Video training at the Community Media Lab

Aftab Borka, a multimedia journalist at The Oakland Press, paid a visit to the Community Media Lab May 3 to train staff, bloggers, interns and freelancers on video production. Here are my live notes from his presentation.

Producing video stories for the web

Telling stories with sound bites (you don’t need voiceover or long scripts).

Have the people in the stories tell their stories. Take everything they say and then pick and choose from their words using sound bites. We, as journalists, are the storytellers, piecing it together the story.

When shooting

Know the story first before arriving

See what’s happening on the spot Shoot “B” roll

Shoot actions, most important parts, establishing shots (shot of the building or site), sequences (wide shot of room, some people working, close-ups of one person in action).

Shoot Interviews

You need someone to explain the story (ask them questions to answer the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why)

Be friendly, establish a relationship, make your subject feel comfortable with you to get honest emotions from them in the interview. Get them to talk naturally.


Take the most powerful sound bites out of your video and put them on a timeline

Take the most powerful sound bites in the best order to tell the story

Put the B-roll over jump cuts

May need an intro before the sound bite starts

The Future

The Michigan Group of Digital First Media is looking to produce a daily news webcast with the top stories of the day throughout Southeast Michigan. It will feature a newscaster telling part of the story with video sound bites collected by multimedia journalists. Newscaster speaks with reporters, from the newsroom, who gathered video for more detail, just like a TV newscast. We will give reporter updates on the stories from the newsroom, and send short clips with video story. The webcast will be posted by noon on our websites. Reporters will produce a sign-off noting which publication they’re representing. This will be a teaser to the extended video versions of the stories on our website.


2 thoughts on “Video training at the Community Media Lab

  1. Pingback: Practice Makes Perefect at the Community Media Lab « ideaLab Heritage's Blog

  2. Pingback: Heritage Media teaches media skills in Michigan communities « The Buttry Diary

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