Video Grammar 101: The Basics

Previously, I submitted the notion today’s digital journalist must be as fluent in video grammar as they are in traditional English grammar.

Whether it’s a point and shoot camera, an iPhone, a DSLR or a straight-up video camera, fluency in video grammar in today’s ever-converging journalism industry is a must-have tool in your storytelling toolkit.

Our digital media journalism program starts everyone off with equal parts writing and video aesthetics. We assume every journalist will not only write copy but will also provide editors with appropriate digital still images and video for future stories.

I tell my freshman, don’t envy or fear “the camera.” It’s just another tool to help you tell stories.

So, what are the “nouns and verbs” of basic video grammar? Every journalist armed with a video capable camera should start with a practical understanding of framing and composition. To teach the basics, I turn to a short instructional video for help on basic video aesthetics brought to you by the friendly folks at Digital Juice.

Who? DJ is the leader in royalty free graphics, animations, stock footage, and music for video editing, print & graphic design, presentations and multimedia design, that’s who.

Video and print pros from the largest broadcast networks, magazines and blogs, down to the smallest college media programs use their royalty free “juice!” Our program swears by their stuff because they make us look like a million bucks on a very low budget!

Remember, basic video grammar and creating aesthetically pleasing video like the pros (regardless of the camera you’re using) requires an understanding of:

  • The Rule of Thirds.
  • Don’t Chop the Chin.
  • Compose the nose.
  • Lead them on.
  • Beware of bad backgrounds.

Props to DJ and their great graphics and for even better instructional videos found here!

NEXT TIME: Video Grammar 101 – Single camera technique!

Tim McCarty is an educator and Emmy award-winning videographer. Yet despite all that experience, sometimes his bad video grammar has a pole growing out of his son’s helmet. Reach him by email at tmccarty@ashland.edu

 

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