Lead Visually or How To Get Out of The Way of Your Story

Thanks to News Videographer for todays lead on leads at Mastering Multimedia who had an outstanding post with lots of examples on how to create a great VISUAL lead.  That is one of the most important things to try to teach young visual journalists.  A lead must be visually interesting or you’ve already lost.

Quick list of key points on how to make you’re lead visually interesting:

-start with b/roll

-start with natural sound

-start in the middle or the end of your story and then loop around

-start with your most visually interesting element, usually b/roll, but it could be part of an event

-explain the story in the first 30 seconds

-or keep them guessing by being creative

-vary your pacing, sometimes you need to be quicker, other times slower

Finally, for you teachers out there – it is appropriate to use video clips in the classroom as part of “fair use” but remember to follow the guidelines of not using the same ones more than one year in a row and only using them for classroom learning. Remember this is fair use, not theft – it is not yours to keep.

So, how do you download the .flv clips?  And why should you?

First if you have a Mac, use Safari (just for this – I’d rather use Firefox) load the page with the clip and then press play and then pause.  Wait for the clip to load 100%.  Then go to the Window menu and pull down to the Activity tab.  Look for the .flv file ending.  Double click on that file in the activity window.  It should begin the download process.

Second, why?  Three reasons – slow internet, no internet, blocked internet.  At my school we have all three.  Some days we have no internet due to a variety of problems.  Other days the connection is just plain slow – which is death for video.   And finally, there is the kiss of death, after you planned a great lesson on video leads – the site is blocked because it is a blog.

Always try to give credit in your lesson to your source.  Model those things you’d like your students to do.

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