Sweat poured pooled at the end of my fingertips. Nervously, I watched the screen. A blue progress bar slowly inched along counting down the remaining time. “Would they like it?” I pondered. “Does it accurately convey the story and feeling I attempted to grasp?” A shrill ding echoed throughout the room jerking me out of my meditative state. It was done. Hours and hours poured into a mere, thirty-second commercial now sat neatly on my desktop. However, the hardest part was to come.
This week, I had the opportunity to work substantially on my project for the Promotions Department— a thirty second spot. At the beginning of my internship, Mike approached me about creating a spot, which introduced viewers to WAVY’s brand new lifestyle correspondent, Symone Davis. The goal of the spot was to create a conversation between the viewers and Symone. Throughout the weeks, I have labored over the spot, whether that is fine-tuning the script or extensive editing. However, I have enjoyed every single moment because I have been able to see the project through from concept to completion.
Although I have been editing the spot for the length of my internship, this week I focused primarily on green screening and sound design. When writing the script, I wanted to address the viewer’s boundary between them and Symone. I did not merely want to address the boundary, however, but wanted to eliminate it. Instantly, I thought of an idea. What if the spot began with a viewer seeing Symone and then going through the television? The unique nature of this shot, I believed, would capture the audience’s attention and create the desired connection. Though I am not proficient with green screening, I researched and learned how to utilize green screen techniques and affectively green screened a television.
In the fall of my senior year of college, I took a course that taught the fundamentals of sound design. This course opened my eyes to the power and importance of sound design in a project. As I worked on my spot, I was excited because I had the opportunity to apply my knowledge of sound design. For instance, throughout the piece, I wanted to transport the audience to the unique places around the Hampton Roads, which Symone does in her segments. Using a plethora of sounds, I created three separate environments for each location, which helped bring the spot to life. Furthermore, juggling music, sounds effects, and Symones’ voice, I used a graphic equalizer to carve out specific frequencies to create a cohesive and rich mix.
After reading this post, one might express distaste for the technically boring content discussed. However, this week, above all else, reiterated a simple lesson—be purposeful. Every element of my project, from word choice to pinpointing specific frequencies, was specifically chosen to tell the story. As I showed my project to Kristen, this is precisely the aspect she enjoyed the most. With thirty-seconds, you cannot waste time adding unnecessary shots, sounds, or words. You must tell a story. And you must tell it well.