Fumbling over video

A properly edited news video looks clean, simple, and flows seamlessly from scene to scene. Though often short, it conveys significant information in just a few minutes.

But this clean and simple form is deceptive. Shooting a news video is difficult. The clip posted above is my first attempt at creating such a piece.

I encountered a number of challenges  when shooting the video. First, finding people who would agree to be interviewed. A reporter with a camera is simply more intimidating than a reporter with only a notebook. Cameras just seem to have an invasive quality.

When interviewing people, I also found it difficult to tailor my questions to elicit long responses. A good video is supported almost entirely by the words of the interview subjects. But it is difficult to transition between choppy statements from a number of different people. Additionally, the reporter cannot speak at all when the interviewee is responding, because it will interrupt the audio.

Though I tried to remain silent, I mumbled a few times, as I normally would during an interview to show I was listening.

I obviously don’t think this first attempt at video is bad, but I recognize that there is certainly a lot of room for improvement. Video has many strengths, like the power of hearing directly from an interview subject and the ability to show otherwise unbelievable or interesting scenes that would be difficult to describe in print.

New reporters at many media companies are expected to be adept at multimedia storytelling, and shooting and editing video are two skills that I think will be essential to learn. There is a learning curve with video work, but I’ve already discovered several difficulties just by shooting one news clip and hope to improve through practice in the future.

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