Thursday, August 20, 2009

6x6: Video Lessons from a U.K. Journalist

Adam Westbrook is a broadcast journalist for Bauer Media in the U.K. He is producing a series of six blog entries, each containing "six tips for the next generation of freelance multimedia journalists."

He says it's inspired by the big response he got from his previous post speculating on the required skill set required for the "journalist of the future."

Last week Adam covered "branding" -- how to package and market yourself as a freelance multimedia journalist.

This week's lesson is about online video.

Here are some excerpts:

01. video doesn’t need to be expensive

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t do video just because you haven’t got any cash. High quality can be achieved on lower budgets...

02. shoot for the edit

Filming with the final piece firmly in mind will keep your shooting focused and short. So when you start filming, start looking for close ups and sequences. The latter is the hardest: an action which tells your story, told over 2 or more shots...

03. master depth of field

Your aim – especially with closeups – is to have your subject in clear focus, and everything behind them blurred...

04. never wallpaper

With pressures of time or bad planning you can often find yourself “wallpapering” shots just to fill a gap. Make sure every shot in your film is there for a reason...

05. look for the detail and the telling shot

Broadcast Journalists are taught to look for the “telling shot”, and more often than not make it the first image. But you can enhance your storytelling by looking for little details which really bring your story to life...

06. break the rules

The worst thing a multimedia journalist can do when producing video for the web is to replicate television. TV is full of rules and formulas, all designed to hide edits, look good to the eye, and sometimes decieve. Online video journalism provides the chance to escape all that. Sure it must look good, but be prepared to experiment ...
Next week, Adam will address "Storytelling." Stay tuned!

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