Month: March 2010

On writing my first video piece

I tried to go conversational. As much as possible, at least, but much more so than I would in a print piece, except maybe in writing for a blog.

I listen to a lot of radio. When I wrote my script for audio and video, I asked myself if I could hear Ira Glass’s voice reading this in my head, and if I couldn’t, I rewrote it. I’m not saying I just want to completely ape Ira Glass, but since I’ve never done this before I might as well pick a good model until I hopefully find my own voice.

I also tried to make sure the piece was conversational in another way – that my narration was sort of having a conversation with my interview subjects and even with the nat. sound, almost like a couple who’ll finish each other’s sentences. I think I might have even finished a few of their sentences for them.


Staging video: Tougher than I thought

A lot of Berkeley’s suggestions for shooting video seem obvious after having read them. But rewatching the first footage I shot for my project, I realize I made a lot of those rookie mistakes.

I’m not a complete novice behind a video camera. Going all the way back to high school, I’ve shot video for projects ranging from high school football games to installation art. But either I never took it as seriously as I should (treating it like a pasttime that was peripheral to my overall academic goals) or each time I put the camera down, it’s so long before I pick it up again that I have to relearn everything.

Berkeley tells me not to waste tape. Reviewing the 40 minutes of footage I shot at a ukulele band’s performance, I wasted a lot of tape – I’d keep the tape rolling while I moved the tripod, thinking I might miss something great in the seconds between putting the camera back down and focusing a new shot. Berkeley tells me not to pan and zoom so much. I did – feeling like I had so much to try and capture I’d have to be constantly moving the camera otherwise.