experience and hear their thoughts firsthand is truly inspiring and captivating. I thought the handheld camera was a good way to show Spector’s experience from his perspective. I also thought the use of the piano music was a nice touch, and it didn’t distract from the audio or the piece as a whole.

Overall, this piece was very well done. I think the personal documentation of an experience makes for an interesting multimedia piece, and all of the audio, video footage, and photos were clear and technically well-produced.

Blog Post 4

Waiting for Death at LATimes.com

“Waiting for Death” is a multimedia piece featuring audio and photographs by Liz O. Baylen of the Los Angeles Times. This piece is about the late Edwin Shneidman, born May 13, 1918. He was an American suicidologist and thanatologist, a person who studies death. He died on May 15, 2009.

The piece begins with natural sound of Shneidman’s heavy breathing. Within seconds, his interview begins, and you can hear the age in his voice. He speaks about being 90 years old and knowing that he will not live much longer. However, his attitude about death is fitting for someone who has studied death all of his life. “Enough, already!” he says, expressing his desire to be free of the “gratuitous bullshit” of life. His interview is engaging and interesting throughout its entirety. I think that Baylen did a wonderful job of editing this piece.

The audio that Baylen collected of Shneidman’s voice is extremely clear. There is no background noise whatsoever. Also, there is no sign of any editing that Baylen may have done on the audio because it sounds very clean and natural.

The photographs that are shown on screen during Shneidman’s audio interview are in focus and composed artistically. The photos have rich color, and they are pleasing to the eye.

However, the only issue is that there is not much cohesion between the photographs and what Shneidman is saying. This is understandable because most of the audio consists of Shneidman discussing his views on death. However, the photographs show his daily life – where he lives, his surroundings, as well as a few environmental portraits where he is looking at the camera. I enjoyed seeing snippets into Shneidman’s life, but I wish that there was more variety of photographs.

Overall, this piece is one of my favorites because of the unique, interesting subject and beautiful technical elements, like clean audio and clear pictures.

Blog Post 3

The Royal Festival Hall’s Refurbished Organ at TheGuardian.com

This multimedia piece begins with natural sounds of an organ. The first picture is a wide establishing shot of the large organ and a man sitting on a bench playing it. The next photograph is a close-up of the man’s hands as he plays. The following few photos show details of the organ to give the audience a closer look at the various parts. Then, an audio interview with Southbank Centre’s organ curator William McVicker begins to play. He speaks of the instrument, which was first installed in London in 1954 and features 7,866 pipes.

The photographs in this audio slideshow are by David Levene, and the audio is by Ranjit Dhaliwal. I believe that they created a successful multimedia piece because the pictures include a variety of angles, like high-angle, low-angle, wide establishing shot, and close-ups. The audio included natural sound of the organ and an informative interview with the organ curator, McVicker, which provided background about the organ’s history, parts, and how it is maintained.

The only issue that I have with this audio slideshow is the slight discrepency between what McVicker says and what the pictures show. The pictures all relate to the organ and McVicker’s job, but part of the interview talks about the organ’s history, which is tough to show through pictures taken by Levene. However, this slideshow was still interesting because of the organ’s history and expansiveness.

Toward the end of this three minute piece, the pictures become more relevant to the audio. McVicker talks about the parts of the organ, and the pictures show what he is talking about. Many of the shots focus on art rather than interaction between people. The shots of the organ’s pipes are artistic, taken from creative angles and often extremely close-up perspectives. The pictures are still interesting even though they lack the human element, and overall, the piece provided valuable information about the organ while allowing Levene to showcase his artistic photography.

The pieces ends with more music from the organ and a final shot of McVicker sitting at the bench.


Blog Post 2

At Home with Roz Chast on NewYorker.com

At Home with Roz Chast is a multimedia piece by The New Yorker that follows New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast to her home in Connecticut to show viewers her workspace, her inspirations, and her pets.

This piece is a beautiful look into someone’s life. Chast is a charming character, and seeing her life on screen is an entertaining look into the life of a cartoonist. The B-roll used in this piece is an artful representation of Chast’s life. The piece shows her two pet birds, her collection of colorful canned-food, her egg art, and a blanket she is making in remembrance of her father. The A-roll shows Chast speaking to the camera and answering various questions about her work and her life. At times, she has one of her birds on her shoulder as she speaks. Sky Dylan-Robbins produced this piece and used a lot of attention to detail. He got close-ups of many of Chast’s cartoons, giving viewers a look into her various pieces as well as her intricate egg paintings.

Instrumental music is used in the background of the piece, even sometimes when Chast is speaking. However, the music is not distracting and the audience is still able to hear Chast’s voice above the music. The music adds creativity to the piece and doesn’t take anything away from it.

The technique of panning, or moving the camera during a shot, is used several times in this piece. The use of panning is smooth and not choppy. At one point, the camera pans from left to right as Chast flips through files in a drawer. The panning used in this shot adds creativity and interest to the clip, which would have been boring if the camera was just pointed toward Chast as she flipped through files.

The only negative about this piece that I found was how quickly the shots move when focused on Chast’s cartoons. They are shown so quickly that it is impossible to read the cartoons. However, maybe this was a stylistic choice by Dylan-Robbins. If so, the piece would have been improved if he had dedicated a few more seconds to the cartoons that were shown so that the audience could quickly read them.

Blog Post 1

The Water Dance at The New York Times

“The Water Dance” is an audio slideshow featuring a voiceover and pictures by photographer Bill Cunningham. The photos are of various people doing “the water dance,” which is what Bill Cunningham calls the leap that one must take over a curb when the streets are flooded in New York City.
The audio is very clear with no background noise. However, I felt that it was longer than it needed to be. In several instances, I felt that Cunningham was being redundant. I think this slideshow would have been better if it was two to three minutes instead of three and a half.
The pictures that are featured in “The Water Dance” are all very clear and well-composed. However, this slideshow is not entertaining. Each picture is composed in a similar way, and each subject is in the same exact position, stepping over a curb. I understand that this is the topic of the piece, but I think that Cunningham could have gotten more unique pictures. He could have photographed people who just got soaked after stepping into a puddle.
I did enjoy how well the pictures fit with what Cunningham was saying. When he talked about waterproof rain boots, the photos depicted subjects who were doing “the water dance” while wearing rainboots. When he talked about how each gender approaches puddles, he showed pictures of each gender, respectively. I enjoyed watching how the pictures fit with the subject of the audio.
As a whole, this is a successful multimedia piece. However, I think it could be greatly improved with a wider variety of pictures, which would also make it a more entertaining story.