Who Said That?!

Interviewing is an unsure process. It takes time and practice to execute an interview well. Some folks think that interviewing is as simple as asking a few questions and getting one or two video shots of the action. I can tell you first hand that this is not the case.

Interview subjects come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are finicky and with not stay still, some will not answer your questions, and some give you one-word answers. As the interviewer, it is part of our job to make the interviewee comfortable talking to us especially when field reporting. Field reporting calls for strangers being your interview subjects and it may or may not go well. As a journalist, you must not take rejection from subjects who do not wish to be interviewed personally, or get thrown by a change in the action at an event. The video below exemplifies interviews that did not go as planned I’m sure.

The best field reporters are the ones who can make conversation with almost anyone. You may receive answers you did not expect and you have to adapt your questions to their responses. However, before covering events, I’ve learned that research is your best friend. You can never have too much background information on a subject or the event because it gives you a starting point. You can storyboard in your head and think about the different shots you need to get in order to successfully cover a specific angle on the story.

Working on my STRIPES TV style video, I was more prepared than I have been for any other project this semester. I sat down and drafted what I wanted the video to look like. I was able to visually draft a way around the confidentiality policy between STRIPES and their riders. I requested access to the STRIPES office two hours before operation hours on the weekend. This way, I could capture the setup of the cars, the members signing in, and the director on call’s tasks before hand. If I had not done research on the STRIPES operation and planned on showing up at normal operating hours, I would have only capture maybe one or two shots instead of multiple.


The Human Condition: Video Elements

A great movie portrays all elements of the human condition. It displays love, hate, sadness, despair, hope, and everything in between. When watching the short documentary film A Thousand More it was clear all parts necessary to display the human condition were there.

Brian Storm and his staff of photographers and post-production editors knew they had to be careful not to focus on disease. Disease is usually accompanied with only sadness and hardship but in order to make the film about Philly the boy, not the boy with SMA, they had to show laughter and tender intimate moments. In these moments, the audience forgot that Philly was in a wheelchair. They forgot that he may never have another birthday after the next surgery. They saw a boy filled with dreams to become a garbage man, and a construction worker like his dad.

You draw the audience into the story visually showing the reaction of the main characters when an action is happening. It is important to set up before the action happens in order to get close-ups, the actual action, and the reactions of the crowd.

Below Julian Treasure talks on how we can speak so that people will listen. This is essential to journalists with a message.

Broadcasting and things….

This week in class we practiced filming on a video recorder as well as capturing audio on a mic. I am particularly excited about this because of my experience at MUTV E23. Last year joining MUTV, I had no idea what a package was, what the rule of thirds was or what B-roll was. After making mistake after mistake in 2014, 2015 is my broadcasting year. I will finally be able to tell if this is something I can pursue as my career or just a hobby.

In J2150 lab, I am not self-taught anymore but actually learning the language and process behind production. This is excited because I can transfer what I learn here over to teaching my staff at E23. Getting action shots about the topic is important to play over audio as it can help illustrate the story. Setting up a rule of thirds shot helps the viewer not get bored with the shot.

Straight cuts are how are brain usually processes information. Sure, fancy transitions may seem cool when you first learn how to use Final Cut Pro but they take up too much time and create a third image between two pictures. Switching over to Premiere is a little daunting seeing as how I’ve only had editing experience with Final Cut Pro but the J-school has definitely taught me to roll with the punches. Here goes!


Touched By a Story: Audio and Video

Music videos have always been a cherished pastime of mine. I used to spend hours following wherever YouTube took me between Christmas tunes to pranks gone wrong. The music and lyrics produced by musicians and lyricists can stand alone if they are strong enough. However, adding a visual element to such can deliver even deeper meaning to a song. Lyrics can sometimes be a metaphor or poem-type word that listeners may not understand even after the 100+ time the song has played. However, immediately following a music video, viewers can match up mentally the lyrics and melody of the music with video elements to reach the underlying message of the artist.

I call these musicians artists when a music video is produced well. I am not talking about the young celebrity who decided to capitalize on her popularity and produce a mind-numbing record followed by a music video featuring her dancing on top of a car with back-up dancers. Art is what results when a musician and cinematographer  collaborate on a project.

One short, four-minute music video can have a greater impact than an entire album or video alone. A good music video incorporates the ambient sounds and natural sounds that the action in the video calls for, as well as playing the song on top of it.

One example below is “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. The video features home movies of Ed as a child. The sounds of him crying and clanking dishes together are kept and make the video appear more natural.

Lady Gaga’s recent release of “Til It Happens To You” is not only art but a movement. It calls out to sexual assault victims to let them know they are not alone. Many millennials are aware that sexual assault is a major issue on college campuses nationwide but never have to face it head on. Furthermore, when presented with a victim of sexual assault, many are clueless as to how to help. The It’s On Us campaign calls out to each of us to be apart of preventing sexual assault, not just being there for the aftermath.