I just finished watching videos made by my students in Reinventing the News. All of them have good points; some are quite strong from beginning to end.
A few technical notes:
- The videos were shot with low-end digital cameras, several of which created file compatibility problems. Two students who used Flip cameras had to edit their work on their Windows laptops using Windows Movie Maker, as iMovie ’08 for Macintosh wouldn’t accept their clips. I’m sure there’s a converter, but I’d have to track it down.
- Another student tried two different cameras — a Sony and a Casio, if I’m not mistaken — and couldn’t pull either into iMovie. She ended up having to skip the assignment.
- I have mixed feelings about iMovie ’08 (also known, weirdly enough, as iMovie 7). Although it’s easy to use in some respects, and I figured out how to do B-roll despite a lack of documentation, it’s not as precise as iMovie 6. One student used iMovie 6 on her own Mac laptop. She and those using Windows Movie Maker seemed to have an easier time.
Video for the Web is a skill well worth teaching journalism students today. I’m glad we tried it, and I’ve got some ideas for how to do a better job of teaching it the next time.