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GHS Newsroom
  • Video style guide: Shooting

  • At the very least, your video should show something interesting for the viewer if just an accompanying visual for your written report, and/or at least have one source explaining the action of the piece with B-Roll footage for visual interest.

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  • • Shooting your video
    1. Shoot to edit
    At the very least, your video should show something interesting for the viewer if just an accompanying visual for your written report, and/or at least have one source explaining the action of the piece with B-Roll footage for visual interest.
    • Source tells story, answering the who, what, where, when and why.
        B-Roll matches or supplements narration for visual interest
    • Or reporter narrates video (voice-over)
        B-Roll matches voice-over
    2. Creating an outline
    Whether it is on paper or just in your head, just like developing a rough outline with print stories, a simple video shot list and outline can help focus the video and save time in the field and back in the office during editing.
    For example  |  If there is a car accident you have been sent to cover, figure out the shots you need before getting on scene.
    • Establishing shot of accident.
    • Cut to police chief interview (describing the who, what, where, when, how, etc.).
    • Cut to B-Roll footage of the accident scene over chief's interview.
    • Cut to witness interview (with B-Roll over witness interview).
    3. Different shots
    There are three basic shots you should know and incorporate, whenever possible, in your video reports: the wide shot (or establishing shot); the medium shot and the closeup.
    Wide shot  |  Most commonly used to establish a scene, good opening shots to establish the scene for a viewer.
    Medium shot  |  Commonly used to bring viewers in closer to action.
    Closeup  |  Commonly used to capture emotional scenes and subjects during interviewing and for detail-setting shots.
    4. Sources should tell the story
    Be sure to get the source(s) answering the basic questions of the event (who, what, where, when, etc.); let the sources in the video tell the story to eliminate need for a voice-over whenever possible.
    5. Interviewing video tips
    • Before you start the interview, explain what the interview will be like, and tell your source the process you will use, for example: You will interview them, take other shots of the scene, edit the needed parts, etc., and ask them if they have concerns or questions.
    • Try to keep the interview conversational — but focused — to get the answers you need.
    • It is OK to go over the ground rules for a video interview, instructing the interviewee when needed. For example, “Don’t look at camera.” ”Just talk to me.” ”Please rephrase the question in the answer.”
    • Try not to ask questions that prompt an interviewee to answer with a “yes” or “no.” You need the source to tell the story narrative in the video. Keep in mind that questions in video interviews need to adhere to the same standards as print interviews. Don’t coach the subject to give a specific answer.
    Page 2 of 3 - • Use nonverbal cues to communicate during the interview. For example, nodding, smiling, etc. Try to keep quiet when the source is speaking.
    • Like in all interviews, print or video, remember to ask: “Is there anything I should have asked that maybe I haven’t?” And, remember, our same journalistic standards apply, so get the spelling of names and titles before leaving the interview.
    Notables:
    When interviewing for your video story, keep in mind that occasionally cameras (and maybe lights or audio equipment) may make people uncomfortable.
    6. Getting B-Roll footage
    B-Roll is TV talk for shots that correspond with what the source is saying during a video report. There are several uses for B-Roll footage. For example, it can be used to bridge two different soundbites you might want to use from one source.
    But B-Roll is most useful for showing your viewers what the interviewee is describing and to keep your piece visually interesting for the viewer.
    Notables:
    When you get to your story, be it breaking news or a planned featured piece, get your interviews first, then get the B-Roll footage you need. That way, you will be able to get matching shots of the items discussed in the interview.
    Examples of B-Roll in an accident story:
    • An establishing shot of the accident scene.
    • Police tape.
    • Broken glass on road.
    • Emergency crews assisting injured or directing traffic.
    • Reaction shots of witnesses or onlookers.
    • Shots of your source doing something related to story (assisting injured, directing traffic, etc.). These shots are a good way to introduce interviewees in a video.
    7. Extras that help tell video stories
    Video stories can be helped by using existing content that may be available to you in your archives or through sources in the community.
    Are there archival video, photos or graphics available? (Example: Photos from the car accident that could be used as B-Roll or archival video footage from an accident at the same intersection a month ago.)
    Are there other photos or is there other art available? (Example: Do emergency responders have photos from the accident, fire, etc., that you could obtain for the video, crediting the source?)
    8. Audio, lighting and framing
    Audio:
    • Pay attention to background noise.
    • Get close to source(s).
    • Be aware of your own voice.
    Lighting:
    • Avoid background light.
    • Watch for shadows on faces.
    • Look for front-lighting.
    • Avoid darkness.
    • Avoid bright sunlight.
    Framing:
    • Remember the rule of thirds.
    Page 3 of 3 - • Hold the camera steady.
    9. Logging your videotape
    A video log is a transcript of everything on your raw footage videotape or card. Logging is used to organize your raw footage before the editing process to determine the footage you'll want in the final video. Some producers only log what they need, noting the timecodes of the footage they want, in order to go to that footage when importing into editing program. But for breaking-news video, you may not have time to log your footage at all.
    In those times, adhere to the shooting recommendations in this guide:
    When you get to your story, be it breaking news or a planned featured piece, get your interviews first — then get the B-Roll footage you need. That way, you will be able to get matching shots of the items discussed in the interview.
    This will, at the least, let you know you have your sources at the beginning of the tape and your B-Roll footage after the interviews.
     

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