Video Grammar for Journalists: Apps, Gadgets and GorillaPods, oh my!

Back with more video grammar for multimedia journalists.

To date we’ve talked shooting technique and how to shoot video like a pro. Indeed, it’s all about aesthetics and enhancing storytelling! Which segues into today’s installment.

I found Nicole Martinelli’s great post on IJNet International Journalists’ Network site recently. Graduate School of Journalism students at University of California Berkeley road tested mobile multimedia apps for journalists and she shared their picks.

Besides road testing apps and support gear students Casey Capachi, Evan Wagstaff, Matt Sarnecki and instructors Richard Koci Hernandez and Jeremy Rue also put out a MobileGuide for shooting video and recording audio on your iPhone. (Though good shooting and recording technique applies to any smartphone!)

It’s a great resource for journalists.

My favorite video support gadget by far is Joby’s line of small, lightweight, portable GorillaPod mini tripods. These tiny, flexible, highly versatile beauties allow you to mount a small video camera, DSLR or smartphone to just about anything. And I have! GorillaPods allow you to mount your camera on table tops, pipes, park benches, car side mirrors.

And they’re small enough when collapsed to fit in a purse, briefcase or small gig bag. Now, rock solid camera support is always with you in the field – even for your phone.

Here’s a secret from a video pro: steady camera = steady video = professional video. Period. But that doesn’t mean you have to lug around a big honk’n video tripod. Hey Joby, I shrunk the tripod!

No excuses. What are you waiting for? Just shoot.

NEXT TIME: I shot video, now what? A guide to video editing software and techniques.

Tim McCarty is a consultant, educator and Emmy award-winning Video Pro. A Professional Instructor and TV Advisor in the Journalism & Digital Media department at Ashland University, his department blogs at:

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