Today, we have revisited the skills of piece-to-camera sots using the green screen. This meant that we have re-done the piece-to-camera today but with a few adjustments to it: Firstly, we had to choose 2 breaking news stories of the day and present them in the style of a BBC 3 news report- both of which in 30 seconds. This re-shoot also gave me the chance to think of three ways I could improve from my last piece to camera: firstly, to keep my hands down by my side, just like in the BBC 3 report, to keep my hair out of my face for tidiness and so I don’t touch it, and finally to keep my tone of voice and vocal pattern the same as if it was a normal conversation- just a faster pace! Also, one vital element we will ensure is that the camera quality is not blurry at the end because once this mistake is made, it’s too late to deal with it in the end!
In order to do this, we identified the main features and characteristics of a typical BBC 3 report- the ones we watched were all 60 seconds long. These features are: that the reports are very fast-paced and to-the-point; for every political or serious story comes a sports or entertainment story; and the reporters tend to present the opening 25 words to a story or what we would call their ‘active’ headlines.
Using this information, we conducted some research on what stories of the day we wanted to base our piece-to-camera on and the main points of the story. Since we had two stories to cram into 30 seconds, I decided to only note down the main points of each story, since that is what was only reported in the original BBC 3 reports. I also knew I had to Harvard reference each story’s points so that it doesn’t become considered as criticism.
Here is my research and the main points of each story I may use:
A “go-ahead” for UK scientists to start genetically modifying human embryos has been granted.
His will be aimed to give a more in-depth understanding of “the earliest moments of human life.”
It will be illegal to implant any GM embryos into any women.
This will promote the importance of understanding miscarriages and infertility- which are not very well understood.
Approval is given but the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for beginning “in the next few months.”
Gallagher, J. (2016). Scientists get ‘gene editing’ go-ahead. BBC News, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35459054. [Accessed 1st February 2016]
After BBC broadcaster and TV host Terry Wogan died on Saturday 30th January over cancer, “books of condolence” have been opened for him in his honour.
The books are in Sir Terry’s birthplace of Limerick, with the purpose people to “mark his passing”
BBC News- Entertainment and arts. (2016) Sir Terry Wogan: Condolence books open for broadcaster. BBC News, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35457886 [Accessed 1st February 2016]
Using this research I have also started to conduct my script for the piece-to-camera. However, this gave me the chance to use my problem-solving skills because I had to ensure that the report didn’t go over the 30 second limit but that I made it look like a BBC 3 news report. This was when I did start planning the scripting for it but then going back over it and timing how long it took me to say it in the speed and style of BBC 3. This was when the script for BOTH stories was completed so that I could add or subtract information where appropriate so that it doesn’t go over 30 seconds in total.
Below is my script for the piece-to-camera:
(Story 1)- UK scientists have just been given a recent ‘go-ahead’ by the HFEA for the genetic modifying of human embryos in the aim of understanding of human life from the earliest stages, which is due to commence over the next few months. Although it remains illegal for any implants, it will promote the understanding of infertility and miscarriages, which people aren’t educated much about. (12 seconds) (Story 2)– Following on from BBC radio and television presenter Sir Terry Wogan’s short but recent battle-loss against cancer, this loss has resulted in “books of condolence” having been released in his birthplace if Limerick in order to allow his passing to be marked by people. His breakfast show successor Chris Evans has also showed his respect to him by telling listeners that “he was an absolute governor.” (15 seconds)
I have left a around 3 seconds out just in case anything happens such as forgetting any information and having to remember what I researched and/or if i slow down with the pace slightly. If this happens it should still add up to around 30 seconds.
Just as always, there were some problems that cropped up during the recording and post-recording of our piece-to-camera. For a start, I ‘had’ to and decided to take the shot twice. This was because the first time did it, I struggled to remember all my script so I had it visually in front of me as a prompt. but I realised that this defeated the purpose of a piece-to-camera since I was looking mainly towards the script by the camera. the way I solved this was asking to retake the shot at the end when I had remembered more of my script and was able to look at the camera all the way through. The second shot was much better than the first one, though I didn’t match my script entirely and I did stutter a little bit as a result. But I cut out these bits using Adobe Premiere Pro so that it looked a bit more professional, but also to cut it down to the 30 second time limit. However, I did manage to match at least 60% of my script, most of my first story, and I learnt the whole point of a piece-to-camera: looking straight into the camera!
Also, I feel that in relation to the BBC 3 news presenting style, I did capture some of the characteristics such as talking in my normal but professional vocal pattern, keeping my arms by my side and not touching my hair. these were all my personal targets to improve on from my last shot too.
This skill of Piece-to-camera is probably one of the most widely-used shots in the industry, since it’s used in so many areas such as TV news reporting, weather reporting and online video reporting. It also uses so many more skills than understanding how a piece-to-camera works; we had to learn our scripts in a very short time period and fit in our research according to the duration of the piece- which is done all the time in industry.
The next step after completing the piece-to-camera was to upload it on to Adobe premiere pro so that I could edit out the stutters, any unwanted pauses and any bits that I didn’t need- also to ensure that the 30 seconds were met. This was really easy for me because I have used Premiere Pro before for the same purposes on the same types of shots as well, so I was very familiar with how to cut, edit, apply and export my finished video.
Below is the final piece-to-camera shot I prepared for this morning:
It turned out that the focus on this show was pretty much perfect compared to the previous one. However, just like last time, the video conversion websites were all blocked off by the college which meant that this time I had to use still images as the green screen background. Although this was a bit of a headache, it did form a positive because the use of still images would have maybe been more appropriate due to the seriousness of my news stories (even though one was serious and the other was leaning more towards the entertainment side).
As for professional examples compared to mine, I’d say that I require maybe a little bit more practice with this exercise being carried out today. There are a number of reasons for this; Even though I could edit myself on Premiere Pro, I could get into the habit of getting my positioning correct prior to recording and definitely finding ways of learning news report scripts off by heart at short notice. These would definitely aid my future skills development, overall quality of my final pieces and even within my actual career as a journalist, since these skills are deeply valued by people working in the media and journalism industry.
However, there were some elements of the final video I feel weren’t as professional as they could have been. For example,
How to do a green screen guide.
This week, we have also created a guide which tells us ‘how to do a green screen’ which outlines the process of how it works and how to edit it up using Adobe Premiere Pro:
First of all, The actual shooting of the piece-to-camera is completed before the editing can commence. This is done in front of the green screen itself since that will be the base of the images in the back ground, whether they’re moving or still.
After the piece-to-camera has been taken it has to upload on to Adobe Premiere Pro for editing. Once it has been uploaded, it can be ‘imported’ on to the side video box where it can be then dragged on to the video bar to the left.
However, In order to get the green screen black- which allows it to have images placed on it, click on the left video box ‘Effects, video effects keying’ and then ‘ultra key.’ After clicking on ‘ultra key’, I drag it on to my video on the right hand video bar.
Then, on the top left hand tool bar, click on ‘effect controls’ and there should be a vertical tool bar below it. From within that, go to ‘key colour’, choose the colour you want (preferably black) and click on the little colour tool next to the colour option box.
From there, click on the green screen background and it should turn the colour of the screen should turn black.
From there, the video needs to be positioned in a way that allows the footage to be clearly seen from the green screen. To do this, simply move the video up to the next bar up on the left- this way, you can apply any video footage or images to it that you desire or are appropriate to the topic being talked about. These videos go in the middle of the bars in which the video and video audio rest.
On Tuesday, we had done a bit of peer and tutor-assessment with both our green screen exercises. With mine, I showed my first Taylor Swift one, which I personally thought was my best one, despite the severely poor focus with the piece-to-camera. I did receive some positive feedback that the presentation of my topic was good and that the background footage was very well-organised and chosen too. However, I was told that an improvement which would benefit my piece-to-camera even more would be to add some music or audio in the background-especially because if people haven’t heard of my topic or Taylor Swift herself because then people could gain a slight insight as to what her music actually is and the examples of her music through time and her career.
As for the piece-to-camera I completed yesterday, I was very hesitant to show this one because I knew that there were issues with the editing of pauses and stutters, also including the problem with resorting to background images since the video conversion websites were blocked off from us. However, whilst watching them back, I realized that the editing of the stutters were much less noticeable than I thought- though I still noticed them. The compliments I received from this were pretty much the same as my Taylor Swift piece-to-camera. But my tutor, and everyone else, commented on the stutters as a minor distraction and I thought it definitely made it look less professional that I could have made it.