Professor Jill Olmsted treated Bootcampers to a blast from the past with videos of her days as an anchor and footage from past classes documenting their stages of improvement. Today, we took the first steps towards improvement by critiquing each others’ packages and deciding which package stood out among the crowd.
All in all, I think the class did a fantastic job of creating visually pleasing stories, considering this was our first run. However, the session taught me a lot about areas my package could have used some improvement.
Among the many tips, these stuck in my mind.
1) Make sure the interviewee is looking across the camera. I knew the person shouldn’t be looking dead-on at the camera, but I didn’t think about the angle in which the reporter should stand in regards to the interviewee. Instead of standing in front of them directly behind the camera, I should have stood diagonally while still trying to conceal the microphone.
2) For the web, 1/2 of your shots should be detail shots. We had a good mix of medium and tight shots, but we could have used a few more tight shots to capture stronger nat sound.
3) If you’re interviewing a darker-skinned person, don’t put them against harsh light, or else their facial features are completely blacked out. We got lucky in our case because our subjects were against green or blue backgrounds, but I will admit that it wasn’t intentional.
4) Put people with harsh accents on camera so the audience can see their mouths moving. By reading the person’s lips, the audience might understand what he/she is saying more clearly. If all else fails, subtitles would work. Remember, the point is clarity.
5) Audio Audio Audio. The more sounds that give us the sense that we were actually there, the better. However, it’s important to note that the audience should ALSO be able to understand the story on mute by just looking at images.
The four vital tools of video also include good quality of: