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Breaking news in video
Most of the work we’ll be doing this semester is slower-paced video where you’ll have the ability to take your time to put together a thoughtful, carefully edited final prouct. But you might one day find yourself in a breaking news situation where you’re filing material throughout the day as you get it.
When you work for a wire service, they will have a system for filing footage and still images. When sending in photos, you have to enter a lot of information in the metadata fields of your editing program.
Freelance Image Metadata Fields
With video, you’ll need to file something called a dopesheet along with your footage. The dopesheet is basically a summary of what you’re sending them so they can see it all at a glance.
Information Document for AFP TV
The dopesheet contains the following information:
Size: 238.4 MB
Journalist: Emily Johnson
CUE: A day after a deadly Al Shabaab attack killed 147 people at Garissa University, families and friends of the missing students awaited the arrival of dozens of bodies at Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi. A leader of the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims spoke to the families and condemned the attacks. Images and soundbites.
HEADLINE: Families and friends of missing Garissa students await the arrival of bodies at a Nairobi mortuary
Francis Ochode (man), Sheikh Adan Wachu (man)
NAIROBI, APRIL 3, 2015
SOUNDBITE 1, Francis Ochode (man), father of missing student (18 sec): “So l was trying to look for my son. I have not even got him on the phone, I have tried and failed. So I went to Kenyatta Hosptial to see the ones brought there, he’s not there. I have come here to the mortuary, I have not yet seen the body.”
SOUNDBITE 2, Francis Ochode (man), father of missing student (30 sec): “Yesterday I tried since morning after hearing the news from the radio, so I started calling him, but all was in vain. He never responded up to now. So I’m doubting, if he’s surviving. Even if it was snatched, that phone, how can’t he borrow somebody’s phone and say, oh Daddy, I’m just alive. That’s why I’m worried maybe he’s not alive.”
SOUNDBITE 3, Sheikh Adan Wachu (man), Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (23 sec): “My utmost condolence for innocent children who were killed for crimes they have not committed. Those are my children and your children.”
SOUNDBITE 4, Sheikh Adan Wachu (man), Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (23 sec): As an umbrella body of Muslims, our positions has always been very clear. We came out very clearly condemning them, and we will continue to condemn them here and even in the hereafter.
WS of Red Cross worker talking to families
WS of woman reacting to bad news
VAR of families queueing to go inside mortuary, security
MS of bodies arriving
WS of bodies being brought inside
The actual video file you’ll send them (I usually use WeTransfer, although some places may have another system in place, often via FTP) will be minimally edited, but the trick is that you have to work fast. You pull out soundbites, transcribe them, and cut together a sequence of your best B-roll. Then you put it all in one video project (sound bites first, then B-roll), export, and send.
Discuss: What are some of the practical considerations you might want to keep in mind when covering a breaking news event?
At some point during the semester, everyone must cover one breaking news event. You will file a video with at least two sound bites (from different interviews) and 45 seconds of B-roll, with accompanying dopesheet. The trick is that you must file it within three hours of wrapping your filming.
It’s up to you what you want to cover: a protest, the Phagwah/Holi parade in Richmond Hill next month, the St. Patrick’s parade, etc. Just make sure you pick something that takes place at least two weeks before final projects are due so you’re not scrambling to get them both done at the same time.