Lights Camera Action

Guess what? After a couple of long and hard weeks…I finally finished my video project from my Public Relations Publishing class! All I can say is, thank goodness it is over. Adobe Premiere Pro…

Leighton Meester GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

My editing and videography skills are definitely far (and I mean like infinitely far) from being perfect. Adobe Premiere Pro is still not my favorite, and I do not see myself using it in my future unless I absolutely have to. Creating videos is definitely one of my nurture talents, meaning I am not good at it and I will for sure have to keep working on my skills.

Luckily, I had a great partner for my video project, Wyatt Stanford. When I interviewed him, I could tell how passionate he is about his Choctaw heritage. I decided to center my video around his love for his Choctaw heritage and culture. One of my absolute favorite things in the world is to see someones eyes light up when they talk about something they are passionate about, and I definitely saw this in Wyatt when I interviewed him. It actually was great to put together this short video about Wyatt’s passion because I could see in his eyes how much his heritage means to him.

I do not see a future in film making, but here is my completed video project (please go easy on the judgment on the editing side of things):

Abundant Life Comes From Loss

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? “Father, get me out of this?” No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, “Father, put your glory on display.” John 12:24-28 MSG

Isn’t it amazing how God tells you exactly what you need to hear at the right moment? I had that incredible, yet tough feeling today when I read this verse in my quiet time. How was that incredible, yet tough to read you might ask? First, it is always incredible to me when I realize that God is speaking directly to me. He is always speaking to me, but sometimes it takes me a second to realize that and let it fully sink in. Second, it is tough to hear God’s words sometimes because of my own worldly desires. Today was just a reminder that my life belongs to God, not me.

This verse is Jesus talking to his disciples right before he is betrayed by Judas. Obviously, Jesus knew what was about to happen, but he uses his last moments on Earth to teach instead of being fearful, which is just incredible in itself. If I knew I was about to die, how would I react? Probably not as cool and collected as Jesus was. He glorified God even down to his final breath.

Now back to the meaning of the verse and how it resonated with me this morning. I am sure I can speak for a lot of us when I say that giving up things is not easy. I love consistency, and I absolutely without a doubt hate change. We try to hold on to the life around us. I feel like we tend to grasp on to the consistency in life like when we hang on for dear life when we are on a roller coaster at an amusement park. We want things to stay the same, but that makes us complacent and stuck. It is not necessarily bad, but we are not moving forward.

As followers of Christ, we should always be moving forward. We should strive to grow in our faith and our walk with God, in order to better glorify Him in every single thing we say and do. In order to grow, we have to step outside of our comfort zone. We have to embrace change and learn from it. We have to turn our present situations into something that glorifies God, whether that be something big or small. As followers of Christ, we should never be content with where we are at. We should always want more, all for the Kingdom of God.

During our time of pushing forward for Christ, we are going to be uncomfortable. We are going to have to make sacrifices. We are going to have to die, only to be renewed in Christ Jesus. We are going to have to lose things, maybe even lose people. We are going to be vulnerable. We are going to be sacred. We are going to be faced with rejection. That is the “price” we pay as followers of Christ, but you know what? It is so worth it.

Growth comes from loss. We have to allow those things to happen in order to make room for the beauty that will sprout from it. It is hard to see the big picture, but we cannot see the growth of a seed until it starts coming out of the ground. You are growing from the losses in your life even if you do not see it yet.

In my life, I do not want to focus on my losses. I want to live with a sense of trust and complete and utter abandonment to the things of this world, and a complete and utter trust in God and the amazing things I know He will do through me. I am ready and willing to put my trust in God even when it seems like I have lost everything. The good thing is, I will never lose my God.

Reflection

How can it already be the last week of classes? This semester went by really fast, but I learned a whole lot especially when it comes to public relations.

This week in Public Relations Writing, we were tasked with creating a Photo and Caption: Slideshow Assignment. We had to take no less than nine photographs on an event happening on campus, write captions for each photograph and display it all in a powerpoint.

I honestly did not think that I would ever have to take photographs or write captions for said photographs as a public relations practitioner, but now I see why it is so important to know how to do it. You never know what your client or boss will ask you to do, so why not be able to do it all? Plus, as a public relations practitioner, it will always be important to know how to write pretty much anything that will make your company or client look good. You must know how to use your words in the proper way.

This assignment was a little out of my comfort zone, which is great because that shows me what skills I still need to work on. Mainly, I need to learn how to take better pictures because being a photographer is not one of my talents; although, I sure wish it was. I guess it is time to learn!

 

Step Back

It is the week before dead week, which basically means that life is literally hell at the moment (yes, I know I am dramatic). I am in the final stretch of my sophomore year of college, which basically for me means tears, three group project presentations, the last bit of homework, working my butt off to pick up my grades, studying, living in Gaylord, lots of coffee and a whole whole whole lot of stress (oh and did I mention tears?).

I literally feel like I am at my breaking point. I am almost halfway done with my college years, but the end seems so far away. Do not get me wrong, I love the University of Oklahoma and I absolutely love my major, but college is hard. I am using every last ounce of my energy, yet it still does not seem like it is enough.

After an hour of laying in my bed crying and ranting to my best friend on FaceTime, I had to pull myself together to go to my favorite study spot to get some work done. On the way there, I decided to FaceTime my Nana so I could see my two sweet baby cousins to help me cheer up a little bit. That was exactly what I needed.

My little princess Blakelee was snoozing, but luckily my sweet Kaden was awake. He usually is not the type to pay attention to me when I FaceTime (he is only four), but today it was like he knew exactly what I needed. In the sweetest little voice, I hear, “RaRa will you come to my house and play with me today please?” Oh, sweet boy if I was not two hours away I would be there in a heartbeat. I got to the library, so I had to say goodbye, and Kaden kissed the screen to tell me bye. Isn’t that just the sweetest?

That got me thinking, wow I am seriously so blessed. I have a family that loves me more than anything, I have friends that care about me, and most importantly, I have a God that is always on my side. What more could I ask for?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6: 25-27

Sometimes you just have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Worrying will literally do nothing for anyone.Yes, I am stressed, but it is not worth it to literally make myself sick about it. I had to step back and realize that there is more to life than stressing about every little thing at school because I am a perfectionist. School and my education are very important to me and they are things I care about, but why let that stress consume me? I get up every day because of God and what He did for me and continues to do for me, nothing else. So that is the only thing I should let consume me.

When life gets overwhelming, step back and remember who you belong to. You belong to God, the creator of heaven and earth, me and you. Step back and think about all of the blessings God has placed in your life. I promise you that God is bigger than that feeling of anxiety and stress. Lean on Him to get you through it.

Work Work Work Work Work

I am so sorry to disappoint, but I am not done with my video project for my Public Relations Publishing class just yet. They were supposed to be due yesterday, but the very gracious Croom extended the due date until next week.

Let me tell you, editing a video takes a whole lot of time. I did not expect it to take this long, but it is actually a very long and hard process. You have to edit your film, add some B-roll, sharpen the video, add some color effects to the video, add audio and so much more I cannot even remember right now.

Sadly, I am still not an expert in the film editing software we are using, Adobe Premiere Pro. I never thought I would actually miss using iMovie for the various and horrible short videos I have made via iPhone videography.

This process is a whole lot of work, but I actually am pretty excited to see how it turns out. My video is about my partner in class, Wyatt Stanford. Throughout our interviews last week, I could tell that his favorite thing to talk about was his Choctaw heritage, so that is exactly what my video is centered around.

I promise that I will actually be done with it next week, so make sure you check it out!

Ready For My Close Up

I hate to disappoint you, but I do not have any complaints or hardships from this week of class in Public Relations Publishing. Why might you ask? Because I did not have to even open Adobe Premiere Pro once this week (can I get a hallelujah).

Instead, this week I learned how to operate a camera from the cage in Gaylord in order to conduct my interview for our video project.

All I have to say is thank goodness my partner for this project knows how to operate everything on a camera or this blog post would probably not be as positive. I was not blessed in being knowledgeable about anything technological if you have not noticed by now. I am only experienced in good ole iPhone photography/videography.

Today we got to dive right in and film our interviews and shoot some B-roll (I love that word, it makes me sound like I actually know what I am doing).

I am a little camera shy, so it was a little awkward for me to be in front of the camera today (very ironic since I used to be a broadcast journalism major). On the other hand, I had so much fun interviewing my partner. It is always a great experience to learn a little more about your colleagues because that does not always happen when you sit in the same spot and talk to the same group of people in your classes every day.

Get ready for next week’s blog post because you will finally get to see the finished video project and probably hear me complain a lot about how hard Adobe Premiere Pro is if we are being honest.

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we were tasked with writing a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

What is a PSA?

A PSA is an announcement that does not promote any goods for profit. PSA’s are mainly for the use of the government or nonprofit organizations. PSA’s are great for raising awareness about an event, cause or issue going on in the area.

PSA’s have to have one core message because of the short time frame it will have on the radio and to keep the attention of the publics’.

Writing for radio is a lot different than writing content that will be published online, in a newspaper, or a magazine. You have to keep it short and sweet in order to keep the publics’ attention. There are being distracted by a million different things, so you have to be creative.

You write PSA’s a lot differently than content made for print. It is in a two-column format so that it is easier to read.

I have never written a PSA before, so it was interesting to see how the process works. I never even thought that I might be tasked with creating something meant for radio as a public relations practitioner. Now I can say that I know exactly how to write one if I ever need to.

 

Live Intentionally

When it comes to reading scripture, I feel like we tend to just skim over certain verses. If you grew up in the church, you have probably seen every verse over a million times, so you just kind of tune most of it out. But if we do that, we might miss out on some of the secret treasures God wants us to know.

Clear your mind, and act like this is the first time you are reading this verse:

“God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature. So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the Earth.’ God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: ‘Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for the fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.'” Genesis 1:26-28 MSG

Let that sink in. If you are like me, you probably get really tired of reading Genesis over and over again (I am just being honest). I read that verse in my quiet time this morning and I did not think anything of it. But then, God challenged me to reread it and really let it sink in. I knew He was trying to tell me something, but what was that something?

God placed a burden on us. Yes, a burden. A beautiful burden. He gave us a huge responsibility: He created us in His image. Our Creator created you and me in His image.

That comes with some responsibility. We cannot just live our lives and fumble our way through. We have to live intentionally.

We are responsible for the Earth and everything on it. What exactly does that mean? Well, because we are created in God’s image, it is our job to show God’s endless love to everyone else.

Pause for a second. It is not our job to save people, God has got that covered. It is our job to plant a little seed in everyone we encounter. You might not see the fruit of that seed in the moment, but I promise you will when you finally make it to the golden gates of Heaven.

So how do we live intentionally? We live a life that glorifies God in everything we say and do. This is a beautiful burden that God has placed upon us. He expects us to be a light even in the darkest of places. He expects us to step out of our comfort zones. He expects us to pray for those who persecute us. He expects us to invite people to church. He expects us to tell people about Jesus. He expects us to glorify Him forever and always.

I promise you, this is no easy task. We will have to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions. We will have to face rejection. We will mess up. We will probably even cry. But you know what? It will be so worth it in the end when we join our Father in Heaven. I do not know about you, but I want to see the whole world around God’s table when we have a big feast. If we do not live intentionally, how will that happen?

The challenge I have for myself and you today, is to live intentionally. Live how God created you and me: in His image.

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we were tasked with writing our own Op-Ed and a Letter to the Editor.

Honestly, I had no idea that I would need to know how to write these two pieces as a public relations practitioner. Through this class, I am starting to learn that public relations practitioners should know how to write literally everything. Your work may be published and it might never be published, but you should know how to do it in case you are placed in a situation that calls for it. I see now that my future employer might be impressed if he asks for someone to write a mock piece of content of any type and I can write one up really quick.

The more you know!

what is an op-ed?

An Op-Ed allows you to use your own voice in your writing. It is an argument about something that is going on in the world. It gives an organization a way to explain to the public what their reasoning is behind a certain campaign or just any situation.

what is a letter to the editor?

A Letter to the Editor is a response to a directly published piece of writing. It is a way for you to command a correction or make bias known. It is typically short and to the point. It is another way for your voice to be heard in response to something you read.

I enjoyed learning how to write these two pieces of content this week and looking through the news to see what I wanted to write about. I definitely can say that I learned a lot this week, and I am glad that I can use these skills in my future as a public relations practitioner.

Are We Done Yet?

It is week two of learning how to use Adobe Premiere Pro in my Public Relations Publishing class. All I can say is…are we done yet?

For someone who is technologically advanced they might love this project, but if you are technically challenged like me…it is a little (or extremely) difficult. Video filming and editing is not my forte.

Adobe Premiere Pro is “iMovie on steroids” according to Croom, so hopefully I can figure it out with my very limited experience with making movies for my Spanish class on iMovie (which were incredible awful I  will not subject you to the torture of watching me attempt to act and speak Spanish at the same time).

Along with learning the Adobe Premiere Pro software, we are learning how to use some video filming equipment next week, which should be pretty interesting. My video expertise comes from shooting videos on my iPhone, so as you can tell I am very experienced (that is sarcasm if you were wondering).

Next week is going to be a little challenging…

The project we are tasked with this week sounds like a lot of fun even though I am nervous about putting it all together from filming to editing to interviewing to being interviewed. We were each paired with someone in our class, and now we are interviewing each other to show a glimpse of who we really are in a two minute video.

I am super excited to interview one of my classmates, but I am a little camera shy so I am nervous about being in someone’s video. I am interested to see how it turns out though. This video is supposed to be raw and natural. I wonder what we will end up talking about?

I really love the idea of this project. We watched a Ted Talk to introduce us to our assignment, and I absolutely loved it. I was surprised at how real the interviews were and how it really showed a glimpse into the lives of people. It made me feel like a knew them a little bit. Everyone really does have a story to tell, you just have to be willing to listen.

Stay tuned for next week to hear more of my weekly struggles.