Now that we have the audio slideshow assignment out of the way, we’re pros and recording, shooting and editing, right?

Let’s put everything we’ve discussed about the last assignment to use this time around, with some tweaks. Before you even begin recording, make sure your sources are aware they’ll be filmed during the interview; that’s not something you want to blindside someone with.

A few other things to keep in mind when working with video:

  • A tripod is not just your friend’ it’s necessary.
  • We’re shooting horizontal images online. No vertical videos here.
  • Your camera is also your audio recorder, so you need to be constantly aware of those levels.
Assignment requirements

Produce a 60- to 90-second video on your beat. Consider this more a very short documentary than something you’d see on TV news. Decide if you want to narrate or let the story tell itself, but you shouldn’t include any kind of sign-off (I’m John Smith reporting for Temple University!)

You need two human sources and one non-human, research-based source. These human sources need a first-degree connection to the story. Non-human sources should be worked into the project through text or narration.

You need a variety of compelling b-roll shots, as well as visually interesting interviews. Your human sources should be doing something, or there should be relevant activity in the background. Unless you’re actually interviewing someone in a jail cell, don’t interview someone against a plain cinder block wall.

All audio and visuals must be your own work. We will not be using Creative Commons material for this assignment.

All human sources need to be identified by first and last name, and some title or other information to convey their relevance to the story. Use lower thirds. Non-human sources can be cited this way, or through narration.

Upload your completed video to YouTube. Give your video a compelling web-friendly headline and fill out the description field. Create a WordPress post with a headline and intro text to describe your video. Add a still photo you took for the assignment at the top of the most, and make sure it’s properly sized and aligned. Embed your video below the description you wrote. Your video should appear as an embed, not a link. Follow these instructions to make sure your video displays properly.

  • 3 points off for headlines that don’t meet the requirements
  • 5 points off for a missing YouTube description
  • 2 points off for spelling and grammar errors
  • 2 points off for failure to properly identify sources (human and non)
  • 2 points off for boring images or images that don’t tell the story
  • 3 points off for bad lighting
  • 3 points off for editing errors (obvious jump cuts, bad audio levels)
  • 3 points off for not tweeting your published WordPress link
  • 5 points off for not sending contact information for sources
  • 10 points off for missing sources or sources that don’t meet the requirements
  • 10 points off for factual errors
  • 10 points off for using material that is not original
  • 30 points off for incorrect spelling, punctuation or capitalization of a source

We have an in-between deadline. Some portion of your assignment should be done by March 17. Email me a piece of your footage — could be b-roll or an interview — that I can watch. This can be raw footage in a .mov file.

Stories should be published no later than 3 p.m. March 24. All elements must be present at publishing time for the assignment to be completed. Assignments not posted by deadline without clear communication with me beforehand of a hardship will result in an automatic zero. Email me the link to your tweet about your story, and the contact information for your human source(s).