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When text  just isn’t enough Enhancing  Your Storytelling with Video
But I’m a  print  journalist! ** <ul><li>Why do  I  have to learn (eeiuw!) video? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acquire another ma...
What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewer gets sense of “bei...
What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Example: NYT’s “Gazan Doctor Loses Family,” 1/17/2009 </l...
What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Example: NYT’s “An Ambush and a Comrade Lost,” 4/19/2009 ...
The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Not every story is a good video story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have only info...
The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>The F-word:  Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it tight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>The inverted pyramid doesn’t work for video storytelling! </li></ul><ul><li>Emplo...
The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Structure, or story arc, is critical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant conversation ...
The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Key difference between print and video? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video:  think visua...
A word about audio <ul><li>AUDIO  is the most important thing in video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad sound = lost audience </l...
Assembling the video story <ul><li>A video story  is not  merely an assemblage of shots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go beyond “s...
Assembling the video story <ul><li>Open your video with natural sound, wide shot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes place/s...
Assembling the video story <ul><li>A-roll and B-roll </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A-roll: interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B-...
Keep in mind… <ul><li>Video moves your source to the forefront  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The writer should be invisible </li>...
The basics of video storytelling: An example <ul><li>“ Pushing the Limit: Being Aron Ralston ,” NYT, 3/31/2009 </li></ul><...
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Video For Printosaurs

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Sometimes print journalism students are reluctant to explore the power of video in online storytelling. Here's a primer on the power and limits of video, and the basics of video storytelling.

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Transcript of "Video For Printosaurs"

  1. 1. When text just isn’t enough Enhancing Your Storytelling with Video
  2. 2. But I’m a print journalist! ** <ul><li>Why do I have to learn (eeiuw!) video? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acquire another marketable skill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate coherently when you’re working with a team of multimedia journalists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrich your story with power that words alone can’t convey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think afresh about new ways to tell stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>** “There are only two kinds of ‘print’ journalists: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those who are unemployed and those who soon will be.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– source unknown </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewer gets sense of “being there” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong visuals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facial, vocal and body expression </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul>
  4. 4. What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Example: NYT’s “Gazan Doctor Loses Family,” 1/17/2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The print version </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The video version </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What can video accomplish that my stellar writing can’t? <ul><li>Example: NYT’s “An Ambush and a Comrade Lost,” 4/19/2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The print version </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The audio slideshow version </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Not every story is a good video story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have only information, no emotion or action, don’t waste video on it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best video stories? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information + emotional connection = understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good characters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distinguish between topic and story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find the story ! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find the main theme </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Much of video’s power comes from the audio </li></ul><ul><li>WashPost’s “ Crisis in Darfur Expands ” </li></ul>“ Basics of Video Storytelling” draws extensively from a June 2008 Society of News Design Video Storytelling quick course taught by Regina McCombs, now of the Poynter Institute.
  7. 7. The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>The F-word: Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it tight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define it in 10 words or less </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on emotional aspect of story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s important about this story? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why are we spending time, resources to do it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why should the reader/viewer care? </li></ul></ul></ul>“ Basics of Video Storytelling” draws extensively from a June 2008 Society of News Design Video Storytelling quick course taught by Regina McCombs, now of the Poynter Institute.
  8. 8. The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>The inverted pyramid doesn’t work for video storytelling! </li></ul><ul><li>Employ literary techniques of a short-story writer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A complete story, with beginning, middle, end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An attention-grabbing opening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast-paced plot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good characters </li></ul></ul>“ Basics of Video Storytelling” draws extensively from a June 2008 Society of News Design Video Storytelling quick course taught by Regina McCombs, now of the Poynter Institute.
  9. 9. The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Structure, or story arc, is critical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant conversation in your head: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the beginning? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s next? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do I build the story sequentially? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do I use transitions to move from one to the other? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the ending? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do I get there? </li></ul></ul></ul>“ Basics of Video Storytelling” draws extensively from a June 2008 Society of News Design Video Storytelling quick course taught by Regina McCombs, now of the Poynter Institute.
  10. 10. The basics of video storytelling <ul><li>Key difference between print and video? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video: think visually and plan ahead ! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What compelling visuals will the story have? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If no visuals, it’s not a video story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once again: Video storytelling is linear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your story needs a beginning, middle, end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think in acts (Act 1, Act 2, Act 3) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sketch it out before you head out </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Write up a list of shots you need </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How will your shots come together sequentially? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forces you to “pre-write” your story (counterintuitive to printosaurs!) </li></ul></ul>“ Basics of Video Storytelling” draws extensively from a June 2008 Society of News Design Video Storytelling quick course taught by Regina McCombs, now of the Poynter Institute.
  11. 11. A word about audio <ul><li>AUDIO is the most important thing in video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad sound = lost audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In your quest for compelling visuals, pay attention to sound </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Assembling the video story <ul><li>A video story is not merely an assemblage of shots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go beyond “shot-shot-shot-shot” to true storytelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequencing: compressing time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shoot wide, medium and close-up of every shot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Record at least 15 seconds of every shot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break down action into multiple sequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shoot lots and lots of close-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Help you avoid jump cuts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Help you sequence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Especially important for Web viewing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Assembling the video story <ul><li>Open your video with natural sound, wide shot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes place/scene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often close with a wide shot </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use many clips of 3-10 seconds in length </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A 1:30 package can have 20-25 shots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NEVER run a single long clip of someone talking into the camera </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieve appropriate story pacing through careful pacing of clips </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Assembling the video story <ul><li>A-roll and B-roll </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A-roll: interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B-roll: background video on which we often overlay the audio from the A-roll </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shoot lots and lots of B-roll </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan ahead before you shoot to save time and headache when you edit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t shoot everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a list of the shots you need, whom to interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a plan, but be flexible and be prepared to follow a different angle if the story leads you there </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Keep in mind… <ul><li>Video moves your source to the forefront </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The writer should be invisible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video evokes feelings, emotions, opinions in the viewer, rather than the writer imposing them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video lets other people tell their stories. Get out of the way and let them! </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The basics of video storytelling: An example <ul><li>“ Pushing the Limit: Being Aron Ralston ,” NYT, 3/31/2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good example of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative arc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good pacing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mix of A-roll and B-roll </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of shots </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good audio </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drama, suspense, resolution </li></ul></ul></ul>
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