March 17, 2015 | Posted in:Social TV
By Lyndsay Christian
Any honest one-man band reporter (or, as I like to refer to female MMJs, one-woman show) will tell you that the job is the hardest one you’ll ever have in life. No, seriously. You’re an all-in-one journalist. You have to drive to your assignment, conceptualize your story, research, shoot, set up the tripod, frame the shot, mic the guest, edit the story, oh, and yes, actually report it on-camera. Whew! While it sounds overwhelming, the experience is invaluable. You can walk into any newsroom with a solid resume and skill set that will put you ahead of other journalists who can do just one thing.
It’s important to remember these two phrases: keep it simple and stay focused. There are so many moving pieces and technicalities to consider, you can easily get thrown off your game with one glitch.
Here’s a breakdown of how to work efficiently to meet the deadline.
1. Elements. When you get your assignment, ask the managers tons of questions up front to make sure you capture all of the important elements they will want to see in the story and plan accordingly. Determine who you will need to interview (no more than three people) and what b-roll you’ll need to shoot. Give yourself a deadline to complete all news-gathering two hours prior to your live shot or newscast slot.
2. Location is everything. To avoid driving to five different places to capture interviews, be smart. Interview one person at the office, and another at a second place where you can capture b-roll. If possible, ask all subjects to meet you at a public place and knock all interviews out at once. Think one-stop shop.
3. The 5 Ws + How? During interviews, ask questions that will elicit responses to give you the key SOTs for your story. Listen carefully and remember them. Keep the interviews short and sweet.
4. B-roll. Always shoot set-up/cover b-roll of your subject. Ask the person to do something in their element that’s active. Capture it. This will help in the event you write about the person to build the story. Shoot the basics and be creative with angles. Don’t just shoot static shots, show some movement, too. Don’t overshoot. You’ll technically only need about five-to-six minutes of b-roll for a 1:30 story/pkg.
5. Writing and editing. Everyone has his/her own process. I prefer to upload all clips. First, I listen to the interviews and select the key SOTs. I drop those on my timeline in Final Cut Pro, so they’re already in place. I scan b-roll, then write my story. I use the inverted storyline process. I start with a subject (to humanize the story), transition to the meat, then end with the subject. Just my process. Each reporter’s is different. I also write to the video I’ve shot–that makes it much easier. I then start dropping clips on the timeline and voila! All set.
I hope these tips are helpful to all one-woman shows in the industry!
Lyndsay Christian is a television personality for FiOS1 News and media consultant in the New York City area. Follow her @LynzChristian.
Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Geraldo Rivera talks about the power of social media
Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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