Category Archives: multimedia

Students + Full on commitment + No other distractions = great results

There’s no way around it. There more I do it, the more it’s confirmed.
Project based classes are the best way for students to learn multimedia.
Period.

One full week, in the field. Gathering content, then editing. Having formal and informal meetings on their scripts and planning. That’s what we did in Valparaíso with my colleagues Sebastián González, Blas Parra and Luis Melgar.

With their help, we led 10 students – 7 Chileans and 3 Uruguayans – and helped them produce 11 stories in the port town where they managed to portray the character of the city and its inhabitants in an exquisitely simple Website (http://www.cronicasdevalpo.org), programmed and designed by Eileen Mignoni.

Crónicas de Valparaíso

During this week, the evolution of the quality of their work is noticeable. Every day the students return with better results.
This full week compares to – and exceeds – the results that a student gets after a full year of instruction in regular classes.

Full on commitment + No other distractions = great results

Don’t tell my students, but my favorites are:

- A clock repairman stuck in time. La Condena de una Herencia
- A place story but not quite that. Tango, Amistad y Cinzano
- Beauty is in the details. Fragmentos
- A perfect portrait of one of Valparaiso’s longest lasting traditions. Adiós al Cerro
and the great photography in En la Caleta.

But please, explore the rest!
So enjoy and share the multimedia love!

What have we been doing?

What have we been doing? Where have we been?

I left La Tercera in June. I spent the US summer/ the Chilean winter in New York, New York. Responding to a call from Mohawk Street and The Daily’s Mike Schmidt, I went to shoot and edit a video documenting the experience of a group of interns at a health care consulting firm in New York.

I’m now back in Santiago, in time for the spring. I’m wrapping up the editing of a pair of UNC annual fund videos, a wordpress website for the Chilean magazine Hacer Familia, and Iam preparing for an intense week of video coaching with the Universidad del Desarrollo while I contemplate my next professional steps.

Nacho has too been out and about, teaching and workshopping up a storm.

Nacho in Chicago. Photo by Juan Andrés Muñoz

He led two workshops for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) one in Los Angeles and the other in Chicago, where he taught 35 latino Journalists rom all around the US how to do multimedia narratives.

Happy Students in UCLA at the ICFJ Bootcamp. Photo by Yezmin Thomas

He conducted a weeklong intensive project for Uandes students in Vaparaiso, Chile, which will soon be unveiled. He spent nearly 3 weeks in Colombia teaching video and multimedia to journalists at 3 different papers in the country. (Medellin, Bogotá and Manizales). He accompanied the 4 Uandes winners of an El Mercurio challenge to New York for a week to meet with professionals at the New York Times, The Daily and Good Morning America.

All the while, teaching photography and multimedia to the journalism students at the Universidad de los Andes.

Lima before the first speech. Photo by Pedro Acuña.

And this past weekend he went to Peru to participate in a seminar at Universidad San Martín de Porres where, addressing two groups of 400 people, he spoke about succesful multimedia experiences.

Nacho on the big screen. Photo by Pedro Acuña.

Busy, busy.

 

Putting subtitles on Youtube

Last year I coached a project called Historias de Terromoto about the recovery situation 6 months after Chile’s massive Feb. 2010 earthquake. It was conducted by the Universidad del Desarrollo, bringing from Santiago location of the university to it’s Concepción location to produce the documentary project.

This year’s project is bringing the Concepción communications students to work with their peers here in Santiago, looking at innovative initiatives related to the environment, energy and sustainable development. I am back in charge of the audiovisual (video) group this year.

We had our first meeting on Thursday. Having participated in Powering a Nation, as a fellow in 2009, and as a coach in 2010, I know a number of stories in this vein. However, they are in English. Despite the fact that the majority of these students have respectable to admirable English skills, I thought it important to have subtitles on the videos, so they could focus on the work, not the language.

Thus, I learned how to put subtitles on videos in Youtube. Now, Power play: story of a start-up (above) and Roping the Wind have subtitles in Youtube. As I found the Youtube instructions confusing, I thought it would be useful to simplify them in this blog.

The basic structure of the document is this.

0:00:11.400,0:00:14.100
Power play: la cuenta de un start-up

0:00:19.000,0:00:22.000
He pasado por este tipo de proyectos y no funcionó

That’s it. There in no necessary code on the top or bottom. No other explanations to the computer what kind of file this is.

The time code goes hours:minutes:seconds:milliseconds. There are a number of programs that show the video at the same time as you enter captions, thereby making it more accurate and allowing you to be ignorant of the bolts of the subtitle document. (You can find them in the help area of Youtube concerning subtitles and captions) but, as I had already set up a document with times anticipating putting it in Youtube, I found creating my own document more efficient.

You should create this in textedit (on a mac) or blocnotes (on pc). All of these instructions are for textedit, so, pc users, you’ll have to extrapolate.

There are a few tricky bits in this.

You should not have spaces between the two time codes. Only a comma.

You also must have a double space between each subtitle block.

You cannot have any formatting on the test. Originally, I was trying to make the b-roll translations italic. After writing the text in text edit, I changed the text to plain text. It’s in the Format Menu – Make Plain Text.

I then saved the file as a rough text file (.rtf) as a plain text file (.txt) is not available.

I duplicated the file using the right click menu, and then changed the extension of the duplicate to .txt. (I also shortened the file name back to powerplay from powerplay copy).


Yes, you are sure you want to change the extension to .txt.

I then duplicated the .txt file to change the file extension to .sbv which is the subtitle file type youtube uses. Again, yes, use .sbv


Then, you go into Youtube. When you are logged into your account, and on your chosen video you are given a series of menu items above your videos. You cannot see these on other people’s videos, and you cannot add subtitles without a login for the account that uploaded it.

Click on Edit captions/subtitles.

Click on Add a new caption track.

Browse to your file.


Select the language. Give the track a name, if you like.

And hit Upload File.

If you are successful, a new caption file will be added. If not, you will receive a bunch of warnings in red, as I did before I took out my spaces between time codes, added a double space and made my text plain.

You will be able to access your captions by clicking on the CC button on the bottom of your video which will be red when captions are selected as an option.

Bubble Map Formula

There has been a great deal of protest activity surrounding the recent approval of a massive hydroelectric project in Patagonia. Hearing the crowd size numbers made me wonder how these protests compared with other massive worldwide manifestations. The largest of the protests was predicted to have 50,000 attendees. The number I had remembered reading for Tienanamen Square was 100,000 camped out in the square for more than a month. This map provides a quick way to visually compare the world’s protests.

It was suprisingly difficult to find crowd counts for the different manifestations. There were some I thought of including – the LA Riots, all of the other protests in the middle east, which I could not include because I did not have authoritative numbers. I only relyed on legacy media outlets for numbers and when there was a conflict between the organizers numbers and that of the police, I always deferred to the police.

The map itself was built by Jesús Pérez in the infographic department. Vital in the building of the map was the use of the formula put forth by Alberto Cairo in some of the sample pages of his unpublished book. It is vital to remember when using shapes to convey proportions, that it is not just the diameter that must be altered (duplicated, multiplied by 200% or something of the such), but the whole area of the item.

He gives a wonderfully useful formula for calculating the radius of a new circle based on the maximum circle size and the quantitiy it represents.

Rm is the lenth of the radius of the largest circle you want to have on the map. This will represent the largest number/quantity/value you want to express. R2 is the new radius length. The new value is the number you want to make a bubble for in relation to the largest bubble. This is all based on circle area caculations, but in a reduced, more straightforward formula. Alberto’s page has wonderful explanations with illustrations, if this was not sufficiently clear.

Audio setups and traveling light

My La Tercera gear is a Canon Rebel 2ti with a kit lens (28-70 f3.5-5.6) with one battery and a 4gb normal speed memory card. I purchased for myself an 8gb 30mb/s card, because the video needs memory and quick memory at that. I have access to a Sony HDR-SR7 avchd (a camera available in 2007-2008).

I also have access to great Sony lav mics and not so great for what I do omnidirectional mikes, courtesy of La Tercera’s video department, 3tv. Too, from time to time, I provide my Rode mic, the one that mounts to the hot shoe discussed in an earlier post.

I’ve been experimenting with different gear set-ups and recording systems. With the barest of materials, I’ve done some day projects in the past couple of weeks.

Overtime, one finds that batteries hold less and less charge. A reason for this is that the battery has a kind of a charge memory, and if one charges it when it is not completely empty or very, very empty, over time the battery will hold less and less charge (Battery technology is way better, and most people say there’s no memory, the problem is that the battery capacity diminishes over time). I’m trying to avoid this, so I run my batteries down to their barest. My battery has a great deal of life. I’m able to go out shooting 3 or 4 times, taking video, with a single charge but that last shoot runs a risk.

Iphone Voice Memo Audio: Miley’s fanatics

My last shoot of four on the charge that fed all of the videos in this post was the fans of Miley Cyrus waiting outside of her hotel for the tiniest glimpse of their idol. About 8 broll video clips and 2 short interviews into the shoot, my battery started flashing. I turned off the the video (live view devours battery) and went to pure stills. I used my Iphone for recording audio interviews for the first time ever. The crispness and clarity of the audio is outstanding. NOTE: Iphone explorer is a great tool that allows you to navigate and extract –among other things- voice memos or photos from your Iphone in a computer where your phone is not synced, allowing you to override this problem.

The challenges to this method were twofold. First, I had difficulty of transferring the clips to my computer. My iphone is not synced to my work computer because my music is on my home computer. I didn’t know what syncing it at that point would do to the day’s recordings, so I had to, instead, email the clips to myself. Although, advised by Nacho, I started this process while still in the field, the transferring of clips took forever over 3g and I was limited to an audio length of 2 minutes, which meant I needed to cut many before sending. Messy. I had a mass of 2 minute clips, many of which were repeats because it took so long for the clips to send, I would resend them thinking I hadn’t sent them.

This contributed to the second problem, sorting out who said what, because I did not have a visual of each subject speaking. In the future, if would be wise to snap a photo of each interviewee with iphone, to have an image with an iphone time linked or write down a frame number with the name.

In camera Canon Rebel Mic: Student protesters

This project documents a student march in pursuit of greater resources for public universities and better scholarships, we have an example of straight, off the camera audio. I put the camera as close as I could to the people I was interviewing. When background noise was subtle, the results were great. When there was a heap of noise, I worked to make the source of the noise clear (protestors).

You’ll notice that the background noise increases through the video as the excitement of the protest grows. I think it works, and it was more comfortable than fumbling with the rode mic doing interviews with the camera bobbling and me trying to make eye contact and encourage responses.

Sony Lav Mic’s on Sony HDR-SR7: Law for seatbelts on intercity buses

In this project/story about a change to the law requiring intercity bus passengers to wear seatbelts or face fines, I brought both cameras, a tripod and used the sony lavs to record sound. As with every city’s bus station I’ve ever visited, the bus station in Santiago is on the dodgier side and I had to be cautious. I kept the lav in my pocket, set the camera on a tripod next to me and sent only the microphone to the user. Bus stations can be very noisy. Certainly there is background noise, but I am not unhappy with the outcome.

Shotgun Rode mic on Canon Rebel: Problems with Santiago bus service

The final day project example I have is a video about problems with bus service in Santiago (the group of bus service providers known as Transantiago.) Here I did the Rode mic juggling, trying to get the mic as close to the mouth as possible while holding the camera, or alternately, with the microphone mounted on the hot shoe.

Neither holding the Rode in hand or mounting it gave outstanding results when the unavoidable street noise was present (I was conducting interviews at bus stops). I find the example of the student protests with the in-camera mic preferable. There, I was working next to one of the largest traffic circles in Santiago (Plaza Italia) and it sounds better than the more minor streets where I spoke to bus users. This is probably because I am able to hold the camera closer than I am the mic while also holding the camera, but the clarity stands.

NOTE from Nacho
Since this post I’ve been working with a couple of Newspapers on implementing a workflow for quick coverage on the field.
The most successful has been by using Evernote. It’s a simple app, available for Iphone, Android, Blackberry, Mac and PC. Evernote allows you to take notes, audio and photos and sync them online with the tap of a button. Just have your reporters in the field share a folder with you and then make them write, take photos or audio with it, hit sync and it’ll magically be in your desktop, thus allowing the editor to combine all the elements into a story.

The limit on the files is 25mb I think, much better than native Iphone recorder. Best of all, the content lives in the cloud and any desktop where that folder has been shared.

Tension in the Middle East: Interactive

middle east interactive

This project was a heap of documents 2 inches high. Each piece of paper was a report – one article about something that had happened in these waves of protests/revolutions in different countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In most circumstances, I only used the articles that were published in the print edition of La Tercera. To me, this signified that it was of higher importance (that someone would take an initially published internet report and put it in print), as well, it gave the story time to develop over the course of the day before it was published.


A limitation to this kind of filtering was that, in the early days of the revolution, no one knew how important someone immolating himself, and the subsequent demonstrations in a small North African country, thus there was little coverage in the print edition. Likewise, toward the most recent events, I would find that I was aware of the happens, perhaps more in depth, than what was necessary to the Chilean audience, thus I used outside sources, like Al Jazeera or the New York Times to research. I would write a Spanish description, which Patricia would rewrite into better Spanish.


All of the important events were entered into an excel spreadsheet, with the date, title of the article, a description, the reporter’s name, and a link to the original reporting. Patricia Alejandra Morales Toro then created clearer summaries of the events. Although it created an additional step from directing imputing facts into Flash, it allowed us to edit it separately, and, when things like the links failed on two occasions, I was easily able to find them again the in the spreadsheets.


As is immediately apparent, the idea for this type of presentation came from a Guardian multimedia project, The Path of Protest, which divided events by country and date and allows one to navigate from the first events in Tunisia to the present. I do like, that in my project one can easily flow through events in one country, but the use of depth in the Path of Protest is a fantastic means to manage space constraints and still be able to show a tremendous amount of information.


I am not awesome in Flash. I can do amazing things with button states and gotoandPlay, but I get lost in movie clips and var’s have always escaped me. For this project, I utilized a timeline I had utilized for my project about the Chilean show Los 80’s which originally had been built by Vicky Martinez for a timeline showing the events in Chile over the past 200 years. Both Vicky and I had assistance from Paula Tala to make everything work. I did lots of duplicating of movie clips. The coding, at sight, made sense, so I was able to make things to my liking. When it didn’t, Paula was always nice enough to show me.


Whenever I build anything in Flash, I feel guilty. I know it is not device accessible. I think of all the restaurants whose addresses I have not been able to find with my iphone because their sites are built in flash. I’ve tested Wallaby – it does not read actionscript. It is made for banner ads. Thus one has the problem of how to deal with those devices. On the other hand, according to huge sampling of a recent project, mobile devices, including Ipad, represent less than 1.6% of all traffic. 1.51%, to be exact, and that includes some devices that do have flash. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty. Or, maybe this is what all those publishers said, when the internet came. It’s only 1%. We’ll just throw the pdf’s up and give away the ads.

Thoughts on video, its future and my teaching

nacho corbella

This was a great exercise. To look back and analyze what you’re doing should be a requirement of every journalist, especially the educators. I invite you to do the same, it will take you just a bit of time. It’ll be worth it, believe me.

Everyday and at every moment we are exposed – either by choice or not – to visuals on television, cinema, billboards and daily life itself. We are, in our core, audiovisual beings. Most of the information we get is through our eyes and ears, hence, it is essential for communicators to learn the audiovisual language.

It is important to remember that video, in its essence, is storytelling. While using video in storytelling in print and radio media outlets is still relatively young, there is a huge tradition of storytelling with audio and images from which we will increasingly draw. The video we see in journalistic outlets will continue to develop, becoming more vivid, complex and compelling as we look to influences outside the world of journalism.

Video storytelling is imperative to the journalism of the future because we remember 25% of what we see, 50% of what he hear, but 100% of what we feel. It is the feeling that will deepen the attention span and help media organizations define themselves as industry leaders. The greatest strength of video storytelling is its ability to give a voice to our subjects so they can tell their stories. It is our role as communicators to shape those in a manner that conveys the emotion of the story and the subject to our viewers with the least amount of intervention. Our job is to channel these experiences and not insert ourselves into them.

It is not necessary that the stories we seek be exotic or in the midst of tumultuous world events. In Tolstoi’s words “paint your village and you shall paint the world”. By that, I believe that constant documentation of people in surrounding areas reflects on major topics. Reporting on common people, but doing so in a compelling matter, will cause audience to flock to see the stories.

Obviously, there is a television tradition of journalism, with a presenter, some clips, a few images. I think that we will see less and less of this type of storytelling as the media shift to a younger audience less accustomed to this type of programming, and more accustomed to seeing raw video and hearing from those involved in the conflicts and other news events. There are broadcast outlets who already are experimenting with this by removing anchors and letting the stories present themselves. I think more immediate contact and no anchors will continue to be the most common video form on the internet. I suspect there will be a shift of this sort in broadcast in the coming years. The importance of immediacy is something that needs to be imparted on students, because they are often inclined to copy the model they see on television.

Another use of video we will increasingly see is better incorporation throughout media online. There is no need to segregate material. Increased awareness and knowledge of tablets raises expectations of immediately accessible video in reports. Html5 (when it is ready) will allow for simpler integration of video in online media presentations. We need to think of the possibilities of video beyond a neatly packaged, self standing piece and think about how we can break out these elements to allow written reporting, infographics and video reporting to compliment each other. As well, motion graphics will become more ubiquitous – as infographics have in print media– as great alternatives to traditional storytelling and will be heavily integrated to the point where people won’t notice them as a different format, but will expect them as part of the media palette.

Our duty as journalism educators is to educate our students in these new forms. Then, we must allow them and encourage to innovate. In video, we must first bring them back to the essentials, using sequences and subjects to tell stories. From this point, we can encourage the students to incorporate video in the multitude of modes the interactive world permits.

Teaching Multimedia all over Latin America

I have begun working with SIP – IAPA (the Interamerican Press Association), producing intensive multimedia (audiovisual storytelling) workshops throughout Latin America. The first one was in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The next one will be in March in Lima, Perú.

The workshop in Guayaquil was hosted by El Universo, one of the largest daily newspapers in Ecuador.  22 students attended – a mix of reporters and editors from 10 different newspapers in Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico. They had very different levels of understanding regarding visual narratives which made it complex to convey all the new ideas they needed to be thinking about when approaching a visual project.

The main concepts I covered were the hook (the importance of the first seconds of your video), sequencing (the key of a good video production), the importance of audio (without it, there’s no story – although, you can have an exclusive visually driven story), pacing (it’s all about the rhythm), ethics and how to please both your editor and your creative needs.

We spent the first day reviewing theory, and the second day reporting and editing. After seeing some of their work, I’m confident that I was able to take them from 0-60mph (or at least 40) in just 20 hours.

I wish I would have had more time, but I’m confident I gave them a set of tools and skills that will allow them to get better.

I invite you to enjoy Eduardo Adams’ work. We tried a different narrative structure. While watching, keep in mind that this was all shot and produced in 1 day.  It’s about the October revolt in Ecuador that almost over threw the presidency of Rafael Correa, seen through the eyes of an artist who was in the streets when this happened. He felt expressing with a picture would be easier than words.

While I was there, Álvaro Torrelli a videographer from El Comercio -also keep an eye on this guy- interviewed me and here’s the result.

Ethics in Multimedia

futbol5_blog
Not long ago, Nacho and I were asked to work with a woman from a television station. The individuals involved were looking to try out this new media, multimedia thing. We agreed. The problem was, she kept wanting to set up shots, scenes, give directions to the participants. She took audio from the projects of others and used it as her own – different location, different day. We weren’t with her on the shooting, but she would bring back shots that were questionable or clearly set up.

Nacho laid into her. “Do you want to be a director or a journalist? Tell me, are you a director or a journalist? It’s lying. You’re lying. You’re making things up. This is serious.”

She was unrepentant. “We do this all the time in the station.”

We produced a video. We removed the images and audio that we knew she had altered. I’m still unsure whether the work as a whole is true or not. And I’m certain she hasn’t changed.

Now, every time I see that channel’s news, I doubt every shot. Things they couldn’t have staged, like the miners leaving the rescue capsule, I still doubt. And I’m deeply suspicious of all the other news channels here.

This is why ethics are important. Our job is to report the truth. If we’re manipulating the scene, it’s not the truth. It’s a convenient fabrication designed to convey some previously determined idea. When we do this in the field, the subjects know. They then have the doubt. Today, this doubt can fly through the myriad social media channels and all of the faith one has in a channel can be shattered, particularly when it is a prevalent practice, not the isolated work of one renegade career builder.

I hate discussions about ethics. They are constant in certain trade publications. They bore me. Before this experience, I thought ethics were a given. Because it seems they are not, I will list them.

You cannot tell anyone to do anything. You are there to document.

Yes, it’s difficult to capture people moving. You have to learn to anticipate. Think about where they will be before they go there and get your camera ready to capture it.

You cannot change the scene in anyway. No moving annoying coke bottles, potato chip bags, cats. You are there to document.

You cannot use audio that was recorded in other places. You must use audio recorded in the same place ideally on the same day.

If you miss something, you missed it. You can’t recreate it. (For instance, you can’t drop a stone into a swimming pool because the audio of a splash was bad.) You can’t ask someone to repeat an action. You can’t use audio soundbanks.

No flopping images. That too is a lie. Plus, you’ll probably mess it up eventually and have a word backwards and get caught.

Obviously, in an interview you have control over the shoot. You decide the light, framing, setting, background. You cannot, however, ask someone to say something particular, feed them lines to give back.

Interesting final note that seems to contradict the importance of ethics of non-manipulation in news is that, according to a recent poll of feelings of insecurity in Latin American countries, is that television news is the institution in which the population has the most faith.

Does this mean that they trust them to tell them the truth, although they are aware of the manipulations, because surely the people directed have talked about it? Or does this mean that the manipulations are unknown?

The photo of Nikita and the soccer ball, as shot by Nacho, was captured through the use of anticipation. Nacho knew where Nikita would approximately be going, and he got in position to capture the image he was seeking.

Examples of video principles

Nacho and I have been doing a fair amount of teaching/coaching over the past few months. We spent the summer coaching UNC’s News21 contribution, Powering a Nation. Upon return to Chile, I accompanied and assisted Nacho teaching multimedia (audiovisual) techniques to the faculty of the Department of Communications, Universidad de Montevideo. The first week of October, I coached a group of 15 students from the Universidad Desarrollo of Concepción and Santiago in Concepción, Chile to tell the stories of people recovering from or leaving with the aftermath of the Feb. 27 mega-earthquake in Chile. (See the project blog.) Next month, I will be giving my first webinar for the Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa.

When teaching, it is vital to have videos and presentations that show the concepts you want to convey or bear similarities to the projects the students are trying to create. This was particularly true of the students in Universidad Desarrollo. While they knew the basics of editing and camera operation, the storytelling format was completely new to them. They came into the week expecting to use voiceovers and music. We used neither and they succeeded brilliantly.

I prefer to use videos/presentations in the native language of the group. It’s easier to comprehend what is happening technically in the video when you can understand or don’t have to think about the language. This can present a challenge because the multimedia format is newer in Latin America (with the exception of join UAndes/UNC projects, like South of Here) and I’m less aware of those making multimedia in Spain or Latin America. Suggestions welcome.

Here are some of the videos I used to illustrate concepts or served as inspiration.

Ambient audio

One of the reasons I didn’t want my students from Universidad Desarrollo to use music is I wanted them to work with and understand the importance ambient audio. (The other reason being it’s still controversial nature and the potential to editorialize.)

I used Radio Lab’s Words to demonstrate the idea of ambient audio to the students of Universidad Desarrollo and Nacho used it to explain the same to the professors of Universidad de Montevideo. Although it has music, it conveys perfectly the idea that every action has its sound, and good video uses it.

Pacing

The idea of pacing can be hard to understand or implement. It’s allowing your piece to breath. It’s giving the viewer a moment to absorb and contemplate what has happened or has been said. We don’t speak in huge chunks of text. We pause, breath, recap and interact. A way to begin thinking about it is to look at your own script. If you left a space between sentences, that likely means you need to put a pause in the interview and put in some ambient audio. Nacho is a master of pacing and taught me the concept.

I used many videos to demonstrate this idea. Most prominently, I used Taken by the Ocean by Nacho and myself, and The Lost Generation by Nacho and Nick Scott.


last generation

Movement

To me, video is about movement. If nothing is moving, then you should be shooting stills. (Aside, more than stillness, to me photos are about capturing moments. That’s what they do best.) A number of my students had stories where much of the material was static. One team was focusing on the destruction the earthquake caused to the historic architecture of Concepción. Lots of monuments and graves, little activity.

Another group was telling the story of a elderly man who had to move out of his apartment although it was structurally sound to another because a skyscraper in the same block was badly damaged and could fall at any moment. In the second instance, the elderly man did not want them to record him at any point except when he was in the apartment or just leaving. They could not show the social circle he missed nor his wife in their new, rented home who was deeply saddened by the move. Too, they needed to show area and the buildings.

In instances like this, one has to seek out the movement, and always something is moving. The first example I showed was Last of the Yagánes, by Courtney Potter. Courtney essencially denied access to photograph the last wholly Yagán person in the world and the last person speaking the Yagán language. The family charged for accessed to the woman, and as it is unethical to pay subjects for access, Courtney could not do this. So she snuck portraits of the woman when the family wasn’t looking or around, and she focused on the things outside the house the symbolized what was going on, grasses blowing, clouds moving, and used timelapses to capture this moment.

The story is in the origins section of South of Here.
last of the yaganes

We used the Big Vinny story in every teaching situation to explain the use of movement and how to shoot in constricted areas where nothing seems to be happening. Everything is shot in almost exactly the same place – a big empty lot. The film makers manage to find every single thing that moved to create a compelling, visually interesting video.

bigvinny

Sequences

I find this the toughest to explain. I tried to explain it as shooting whatever is happening from at least the three different shots (wide, medium & tight) from three different positions – although one should shoot more – and then cutting it together. I urge people to pay more attention to the television programs they watch. They cut just about every two seconds to a new angle. I have screen shots from Glee that I will be using in my webinar. Nacho explains it as showing the progress of the action.

Nacho likes to use video from Snatch, specifically how it explains a flight to London in roughly 5 seconds.

He also likes to use this stock shot of coffee being made.
Screen shot 2010-10-20 at 11.15.42 AM

To me, these don’t quite capture what you are doing to create a sequence for a news video/multimedia piece. Plus there are not enough humans. I remember Nacho once praising Nick Scott, of the above Last Generation for being a master of sequencing. You can watch the video again. In particular, look for the scene of the sheep leaving the truck or the man lighting the stove and making mate.

If you have any good sequencing examples, please do send them along.

Naturally, we showed more videos.