Jimi’s Video Journalist Crash Course

  • Before you start filming, watch
  • The story
    • who, what, where, why, when, how
    • the takeaway
  • The workflow
    • the proposal, pitch a good story
    • discussion, consider possible scenarios, backup plans
    • preparation, what do you need
    • execution, go, interview, film, video, stills, and sound. Don’t forget names and titles
    • write the story, fact check, proofread, record soundtrack
    • editing, put all elements together
    • watch and repeat
    • delivery, formats, soundcheck
  • The gear
    • audio
    • light
    • video
    • smartphone journalism
    • software and editing
  • Tips before you head out

Before you start filming, watch

Where to find high quality, well shot and edited news and storytelling videos? Here are a few places:

https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks

https://vimeo.com/categories/journalism/videos

https://www.nytimes.com/video

https://edition.cnn.com/videos

https://www.cbsnews.com/60-minutes/

https://www.nytimes.com/by/jonah-m-kessel

https://www.vox.com/authors/johnny-harris

The workflow

  • The workflow
    • the proposal, pitch a good story
    • discussion, consider possible scenarios, backup plans
    • preparation, what do you need
    • execution, go, interview, film, video, stills, and sound. Don’t forget names and titles
    • write the story, fact check, proofread, record soundtrack
    • editing, put all elements together
    • watch and repeat
    • delivery, formats, soundcheck

Smartphone journalism

Very practical tips from the BBC
(Almost) all you need to film a proper interview on your phone!
More tips from the BBC

Sound

Audio tips when filming with your phone.
If you manage to find a lavalier (lapel) mic, here is a video shows how to correctly use it.
The closer you get to the microphone, the better it sounds. Hers is the basic golden rule to all microphones. This video shows you how to use lapel mics and shotgun mics properly.

Visual

Must watch! Visual Storytelling from the Master

Lighting

Here is a good video talked about the basic lighting for an interview. We may not have the same fancy gears but the rule of three point lighting is universal, we could use whatever handy to get a great looking shot.
Lighting is critical to make a nice shot, but if necessary, it is possible without using a single light.

Software and editing

Editing software is often the first question from many people, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro? For beginners, especially students, it’s easy. If you work on a Windows computer, go with Premiere, if you have a good Macbook, go with either Premiere or Final Cut. All the basic editing rules are universal, just different interface and shortcuts.

Adobe Premiere Pro – Basic Editing for Beginners
Basic Final Cut Pro editing
One more tutorial based on television news story editing
7 editing tips from film editor, but also works for news story telling!
Many ways to “cut” between shots.

Tips before you head out

  • Tips for everyone, beginners and pros
    • don’t forget to clean up memory cards, charge the battery, and bring earphones to check the sound quality
    • go for it, but prepare to do it again
    • clean sound beats everything
    • use a tripod if you can
    • keep it rolling, make sure each shot is at least 10 seconds long
  • Editing the story
    • start with your best shots
    • keep a good flow, don’t rush, don’t drag
    • leave breathing time between sections, natural sound from the video is often good space fillers
    • the best length is always the shortest length that could tell your story clearly

Learn more about next-level gear/filming

https://www.newsshooter.com/

https://www.youtube.com/c/KaiManWong/videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/filmriot/featured

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