Friday, 30 September 2011

WINOL - 'Dummy Week' Thoughts

Winol - Week 1 Analysis

So earlier this week I got my first taste of the WINOL experience. It was an interesting experience all around, really. I knew the role of reporter would be tough, but you don't really get a sense of the pace and stress of the job until you actually start giving it a go.

I think overall the package I produced was OK. Not awful, but by no means brilliant. By far, the best thing about the dummy week was the fact that it pointed out the mistakes and flaws in what I had produced. Disappointingly, the majority of my footage was either too bright or too dark. The opening shot was well lit, but from there it seemed to get slightly shaky.

My interview was OK, I feel. Councillor Lucille Thompson was very knowledgeable with regards to what I needed answering and the framing of the shot was fairly good. The lighting wasn't that bad in that shot, either. At the start of the interview the microphone was in view slightly, so that needed fixing. I'll bare that in mind next time I'm conducting an interview. Obviously, you can slightly zoom into the image using Final Cut, but I think the quality of the image dips slightly when you tamper with it like that. I'd rather not have to tamper with zoom functions at all.

Another BIG problem I had was audio. The audio was captured correctly, but I hadn't adjusted the audio levels so they remained consistent throughout the piece. What I ended up with was a clearly delivered opening and a very quiet, muffled ending.

For my next story I intend to get more shots without me in front of the camera. That way it'll be easier to transition between shots smoothly and give the package a more professional feel. I like the idea of being able to pick and choose from a big selection of shots. That wasn't really the case this time around.

The talk we had after the WINOL broadcast was useful too. I jotted down some tips that will help me improve in the future:

* Don't start with a piece to camera
* Don't say: "I talked to.."
* Up the quality
* Use a range of shots
* Never use a grab from an interview more than 12 seconds long
* Keep audio levels consistent
* No 'mediocre' shots
* Get other people to read quotes

My first piece was far from perfect, but I intend to fix all the problems I encountered in the next piece I produce.


A good start on WINOL - but you need to practice both the audio and the picture capture (partic white balance because your package was blue and usuable), because they were not there yet. You need to get on top of these things now. It is like riding a bike - we need you now to concentrate on where you are going, not on how to ride the bike.

Good potential though. I am interested that you are blogging the Apple conference. This is exactly the sort of thing you should be coveriing for WINOL as tech correspondent. You beat is less geographical than many others, so you have that bit of freedom.

Can you get yourself to a gadget launch sometime soon. Are you planning ahead and getting press officers to put you on lists. It is all about planning...

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