Notes about Chapter 12

For this week (Jan. 24 class), you were assigned to read the chapter about shooting in the Bernard textbook (pp. 177-192). We didn’t talk about it in class, but here are a few points to keep in mind:

Visual thinking: Think about the most interesting visuals when you are thinking about the story. The structure of the final, edited story will come from the images. Consider “Red Hot Rails”: Which came first, the images … or the script?

Crew size: It would be great to have a two-person crew (and you will for your final project), but a lot of newspaper video is shot solo.

Story and approach: These are not the same as having a final script or a final written text story. When you go out to shoot, you should be clear in your mind about what your story probably is and what approach you think will work best. If you’re not clear about these, you will probably shoot a bunch of unusable junk and cry in the editing room.

Knowing where to stand, and thinking on your feet: Read page 180.

Editing while shooting: I cannot emphasize this enough (page 181). You will start to understand it as you learn how to edit. The general idea is that the more you edit while shooting, the easier it will be to do the final edit. This means leaving stuff out — not shooting it! The worst thing you could do? Shoot everything. Disaster.

Demonstrations (page 183): This is a useful technique. Think of it as a video illustration. For some stories, you might legitimately ask a subject, “Please show me how you …” This might be for something like training a dolphin at SeaWorld (“How do you teach them to jump through the hoop?”) or subduing an arrested suspect (“How do you restrain a guy without Tasering him?”). Your subject might not show you (demonstrate) using a dolphin or a real crime suspect but rather using a colleague as a stand-in. It will be obvious to the viewers that they are watching a demonstration, but it will be a more visual way of absorbing the information than just listening to someone talking.

Lipstick camera (p. 183): See this link if you are curious.

Cardinal rule of documentary video: “A powerful story, told well, can overcome some cinematic rough edges. [But] a weak story shot spectacularly well is still a weak story” (p. 186; my italics).

Interviews (pp. 187-192): More about this later! You will shoot an interview (with a tripod) for Shooting 2!

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About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

One Response to Notes about Chapter 12

  1. Pingback: Week 3:”I Can Visualize It All…” « KeciaJ’s Weblog

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