Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Rent a car, Be brief!

I haven’t been writing here for a long time. I couldn’t register for journalist’s toolkit 2 class, because I could only register for another required course. But I really regret that I couldn’t be in that class, because it concentrates more on video, something which I need to learn for my project in lieu of thesis. Also, as I am looking for jobs, I can see how much knowing how to shoot and edit video can increase your employment chances.

I’m trying to keep myself update with what goes on in toolkit 2 class through the class blog, its syllabus, and the students’ blogs which are all listed in my blogroll. I also experienced shooting video for web myself in a trip I made to Boston during Christmas holidays. I learned two valuable lessons from the trip.

The first one was to rent a car and book a hotel instead of relying on my friends’ help. I have lots of friends in Boston, so I stayed with one of them and I was taking rides from him or my other friends at nights, or I had to spend hours to commute between Wellesley (where the subject of interview lives) and Boston (where I was staying). I realized this was not a good choice, since I was dependent on other people’s schedule, and, they wouldn’t realize that I was on a work trip. They somehow expected me to spend more time with them and I was nervous all the time not to hurt anybody. Also, since the whole area was covered with snow, it was not so easy to move from one place to another by public transportation while carrying all the gadgets, especially the tripod. I lost lots of valuable time commuting or having fun with my kind and great friends, and I later realized that I could spend that time on watching the shots right ahead to see if I wanted to shoot again or not. Now that I am back to Gainesville I wish I could go back to shoot some parts again, but I can’t afford plane tickets again, not to mention that it would be much cheaper if I would rent a car and stay in a cheap hotel for two days, instead of buying another ticket and spending lots of valuable time editing the shots.

The second lesson I learned was that I should not let the interviewee talk for hours. Similar to audio interviews, the less material you will have, the easier to edit later. It is even more difficult to edit video and cut out some parts, because with audio you can easily cut out sentences, but in video you can’t cut that much or you will have lots of unpleasant jump cuts.

No matter how well you are at shooting videos and working with gadgets, you should pay attention to your interviewing skills when you are working on a story. As Mindy has emphasized in this post, nothing is more important than story telling. A good story will not come out if you don’t ask smart and to-the-point questions that will elicit short but interesting answers.

Right now I have 5 hours of video which should be cut into four 2-minute videos! Perhaps that’s one reason I haven’t touched the tapes yet… But I’m writing these things here to remind myself about my mistakes and prepare myself for my next trip to Washington for shooting more videos and doing some more interviews. I’m certainly going to rent a car this time, but still I can’t afford to stay in a hotel and should stay with friends. Perhaps I should tell them well in advance that this time I can’t hang out with anyone and I’m going to be a journalist on an assignment.