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Training notes: Using a mobile phone for reportingVideoGeneral mobile equipment checklistBattery - Charged? Do I need spare batteries/external power?Exposure - Working in available light? Time of day? External lighting req.?Audio - Microphone: right type for job? Lavalier? Directional? Wind cover?Memory - Have I got enough space?Tripod - What type of shots? Interviews? Monopod? Gorillapod?Mobile video applicationsAt the moment, FiLMiC Pro on the iPhone is considered to be one of best applications forrecording video. It allows to manually control the core settings of focus, exposure and whitebalance. However make sure you have plenty of memory space and plenty of power -FiLMiC Pro is a power and memory hungry application.Alternatively try the video function in ProCamera or Almost DSLR.For editing on the iPhone, Vericoders 1st Video offers a lot of possibilities for editing. There isalso an iPad version. 1st Video is quite a difficult application and may frustrate you if yourestarting out with little video editing experience. It is worth persisting to get the hang of it.Beginners might want to also explore Splice and of course iMovie.Avid Studio is now available for the iPad.Basic mobile video formatsInterviewsIf youre filming on your own, youll probably be doing simple, straightforward interviews withan interview partner - either standing or seated.Youll be looking to produce a stable shot, using the available light, and positioning yourinterview partner to compose your shot with a suitable background according to thesurroundings and/or story context.For this type of interview you would ask your interviewee to look at you when they answerquestions instead of looking down the lens.Tips for mobile phones- switch phone to offline or "Airplane" mode- look for the available light source, position interviewee accordingly- avoid filming subject against bright/white background- cup yours hand around the LCD might be helpful in bright sunlight- turn other mobile phones off to avoid interference or distractions- avoid interviews in rooms with surfaces producing hard/echo sound- use an external mic if background noise is high- audio: record a few seconds and playback to check mic is working
Piece to camera or short report from the fieldDelivering a short report or piece to camera, looking down the lens, is a quick andstraightforward format for a journalist to produce.In its most basic form, this type of video report is simply the reporter speaking directly to themobile phone from a fixed position.When working alone, the trick is to frame yourself properly. Having something to mark yourposition can help. Youll also make your video more interesting if you record your videosomewhere that fits the context with your story. Record a few seconds and play back tocheck.For solo journalists this format can work well with a lightweight tripod and making good use ofa vantage point. For example, overlooking a demonstration.With a little bit of practice, and knowing how to work within the limitations of a mobile phone, ajournalist can produce these straightforward video reports quickly - useful for breaking news.There are of course variations. If you want to produce something more elaborate that looksmore like a short TV package, try using a video editing app to overlay images of scenes,objects or action that you mention in your report. Or insert a clip from an interview.Tips for mobile phones- Find a good vantage point or position, think story context- Marking your standing position can help when composing your shot or if you have to move- Use an external mic if background noise is very loud- Record and playback a test to check your framing and audio- Plan the points you want to make, and know the point to end on."Show & Tell"A "show and tell" is similar - its essentially an extended piece to camera but works best whenthe journalist is guiding the audience through a place, or describing a scene, or showing anobject to the audience. Like a piece to camera its usually done in one shot.Broadcast journalists often do this as a sort of on camera or walk and talk or live on tape,because its quick to produce and send. It also adapts well to online/multimedia coverage. Aslightly more elaborate show & tell could also include a short interview - you might hear thissometimes referred to as a "donut".For newspaper journalists needing to file video material for online, the "show & tell" techniquemight be possible if youre working with a photographer on assignment, or even with yourfixer.If you are filming on your own, heres one option to consider - depending on who and whatyou are filming.If you have an interview partner who is a great talker/communicator, and there is somethinginteresting they can show to the audience, then explain what you want to do and try filmingthem in a short take. Explain that they need to be concise and should try to end on a strongpoint.And, instead of asking them to explain the whole story, focusing on one aspect or oneimportant point is a useful way of producing a short video to accompany an online text story.
Tips for mobile phones- Keep it simple and short- Concentrating on one thing might be better for your online coverage- Know the points you want to make, and the point you want to end on- Look down the lens- Plan and practice, have a quick walk through- Talk to us the audience, keep it lively and conversational- Remember audio, a lavalier or radio mic works well for this formatAction and sequencesIf you want to produce short video news packages or feature stories you will need to startthinking about filming sequences - telling your story in pictures.Watch a film or television news and you will start to see how a scene or some sort of action isoften filmed in a sequence using a variety of shots.Wide, medium, close-up, over the shoulder - these are all terms you might hear from cameraoperators to describe shots they film to film a scene or an action.Tips for mobile phones- plan, a little bit of planning will save lots of time- make a list of shots you think you will need- record each shot for at least 10 seconds- film a variety of shots - remember 5 shot rule- look for interesting angles- be aware of not "crossing the line"- remember to breath calmly and stay relaxed when filming handheld- be careful to avoid making handling noises that the mobile phone mic may pick up