Thursday, August 16, 2007

A little mandatory fun

The horse at the entrance of the Wildhorse Saloon.
Dave Mason peformed at the saloon on Aug. 15.

Here's some reassurance for anyone who would like to participate in the Freedom Forum's multimedia seminar but is worried about having a week of nothing but hard work.

There will be fun. Fun is mandatory.

On Wednesday, the group went to the famous Wildhorse Saloon for free food and free drinks. There was supposed to be dancing, but that was scrapped because a band was playing.

That wasn't a problem. The saloon also had free foosball, pool (the game) and darts. The performer, Dave Mason, wasn't too bad. The band even did a cover of one of the best songs ever written: Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here."

- Marquita Brown

Getting the picture

Tonya Alanez and Tate Finn shoot video.

Video journalists at work

Leah Jones videotapes Kendra Johnson, while Erica Pippins takes care of lighting.

Caught on tape

Video trainers: Tom Costello of the Asbury Park Press, Anne Saul of Gannett and Glenn Hartong of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Teaching moment

Tom Costello with Nancy Yang and Marquita Brown.

The right questions

Multimedia reporting requires asking the right kind of questions, Glenn Hartong says.

Instead of asking "What happened?" say: "Tell me about ...."

- Kate Kennedy

Team work

Glenn Hartong of The Cincinnati Enquirer works with a small group (Nancy Yang, John-John Williams and Marquita Brown) to learn the ins and outs of the video camera.

Educator at work

Mindy McAdams teaches at the University of Florida. She's also an active blogger about journalism and new media issues. Today, she's learning about video with the rest of us.

Mindy has blogged about the seminar.

From print to video

Julie Hubbard, Kelly Cuculiansky and Iliana Limon checking out the video camera.

The zen of video

Advice from Tom Costello:

Tripods give you steady shots. Steady shots make good edits.

Always wear headphones. Always monitor your sound. "Shoot video with your ears."

Shoot enough of everything. Establish your shot, start the camera and count (not out loud) to 10. "Have at least a piece of video to edit."
Use the right microphone. "Think about what natural sound is in the shot."
Check focus in the view-finder. If it looks in focus in the LCS, it might not be.
Shoot wide, medium and tight shots.
Connect your shots. Get B-roll for your story. (A-roll is your interview -- what the story is based on. B-roll is secondary shots -- extra visual elements to tell the story.) "B-roll is your friend."

Audio with moving pictures

That's how Tom Costello describes video. Tom is a photo-video wizard at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. He is here with Glenn Hartong of The Cincinnati Enquirer to teach video storytelling.

This morning, it's a discuss of how to use the camera.

Rule No. 1: Listen to your audio. "Put your headphones on," Tom said.

Cameras have been put atop tripods. We're using traditional tripods. But Anne Saul, who is coordinating the video training, said other things can be used as tripods. "A Tripod can be anything that's not breathing," Tom said.

-- Kate Kennedy

Seminar in sound and slides

Learn about the Freedom Forum's new Online and Multimedia Reporting Seminar in a SoundSlides project created by Erik Lacayo and Anthony Dimaano.

Success with SoundSlides

Bravo! to the class for learning to take photos, record audio and put them together in SoundSlides. Here are some of the results:

Nashville convention by Kevin Abourezk, Julie Hubbard and Erica Pippins:

Comic book store by Victor Cristales and Jenny Espino:

Sushi restaurant by Kelly Cuculiansky and Sal Hernandez:

Salon FX by Marquita Brown and John-John Williams:

How to make pizza by Coaches Colleen Fitzpatrick and Mary Ann Hogan:

Picture this ...

Ray Wong of Middle Tennessee State University offered this photo advice:

Impact photography comes from closeup, tight shots; simple images; emotion; and action.

The "Rule of 3s" reminds us to consider foreground, middle ground and background. Don't shoot everything at eye level. Change angles for more interesting shots.

Aim for "Rembrandt" lighting that doesn't come from overhead.

For better photography, he suggested:

Choose focus points with care.

Watch the edges of your frame.

Avoid putting subject in the center.

Check flash. Do you need it?

Control depth of field with the aperture.

Adjust your ISO for more or less sensitivity to light.

- Kate Kennedy

And now a word from our reluctant blogger...

I am so not plugged in...
I have never downloaded an MP3.
I don't own an IPOD.
I have never sent an IM.
Heck, we don't even watch TV at my house.
So, this his been a real week of firsts.
Flash-drive thingamabobs, RSS's, organizational tools, digital audio recording, editing and exporting. Audix, Soundslides and other software I've never heard of. And now, here I am blogging. And today it's on to digital video recording and editing.
This has been a total crash course in so much. Thank you Freedom Forum.
And now, I'm so obsessed with finishing our soundslide project here I'm here at 7:30 a.m. Must complete soundslides...
~Tonya Alanez