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Producing video stories

With the right equipment, you can put still photos and even moving pictures on the Web. You can also use video clips or segments to help tell your story.

You see it on the CBC, on Much Music or on the Sports Network. The announcer will read an introduction to a story, then she pauses to play a piece of video tape that helps tell the story. Sometimes it's a scene of a sporting event, a parade, an accident or a news conference.

Other times, it's a segment that features one or two people talking about the issue.


Preparing your television (video) story

Here's what you need to know:

  • Ensure you have the equipment you need and it is in good working order. To produce video you will need a video camera, tripod, microphone and cord. To edit your video via analog you will need a television monitor, VCR & connecting cables. To do it digitally, you will need a connector from your camera to computer, a computer with at least 300 processor, 128ram, two hard drives, video card and capture card. Also computer editing software such as Adobe Premiere.

  • Review the Video Reporting sections of the Reporters Toolbox (Multimedia section)

  • Prepare for your story: Come up with an idea, write a list of themes/topics from that idea and flush those ideas out before you begin.

  • Take your equipment and practice with someone you are comfortable with: interview your parents or friends. Choose one question and begin there.

  • Once you are comfortable with using the equipment and interviewing with a video camera and mic, do your story.

  • Review your tape before you begin editing.

  • Show it to someone for a second opinion - a teacher, friend or parent.

  • When you are happy with your tape and story, you can edit your tape using analog editing equipment as noted above or you can use computer editing software to put your video into digital format.

    Here are some tips you can use for using video in your story:

     1. Once you start writing your story, think about the video-taped images and interviews you have recorded and consider how they could fit into your story. For example, a shot of an event might help you show the audience.
     2. Exactly what it was like to be in that particular place at that time. Or a person involved in the event might be able to explain something better than you could say it yourself.
     3 When you're writing for an online publication like SNN, try to present your story so that everyone can read it -- whether they can play the video or audio elements or not. That means including the information that appears on video and audio in your written version of the story.
    4. Perhaps you'd like to include a part of interview with one of the people involved in the story. It's best to use a section that includes clear recordings of both the questions and answers. If the questions can't be heard very well, it's better to just use video of the person's answers to expand on a point made in your story.


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