Multimedia & Sound

In this section you can learn about shooting video, editing video and publishing. This section also covers audio hosting and publishing.


Video storytelling can be one of the most immersive and powerful storytelling modes. In this section, we'll cover ways in which videos can be used, in what scenarios it should be used and how you can go about shooting video.

Why should you use video?

Video production can be expensive and take a long time. You also need a lot more access to places and to the lives of your sources to be able to make a sucessful video. If you work on the web, video is one of many media you can choose to tell a story.

Knowing why a story would make for a good video is key in determining whether it is the best format to tell the story and whether you should try and make a video.

Here are a few things you can think about when looking at video as an option for your story:

  1. Video conveys emotions and personal stories very well

    You can tell stories about characters in personable ways that can be more effective than using words. Seeing how a character behaves and understanding how they feel and think about a subject can tell an individual story but also make people relate to a larger story.

  2. Video can situate a viewer in place

    You can create an atmosphere and a sense of place through the moving image. During natural disasters, for example, people want to see and feel the extent of the damage of a storm, tsunami or other similar news event.

  3. Video can explain processes and actions

    Sometimes, trying to explain a complicated process or an action can be difficult. Seeing a process or an action can be much more effective than trying to explain how something works.

Video formats

Short, short videos Packages, mini-documentaries, and other linear, audiovisual storytelling formats

How to shoot and what to shoot

Most of the time your video reporting will consist of two main things: interviews with subjects that help you illustrate your story and video footage also known as B-Roll in TV speak, which helps to show your story visually. Here a few tips for organizing your shooting:
  1. Before the interview

    Before you get in, get all the broll you can think of: an establishing shot of the building, entrances, signage, etc.

  2. The interview

    Do an interview with your subject and remember to ask open questions (not questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer). Ask your subject to answer in full sentences. Take plenty of notes and if you have a few of the timer, jot down time codes while doing the interview (it will make it easier for you to edit the video later).

    Sample questions could be:

    • Who are you, what do you do?
    • Tell me, describe...
    • How do you feel about?
    • How do you picture the next TK years/ what do you hope to do in the coming years?
  3. Now use your notes like a list for a scavenger hunt

    Everything that your subject spoke about will need to be shown in video. So go through your notes from the interview and ask whether you can film your subject doing the things they mentioned. Did your subject talk about how they make a product? Ask him or her to show you the process. Did your subject only speak about the economy and other subjects that you cannot illustrate? Try to have at least some footage of your subject at work or doing an activity. Additionally, look around their surroundings to find anything that could illustrate the person's connection to the field, books, diplomas, etc.

How to shoot

There are three basic rules to shooting which will dramatically increase your ability to use footage acquired in the field.

  1. Don't move the camera

    The biggest difference between professional video and home video is that home video follows the action and rarely, if ever, settles on an image for very long.

  2. Shoot in ten second clips.

    Editors need nice, clean shots to assemble on the timeline. Anything less than ten seconds is usually too short to use. Compose your shot, look through the viewfinder and press record. Count to yourself. It might seem like a long time while you're shooting, but in the edit room, ten seconds is the minimum you need to make a shot work. Stay calm when you are shooting. If you miss something, don't worry. Odds are it will happen again. People are very repetitive beings. The only one who knows you missed it is you.

  3. Don't zoom.

    Zooming degrades the quality of an image and increases the amount of shake in an image. Photographers out there also know it collapses your depth of field, an often unwelcome effect. The only time you should zoom is if it is too dangerous to get close to your subject (ex: a judo competitor or an arc welder), or there is no other way to get the shot (ex. a bird or the Mona Lisa). If you are going to focus, use a motivated focus. That means, take a ten second shot, then zoom cleanly to a different, but equally usable shot, and hold it there for an additional ten seconds. This will allow the editor (hopefully, you), to have more usable content to work with.

  4. Audio

    Always monitor your audio levels. Though it might seem awkward, headphones are necessary for all shooting situations. Make sure there are no annoying background noises like street noise or air conditioning. Feel free to ask your subject to repeat something if there is an audio interruption.

What to shoot

So you've shot some interviews, and you've carried around a camera to a couple of locations. That means you've got a video piece, right? Not exactly.

Creating a compelling video is about creating sequences. A sequence is to a scene as a sentence is to a paragraph. It's the basic building block of a video. Try to look for sequences of action because they are the most compelling to watch. They also give your viewer a natural goal in which they can become engaged.

In the field

Because we can't zoom, or move the camera, we want to find other ways to capture compelling images. Try this short shot list:

  1. Hands (Close Up)

    Most people work with their hands. Try to move your camera to the hands (6 inches to 12 inches away) and hold a shot. This is usually the most compelling shot in a video because it brings us close to the action and reveals a lot about or subject (cuts, nail polish, and grease, are telltale characteristics)

  2. Face (Close Up)

    This is the most difficult, but most important shot in your repertoire. If you don't have the close up on the face, you don't have anything. Frame a close shot so we can become familiar with your subject. Try to include as much of the face as you can from head. A profile shot can work as well.

    Don't worry about invading their personal space. Once they agree to allow you to shoot they implicitly expect that you know what you're doing. You can stand on one leg and your subject will assume that's just how it's done.

  3. Point of View (POV) aka Over-the-Shoulder (OS)

    This shot positions us behind and somewhat above our character. It allows us to see the world through his or her eyes. Try to include the head and shoulder of your subject at the edges of the frame, and include the action in the remaining space.

    Try to imagine what your eye sees when you watch someone cook. You might come up behind them and look at the counter, or the stove. This image is the kind we are trying to recreate. It places us, as viewers, in time and space. And as an editor, it will be one of your most flexible, usable shots.

  4. Medium Shot (MS)

    This angle is a straightforward shot of your subject from midwaist to the top of his or her head. Try to include a bit of the background so we can become more familiar with our environment.

  5. Wide Shot (WS)

    This shot includes our subject from head to toe and gives us a strong sense of their working conditions. Step back, compose your shot, and fire away.

  6. Moving Subjects

    Moving subjects are more difficult, but the same rules apply. The main difference is that you will have to run around a bit. Try to get ahead of your subject and then stand still as they enter or leave the frame. Add in shots of the feet, both from in front and from behind your subject. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and try not to trip on anything as there is a very high chance you will have to walk backgrounds at some point while following a moving subject.


When you are shooting, keep in mind that you will need a certain amount of shot variety for your piece to work. For example, if all of your interviews are shot with the same framing, then you won't be able to easily cut from one clip to another. One way around this is to readjust your shot as you ask each question. Try to vary from a close up shot (just the face) to a Medium (Upper Chest to the top of the head).

Interviews are rarely strong enough to carry a piece. The best videos use interviews to narrate the sequences. To do this, ask your subjects to give you a tour, or show you how they complete a process they might regularly undertake in daily life. Try to get a mix of content with and without the subject speaking.


Adobe Premiere is a good software to use on PCs to edit video. Find below the slide show explaining how to stay organized with your folder structures and how to