Bulletin photo by Kareya Saleh

Jennifer Rizzi demonstrates one of her tips for shooting videos on mobiles -- tips displayed on the screen to her left.

Keep news videos brief,
up-close, simple, focused

By Siyi Zhao
Bulletin Staff

Mobile video doesn’t have to be as complex and detailed as a documentary, according to Jennifer Rizzi, whose company created an easy-to-use video editing app.

When people watch video, on the Web or on social media, they’re not looking for a polished product, Rizzi said. They just want to feel connected – to know what’s going on, where you are, a slice of life.

At the New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Rizzi presented “Mobile video journalism: How to shoot quality news video with your phone,” a workshop on how to craft mobile videos. About 20 people attended the workshop Friday, Feb. 19.

Rizzi was a multimedia journalist for years, with experience shooting and editing video, before she became director of video evangelism at Videolicious in New York City, a video creation and editing app for smartphones and tablets.

“Video and print are two very different mediums,” Rizzi said. “And that presents challenges for those of us who don’t have video training. And even if we do have video training, mobile videos present unique challenges that we didn’t even think about ... ”

While playing videos shot by different journalists, Rizzi provided tips for a good online video: Get close to the subject and keep the videos short, about 30 seconds to a minute long. Videos need to be simple. Focus on one specific idea and capture the environment. And videos can even run in place of print stories.

Rizzi also offered tips about how to conduct interviews while recording with mobile devices.

“When you are shooting videos, the main thing to keep in mind is, “Will I hear this person clearly?’ … So you want to frame up your subject closely,” she said. “Remember the microphone on your devices is picking (the sound) up. The closer you get, the clearer it’s going to pick (the sound) up. So you want to get as close as you can while still maintaining a good-looking frame and showing the whole face.”

She recommended using external microphones to improve sound quality, such as mics from Blue Mikey and iRig, as well as windscreens to eliminate distracting wind noise.

Rizzi’s tips included always shooting horizontally.

“One thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to the time codes on your device,” she said, referring to the counter on top of the screen. “Even if you are shooting horizontally and you are holding it horizontally, if your time codes are vertical, then your video will still be vertical.”

You should hold your smartphone as steady as possible, she said.

“You want to keep your device close to your body, unless you are shooting with the tripod,” she said. “Keep your elbows tucked in and touch your chest.”

Photographers should shoot short clips when interviewing.

“You are going to ask the question first, and then press record,” she said. “Press stop when they are done speaking. What you want to do is film their statement. That’s (the) entirety. That’s going to get your clean sound bite for every question you ask.”

Bulletin photo by Kareya Saleh

‘When you are shooting videos, the main thing to keep in mind is, “Will I hear this person clearly?” … So you want to frame up your subject closely.’

-- Jennifer Rizzi


POSTED 3/17/16


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