Although shooting & editing has evolved dramatically thanks to new, small cameras and phones which provide cost effective content for journalism and websites Tony O’Shaughnessy argues that the technology is far less important than what you do with it.
Tony O’Shaughnessy delivers our ‘Shooting and Editing High Quality Video on an iPhone‘ course.
Things are changing very quickly in the world of video journalism. Entry level jobs in television now generally involve an element of self-shooting and journalists are expected to be able to shoot and edit an interview or basic sequence.
At the same time the cameras are evolving at breakneck speed. Full HD is now the norm and while many VJs are using bigger, professional cameras such as the Canon XF-305 there’s a growing number of people who are seeing the benefits of “mobile journalism.”
They are using the phone in their pocket to create great video content.
The iPhone 4S was a game-changer. It shoots in full HD and the pictures are lovely. It didn’t take long for third-party app and equipment builders to develop products to enhance the iPhone and you can even buy an iPhone Steadicam now!
Journalists from major news organisations are being trained to shoot on iPhones and it’s also possible for them to file pictures from the field straight into the servers back at base. This process will continue and evolve – and as it does so, it will transform newsgathering.
It means every journalist in a newsroom can gather pictures for the web or for TV bulletins – and get them on air within minutes. No satellite trucks required.
As an experiment I decided to shoot a short film on my iPhone and edit it on an iPad. You can watch the result on my website www.difftv.tv – just search “Forgotten Village” on the home page. I managed to do most of the edit on the iPad but had to switch to my laptop to put subtitles on the film (you can’t expect to do everything on an iPad!)
I shot the film in just over an hour and although the approach is slightly different from filming with a bigger camera – and there are some limitations – it proved to me that it’s possible to make a half-decent film using my phone. Scarcely believable if – like me – you started out when TV cameras cost the best part of £60,000.
But however fantastic the technology, I’ve come to believe that the camera is much less important than what you do with it. Glen Mulcahy from RTE in Ireland (@GlenBMulcahy) – and others at the forefront of mobile journalism – are training journalists all over Europe to shoot and edit using their phone.
And they’re doing it by stressing some time-honoured traditions, such as the importance of having steady and stable shots and getting plenty of close-ups. There are some things that don’t change.
But if you stick to these rules the iPhone – and the cameras that will follow it in the years ahead – will allow many, many more people to tell great stories through pictures.