Picking apart the hype of new and classic video games.

Speaker Post: Emily Sweeney

Last week our class was visited by Emily Sweeney, a Boston Globe reporter who spoke to us about how she puts together short video stories to run along side her usual blog posts.

I picked up two important lessons from Sweeney’s visit. First, I liked her suggestion to practice throwing together video clips when you are not on deadline in order to better understand the process. The video I am currently working on for class has been surprisingly labor intensive, although from my short time working with iMovie I feel I am picking up tricks that will minimize the time I would spend taking footage and processing it for the web.

The second insight I left class with was something Sweeney never said outright, but made clear with her hilarious “Bingo!” video. Namely, that even if your editor does no require you put out a video, the tone of some stories is best presented with a well thought out (though not necessarily best edited) video in which you can add some of your own reaction and personality.

Covering the decline of Massachusetts bingo halls may not be a gusher story, but Sweeney put together a video that documents her journey through the bingo world, her reactions to the oddities you would expect from a niche hobby and conveys more of a sense of “being there” with a five-second clip of good-luck sugar packets than an anecdotal sentence or two in her article could hope to achieve.

I also like how Sweeney sets the mood for the piece by addressing her audience in a very personal way, speaking directly to the camera from what appears to be her living room and uses a bizarrely fitting pro-bingo techno song to keep the mood light throughout the clip.

Leaving class, I felt I had a better grasp of how to add a more personal touch to my video clips, a trick which I hope can bolster my own web traffic when my own YouTube channel finally comes online.


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