By Andrea Schweizer, Deputy Head of Communications, Berner Fachhochschule BFH
Day 4 took us back to UC Berkeley. At Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism Vicki Hammarstedt and Shaleece Haas awaited us for the Video storytelling workshop. It was a day packed with both theoretical inputs and practical training.
After an introduction of Associate Director Vicki Hammarstedt, documentary film maker and multimedia storyteller Shaleece Haas guided us through the levels of video productions: story, technique, craft. First and essential question should always be “Is this a video story?” The answer might be yes for several reasons: the fact that a video allows you to show emotions, to add music supporting or building emotions, to show authenticity etc.
Once you decided to tell your story in a video, a storyboard and a shot list have to be created. Considering visual variety (close-ups, wide shots), camera positions (steady, moving with the object) and patience (clean entrance, clean exit) will help you to set up your shot list. Moving on to producing a video, be aware of challenges such as background, lightning and sound. And after all you have to know how to work with your camera and its settings.
After these theoretical inputs, Shaleece Haas invited us to produce our own videos and to afterwards create a shot list for these videos. Everyone had the chance to act as interviewer, interviewee and camera person.
In these roles we tried to transfer what we learned concerning interviews: set up audio and video, make interviewee feel comfortable, keep eye contact between interviewer and interviewee etc. This was not only fun but also hard work.
Learnings we took from that session were e.g. that setting up takes so much time, that there might be unplanned sound issues and that the interviewer should always have his story in mind and shouldn’t interrupt the interviewee.
The flyer of kdmc Berkeley says “We Inspire Storytellers”. That’s what they did today!
Videos we watched:
– Charlie Brooker’s How to Report the News
– This week in civilian discontent
– Fracking explained in 45 seconds
– California is a place – Pong
– California is a place – Uppercut
– Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld: ‘One of the strangest interviews I’ve ever done‘