DIY: Video Submissions for YR Media
Being a multimedia journalism and arts organization means we’re not only looking for the written word from our contributors. We’re also looking for 1-3 minute videos that highlight character-driven news, lifestyle, culture and politics stories from around the United States. Whether you have an interview, breaking news or live reporting piece, or explainer you’d like to send our way, this DIY will make it easy for you to understand what to include in each video submission.
First, the specs:
FPS: Frames per second. It’s typically good to keep your camera set to 24 fps, but you may want to get slow motion shots, which means you may also be shooting in 60 fps.
Resolution: This will determine the quality of the video you send. Most cameras will have 1080p setting (e.g., 1920 x 1080p), but some newer cameras will shoot in 4k and that’s fine too.
Shot list: After you pitch and depending on your experience, we may ask you to make a shot list and send it to us for review before you start shooting. In some cases, a YR editor may provide a shot list for you. For example: a shot list for coverage of the 2019 Climate Strike may look like:
- WIDE SHOT (WS): city where the march takes place
- MEDIUM SHOT (MS)/ MEDIUM CLOSE UP (MCU): people marching with their signs
- CLOSE UP (CU): marchers’ signs
A-Roll: This is your main footage. In most cases, it will be an interview or series of interviews.
B-roll: These are all of the non-primary shots that will be used as supplemental material in your piece. For example, if you’re providing coverage for the 2019 Climate Strike, you would want to capture b-roll shots of the city where the strike takes place, people marching with their signs, close-up shots of signs and faces … you get the picture. Here’s the full video of the climate strike coverage for you to check out.
You can learn more specifics about types of shots and photo/video best practices in DIY: How to Deliver Visuals, but here are some quick examples.
Wide shot (WS) example:
Medium Shot (MS) example:
Close up (CU) example:
What we’re looking for
Here is an outline of what we generally like to see in each video submission. Keep in mind that you should absolutely use your instincts to capture the best footage. Your editor might give you more specific instructions depending on the assignment. Basically we’re asking for you to get a variety of coverage with many different shots.
Covering events vs. reported video content
Covering an event — whether it’s breaking news or a scheduled happening — will look a lot different from a reported piece.
If you’re providing video footage about a live event like the Climate Strike or the Heartbeat Bill Protest in Louisiana, you’ll have several interviews and you’ll need to be sure to get each person’s full name and city of origin. DIY: Live Reporting for Twitter and Instagram Feeds goes into more detail about this kind of reporting.
A more polished reported piece like North Carolina vs. Vaping Companies may include scripted content and a main interview. In that case, you’d send your script and interview questions to your YR Media editor.
Where to send it:
We’ll ask you to upload your raw unedited footage to a shared drive using a link that we’ll send to you via email. (Note: sometimes we’ll have you to edit the footage into a final product and you’ll be compensated accordingly).
Our video team will take over from there and be in touch with you about next steps.