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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Writing to Video


Communication, preparedness, and flexibility have been the keys for me when it comes to writing to video. As lead producer, communication with my video teammate is essential to guarantee we order the right video and use the right SOTs to fit our format and teases. Yesterday, for example, we edited a video for the subway story with stretchers and ambulances, but I had seen really compelling video of the rails covered in ash and I wanted to use that for my tease, so I had to communicate that. Communication is also important with my MJs when I'm the video teammate because I have to let them know what video to use. Last week we were doing a story on rebel troops in Libya and the story was about tanks coming in, but when the MJ showed me what she had edited it was rockets going off in empty deserts. That was my fault for not telling her what video to use, so we talked about it and found video that fit the script.
In order to effectively communicate, I have to be prepared, which means watching all the video. Yesterday when I was lead I struggled with assigning the weather stories because I hadn't watched all the video yet. I have to know what video exists so I know how to write the story or how to assign it. Watching all the video and being prepared to tell my video teammate or MJs what to use is essential in having a good newscast that is written to video.
Lastly, flexibility is important because scripts can change throughout the day, and we need to be able to change the video to fit the script. Working on communication, being prepared, and being flexible can really help when it comes to writing to video.

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