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Video for dummies

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CitizenTino, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. CitizenTino

    CitizenTino Active Member

    Our paper has had video on its webite for quite some time, but later this month, every reporter is getting a Flip to take out on every assignment. These cameras are to be used to get quick clips to complement stories, not for full-scale productions.

    Anybody have experience using a Flip for work purposes? I have one at home, but it hasn't got much use outside of my niece's first birthday and a couple parties. i'd like to believe there's a lot more interesting stuff to shoot for the paper than just filming people answering a couple questions in an interview.

    If you have used one of these on an assignment, i'd love to hear how your experiences have been, both sports -related and/or in other depts.
  2. statrat

    statrat Member

    Flips are about as idiot proof as can be. I've used mine for short sports highlights, interviews and occasional web features (for example we had a major ice storm last winter, and I shot video of cars trying to get up hills and semi-trucks being pulled over a bridge by a tow truck truck crew). I just take mine along with me, and if I find a situation where I think "This might make nice video" I pull it out.
  3. Colin Dunlap

    Colin Dunlap Member

    I have used one of these from time to time.
    Be mindful when using it outside, as the wind can really cause a "whoosh" through the microphone and the audio becomes muffled.

    Also, long story short, in the spring, three Pittsburgh Police officers were ambushed and shot dead by a kid with an AK-47. I knew one of the dead cops, and I know a lot of cops in the city.
    I was sent to city-side for a couple days to help out on the stories, had a Flip cam on me at the scene a few days later and caught the grandmother of the suspect accusing the cops of stealing from the crime scene.


    Total happenstance, but I was happy I had the thing in my bag.
  4. doogie448

    doogie448 Member

    Oh, do I know flip videos. They are all the rage at my place and sports is the driving influence. I "flip" every interview with the kids I talk to and then we post them with the gamer. I hold the videos to less than two minutes. Most high schoolers were apprehensive when we first started using them, but it's about a calendar year now and they seem to have adjusted to us using them. Key tip: have your questions beforehand because you can't write and record (at least I can't) so if you are using it for quotes, it's all you've got.
  5. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    I've used them at football games, baseball, softball and volleyball games. In addition to doing quick interviews after games, I catch a few plays during the games and make a highlight reel. I try to keep those short, two or three minutes. They seem to be more popular than straight interviews.
  6. doogie448

    doogie448 Member

    Does that work rp? We were told they just don't have the resolution for game action, so we don't even bother to try. I did try a little at state track last year, but I was standing at the finish line with the TV guys and their big bulky equipment.
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I used to use a Flip, but the video recorder on my iPhone is actually better quality (especially the audio) -- or so I'm told by the Web folks at my shop.
  8. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member


    Here are a couple of the highlight videos I put together. Nothing spectacular, but I think they get the job done.
  9. statrat

    statrat Member

    The flips don't work so well for football, or soccer but are great for basketball. I put together some plays of the week highlights and they got rave reviews.
  10. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    If you have the option, go with the HD ones. Video quality and sound is great on them for short web pieces.
  11. CitizenTino

    CitizenTino Active Member

    That's what we're getting. Two have already arrived in our office to get things rolling, and corporate says the rest of them will be here by the end of the month.

    Checking out one of those HD models, I was amazed. In addition to HD, it's got 2 hours of recording time and a rechargeable battery. My personal Flip, which I purchased less than a year ago, is standard def, 60 mins of recording time, no rechargeable battery.

    Crazy how quickly technology evolves.

    (Note: That said, one downside I've discovered is that the HD Flips don't play nice with Windows Movie Maker, forcing reporters to use our high-end video editing station. That's a real kick in the shin when your whole purpose is to get something dummy-proof that every reporter in the newsroom can use at their own desk and post quickly.)
  12. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Not sure if you have Macs, but the stuff is super-easy to import and edit in iMovie.
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