Telling Stories with a Video!

Ahhh, the impact of the digital camera! Where would we be? (I am probably the last generation that had their baby pictures taken on a camera, not a smartphone). But digital camera still have a huge impact “far and wide,” Think of YouTube…now, we understand. In journalism, it is especially important, if not imperative, to understand how to use the digital camera.

Before, it used to be that video quality and shooting had to be perfect. But now, the viewing audience has become much more forgiving as published videos do not need to be editing to perfection and high quality. It is the opposite, now! Audiences like to watch unedited videos. There is a realistic touch added to it. We have all seen this, right? CNN and their user uploaded videos and FOX News showing video footage from a cell phone. It shows how the newsroom, once a place of strict rules, has moved to favor what the audience wants to see and the audience has become more forgiving. Perfection is not necessary.

Starting Your Video 

When you begin, you want to always take a different approach depending on your storyline. Example, breaking news or documentary. Know what approach you want to use. Breaking news stories will normally be fast and you will have to decide on-the-spot what to shoot and how since you don’t know your story before, it is breaking news! Press conferences are easier since the subject is fixed and there’s usually good lighting. Highlight clips are best short as short and isolated films due to their difficulty to shoot. Lastly, documentary-style is all about how you want to film. It is in your control!

Mix up your shots too! Don’t have the same boring visual or angle because we see that. Plan out what you want to film or storyboard. It means to draw out how you want your video to go so basically rough draft. It makes you pick the focus of your video and how you want everything to center around it. There are five main shot sequences you can miss it up with:

-Close-up on the hands

-Close-up on the face

-Wide shot

-Over-the-shoulder shot

-Creative shot

Know what camera you want to use. Test them out. Go outside one day and start shooting. Familiarize yourself with your equipment. A good journalist knows this. Gear up and get your ass out there! Know what accessories you need beforehand, what software you will be using to edit, and your media type. Planning beforehand shows even if your video is meant to look like not too much editing went into it. Everything needs planning.

A charged battery and storage space are the most important things you’ll need for your video. But among these, microphones, tripod, headphones, lighting, etc. all of these need to be taken into deep consideration. Headphones need to be tested before you film because audio is crucial. Stability of your shots is VERY important. No one wants to watch someone juggling shit while we bob our heads trying to figure out what we are watching. The lighting needs to be well enough to see what is occurring, who is talking, all of that good stuff.

In essence, keep your video short, juicy, and straight to the point.

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