Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A few words about video framing

It was great to see so much multimedia in The Orion reports this first week of the semester! News did a great job of documenting the women's march on Saturday, and sports decided to make Wildcat of the Week more than just a print feature by producing a video of the regular Q&A.

I did notice a big difference in the way the news reporter (Kendall George) placed her interview subjects in the video frame and how the sports reporter framed softball player Claire Wayne. See if you can spot it.

Did you see how Kendall put her subject to one side of the frame and how the woman almost fills the frame from top to bottom? While both shots show the viewer information in the background to help tell the story, the sports shot has more background than it needs.

Most cameras will let the videographer turn on a feature called "rule of thirds" to help with this positioning. Here's how Kendall's shot looks with the thirds highlighted. She positions the woman's at a place where the lines cross.

Filling the frame the way Kendall did is even more important for readers who are watching video on their phones because the screen is so much smaller.

Kendall also did a good job of using a microphone for her interviews (you can see the lavalier mic clipped to the woman's top). This really helps limit background noise and produces clearer, cleaner interview sound.

In another interview, though, she did one thing I don't recommend.

Framing is pretty good here. If you watch the video, though, you'll hear that the sound is distorted because the woman has the mic in her hand and is talking directly into it. This type of mic isn't built for that use, and the mic in her face is distracting. Make interview subjects wear the mic, not hold it.