Briggs Chapter 8 – Telling stories with video

Some things you really have to see to believe. Video is one of the greatest tools in the journalism toolbox. For years people would sit down and watch their nightly newscast. Now with the internet it is even easier to share video.

The only way to learn video is to start shooting video.
“The best thing you can do is attempt to make all your mistakes as quickly as possible.” – Angela Grant (

We’ve all seen some terrible youtube videos and some highly produced seamless videos. What decides what you can and should do is the content and your equipment. Sometimes it is simply not worth putting hours into editing a video because it can tell the story simply on its own with a nice caption. When you do want to make something special it is important to take the time. You want to have a decent camera, audio equipment and a tripod.

An easy way to make a great video
The 5 shot method is taught worldwide because it works. It consists of:

  1. A close-up on the hands
  2. A close-up on the face
  3. A wide shot
  4. An over-the-shoulder shot
  5. A creative shot (come up with something unique)
Take a look at this BBC training video of the 5 shot method.
This is a quick 5 shot method attempt I did.


Once you’ve filmed your video – remembering of course to take lots of shots it’s time to edit. Most computers have video editing software installed. On a Mac this means iMovie and on a PC Windows Movie Maker. Both of these tools are great and can do most of what you are looking for. My other favorite, and one that a lot of video companies use, is Final Cut Pro. Once you choose your software you can search the internet to find tutorials on how to do pretty much anything that is possible.

So if you’ve shot your video and edited into its final form, it’s time to post it online for everyone to see. Youtube and Vimeo are two of the leading video websites and the best place to head to upload.

Finally once you’ve uploaded your video don’t forget to distribute it. Post the link on your facebook and twitter to get started, and before long you could have a crowd of followers.

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