Bob Walters
Digital Media Production and Training

With a Social Conscience

Video Conversion Courses for Radio and Print Journalists
Radio and Print Journalists are being called upon more and more to shoot video. Our conversion courses build on your existing knowledge and skills. To this we add video skills using a Sony Z1 Camera; a radio lapel mike; boom mike and if required lighting. Each course is tailored to your individual needs and requirements.
Some tips:
Where to do an interview
Make the most of the location, if you are outside can you position the interviewee so that they have an interesting shot behind them? Unless you are shooting in extreme close up there is always space around the person. Ask yourself the question does it add anything to the interview? Is it too busy and everyone will be looking at what's going on behind and not listening to the interview? Be aware of sound problems a busy street behind may look good but be louder than the interview. Inside the sound may be more under control but lighting may be a problem. Chose a postion near to a window for maximum available light. If you want to position the interviewee in front of the window with the light coming from behind, it may be necessary to use some extra light to avoid turning them into a silhouette.
Discussion about sound issues occupies a very small proportion of the time while filming, but can account for a large proportion of the problems when editing. Use a personal mike connected to the camera either by a cable or radio, known as a radio mike or wireless mike. This should give you good clean sound of the interviewee, if possible also use a boom mike on a boom pole, this can be used to record other people and is very useful if the person with the personal mike walks out of the room. Most cameras record sound onto 2 separate channels but some do not have connections for two separate microphones.
Professional film lights can get extremly hot and it advisable to do a recognised lighting safety course before going on the road and filming with members of the public. Always make the most of available light, try to just top it up with extra light when necessary such as in a window. Try and do a similar shot next to the window with some of the light coming in through the window lighting the face. Film lights are a different colour temperature to daylight, in a mixed light situation setting the colour balance for daylight can make anything lit by the film lights appear orange. Setting the colour balance for film lights makes the daylight appear blue.