Video For Print: A Beginner’s Guide

Shooting video may be as easy as using your existing DSLR

Now that your print publication has an online presence, it’s time to embrace your convergence and take full advantage of the new medium by adding video to your site.

Video will enhance your content, entice your audience, and better prepare your staff for future employment. Chances are, you’re already making sound slides, which are practically videos anyway.

Here’s a primer of what you’ll need to get started making videos and adding them to your website.

 1. Find videographers

Wrangle some of your staff photographers who are interested in adding new skills to their resume, buy them a pizza and brainstorm. Take a look at videos produced by professional news organizations, and determine what events or topics lend themselves to video coverage (usually events with lots of action or sound like sports, drama performances, construction projects, etc.)

 2. Video Cameras

You don’t need expensive gear–or even a new camera. If your photographers use still cameras purchased within the last several years, you probably already have a video camera. Check the manual for settings on how to shoot video. If you want to buy a new camera, look for those with external microphone inputs to record better sound.

An alternative is to use phones to shoot video. Most smart phones record–and even edit–video.

 How to use DSLRs to shoot video

3. Sound

It’s half the movie, so if you want your audience to hear the interview, or the natural sound of the location or event, you’ll want to invest in a good microphone. Most DSLR cameras have a mic input where you can plug in an external mic. Rode makes a good mic, and there are many other choices out there.

How to record sound on DSLRs

4. Editing

When your photographers return from an event, they could have 30 minutes of footage or more. You’ll need to edit that down to just a couple of minutes, which requires editing software. Editing software also allows you to add titles, graphics, music and transitions that make it look much nicer than your original raw footage.

There are a lot of choices out there depending on your budget, computer platform and needs. Check out this great article on choosing editing software

5. Add videos to your site

It’s easiest to host the video on another service like YouTube, Vimeo or SchoolTube and then paste the link into your website or blog. These all have free accounts, but some offer premium features for paid accounts. You might want to start out with the free account and upgrade once you really start cranking out videos. Free accounts have limits on the amount of content you can upload.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth a thousand words, thirty times per second. Bring your audience that much closer to the truth by incorporating video into your publication.

Have you already started using video on your website? Let us know how you did it and how it’s changed your publication.

Michael Hernandez is an Apple Distinguished Educator who teaches Video Production and Broadcast Journalism at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA. Follow him on Twitter: @cinehead

Michael Hernandez

Michael has taught Film/Video Production and Broadcast Journalism since 1999, and advises the Pacemaker-winning Mustang Morning News. He regularly presents seminars on journalism, video and technology-related topics, and is a former JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @cinehead

Michael Hernandez has 52 posts and counting. See all posts by Michael Hernandez

One thought on “Video For Print: A Beginner’s Guide

  • May 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Great intro here, Michael. For my staff, it started years ago when one girl wanted to do some video work. Over time, I’ve come to understand the importance of the five items you’ve mentioned above, I wish I would have had this cheat sheet from the start to guide them though as my knowledge on this was (and still is) pretty limited.

    The staff started by focusing their energies on a video podcast that first came out weekly for a couple years then moved to a monthly show. While there is still a monthly show, the majorities of their energies this year have been on standalone videos that compliment work going in the newspaper or yearbook. The print editions reference the online videos as they help add another dimension to the print story being told.

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