TV News Style Assignment

Herbalife is melting away fat. Wellness coaches at Suite Leaf Nutrition are guiding Columbia residents to a healthier life using 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise. Journalism Undergrad Haley Hughes looks into the benefits of Herbalife offered by Suite Leaf Nutrition.

To learn more about what Herbalife has to offer visit the Suite Leaf Nutrition Facebook page or pay them a visit located on the south side of Columbia.

Storyboarding

So I wish I learned this a lot earlier in the semester. What is storyboarding? Storyboarding is a visual outline that helps put together a journalistic piece. There are two types: front-end storyboards and back-end storyboards. Some of the best journalistic pieces use both.

First, let me explain back-end storyboards. These are typically used in documentaries and in reporting.  They act as a foundation of what you find and have logged while out in the field. They can be general or detail-oriented. So basically, you build the story after gathering what you need. This will take place on paper, or in the resources mentioned later in this post, before beginning the editing process.

A front-end storyboard, on the other hand, is used typically in commercial environments. They are designed to test out ideas on paper beforehand, because it’s cheaper than having a trial and error with a film crew. Front-end storyboards help dictate the production, such as the height of the camera, specified shots, etc.

The front-end storyboard approach helps create tighter stories, allows for new findings, and creates a checklist of things that need to be gathered out in the field. Trust me, it sure will beat getting back from covering a story and realizing you missed a vital shot that is necessary to make your piece cohesive.

Storyboarding involves planning everything from envisioning to writing out what you want for an open shot, broll, interviews, etc. The more specific you can get the better!

Some resources suggested in class were:

StoryboardThat!

StoryboardPro

Scapple

Scrivener

Keynote (in app store)

Microsoft Power Point

I am excited to try out this thought process on my next assignment (especially since I am a person who has everything planned out well in advance). 

Pinnacle Studio better than final cut?

Final Cut Pro X can be purchased for $299.99 from the app store. Pinnacle Studio, on the other hand, can be purchased for $12.99, and in my opinion it is just as good. On top of that, it’s easily accessible being right at your fingertips.

The other day my professor mentioned that most people will not purchase an app if it exceeds $1.99. Shocking, right? I probably wouldn’t either, but I think Pinnacle Studio is a good find for the extra few dollars especially for those of you interested in composing short videos. I have no idea exactly how much footage Pinnacle can handle, but it was able to handle my 45-60 second assignment without crashing. That definitely was a nice change from the previous app we used called Voddio.

For my short video assignment, I filmed all of my clips using FiLMIC Pro. I then trimmed my clips to my desired lengths and saved them to my camera roll. I want to note that FiLMIC can be stubborn when trying to trim clips. Despite that, one really cool thing about FilMIC Pro is that it is nonlinear, meaning that you can edit clips without destroying them. Once I trimmed my clips and saved them to my camera roll I imported them to Pinnacle Studio, and that’s where the real fun (editing) began.

Pinnacle Studio allows for three separate audio tracks and a video track. I really like how easy it was to move clips around and to detach audio. For example, if I wanted the audio from my interview I simply would drag the clip to the audio track. If I wanted the video to go along with it, I would drag the clip to the video line. I was also able to add supers, or lower thirds, to give my subject a title. Overall, the app was very easy to navigate and easy to learn.

So is it better than Final Cut? Final Cut is a great resource to use, but for the purposes of creating simple journalistic stories, Pinnacle is something I wouldn’t mind using outside of this class and maybe for future MUTV packages. One reason being, I can edit it from the comfort of my home on my iPad as opposed to driving to campus to use Final Cut, which is only located on the studio computers.

Want a fun challenge? Try spotting the five-shot sequence in my assignment! 

Videography Preview

Today I am going to review some important tips I have learned about videography.

First, I would like to review the five shot sequence (mostly for my benefit), which is one of the most IMPORTANT things to be conscious of when filming.

Shot 1: Extreme Close Up (i.e. hands on football)

Shot 2: Close up (i.e headshot of football player with helmet)

Shot 3: Medium Shot (i.e catching ball)

Shot 4: Over-shoulder view (i.e POV of receiver being thrown too)

Shot 5: Different angel (low-wide of the receiver running)

It is also important to note that these can be placed in a different order, but it is important to include all of them in some shape or form. My professor taught us the “visual cha cha” to help remember each of these. What is the visual cha cha, you ask? Well, he made us stand up and literally do the cha cha: wide shot, med shot, tight (cha), tight (cha), tight (cha).

We also learned about different types of sequences. After reading this you will never be able to watch TV the same. Well, at least I can’t because all I notice are the different sequences used or how shots change from one to another. The four basic sequences are:

Action-Reaction: Camera focuses on something, shot changes to the reaction of that something

Action-Cutaway-Action: Camera focuses on an action, shot changes to someone else, shot changes back to the action.

Match-On-Action: Camera films an action, shot changes to the same actions but from a different angle.

Montage: A series of related clips that are both together into a sequence to give the viewer a general impression of the story details.

When filming, some general tips to remember are:

-hold each shot for a minimum of 10 seconds

-don’t move the camera without motivation (following someone)

-only use pans to show environment, but try not to use them

-shoot from variety of depths

-white balance every time you change light conditions

-be conscious of your subjects positioning

Eventually, I will be putting all of these tips and skills sets in action soon!

Owning An iPad Vs. Checking One Out

Today I am going to address the benefits of owning my own iPad in regards to my multimedia class verses having to check one out. Students who have to check out iPads only get them for 24 hours unless they request extended permission. Therefore, these students have to set aside a large amount of time in their busy busy schedules to do all parts of their project in 24, maybe 48, hours. That includes doing interviews, gathering sound, taking pictures, maybe some video, then turning around and editing on the same device and exporting it and finally uploading it to our blogs. It’s a lot of work and its very time consuming.

Because I own an iPad, I have a small advantage over these students. Unlike the other multimedia classes, after we gather everything on our iPad we can’t dump our work off on our computers and edit it a different day. Given that we have a week to work on these, but only 24 hours with the equipment, it almost creates a deadline within a deadline. If you have a big test to study for the next day and a couple busy days to follow, but your interviewee is only available the day before your test, you have to figure out how to get your assignment done despite your own hectic schedule. I personally think that takes away from producing quality assignments. However, with journalism time can be your friend and it can also be your enemy. I guess you could say it is preparation for the real world. Unfortunately though for the students who have to check out their iPads, when they return them, their work is removed for the next student who uses it.

For me, I went and gathered my pictures Tuesday, I did my interview Thursday, and I edited it and uploaded it Friday. I took the entire week to my benefit. I also used Nat sound that I gathered from the previous audio assignment, which I decided not to use for it. For students who have to check out their iPads, they couldn’t have done that. Granted, I still have to check out other accessories, such as mics, but it’s a lot more convenient to have an iPad, because I can work on my assignment when I have the time and I can also be more flexible with my sources schedules. All in all, props to the students checking them out because I don’t know how you’re doing it!