Comm 231: 11-7

Digital Story Feedback

– Do not use first person.

– Use pull quotes sparingly — one, maybe two. They should be a sentence or two short ones. You don’t need attribution in the pull quote, because it should be showing up in the story, too.

– Subheads article

– Captions give context to the picture


 

Hold device horizontally, not vertically: This tip tops every expert’s list, so you know it’s a must.

“Vertical video is useless for sharing on a corporate intranet or on a sharing site like YouTube,” says Drew Keller, owner of video content creator StoryGuide. “If you shoot video vertically, you get those black bars on either side of the image, which isn’t engaging for your viewers,” and can visually impair your video.

When you hold the device horizontally, you’re taking advantage of its natural aspect ratio, and the black bars will vanish.

Steady the device: Stabilize your phone or tablet so you don’t take shaky video. Even a little bit of movement is hugely distracting for the viewer.

“If you’re bobbing and moving, so will the image the viewer is watching, forcing them to try to track the subject,” Keller says.

At the very least, hold the camera close to your body using both hands, and with your elbows by your side, instead of at arm’s length, which will minimize bobble, he suggests. You can also improvise by propping up the device on some books or a flat surface such as a table top.

Many tripods include frames or holders for such devices, and they fold up super-small for easy transporting.

Follow the “rule of thirds”: It’s what pro photographers do, and it’s easy for the rookie—with a bit of practice. Imagine that your phone or tablets screen is divided into three sections, both horizontally and vertically.

“Don’t center the subject right in the middle,” says Tim Ryan, founder of TAR productions, a video production company based in San Diego.

Place one element in one third of the screen and another element, such as an interviewee or background element, in another third. It makes for a more pleasing composition.

Balance lighting: Lighting your subject appropriately—that is, keeping faces well lighted while avoiding harsh shadows—is one of the biggest challenges of shooting video with a mobile device.

“Most offices have overhead light and large windows,” Keller explains.

Overhead lighting is designed to illuminate what’s on your desk, but unfortunately it creates raccoon eyes on people’s faces—not a good look. On the other hand, “windows are also a problem because the sensors in the camera don’t have as much latitude between light and dark as our eyes do,” Keller says. That means a video shot near a window can throw the face into darkness.

“Getting light on the face is important, so I recommend turning your subject around so they’re facing the window,” he advises. “Positioning yourself with your back or side to indirect sunlight will create a far more engaging shot.”

Ruth Sherman, a speaking and media coach for celebrities and executives, is a fan of using daylight as an alternative to office lighting when shooting phone or tablet videos. “Shoot videos outdoors or use daylight as much as possible,” says Sherman. “It’s the best light, and the most flattering,”

Full article: Shooting with a phone or tablet

Vantage points

Framing

Close, mediums and wide shots


Class Assignment:

With your partner, go out and shoot the color blue.

Shoot your partner doing things involving the color blue. Get three versions of a shot: a wide shot, a medium shot, and a close up.

Have three different scenes. Each shot should be at least 10 seconds long. That means you will have at least a 90 seconds of total footage.

Comm 226: 10-24

Infographics:

What the Heck are… Infographics? And Why You Should Use Them!


Examples:

Best and worst times

Bumps, bruises and breaks

Passwords

Save the Children


Creation Guide:

Elements to an Infographic

 

infographic-layout-1

Colors for Infographics


Class Assignment:

Student Enrollment

The largest of four comprehensive universities within the Connecticut State University System, CCSU enrolls about 8,500 full-time and 4,000 part-time students. Of these, about 10,000 attend as undergraduates, and 2,400 as graduates.

Students comprise 42 percent of the School of Arts & Sciences enrollment (5,300).

Female students account for 48 percent of the undergraduate student population; males, 52 percent.

CCSU is richly diverse: about 20 percent of students are of traditional minority heritage; African American students comprise more than 8 percent of the student body; Latinos, nearly 8 percent; and Asians, almost 3 percent.

Source: CCSU.edu

 

Comm 231: Oct. 11

Tips for writing a digital story


Feature Writing 101:

– Be objective. You are the narrator, not the main character.

– Write in third person. Do not use: I, you, we, our, etc.

– Write a lead that hooks the reader. Should be one sentence.

– Use quotes and attribute them. Start the sentence with the quote and then use said. Example: “This challenge is the real deal,” Chiara said.

– The first time you write the person’s name, use the entire name. After that, use their last name throughoutExample: Adam Chiara is the best mac and cheese cook in the world. Chiara loves mac and cheese.

– Hyperlink if possible. Especially, if it will clear up confusion or gives more context.

– Check for spelling and grammar. EDIT in layers.


 

In-Class Assignment

Interview your classmate, and write a 500-word story about why they came to CCSU, and profile who they are as a student.

You must:

– follow the feature writing 101 rules

-include a picture with a caption

-use relevant, useful hyperlinks

-include quotes

-use the aesthetic techniques we’ve learned for creating a good visual post

-make a slide show with 3-5 slides using creative commons pics. The slide show should follow the instructions from the previous slide show assignment

-put the post in a category


Homework: Write a 500- to 750-word feature story on your blog.

The story can be a profile of someone (cannot be a family member or friend – you won’t be objective), about an event, or profiling a business/organization.

It must:

-follow the feature writing 101 standards

-include at least two original quotes recorded by you

-have at least one original picture shot by you (use the techniques we’ve learned in class) and include a caption with it

-include relevant, useful hyperlinks

-make a slide show with at least 5 slides. The slide show should follow the instructions from the previous slide show assignment

-incorporate other lessons we’ve learned in this class about aesthetics, SEO, etc.

-be put in a category on your blog