Inside the Brazil Digital Video Accelerator: 'How to Think About Videos'

Video Accelerator

The Facebook Journalism Project: Video Accelerator recently kicked off in Brazil

Digital Video

The session included a presentation by video journalist Janet Upadhye

On- and Off-Camera

Among other topics, Upadhye provided on- and off-camera tips for digital video

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On May 6th, the Facebook Journalism Project held the second session of the Facebook Video Accelerator Program in Brazil. It was held in partnership with the International Center For Journalists, a nonprofit organization that promotes quality journalism all over the world. Janet Upadhye, a video producer who has worked with Vice, Buzzfeed News, Romper, Huffington Post, and more, led the second session titled “How to Think about Videos.”

Upadhye offered a step-by-step approach to creating great digital video from conceptualization to editing. We’ll take you through her lesson.

Step 1: Find the human element

Upadhye believes that video news is the future of journalism. And to do great video news, you need to have compelling characters, and tell their stories well.

Finding emotional angles is key for any story’s success.
Janet Upadhye Video Journalist and Cinematographer

“Finding emotional angles is key for any story’s success,” she said. Putting a human face on your news report makes it more engaging.

To tell a good story in video, always ask:

“These were the questions we used at BuzzFeed in order to decide which stories would become video and which wouldn’t.”

After asking those questions about your story, Upadhye shared some best practices when it’s time to go into production:

Step 2: Choose the right video format

Choosing the right video format is important to achieve good storytelling. Upadhye classified digital video formats into different categories:

“I love making documentaries, because they dive deeper into the human element of stories we see on the news,” Upadhye said. Documentaries can be an expensive format though. They require more production time, equipment, and team effort.

On the other hand, social videos can be made faster and for less money. Upadhye encouraged participants to think creatively about ways to merge digital formats, such as creating shorter versions of documentaries that can be used across social platforms.

“Even with a nice camera, sometimes I like to shake it up a little. We use modern equipment but do the filming as if it was made using a smartphone. The result is more authentic, and people love watching,” Upadhye said.

The consumption of News on mobile is primarily done vertically and Upadhye recommends using the app Premiere Pro to film and edit videos on mobile.

Step 3: Remember the big picture when you’re in front of the camera

Upadhye offered a few tips for how to cover the story whether you’re in front of or behind the camera:

Facebook Digital Accelerator, Janet Upadhye

Step 4: Find a good space to film, and do what it takes to get the right shot.
Step 5: Integrate the content seamlessly onto the site

The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. If you add just a little video to a piece or integrated more in-depth footage throughout a story viewers are more likely to stay in the page and share the story.

The Video Accelerator Program
The Facebook Journalism Project’s Video Accelerator Program helps news publishers create excellent video and build sustainable business models that work. Funded and organized by the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists, each Accelerator includes hands-on workshops led by news industry veterans and coaching from industry experts. Catch up on all the lessons from the Video Accelerator here. For monthly updates on the Accelerator Program, sign up for the FJP newsletter.



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