Time to ditch professional cameras?
I’m not sure it’s time to ditch professional cameras and gear, they obviously have their place and uses; however, I fully support the notion that it’s the story first and foremost, and the gear – whatever it is – second. Without a story to tell, no matter what camera equipment you use will just present a pretty picture at best.
Story is king, and news in particular puts story first and images second. Think on this a second. Weren’t you ever captivated by shaky pictures with atrocious colours and barely good enough sound and didn’t even think of those factors but were completely engrossed in the story they were trying to tell? Weren’t you glued to television screens showing monochromatic green night-shots of bombs falling somewhere and never thought anything of it? It’s the story first. Story, again, is king.
That’s why I’m so thrilled to have this adopted by some mainstream television stations who equip their reporters with smart phones to record their pieces and transmit them back to the studio. Here’s a story that captured my imagination this morning:
Swiss newspaper Le Temps reports that the TV station Léman Bleu made the major switch this past summer when it outfitted each reporter on the field with an iPhone 6 kit for shooting pre-recorded stories and for shooting live shots.
“It’s a search for lightness and responsiveness, but also a way to reduce the costs of producing a newscast,” the station’s news director, Laurent Keller, tells Le Temps. The station may not even be the first to make this shift: Keller also notes that one Scandinavian news outlet has already gone with an all-iPhone camera roster.
Keller says the new use of iPhone cameras allows reporters to go live from anywhere, both on air and online. “It’s up to us to reinvent the grammar of the image, to learn to shoot differently,” Keller says. Since the station is only on air for a few hours each day, this move to iPhones will allow reporters to capture and share much more content for online channels.
I think this is a brilliant move. The primary consideration for this to work of course is to have excellent broadband connections, otherwise sending videos back to base will be a continuous source of frustration that will destroy the initiative.
The other thing is to properly train those using these new devices on not just how to tell the story – presumably journalists have already had that training – but also how to effectively compose their shots and ensure that they are technically aware on how to balance their colours, contrast as well as get the optimum sound.
This is exactly what we are about to offer at Gulf Broadcast. We’ll offer a comprehensive corporate video production course so you can tell your own stories without having to hire us or anyone else to do so. You will gain the right technical knowhow in a practical workshop on things like camera types, videography techniques covering all aspects from pre-production through to final delivery of a project as well as suggestions on what computer platforms and software to use to achieve consistent professional results.
If you’re interested in enrolling or want to get more information, please reach out to us.