Archive | February 2012

When You Believe

I am a big fan of music, no matter they are from west or east, and no matter they are classical music by Beethoven or popular songs by Micheal Jackson, BSB or Westlife. I enjoy listening to songs and also singing songs so much that my MP3 almost accompany me everyday, every where. In my spare time, one of my hobbies is to use CoolEdit software to record my own song album.

I like music, because I believe a saying (by whom I forget) that music can give the soul the highest enlightenment. Music comes from people and life, and I always believe that good composers insert their own experiences and wisdom of life into the music. Good music comes from the souls of composers, so that is why their composition could further touch the heart of listeners.

Recently, I am very fond of a song, called “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. This classical song is definitely not a new one and have been heard by lots of people. I know the name of this song for a long time, but recently I first time listen to it. It touches me so deeply that it has become my stand-by background music in my Chinese blog.

“There can be miracles, when you believe, though hope is frail, it is hard to kill; Who knows what miracle, you can achieve, when you believe, somehow you will, you will when you believe.” Like I mentioned before, good music comes from composers’ heart and further enlighten listeners’ soul. I think the lyric reveals some true feelings about life. When we are young, we all have dreams for life, and we have various expectations for life, but when the light of dream is trying to penetrate into the fog of reality, the distance always seems long. But should we give up? The answer of this song is “NO.” Dreams, miracles, these are words that seems far away from reality, but they indeed exist and would show their face someday, as long as you believe it and keep pursuing it in reality.

The voices of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston are so fantastic and they interpret this song in a perfect way. I am thinking of  learning their way of singing and cooperating with one of my friends who is good at singing, and record this song together with our heart and souls and belief.

The weblink of this song is :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxIN79n4jVo

Follow Up:

Just one day after I finish this blog, I heard the sad news about Whitney Houston, and I feel astonished and sad. So, this essay seems to have another meaning–memorizing this great female singer. I will remember all the wonderful songs and all the moving and touching moments she brings to my life.

Blessing her!

Thoughts about “River Monsters” TV Series

Jeremy Wade, a biologist and extreme angler, is also the host of “River Monsters” -the documentary TV series on Animal Planet, Discovery channel. As a Ph.D. in physics, scientific or nature-topic stories, especially those from Discovery channel are always the kinds that I can not help tracking and watching, because of my curiosity and strong interest in nature and science. And now, as a beginner in broadcast journalism, Discovery channel shows a new attractive side for me, that is, how such kind of wonderful programs are produced and how the stories are developed. There are several notes in the following I take during I watched the “River Monster” series.

First of all, I really like the way Jeremy Wade (and his group) develop the stories. For every episode, there includes a compelling title, which really catches people’s eyes, for example, “Killer Wolf Fish,””The Silent Assassin,””Catching the Flesh Ripper,” and “The Mouth of Madness.” The short, but bunchy title grabs the audiences’ curiosity almost at the fist glance. Then, when you go into the story, Wade usually begins with a local myth or  tales about a “river monster”-some terrible stories happening to the local fishermen or residents. In his video, Wade involves victims or those who have ever met those “monsters,” in order to increase the credibility of those myth or tales. Undoubtedly, this kind of beginning is such a big “gold coin,” which, for me, is a little similar to the way that Hollywood adventure or scientific fiction movies do and bring the dramatic effect to the stories.

But Wade is a biologist, and a scientist. Scientists won’t believe myth and tales, on the other hand, they believe experiments, facts and reality. So, the following content of Wade’s stories is usually how he explores the facts. He go to the spot where river monsters are said to exist, and try every means to get close to the “monsters.” He uses scientific scrutiny to help audiences distinguish between facts and scientific fiction. I think his way of developing stories is fantastic, which is able to effectively keep the eyes of audiences follow his scenes, because of the combination of dramatic effect and scientific exploration.

Second thing is the videos in his stories. I could see that photographers use good sequences, particular angles, following the actions and many action-close shots, such as  underwater shots of actions or monster fish, showing the fish monster inside their mouth, close shots of their terrible teeth or other special “body weapons” etc. Sometimes, in order to find a “river monster,” Wade personally go into water and even use himself as a bait, and sometimes I saw Wade carries a underwater camera with him to show his exploration into the river, and also as a host, Wade tells his  stories like talking to friends of his, all of which are not only a scrutiny way of doing scientific exploration but also a good journalistic way of humanizing the story, grabing audiences’ curiosity, enhancing the credibility of the story, and thus make audiences feel like being on spot and very close to the scene and the subject–the river monsters.

The third thing I have noticed is that the combination use of natural sound and background sound (artificial sound)/music have done a very good job in making the audiences feel like close to reality and conveying thoroughly the content inside the scene. For example, when Wade catches a fish monster, there is natural sound of the fish’s struggling out of water, then there is usually a following shot of the fish’s face and body, if the fish has a mouth of terrible teeth, I could always hear some background sound (artificial sound) like sound from a monster. The music, too, always follows and matches actions, which adds emotional elements to the video.

In conclusion, the “River Monster” series really attract me, and by watching them, I could get a sense of how to use journalistic way to effectively tell a scientific story, and the importance of application of diversity–not only the diversity of topics, diversity of shots and angles, but also the diversity use of multi-media methods.

The web link for “River Monsters”:

http://animal.discovery.com/tv/river-monsters/

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2012. 1 Comment