Your video assignment

Please note: I have extended the deadline for shooting your footage until Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Today we’ll discuss what you’ll need to move ahead with your video assignment when we come to class on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The goal is to make a three- to five-minute news video. It is recommended, but not required, that you focus on a story in one of Boston’s neighborhoods so that your piece can be considered for the Boston Globe’s Your Town sites. You need to shoot the following before Wednesday:

  • Interviews with at least three different people. Make sure you get their complete names, spelled properly.
  • A stand-up of yourself introducing the story.
  • At least three more video clips, mainly to be used as B-roll.
  • Some still photos, also to be used as B-roll.

When you come to class on Wednesday, please be ready to work. Most of you will be using iMovie in the Mac lab. If you are planning to transfer your material from your camera, be sure to bring a USB cable that actually fits your camera. (You may choose to bring your video clips and photos on a CD or flash drive instead.) Also — very important — bring a pair of headphones or earbuds for video editing, since we won’t want to hear the audio.

If you are not familiar with iMovie, I will do some demo’ing in class. But there is no substitute for familiarizing yourself with it ahead of time. Take a look at Week 7 on the syllabus. Mindy McAdams’ outstanding two-part guide will be particularly useful to you. Read it. The two parts are not that long, so you may wish to print them out and bring them to class.

McAdams’ guide, though, is for iMovie ’09, and we have upgraded to iMovie ’11. Apple documentation is notoriously difficult to come by. If you have a Mac and access to the App Store, a guide called “Tutor for iMovie ’11” gets good reviews, and is only $4.99. The book “iMovie ’11 and iDVD: The Missing Manual,” by David Pogue and Aaron Miller, is excellent, but you’ll pay more.

I will try to highlight the important differences between ’09 and ’11 as we move along. I’m guessing that, for our purposes, there really isn’t that much of a difference.

We’ll have fun, but unless you’re already a video wiz, this is going to take longer than you think.

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About Dan Kennedy

I am an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University, and I'm using WordPress.com for my blog, Media Nation, as well as class websites.
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