VJ on the road – are you as prepared as UNICEF?

30 03 2011

By Richard Dodwell

You never know what you may find while driving down the road.

The unexpected is often what makes the best video journalism stand out from the crowd – that fresh insight into a familiar story.

Charities, production companies and news organisations are all taught how best to prepare themselves and save time on uploading footage – but who better to learn from – particularly in developing countries – than UNICEF.

Here we include some of the helpful guidance from Bob Coen, a video producer and global correspondent at UNICEF, the agency of the United Nations which upholds the rights of children around the world.

From auscamonline.com:

“I work as a ‘one-man-band’ – shooting, writing, editing, and transmitting my stories on the road via FTP to UNICEF headquarters. The videos are also made available to international broadcasters and news organizations through UNIFEED, the daily satellite news feed from United Nations Headquarters in New York,” Bob commented. “So, the quick turnaround of broadcast quality video from remote and difficult locations is an essential part of what I do.”

“I shoot primarily to AVCHD files with a Panasonic Lumix HDSLR camera and edit on a MacBook Pro running Final Cut Pro and Compressor. Most of the time I need to turn around stories quickly, in challenging conditions further complicated by a multi-step post-production workflow and very slow Internet connections in the places I work. Using the Matrox MXO2 Mini with MAX technology helps me save precious time producing my broadcast-quality H.264 encodes.”

“In 2010 I made several trips to cover humanitarian disasters, including the famine in Niger as well as the post-earthquake recovery and the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The unit was especially useful during my most recent trip to Haiti in late 2010. I was typically working 18 to 20 hour days – shooting all day, then spending long hours at night, editing, encoding, and transmitting. Using MXO2 Mini with MAX cut my H.264 encode times by up to 90% compared to when I previously used either Compressor or QuickTime to do it. I was assured of quick, high-quality encodes that also allowed me several extra hours of precious sleep!”

Read the full article here.

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