Effective Video

The most recent lecture was on effective video wherein Professor Greenwood mentioned the importance of hooking your audience from the start. His advice mirrored the Mediastorm lesson on leading with your strongest video. Audiences are impatient, true. So, begin your video with something that sparks curiosity. An extreme close up or an interesting angle can be mysterious and leave the watcher wanting to see more. Also, never start with a talking head. I don’t believe I have ever done that, except for a spotlight I did in high school on an accomplished senior. Then it is acceptable. I can’t think of a time I started with video from the end of a story either; usually my works are chronological. But it is something to consider.

One fascinating thing I learned was the meaning behind “B roll”. I have heard the term for years but only now understand its origin. It is named for having an actual separate roll of film from the “A roll”, or primary film roll containing the main video of a story. Here’s a short explanation of B roll’s first usage in TV: http://www.b-roll.net/today/about/what-does-b-roll-mean/.

I have to admit that I have used a dissolve to try and smooth out a jump cut back in high school. I won’t use them anymore because, like the Professor said, they just don’t work.

A big challenge for journalists is anticipating the action. It’s always a bummer when something exciting or visually appealing is going on and you miss it because you weren’t ready. I think I will avoid the dilemma more with practice.

Lastly, Greenwood reiterated what our instructor had said in lab: leave the camera stationary. We will rarely do zooms, pans, dollys or trucks. Those last two are more complicated anyway.

-K

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