Improving videos from newspapers

The blog entry from Colin Mulvany I read this week goes well with an earlier entry I wrote about Greg Linch’s tips about video storytelling. Mulvany’s particular entry that I read was about video about newspapers and how it needs to improve.

He outlines the problems that he often sees with videos at newspapers. The first is storytelling, which is also stressed by Linch. Mulvany said that master the basics of audio and sequencing before you can successfully tell a story in video. He said that many still photojournalists don’t have enough experience with video.

Another big problem he sees with newspaper-produced videos is that many are boring. “The best stories have surprises sprinkled throughout the timeline, which helps keep the viewer engaged,” Mulvany said.

Many also lack basic journalism skills. I like his analogy of comparing having only one subject in videos to using only one source in a print story. I never actually thought about it that way, but it makes sense.

Structure and editing are other issues he sees. “A great video story is one that pulls you in from the opening sequence and never let’s go of your attention until it fades out at the end,” he said. And even if you have great video, if you don’t edit it well, it won’t matter how good the footage is.

Unlike we’ve been taught in class and unlike Linch suggested, Mulvany is accepting of narration in video stories. But I think if we use title slides or slides when needed, narration is unnecessary.

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One response to “Improving videos from newspapers

  1. In a video story, having to read text slides takes you out of the moment in a video story. You use different parts of your brain when you read (analytical) or watch a video (visual) story. I’m not saying never use text slides, but use only when you have a good reason to do so.

    If journalism students are not being taught to write and voice a script with their multimedia, then they will not be prepared for a real work environment at newspapers or other publications.

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