Jessica Best, a digital journalist at MediaWales, came on our Shoot/Edit on an iPhone/Mac course with tutor Tony O’Shaughnessy in June 2012.
Here she tells (and shows) us how she’s used what she learned.
When I undertook my training to become a newspaper journalist in 2008/2009, we learned how to take professional-looking video using small cameras, and were trained how to edit that footage using Final Cut Pro. So far, so good, in my quest to come out of my post-graduate course an all-singing, all-dancing multimedia reporter.
The problem was, once I got into an actual (print) newsroom, the facilities (ie, a working camera and editing suite) simply weren’t available. Those skills I had acquired just a few short months previously were left to rust.
But what almost every reporter was carrying around with them – at no extra cost to the company – was a smart phone, most of which were capable of taking high quality video. I just wasn’t sure how to make that capability a reality on an iPhone, as opposed to a traditional camera.
But in one day, Tony’s course gave me all those skills back (and if you’ve never had them in the first place, you’ll pick them up in no time). After an hour running through the basics of shot composition, and the elements that every sequence should contain, he went on to show us the importance of steady, stable shots – something that will set your work apart from the shaky quality that lends most phone video its amateur feel.
Once we were all comfortable working with tripods, we quickly downloaded the Filmic Pro app on to our phones (a bargain at £2.99), allowing us to control for white balance and focus, and went off to take our first lot of footage.
In the afternoon, we were guided through editing it all together using either iMovie or Final Cut Pro. I used iMovie on my laptop, and in two hours was able to produce a sequence that not only looked half decent, but that I would have felt comfortable with using professionally online.
I have used what I learned to make a number of short videos since the course (see below). These have included sequences where I’ve taken time to choose my shots carefully, and edit them together to create one flowing piece. But just as importantly, I’ve used what the course taught me to make the snippets of video I take on the move, or for breaking news, as professional as possible. They might be no longer than 15 or 30 seconds, and they’re not perfect, but they look far better than a shaky, dark piece of footage.
Links to videos …..
Our next course with Tony as tutor is on 19th April (’13) at Cardiff Central Library. He has adapted the course so that all the shooting and editing will be done on the iPhone. Course details and booking