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Video Innovation Even With Your Tight Budget

February 13, 2010

David Morris. Photo by Audrey Sawyer

By Rosie Githinji

Dave Morris, video director for The Oklahoman and, had one main message when it came to shooting and producing video in a newsroom: keep it simple.

The focus of the talk was how to produce video on a tight budget. He told his reporters to shoot short videos to go along with their stories and to ask two questions after they get what is needed for the initial interview: what happened and what happens next?

The goals of the video includes lighting, good background, setting the camera at eye level and keeping it steady, as well as shooting 30-second sequences in wide, medium and tight shots.

Morris tells his reporters that a video is like “having a visual pull quote.” This can be applied to editors who would like to integrate video into their newsrooms.

“That’s kind of what we tell our reporters. Let’s have video to tell a portion of our own story,” Morris said. “Even if you (the reporters) bring back b-roll, or even if your photographer is shooting stuff, we can use all of that in production.”

The video studio at the Oklahoma Publishing Company costs upwards of $1 million, Morris said. The studio includes a green screen, an audio room and a 12 person staff. This may not be possible for everyone though, Morris said, not at those costs.

Including video in an article can improve traffic to the web site, Morris said. Around 80 percent of video traffic can come from including it with an article.

“We do have our video prominent at the top of our stories,” Morris said.

Live streaming video can also help increase traffic in ways such as pre-game shows, press conferences or what the roads look like when there is an ice storm or a tornado, he said.

Video can be done weekly or monthly and can be short videos lasting a few minutes or documentary style videos that could last up to 15 minutes.

“This really is our culture now. We’re going to do some multimedia storytelling,” Morris said. “Some of these things are just good journalism you want to do.”

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