Boot Camp Day 3: The Video Shoot That Didn’t Go So Well

Sybril Bennett, Belmont University (better known as "Dr. Syb") and I play get accustomed to shooting with the Canon 7D in front of a bright open window, a no-no when shooting video.

NASHVILLE– What started out as an exciting day– one where we would be shooting our first videos at the Multimedia Boot Camp here at the Freedom Forum’s John Siegenthaler Center– turned out to be a big learning experience in what not to do when you shooting with a high end camera.

After 400 plus people have been through this 5-day intensive workshop, our class of 12 is the first to use digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras that shoot both video and stills.    The $1600 dollar Canon 7D can shoot HD video and high quality still photos.

“This is really the next thing, ” said Val Hoeppner, who directs the Diversity Institute’s Multimedia Boot Camp.  “This is what all the newsrooms are doing.”

It’s nice to know that we’re truly working with cutting edge equipment here.   But, that doesn’t mean there were no challenges along the way.

But, after doing two takes for our video, we hit a big snag when we began to edit our video in Final Cut Express– no audio.

We thought we had manage to effectively troubleshoot.  But, then when we re-shot our video,  it still was not satisfactory.

As it turns, the cable connecting our microphone to the digital SLR camera was not tight enough and that caused the feedback.

I found myself slipping into “producer” mode with my teammates, Sybril Bennett of Belmont University and Joe Sheller of Mount Mercy College.

To make matters worse, I’m not as good as I thought I was at manually focusing my shots.  So some of our video was a little out of focus.

This project was done on-site.

Tomorrow (Saturday),  we will shoot out in the heat on-location.

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Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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