Another Attempt at a Flexitarian Film

The farm feature that got snowed out. 

By: Christina Renninger

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Good news is, I was able to film my farm. Bad news is, Eugene got hit with a snow storm in the wake of my editing that ultimately closed campus down (including the equipment check out room).

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On Friday November 22nd, I shot my interview with Christine Deck, the owner of Deck Family Farm and filmed all of my b roll. I made sure to get a large variety of video shots, including different angles and also a lot of diverse nat sound audio. After spending just over 3 hours on the farm in Junction City, I was feeling pretty confident with my footage and audio. When I scheduled the interview, I jumped on the earliest date they could do it, which was the following day. I knew I wasn’t turning in my video until week 10, but I wanted to have it locked in, and film when the weather was clear. Very cold, but clear and as we all saw in my first attempt at video: “My Flexitarian Film Failure” I haven’t had the best luck with weather.

I saved my editing for week 9 and 10. And what I found out was that even with using a wind sock, my audio was a little damaged with gusts of wind. When I filmed, it happened to be a very windy day. I have used the DR-05s plenty of times, however, this was my first time using a mic with a wind sock. What I found was that it doesn’t seem to block out all of the wind. And also, a lot of my nat audio was overwhelmed with wind. So, I salvaged what I could and decided to do a voice over. However, the day I had set aside for the voice over recording was Friday, December 6th, when the snow hit and campus closed. I was also planning on renting a camera to get some more b roll. I envisioned getting some shots of Deck’s products in stores. So, with the unfortunate and unlucky events of the snow storm, I put together what I could.

Also, I would like to note that for some reason my audio can, for the most part, only be heard in the left speaker. I think this has something to do with the microphone placement when I did the interview. It was really close to her face and sometimes rubbed against it. Or maybe it was the settings on the Tascam. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of that issue.

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I stitched together what I had and could use in Final Cut Pro and exported it. Click here to watch my second attempt at a flexitarian film. As you can see, without a voice over, a narrative arc that fills in the holes and leads from a beginning to end is kind of lost. Below I will attach links to watch and listen to raw footage that I didn’t use.

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Raw Footage

Looks like this week I also got to experiment with Sound Cloud. I stitched together multiple sound bites from my interview, exported them in Final Cut and uploaded the mp3 file onto sound cloud. Click here to listen.

I also stitched together some raw footage of my b roll on the farm. Click here to watch it on YouTube.

 

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A #flexitarianism Pinterest Board

A Pinterest board on flexitarianism that I have been updating throughout the term.

By: Christina Renninger 

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This week I decided to reveal my Pinterest board that I have been working on since around week 4. Pinterest is a great website to find what other people are saying about a topic, and in my case, what they are cooking. My goal was to pin a variety of recipes, but to also find other useful Pinterest boards and websites that I could use for research.

In order to obey the flexible rules of the diet, I made sure to include mostly plant-based recipes. However, I did include a variety of meat and fish recipes. For example, I pinned recipes for salmon, lamb, and chicken. I also tried to pin helpful resources for fellow flexitarians like, foods with high energy, facts on kale, and links to books. I didn’t want my board to be limited to only recipes. However, there are plenty of recipes on it.

I tried to cater to the holiday season and pin recipes that were appropriate for Thanksgiving and such. I found that the Buzz Feed Pinterest was helpful for seasonal recipes and pinned consistently.

Finally, I included a description about my board that makes it easy for followers to read what I am trying to do with it. I also occasionally used the hash tag #j333 in my pin descriptions and tried to write them so that they would be helpful for followers.

Click here to check it out!

A Storify on #flexitarianism

A multimedia story on the emergence, importance, and characteristics of flexitarianism through the platforms of social media. 

By: Christina Renninger 

This week I decided to experiment with Storify for the first time. Storify is a website that combines multiple platforms of social media to create a story. I used GIFs, Instagram pictures, news stories, YouTube videos, and tweets, to tell the story on flexitarianism.

Click HERE to check it out.

You can also find it on my twitter: @SOJChristina in a slideshow format.

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The Urban Farm in GIFs

A look at how the Urban Farm operates on a rainy Saturday morning. 

By: Christina Renninger 

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Every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12:30 students gather at the Urban Farm to work on their harvest. The Urban Farm has been around for 35 years and serves as an envrionment where students can gain hands on experience of working on a farm. The plus side to this class is that students get to take home the food that they grow. Now you might be wondering how this ties in with my topic of flexitarianism. Well, students in the program learn about the local food shed of Lane county but also the advantages to eating an organic plant based diet. Enter the flexitarian.

This Saturday in particular (November 1st) students gathered with their instructor, Harper Keeler, to do some maintenance around the farm. With the Fall season in full swing, much of the work included raking and watering plants inside the greenhouses.

Below are GIFs with captions that I made with my raw footage from the farm. This was my first attempt at creating GIFs and I hope to use them again.

FarmSpan

A span of the Urban Farm

CleanUp

Students sign in and then grab the tools they need from the work shed.

RakeTime

Maintenance includes raking and tidying up the farm.

Farm

Tidying up the farm beds that at this time of year include lettuce, kale, and other seasonal plants.

Follow my twitter for day to day updates on my flexitarian adventures.

My Flexitarian Film Failure

An accurate account of the catastrophes I like to call, #j333 video FAIL.

By: Christina Renninger 

When the video assignment was assigned on Thursday of week four, I decided to get an early start. After consulting with Suzi, I decided I wanted to do my video on a local farm. I remembered from my last interview with Kathee, the owner of Holy Cow, that she recommended I talk to Deck Family Farm. After getting the approval from Suzi, who also recommended Deck, I was excited to get started. After playing phone tag with Deck for a couple days, I was finally able to speak with a lady named Amanda. She was very helpful and had been corresponding with the owner, Chris, about my project. She said Chris was happy to help and we began the early stages of scheduling the interview. At this point, it was Tuesday of week five, and I was feeling pretty good about the assignment and pleased with my productiveness. I wish I could say the rest went smoothly but here is when my luck made an abrupt turn.

After not hearing from Deck for a couple of days to confirm the times we discussed, I gave them another call. To my dismay, Amanda informed me that Chris could no longer help me because she was too busy getting ready for a trip to Europe. Strike 1.

Still eager to film a farm, I began searching for another. My deadline was (at the time) about a week away and I was feeling a little pressured to schedule an interview. I used the Willamette Farm & Food Coalition website as a resource to find local farms in the area. I then began calling dozens of farms in desperation to find a new story. I kept running into the same issue, either farms weren’t busy enough to have anything to film or they were too busy to give an interview. However, a few farms like Good Food Easy and Living Earth Farm said they might be interested and would get back to me. However, after not hearing back for a couple days, and feeling the pressure of my approaching deadline, I decided to  give them another call. I left a few messages with Good Food Easy, who sounded very promising the first time we spoke, but I still have never gotten a response. I finally reached the owner of Living Earth Farm on the phone after emailing with her briefly. She now was apparently uninterested and didn’t intend on informing of this, saying: “I knew I was too busy this week so I just didn’t respond to your email.” Strike 2.

After being denied by over 8 other farms in the Willamette Valley, I was officially back to square one. With my head drooped low, I knew it was probably time to abandon my eager idea of filming a farm. Not without one last try of course. I called a few more farms, all of which were dead ends like the others. My deadline was now four days away. After a frantic rush to office hours on Thursday, the 31st, I told Suzi I was going to try to film Sprout, a  farmer’s market in Springfield. Their farmers market runs every Friday from 3-7 p.m. so I was hoping to be able to shoot something the next day. I called a couple  times and got a voicemail. On the third try I decided to leave a message. Sprout did eventually call me back but it wasn’t until 3 days later, after the farmers market had already happened. Strike 3.

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I decided I needed to switch gears and try something else. I made a post on all of my social networks (personal included) looking for someone who knew a local flexitarian. My idea was to film someone cooking a flexitarian meal and interview them about their diet choice. In class on Thursday, some classmates also recommended I try the Urban Farm. The only contact I could find was an email address for the program director so I sent him an email explaining my situation. In the process, I also got a couple bites from my twitter post (see above). However, one didn’t live in the area, and the other (Ashley) gave me a contact number for someone she knew in Eugene. After texting and calling the contact she gave me, I never got a response. Strike 4.

Other contacts I made were to Capella Market and the Kiva Grocery. My idea was to film their deli and meat department. However, I never got a hold of anyone from Capella and the Kiva declined on account of not wanting to be filmed. Strike 5.

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Next, Harper from The Urban Farm got back to me and said it was okay for me to film student workers the next Saturday (11/1). I checked out all of my equipment and showed up Saturday morning ready to film. Unfortunately, the unpredictable Oregon weather did not work to my advantage. With the rain coming down steady, I was unable to get much footage, and with an audio recorder that suddenly wasn’t turning on, I wan unable to conduct any interviews either. Strike 6.

Here is a clip of some of the raw footage I got from the Farm. As you can see, the rain made it impossible to film any more without damaging my camera. You can even see my hand flash in the scene as I am trying to protect my camera from the rain. (note. This was my own personal camera and not one that belong to the SOJC J cage. No equipment was harmed in the filming.)

This concludes the catastrophes I experienced during week four and week five. It definitely was one of the most stressful times I have had working on a single project. With that said, I also had other outside factors such as midterms and other upper division journalism projects that contributed to my stress level. By far, this is some of the worst luck I have had in my journalism career. I honestly do not know what I could have done differently. I was proactive with this assignment and started making contacts early on in the game, but the combination of unreliable sources, time constraints, weather constraints, equipment constraints, and many others, made it near impossible to produce a video for this week. Therefore, this week I will be submitting a different multimedia experiment and save the video assignment for later down the road.

From these obstacles, I learned how to accept being denied over and over again by contacts and that sometimes it might take a dozens no’s before you will ever get a single yes.

The process behind my Holy Cow Foods audio slideshow

What worked and what didn’t work with my audio slideshow.

By: Christina Renninger

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For my audio slideshow assignment I featured the owner of Holy Cow Foods. I was very pleased to find out that the owner, Katherine Lavine, was a flexitarian herself. What I think worked best for my slideshow was that she had  a very good and factual understanding on the term “flexitarian.” Kathee was also very passionate about the food industry and her business so that it created a really interesting interview. I enjoyed talking with her and learned so much more about my topic. Afterwards, I had so many sound bites that I wanted to use that it was hard to start my story script. However, Kathee was a very hard person to flag down to one place. Setting up the interview was a little bit of a challenge. After meeting at the wrong location, I learned the hard way how important it is to confirm with your interviewee ahead of time the location and time of the interview.

When it came down to my interview, I ran into a few technical problems. The restaurant where I met with Kathee, had no quiet space to conduct the interview. After moving the interview to 2 different locations because of noise constraints, I finally had to interrupt Kathee and insist we finish the interview in her car so that I could get good audio. Which, I was so happy that I insisted, because it made for much more clear and quality audio. Kathee also kept moving the mic I had attached to her further and further down her sweater. I brought headphones with me so I could tell that the audio was getting more and more muffled. Eventually, I resorted to unplugging the mic and awkwardly holding my Tascam DR-05 close to her face.

My audio turned out pretty good for the most part. The only issues I had was that Kathee talked very fast and it was evident in my final audio slideshow. There was also a few moments where she was playing with a hair clip and you can hear it in the background of my slideshow. I spent hours trying to doctor this up in Final Cut Pro, but was unsuccessful. The sound bite was so good that I decided to include it in the final version anyway.

As I mentioned above, Kathee was a hard person to get a hold of. After the initial interview I wanted to schedule a follow up with Kathee to take more pictures, but she was too busy to meet. I ended up having to coordinate with the manager instead to schedule a time where I could take pictures inside the kitchen. She was happy to help, and I was able to get in the following day. Unfortunately, when I came to the restaurant to take photos they hardly had any customers. Without customers there was no food action in the kitchen. So, I ended up having to hang out for a lot longer than I had planned to get the shots I did. It payed off in the end though.

Overall, I am happy with the outcome of my slideshow. I would like to learn how to remove distracting background noise in Final Cut for the future. The hum removal tool and background noise reduction tool didn’t do anything for me, just made the audio sound worse. Some of my biggest takeaways from this assignment were, the importance of  confirming the interview the morning of, plan for more time than you think you will need, and never be afraid to interrupt an interview if your audio isn’t sounding right.

 

Behind the counter at Holy Cow Foods

An audio slideshow on one of Eugene’s own flexitarian friendly restaurants. 

By: Christina Renninger 

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For the past two weeks I have been investigating the restaurant, Holy Cow. I was pleased to find out that the owner, Kathee Lavine, was a flexitarian herself and a huge advocate for the diet. She shared with me a lot of information on Holy Cow, but also a lot of information on food in general. She even gave me a better understanding on the true meaning of being a flexitarian. Watch my audio slide show below for more.