What’s the difference between online and broadcast video?
Plenty, I’d say, but judging by some of the online video published by even the biggest news companies, I’d hazard a criticism that no-one quite knows what should be in a good online video.
Before we look at what we can change, let’s consider what we can’t:
1. Size: For TV journalists, size is determined by the size of the viewers’ telly. No problem there then. For online, the YouTube size has become somewhat of a standard, although some other video providers are now giving us a slightly bigger window. Also, as connections get even quicker, it’s safe to assume web video will get bigger too… but for the forseeable future at least, web video is a helluva lot smaller. Important to keep that in mind, always.
2. Quality: On a TV, you don’t have to worry about filesizes, bandwidth or pixellation. It’s irrelevant. But for web, the quality is, in the present day, not up there. So this leaves out some typical production techniques. Captions, for example, sometimes don’t work so well.
3. Length: The web wins on this account — a story can go on for as long as it’s deemed important, be it thirty seconds or thirty minutes. But, like a news article that is written and then edited, do we run the risk of losing ‘tight’ video journalism? I say it’s a danger – sometimes the harsh realities of having a one minute slot on the News at Ten would be enough to force reporters to cut out all but the most relevant segments.
There will be more, but I think those three are most important. Feel free to add your own.
But what I want to ask the blogosphere is what reporting techniques should be dropped when making video for online, and which should be adopted?
My two pence for to kick things off:
Drop: The piece-to-camera. Needless moments of a story that advance the story no further than if it were a simple voice over with more effective footage being shown instead.
Adopt: Extended content. Who says a video story has to be just one video? Produce one clip that edits everything into bitesize chunks, but the provide the raw material for consumption as well, should the reader want to see it. Full interviews, for example, are interesting if you take an added interest in one particular story.
I’m interested it hear what you all think. Inspired by Gnooze and the work of David Dunkley Gyimah, I feel myself leaning towards the art of VideoJournalism — this is the first stage in collecting my thoughts as to whether I’d make a good one.