Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learn to be better videographers

OP Staffers Vicki Arsenault, Charlie Crumm and Allan Adler.
Considering that many of us had done little more than wave around a video camera at a family party prior to last year, we've come a long ways.

For nine of us working in the newsroom, we've taken an extra step to continue developing our skills. Reporters Charlie Crumm, Carol Hopkins, Ann Zaniewski, Dave Phillips, Shaun Byron and myself, Editors Allan Adler and Steve Frye as well as Online Coordinator Kyle Duda and Administrative Analyst Vicki Arsenault are taking a 10-week video production class at CMNtv, a local cable access channel.

CMNtv isn't your typical public access station. They're a consortium of communities that have chosen to fund one station, pooling their resources in order to create a very professional public access channel available in several Oakland County communities.

In November, staff from CMNtv transformed our newsroom into a remote broadcast station. They brought in all the equipment we needed to make our live election coverage be a high-quality production. (More on our election night coverage to come in later posts)

It became clear on election night that while we journalists can certainly jump in front of the camera and do a decent job, we were mostly clueless behind the scenes.

Operating a Flipcam is one thing. Operating a professional camera and all the equipment that goes along with it is another.

OP staffers Vicki Arsenault & Charlie Crumm
Newsroom leadership offered to those of us who had the desire to learn more about creating a broadcast production to enroll in one of CMNtv's 10-week courses. Based on the large number of us who chose to attend, I think it's safe to say there was a lot of interest among staffers.

In the future, I imagine this training will greatly benefit our relationship with CMNtv. We may never have the control room, studio and fancy equipment that CMNtv has, but we do have CMNtv. And once nine of us are trained in creating a broadcast, it gives us a lot of leeway in terms of partnering with CMNtv in the future.

As a public access channel, CMNtv does rely heavily on volunteers. But in terms of working with us, we'll have all the volunteers needed right in our office and ready to roll.

It's a partnership that I'd like to think will grow and grow much stronger — after all, we've got content to benefit them, they've got technology to benefit us and we can cross-promote both brands on a variety of platforms. To be specific, between the two entities, we've got a TV station, a newspaper and two websites. Genius.

After class today, I asked instructor Joe Johnson to give some tips on basic videography. Below, he talks about the importance of composition and how to produce a compelling video despite having a limited camera. Not surprisingly, most of these tips were among those shared with us at the very start of our endeavor into video by corporate leadership — composition, lighting and audio.

No comments:

Post a Comment