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Category Archives: Assignments

Okay, here’s what we need to be working on …

By 5 p.m. on Friday, November 20, you need to have an audio slide show uploaded to the server in the lab. Lab will be open on Thursday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and Friday from 1:30 to 5 p.m. I’ll look at that over break and send you a critique and grade. If you’re happy with it, you’re done. If you’re not, you should shoot and record another story or profile piece. Make sure your audio is clean and the photos well controlled. Don’t choose something indoors, choose something outdoors to make the photo side that much easier. That piece will need to be uploaded to the server by the start of class on December 1 – which essentially means you’ll need to upload it on Nov. 30, lab is open from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. then.

All of the software is available for free except for SoundSlides – that has a free demo, but you’ll need to move the project onto a lab computer, open it, save it, then export it to clear the demo message. I will not accept a project with the demo message on it. You will also need to have a headline and cutlines on all of the images – just a single sentence explaining what’s happening in the photo or how it pertains to the story.

For readings, you should finish off the Mindy McAdams RGMP (if you haven’t alread) as well as the Journalism 2.0 book. Both have lots of tips for handling video that are helpful. Which leads to …

Your video shoot. Find a simple story to tell, a profile of a newsworthy person who does something visual and repeatedly. Heres what your final piece will need:

  • An interview – find a good, quiet location, move in close so the camera microphone will pick up their audio and get them to talk about the subject.
  • B-roll – also called cover shots, you’ll use these to fill in the story. Doing the interview first will help you figure out what you need to shoot. Every video shooter and editor will tell you this: YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH B-ROLL.
  • Matched action – you need to shoot one repetitive action from at least two different angles so you can edit them together to make it look like you had two cameras shooting at the same time. Make one a medium and the other a close-up to keep it simple.

You’ll bring this footage into class on Dec. 1, when we’ll talk about the editing process and then have you start editing. The final video will be due on the server by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. We will edit in Final Cut Pro, but if you are more comfortable (and have access to) iMovie or Movie Maker, I’m okay with you using that. You will have to turn in a QuickTime (.mov) file – make sure your version of Movie Maker can do that, some can’t.

Here are links to two video pieces you should take a look at. The first is a very simple, straight forward piece. The second is infinitely more complex, but a stunning example of the power of video:

You should be looking at lots of online video now. Find a great piece and give us a link to it, that’s the last part of your assignment. Let’s see those by the end of this week.

For next Tuesday, bring to class an edited audio interview associated with one of your stories from this semester. It should be 60 to 90 seconds in length. You will also need to bring in ten to 15 photos that will go with your audio and we’ll build an audio slide show from that.

If you can’t do the package on something you’ve done earlier, you can choose a new person to profile. (Working on a story you’ve already done just seems simpler to me, but it may not be.)

For readings, please go through chapters 7, 8 and 9 in the Journalism 2.0 book as well as the remainder of the RGMP PDF from Mindy McAdams.

Below are some links to some professional and student audio slide shows. I’d like you to take a look around the web for some that you think are really strong and post them to this blog. (If you’ve never used WordPress before, I have a video tutorial aimed at the Grady Journal folks, but the basics are exactly the same. The videos are in the upper right corner of that page. The login button for this site is down at the bottom of this page under the “Meta” header.)


And this video, from the Newark Star-Ledger, about a chain of organ donations that’s just amazingly well done.

Look at the variety in those photos, that’s what you’re striving for. Move your viewer around the story, show them things they would not have seen had they been there.

You’ve already some readings out of the Journalism 2.0 PDF, but I have another for you … Mindy McAdams, Flash Goddess (I’m required to call her that), down at the University of Florida, bundled together a series of her blog posts and lecture notes to create the Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency, which she’s making available as a free PDF. Please read the first six chapters of that for Tuesday’s class. (Stop whining, it’s only 12 pages …)

You should have all gotten an invite to join and this site – if you have not, then let me know ASAP.

For next week’s class, please read the introduction and chapters 1, 2, 3 and 7 in Mark Briggs’ Journalism 2.0 PDF/book. More reading may be assigned by Thursday morning, so check back here often.