Magazine Production, take 5

At this point is must be noted that I am literally dragging my fingers over the keys. Four cups of coffee no longer keeps my eyes open. What would normally give a healthy person heart palpitations has now become my basic fuel. This is unhealthy.

It’s safe to say that my learning management could definitely improve, it would be safer to say that I could do with a concept of it in the first place.

Studying in the second year of this course, I should have realised that there is actually work to be doing at University. This blog entry in itself is compulsory. I know that on my course, I do marginal amounts of work compared to most people on most other courses. I hear that the photography students have to produce a blog entry about their recent lectures every week or suffer a 2000 word essay.

Why is it so challenging to motivate myself? I love my course. I have real passion for what I’m doing. I desperately want to be a journalist. So what else dose it take to inspire motivation?

Today, in the print newsroom, I saw the whole group rushing and panicking. Our group was the first to finish our magazine project. This initially allowed my mind to rest at ease. When everyone else is suffering around you, it makes your own dilemma much easier to deal with. I wonder if that is transferable to other strenuous circumstances?

I could definitely have worked harder on the content of the writing that I produced. The photography was the element that I was particularly proud of. The other members of my group either produced photographs that had been taken by someone else, a photography student in each case, or that the photos (not mentioning names) had been taken with their phones, and had little thought into the composition.

I also found satisfaction in actually having mastered InDesign. On the Sunday night, I was up until 3am working on the InDesign package that we had to produce. The only training we had were a few lectures, ages ago. I didn’t really get my head around it. I just figured that we’d have loads of time… What a prat. It was at first intensely frustrating. The program just wouldn’t do what I wanted. Even simply moving an image around the screen was a challenge. However, after 8 hours I had mastered it. So much so, that I had even learnt a few little tricks. I could edit the images, include little effects, even edit things in and out of photographs using photoshop and the Adobe bridge software… I felt pretty chuffed with the final product.

In the morning, we all had a meeting to put together what we had made. This was interesting because it turns out that most of the people hadn’t got to the stage I was at and that they had given up on InDesign. What added insult to injury was that I was able to help them instantly. My toiling for hours and hours, trying to get my head around the program was condensed to making other people’s pages in a fraction of the time. No-one would believe the labour that I had endured. What a muppet.

Despite this being hugely irritating, it was also profoundly rewarding. I could measure how much I had improved in a direct ratio. 8 hours on my old project condensed to 20mins on a new project. That’s a ratio of 24:1. I had improved 240% on Indesign. I was 240% better than those who had no idea how to use the program. I have no idea what that combination of emotion fuses as, however, I’d like to suggest it as a feeling of amusement. I was laughing at myself. What a prat.

We took the time on Wednesday to add the final touches. Sarah Stevenson had elected herself the production editor. With her fancy new, and monstrously expensive, Macbook Pro, it seemed prudent. Besides, we hardly had time to argue over power. Despite a few scuffles and Sarah confidently embracing the high horse on a few occasions, she was brilliant. We don’t always see eye to eye, but I don’t think we could have managed without her.

The main problem we faced was that everyone had used different margin sizes and different amounts of columns on the page set ups. This actually proved disastrous! When compiling all the pages together onto one document, the document still has to be set up like any other publication… all with the same settings. With all our pages having different settings, it wasn’t an easy fix. However, we got over that pretty soon. The margins weren’t that different anyway, and the only person who had to seriously reconfigure her page was Sarah herself as she had set her page up with 5 columns instead of 6.

The next problem arose when we realised that all the photographs on InDesign are simply links to the original file, so the original photographs all had to be sent to Sarah’s computer. Easy fix.

All in all not such a bad show! I produced a media pack myself whilst the girls were faffing with the front page. I thought I’d make it on Indesign, one last show of my new found talent!

If anything, I know I could have used this module to further my comprehension and understanding on how to write, to perhaps define my writing style, but to be honest, I think I got the best out of the module.

InDesign is an amazing program. Adobe have got it down to a Tee. What we produced, what I produced, is easily professional quality. I definitely feel more than ready to embark on more ambitious magazine projects, more specifically, I’d love to learn how to make iPad apps.

I quite literally cannot write anymore. My eyes are sore and heavy, I still have a huge essay to write and two radio documentaries to make. Dammit. My thoughts and feelings about how the iPad will change the world will have to wait, although… it won’t!

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