14 April 2009

How To – Shoot Video For The Web

The all-important basics for shooting Web video are featured in the latest Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency post from Mindy McAdams.

Blogger and academic McAdams has reached part 12 in the series and turned her attention to filming video pieces for news websites.

Here’s a summary of her guidelines:

What’s A Story?

McAdams asserts that video packages should not rely on facts like a report, but rather seek to tell a story.

This requires journalists to be genuinely curious about the subject and able to find and identify the interesting, the unusual and the unexpected.

What’s Worth Capturing?

This means going around without a camera and microphone at first in order to get an idea of what’s happening and what would make an interesting image etc.

When To Shoot?

McAdams suggests that interview subjects will talk about the things the reporter asks them about – so get material first and then pose your questions, rather then shooting footage to fit an interviewee’s responses.

What To Shoot?

Taking her cue from video journalism blogger Angela Grant, McAdams says the question of what to shoot comes down to three things: “I like to call them ‘action or activity’; emotion; and ‘you’ve got to see it to believe it.’”

How To Shoot?

McAdams suggests beginners should try to keep camera movement to a minimum – no panning or tilting – and shoot short clips of action.

How Much To Shoot?

The five-shot method is recommended – where five different shots are taken of each action to increase your options when editing.


Visit McAdams’s Teaching Online Journalism blog for the full post and for some useful links to other resources and blog posts on video journalism.

The Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency also includes posts on blogs and RSS feeds, and creating audio-visual slideshows.

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