Video Critique – Charlotesville in Turmoil

This video, uploaded to Twitter by a potential counter-demonstrator in Charlottesville, and picked up by the online site for The Guardian, is a very effective depiction of the anger, frustration, fear and impotence felt by the crowd when a self-declared white supremacist drove his car into the crowd, resulting in at least one confirmed death and more than 19 injured.

The owner of the cellphone that captured the video seemed to be recording the counter-march, when s/he is clearly surprised by the roar of the Dodge Charger’s engine as it speeds past.  The videographer manages to stay focused, and captures the scene when the car accelerates into the denser part of the marchers.  While there are screams and panic, the audio captures a woman as she yells obscenities at the driver, and the anger, fear and frustration can be clearly heard.

Finally, the car is seen speeding back in reverse, bumpers damaged and dangling from its body, as evidence of the terror and tragedy of the event.  This is raw footage taken by a bystander, and much more effective than any news report in transmitting the feelings the horrific event created.


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Motion Graphics Critique – Do you know what Strategic Workforce Planning is?

This short motion graphics video explains a very complex concept: Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP).  I chose to critique this particular motion graphics video because it was prepared by my husband’s company, and I have always had a difficult time understanding what he does.  With this video, even though I still don’t get all the intricacies, I can get a visual picture of the business, and its benefits.

Basically, SWP tries to forecast the demand a company will face for its workforce; what skills it will need, in what roles, when?  Then, it helps workforce planners make strategic decisions to fulfill that demand.

OptForce’s use of motion graphics to explain their business is a great idea.  Explaining a complex concept through a PowerPoint presentation or a video with actual people would probably result in a boring, long, excruciating experience.  Using a “comic book” style video using motion graphics makes it concise, fun and entertaining.  It also forces whoever is making the video to focus on key areas that need to be communicated effectively, as opposed to a traditional format where a real person or even an actor will try to explain every detail of the methodology.

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Audio Critique – The League of Women Voters on Immigration Rights


One of my passions is helping underrepresented populations find out about the rights, opportunities, and benefits that their community offers.  That is why I was attracted to this brief, public service announcement-like report by the League of Women Voters of Boulder County (LWVBC).  I am about to begin an internship with LWVBC and KGNU Radio this semester.  I plan on reporting and broadcasting on these types of issues.

What captured my attention about this particular audio is its unusual nature.  Instead of focusing on what most people expect – what undocumented immigrants cannot do, in other words, the negative aspect of immigration, it talks about what rights undocumented immigrants do have access to.

The audio goes through 5 of the most important rights of immigrants, including employment, education, public benefits, etc.  However, the audio is very superficial and a monotone.  I think, in order to attract more interested listeners who will – either for themselves or for someone they know – provide practical advice, there should be information on how exactly to go about procuring those benefits.  For example, the audio could benefit from personal stories or testimonials from immigrants.

I just heard from a lady from Mexico who is using her US-born son’s social security number to apply for mortgage credit, and other benefits that she would otherwise not have access to.  More of these stories are needed by the community to inform of real opportunities available, that will benefit them and their communities.

The audio is clean and well recorded, but it needs some life behind it, like live testimonials, background noise, etc.


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Cell Phone Visual Critique


This selfie of a 17-year old boy who is happily reporting on his solo free climbimg of one of Boulder’s Flatirons is incredibly compelling – especially because of what will happen within one hour from when it was taken.

You can tell that this picture was taken with a cell phone because his face is sharp, but the rock and trees in the background are grainy.

Carter Christensen loved the outdoors.  This comes across very vividly in the picture.  In addition, the picture itself is of very good quality.  Not because the image itself is so sharp, but because of what it captures: he has a great smile, and he manages to show the steepness of what he has just climbed.

But more than anything, it is what most people will not notice that makes this photograph so compelling: the boy is wearing sunglasses, and the reflection may provide clues as to what might have happened.  In the reflection off of his left lens, you can see his outstretched left arm holding the camera at just the right angle to capture the steep rock behind him.  Could it be that this type of effort to record his own prowess made him ultimately lose his grasp on the rock?  Could he have fallen to his death because he wanted to stop somewhere even further up to take another selfie and tumbled?

Even though the end to this story is a sad and terrible tragedy, this picture is an invaluable gift for Carter’s family.  It records him doing something he loves, and that is how they will always remember him.

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Dear United States (Final Project)

Here is the link to our final project about immigration testimonials, statistics and facts.

This is intended to be an ongoing, living project.  However, at the moment, due to the current political climate, our main subjects, the Dreamers and DACA students do not feel comfortable being featured prominently on camera and on the web.

Click here to go to the full project site.


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One Minute Audio: DACA

Erica Tarango, director of the Colorado DACA Project explains to us the DACA application process with details!



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Data Visualization





This graph shows us the number of immediately eligible immigrants in the State of Colorado. As we see form the graph almost 100 percent are Spanish speaking young students that could benefit from being able to access to higher education and become active and useful part of the society. From the graph we can see that students that are between 15 and 30 years old will be immediately eligible that means close to 90 thousand.

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Immigration Map

Click herscreen-shot-2016-11-18-at-11-46-15-pme for a map that
shows 2013 immigration of US lawful residents from the different regions of the world.

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Motion Graphic Animation Critique

This is an excerpt from Leonardo DiCaprio’s full-length documentary “Beyond the Flood”. I had the opportunity to watch this documentary during the weekend with my family and I am blown away because it is the perfect combination between still pictures, video and motion graphics. I decided to put up only the 15 minutes of the documentary that shows how by just a minimal increase in temperature the whole balance in weather patterns will be broken. Also when we are able to see the vision of the thin blue atmosphere from above it really gives you a different perspective.

The motion graphics I refer to occur when the scientist is showing changing weather patterns on a digital wall map, and it shows a simulation of how some parts of the world will become dry, and others will freeze.  This is an amazing visual that is very effective in communicating what the consequences of an increase in ocean temperature might be.

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Cal-Wood Educational Center, check it out!

Rafael Salgado has a great story to share with the world; it all started when he tracked a bird across borders from Canada to his native country of Mexico.  Now, he runs an outreach program here in Colorado, that teaches low-income kids and families about sustainability, environmental protection and living from the ponderosa trees.

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