Beginning Tuesday in Louisville, Kentucky, 50 people will be empowered to produce video for their publications websites. This is the second year that I have been a coach at the NPPA’s Multimedia Immersion Program. I’d like to take a moment to tell those lucky 50 boot campers what they can expect.
If you have never shot and edited video, this will be your chance to dive head first into the world of Final Cut Pro, HDV, audio, video sequencing, microphones, tripods, and much more. Having attended the 2005 Platypus Workshop, I know that overwhelmed feeling you will face on day one. Your senses will be blasted with so much information you’ll think your brain will explode. Long hours will be spent shooting and editing your video. You will listen to a parade of speakers who will enlighten you to different ways to tell a visual story. You will be challenged. A lot. Time is too short for egos to get in the way. Coaches will be blunt. We’ll tell you what you did wrong on your shoot so you will know what not to do the next time you pick up your video camera.
You will be given an Apple Macbook Pro and a Canon HDV camera to use. For those coming from a still photography background, the video camera will seem huge at first. But make no mistake; this is a powerful piece of storytelling technology. Spend some time with the manual; learn what each button does. Have a basic understanding of the camera before you shoot. It will prevent a lot of headaches later.
You will shoot a video story in the Louisville community. Remember, you are not shooting an epic. Keep it simple and focused. Define your story in one sentence and then shoot that story. Don’t go off on tangents.
Keep your fingers off the zoom button and try not to pan the camera unless absolutely necessary. Shoot as much as you can with a tripod. Your video will look better (professional) and will allow you to shoot rock-steady tight shots.
Planning and time management goes a long way in a workshop like this. Storyboard your video story in your head, Think about what shots you will need. Write them down in a notebook. Remind yourself to shoot establishing wide shots. They are easily forgotten. Because your days will be long, it is best to get a good night’s sleep.
Finally, the most important thing to do is have fun. This workshop could open up a whole new world for you. Use this time wisely.
See you soon.