Tag Archives: video

Challenge accepted

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Republic was at war again… no, I’m kidding. Although, it would make for a good (albeit recycled) story.

I digress.

Back in January, I said I wanted to add “Audio, Photography and Video skills” to my resume. Over 16 weeks, I learnt the difference between aperture and shutter speed; how to use natural sounds to carry a story; how to edit audio down to the tiniest possible fraction of a second; and more. The result: skillz (yes, with a ‘z’) have been added to my resume.

However, they go beyond being just marketable abilities. Being able to tell a story using more than the spoken word requires a lot more creativity and attention to detail. Telling a story using two or more elements needs a heightened sense of storytelling. The reporter has to decide which element (audio, visual, written word) will narrate the story in the most compelling manner. What sells a story is how it is told.

Did I learn how to tell a story? I learnt some of it. There is a lot to storytelling than just throwing together elements and facts and quotes. There is more to it than knowing what goes where and why. I have yet to learn that. Once I learn that, there will be more to learn. Storytelling is an art form that evolves with the storyteller. I will do well to remember that.

This post was about reflection. Here’s some of the work I have done this semester:

A short  video.

A TV-Style video.

A gallery of some of my favourite shots.


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Ebisu in Japanese puppetry (Bunraku)

This is a video I made for a class assignment. It is simply an overview of a character, Ebisu. Professor Martin Holman is also an associate professor of Japanese Studies at MU.

I went into this assignment not knowing anything about shooting and editing for a good video. I also did not know anything about Japanese puppetry (yes, I know, I should have done my research). The way I saw it, I would learn about the subject with the assignment. Bad idea.

With video, getting good sound (good visual is a given) to tell your story is vital to the piece. Sound can make or break the piece. What I did not realise is, knowing your subject is just as important, because if you do not know how to shoot the subject you are not going to get the best visuals you can.

Wait, what?

In my video, you just see the puppet being moved x number of ways. Had I known, beforehand, that each Japanese puppet needs at least three people to operate, I would have arranged for three people to be there to allow the puppet more movement thus giving my video better visuals.

Mistakes like that is how we learn (yay for pseudo-philosophical end!).

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April 20, 2013 · 4:50 pm

A Lakshna story

Title credit: Sarah Hill

I am not much of a video person. For me, the written word always holds more power than sounds and images can.

Monday’s lecture was a video lecture by Sarah Hill (haha, I see what you did there, Prof. Rice!) and I thought she had some interesting points which work for print news too.

1. Write in the active voice – subject, verb, object. This is how you tell the difference between active and passive voice:

2. Write your script (I substituted script with article) but know it is going to change (sometimes, your sources give you information which completely changes the angle you had in mind).

3. Use the best video in the beginning. For news in print, we use the inverted pyramid – the best, most interesting part of the article is the lead.

Image from Wikipedia

4. Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Except in print, the order is played around with. Typically, the end is the beginning (read: inverted pyramid)

5. Make sure your story has the “today time element”. For print, this is a “duh”.

I find it fascinating how telling a story through video or print is essentially a play of words. With video, it is a game of matching sounds and words. With print, it is a competition of words – which one gets picked to go where.

Image credits:

1. Twitter image: http://ppbh.com/grammar-and-zombies/

2. Inverted pyramid image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_voice

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March 15, 2013 · 10:48 pm