multimedia · online journalism · teaching · video

Some tips for teaching online video

Another day, another conference. Well that is a little of what it feels like while I am over in the States. Across this past weekend I went to another fabulous conference – Journalism Interactive – run by my host, the University of Maryland. Heaps of fabulous sessions, but one in particular that will be of interest to regular readers of this blog – the teach-a-thon. Essentially, a session where 12 journalism educators got 15 minutes each to give a practical tip on teaching some element of online journalism. You can find a full list of presentations here.

One that was of particular interest to me was Andrew Lih‘s presentation on shooting video. I’m lucky as students usually come to my online journalism class having already learnt video shooting and editing in television journalism. I, therefore, focus on ‘what makes a video work online’, compressing video and generally trying to break students of making formulaic TV packages complete with a piece to camera for web video. But I may incorporate the five- shot method Lih, discussed as a way to get students to produce some engaging video without focusing on getting their face on the screen.

Called the BBC 5-shot method and pioneered by Michael Rosenblum, the method involves instructing students to follow a formula in shooting so that the edit process is made simpler.

The Method goes like this:

  • Closeup on hands
  • Closeup on face
  • Wide shot
  • Over the shoulder
  • Unusual/ side shot

These shots can then be followed by an interview that can be used for audio over the shots taken and spliced between. Why does this method work? It will provide a sequence that can always be cut together and gives students lots of b-roll or fill shots that are usable.  Lih was kind enough to share his handout which you can access as a pdf through  his slideshare account.

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