This assignment is in three parts, the pitch,
script, and the
video. You must have an approved pitch before starting on your
For our audiovisual media project, we're going to be creating a video
that we could submit to ABC
News' "Roving Reporter" content, a contest specifically for reporting
news that occurs on or influences campus life. The description
from ABC News' site is below.
ABC News On Campus wants to see YOUR
reporting. Submit video, pictures or stories here and your work could
be featured on ABCNews.com or on TV. You must be a student attending an
accredited college. Please keep in mind that all text stories must be
between 800 -1100 words. Please make sure that your video is no longer
than 3 minutes. If you're submitting a still photo, we require at least
531 x 411 pixels for horizontal images and at least 411 pixels in
height for vertical images. Photos should be at least 72 dots per inch
(DPI). All videos should include a specific sig out at the end: "For
ABC News On Campus, I'm [your name here.]"
There is a video describing the contest at this address.
Do your research here. Know your competition
and peers. Find out more about at last year's
winner (and watch her videos! links
Check out ABC News' On Campus
section in some detail. Read about On
Awards. You get the point.
A few quick rules from the video:
A few rules particular to our class:
- No reviews or op-eds.
- Though audio slide shows are okay for ABC, you'll need to clear
their use with your instructor before
- There is an absolute max of three minutes in duration.
The library has some decent HD
camcorders available if you need to check one out. Plan
- For this assignment, three minutes is also your minimum.
Hit your mark.
- No text-only stories without prior permission.
- No audio stories without prior permission.
What sort of story would you like to do? It needs to be
newsworthy. It needs to be doable.
might not be the best topic. It needs to be something with a
clear hook that will make [web] surfers watch and ABC News want to put
it on their site. Better yet, it needs to be something that will
uniquely bring viewers in to ABC News' television broadcast, as that's
where your stories could end up.
NOTE: Do not begin filming and editing
until you've had your pitch approved in
writing (email or paper) by your instructor.
Here are some questions to cover during your story pitch.
Who is your intended audience?
- What is the story's hook? Tell us your subject, but frame
it in a way that maximizes interest.
What sort of access will you need to...
- How is the story local?
- Note that this answer could also at least partially explain
why you're especially well qualified to cover the topic.
- The story doesn't have to be local, and certainly doesn't
have to be local in scope. If not, explain why not and how you're
confident the broader story will work.
- How does your conception of the audience fit On Campus in
- National news in general?
How do you plan to gain that access?
- interview subjects?
- film locations?
- secure statements from spokepeople?
What equipment will you need to film and edit your story?
How do you plan to have access to that equipment?
- Note: Your video must
include an interview of some kind.
Deliverables should be attached to an email with a subject that
includes your name and "AV Pitch" in the title.
There is no absolute guideline for length, but make sure you answer
these questions effectively, in complete sentences. Preliminary
storyboards, other sources on the same topic, and other visual or
textual support is encouraged. You may want to view existing ABC
News On Campus videos (here's
recent one) for ideas and a feel for what's published to the site.
- Your pitch, in pdf format, written in 10-12pt Times News Roman,
- Your pitch should include some means of getting touch with
you! (Email's fine for this.)
Once your story is approved, you'll need to start drafting a
script. You might start with storyboards to explain what you'll
be doing. Some stories, like those that include interviews, might
be difficult to completely script ahead of time.
- After watching some ABC On Campus videos, decide which of your
three topics seems the most promising.
- Draft a two-column script for your topic.
- Think about what sort of resource you'd like to interview, and
include this in your draft
Using Audacity, read through your script several times to ensure
you're both using most of your three minutes and that you're not going
- Draft possible questions.
- Test possible answers for approximate length. Remember
that you'll be able to edit the actual answers a bit to make your time.
As before, make sure your script is approved in writing before you
start filming and editing your video. The only exceptions are
those where you need to grab some timely, raw footage of an
event. Understand that you may not be able to use this footage in
your final project if your topic has to be changed, but don't miss the
chance to secure that footage if you might need it!
NOTE: Don't worry if you end
up having to change your script for your final video. You'll want
to minimize changes, but if you have to make a change, that's fine.
Deliverables should be attached to an email with a subject that
includes your name and "AV Script" in the title.
- Your script, in pdf format, written using our two column template.
- An mp3 of your final test reading from step 4.
- Your script should also include who you are. Make sure it
includes your name!
We've discussed how to make a video a bit when Seth Mulliken. Mr.
Mulliken told me that he's had a student submit to the Roving Reporter
contest and have their submission accepted (and run), and the hint was
that the production values have to be very high. The most
important way to ensure you have high production values are to secure
an HD camera with a miniDV tape and to use good microphones. Both
are available at D.H. Hill, but may be in short supply!
We will have two production days in class where we introduce ourselves
to Microsoft Movie Maker (Oct. 5 and 7), and this will give you a
chance to edit your footage. You will want to
have your interview or some other significant portion of your video "in
the can" before these dates to ensure you have something productive to
edit! If you don't
bring your own video, you'll have to edit some stock video that you
won't be able to use in your final video. Don't let this time go
to [relative] waste.
In this case, your deliverables should be delivered on a CD or
DVD-R as files (as opposed
to a mastered DVD with menus, etc). If you're unware of how to
burn DVD-R's, please contact your instructor ASAP.
- Your video in an acceptable format (.dv, some .mov or .avi; we
will discuss in our workshops).
A "wrap-up" paper of approximately 500-750 words describing your
choices in the video.
- Your video must be as close to three minutes as possible
without going over.
- Your video must show evidence of good editing.
Please place both files on your DVD or CD. Put your name on your
disc and paper.
- You may include what worked and did not work, in your opinion.
- Make sure you include why you edited your interview the way
that you did.
- How can you be sure you edited the interview ethically?
- What portions of the interview were left on the cutting room
- What we're looking for is information similar to the interview
we watched about the Old Spice commercial, with a good description
of what happened behind the scenes.
You will be graded on the form and content of your work. A project that
merely meets the requirements will receive a letter grade of "B." In
order to receive a letter grade of "A," your project must present your
story in a way that is engaging for the viewer/listener and demonstrate
your mastery of the necessary skills required to do so.