22 January 2014

Video Journalism 101: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong (ft. Gita)*

In some ways, this week proved to be less stressful than the first. This was mainly because Roberta wasn't here for the second half of it, which meant we were free of news tests, and actually finished 'class', as it were, at normal hours. (Not that we weren't all staying late anyway for our resubs-on-resubs, of course.) But in other ways, it was plenty stressful. Apparently video journalism is a lot harder than I'd ever expected. Either that, or the Dream Team (Laura, Hywel and I) just attract weirdos like flies to honey, take your pick. (Hint: it's probably the latter.)

Getting ahead of myself though. So we turned up on Friday morning all set to go and interview our Anti-Smoking campaigner about e-cigarettes, only to find there was a slight issue with the video camera batteries not being charged. Well and good, we just had to rearrange things a bit, but it led to us leaving in a bit of a hurry. Anyway, we got to the ASH headquarters to unpack our things and set up for the interview, only to discover we'd left the plate (some clip that attaches the camera to the tripod) behind. Or, er, so we thought, but I won't go into that. After a quick round of me yelling at Sam down the phone to fix it (well, Tom refused to speak to me and it made me feel better), Hywel saved the day by locating a giant roll of sellotape. Between that, and him and Laura being forced to remain incredibly still through the entire filming, we managed to get some footage that's only a lot little shaky. Though I might eat my words when we come to edit it later this week.

Our second day of filming didn't exactly go to plan either. While vox-popping, we managed to locate every less-than-ordinary person in Victoria in the space of a few hours. Competing for the top strange spot were:

  • The bloke who didn't speak English, but still managed to hang around to talk to us about Ariel Sharon for ten minutes after we'd finished filming (until Laura put her foot down and told him to go away)
  • The bloke who ran away right in the middle of the interview (and I mean literally sprinted down the street like we'd been torturing him or something)
  • And Gita, the international barrister, concert pianist, AN historian, with 8 degrees, who'd had Sony's founder's son (yeah we didn't get it either) stay on her sofa, had an IQ of 150 and had been smoking since the day she was born. Actually since before she was born. Oh and Laura gave Gita her real phone number. Trolololol.

The point is, the vox pops were a little lacklustre when it came to actual content about e-cigs. No matter, we thought, we'll get plenty of interesting visuals to back it up. Wrong! Do you know it's seriously hard to get exciting video on cigarettes? There's only so long you can point the camera at some fag butts floating in a puddle next to the kerb. And we couldn't find anyone smoking an e-cigarette either (so much for their rising popularity) so we had to buy one and take some horrendous footage of me pretending to know how to smoke it. (Mum, if you're reading this – I'm totally kidding.)

So that pretty much sums up the extent of our skills on video journalism. Tune in next week to see how much we can mess up with editing, yeah? But in all seriousness, at least it was a learning experience. And we did laugh like, a lot that day. Now I'm getting back to my resubs and fight against smart home technology. Oh, for the days when fridges couldn't text message...

*Yes, this blog is six days late. In my defence, everyone knows Friday is Pub Day.  

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