If you have a cell phone – and I highly doubt you are reading this if you don’t – you can probably shoot video with it and, if you’re into gadgets or have young children, you may have a Flip Video camera.
This is good for journalism.
More of us, which means more journalists and more of our audience, are able to shoot video almost anytime and anywhere.
These small devices allow us to capture news as it happens, allows novices to get acquainted with shooting basic video and allows citizens to contribute, too.
The quality of the video is improving, making it more acceptable for use in journalism.
When I began using a Samsung Blackjack more than three years ago at WFAA-TV in Dallas we were unsure if the video quality was good enough for a major broadcast station, even though we were planning to use the video only in breaking news situations.
We were pleasantly surprised.
The quality was good enough for on-air in the country’s fifth largest media market and for our website when getting video on fast mattered much more than the quality. We had success with this during severe weather, a gas tank explosion, elections and a terrorism trial. We won two Advanced Media Emmy Awards for our breaking news coverage in the process.
It was a novelty back then (not quite the old days, but 2007 does seem like a distant memory sometimes).
The point of the back-story is that I was recently asked to do a workshop on using Flip Video cameras for the Texas Center for Community Journalism. Using a cell phone with a good video camera works essentially the same.
Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your Flip:
You probably have free video editing software on your computer (iMovie on a Mac and Movie Maker for Windows). Here are tips for when you go to edit:
Here is what your Flip and phone are good for:
Now get going. It’s easy… and fun.