Videojournalism tips

Since our video project deadline is approaching, I found a blog entry by Greg Linch on videojournalism advice. His tips are geared towards high school journalists who have some experience with video recording and editing, but I think the advice applies to college students as well. Most of these we went over in class, but the more we can learn, the better.

Here are some of the points he made:
• The story is the most important aspect in creating a video.
• Don’t narrate. Linch says, “I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear you. I’m watching your video because I care about the subject — not you. Sorry.”
• Avoid showing subjects talking, especially if they are in a boring environment
• 70 percent of video is audio. He says that people tend to be more forgiving with lousy visuals than with bad audio.
• Always use headphones.
• “There is no perfect video. It can never really be finished. You need to accept and embrace that it can always be better,” Linch says.
• Get constructive criticism.
• Film much more footage than you need.
• Use very few or no automatic settings on your camera.

I also watched a few videos of the series, Never Coming Home, by Zac Barr and Andrew Lichtenstein. In 2004, they filmed the stories of military men and women who died in Iraq. The videos are compelling. The emotion from the families is evident just by their voices. The photos are also a good mix of shots and ranges.

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3 responses to “Videojournalism tips

  1. Thanks for linking to that post! The tips are definitely usually applicable — high schoolers just happened to be the original audience.

    Looking back, I should add more nuance this point:

    “Avoid showing subjects talking, especially if they are in a boring environment”

    What I should’ve said:

    “Only show the subject speaking (as a talking head) when necessary. For example, to establish where the person is being interviewed or if part of the talking head shot includes important information (i.e. displays an emotion, reaction or expression).”

  2. Sorry, I meant to say “universally” instead of “usually” in the second sentence.

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