Thursday, July 1, 2010

Your video deserves a first look before editing

I used to work with a reporter who carried around one of those mini voice recorders. She would hold it with her microphone, then listen to everything when she got back to the station and write her package. She never looked at the video that had been shot. Someone asked her why she did this, and she said, "It's all on the audio tape. Same thing."

Uh, no.

The first thing you should do when returning to the station after shooting a story is look at your tape. And if you're not doing this, start today. Trust me, the quality of your packages will go up 100 percent.

You may think you know what you or a photog has shot, but until you actually look at the tape you can't appreciate what the camera has captured. Pay close attention to the b-roll; your "money shot" might be in there somewhere, a piece of nat sound you didn't notice may jump out, something in the background might change your story.

But if you don't know it's there, you won't use it. The camera sees things differently, and so does a photog. So it's up to you as the reporter to carefully screen everything on the tape.

So grab a pad and log everything on your tape. Sound bites and standups, sure, but make sure you have a good idea of what your b-roll shows and sounds like. It may change the direction of your package, and it will most certainly make it better.

1 comment:

Forward said...

:D - I was trained to come back and view the footage when while an intern with our local Public Access production department. i went on to work for them for seven years and always did things this way. finding money shots and natural bits of audio is thrilling, and i can't imagine doing post any other way. best money shot i ever saw was taken by my son at my urging and direction during a log house move. as soon as i saw it, i knew. it has gone on to be the one shot that everyone comments on. it has also been used in other pieces with credit given to the two of us. ok, enough joyful bragging.

what grape said!