Flip video camcorders have made it easy for anyone to shoot video.  At $150 to $200, the average person can afford to buy a Flip video camera and use it with ease.  Its portable size has also made it easy for journalists to make a news story with video on the fly. 

Unfortunately, since it is so easy for us to be our own camera crew, the quality of videos is lost.

Now, I can’t exactly speak from experience because I have never used a Flip camcorder, but I do know a bad video story from a good one. 

This particular PR week video of fashion week breaks a lot of the basic guidelines we learned in class and is not at all interesting to watch because of it. 

One thing that really bothered me about this video was the fast panning.  The person taking this video panned the camera way to fast and practically throughout the entire video.  It actually made me dizzy while I watched it.  We learned to avoid panning in videos, and if it’s absolutely necessary, to pan slow and steady. 

Zooming was another obvious problem of this video.  We also learned to avoid zooming for the same problems panning causes.  Too much zooming made this video busy and obnoxious.

The biggest problem, by far, was how shaky the footage was.  I don’t think the camera was held still once throughout the video.  It was distracting and took away from what the people were saying in the interviews.  

Individually, these things made the video hard to watch, but together it made it almost unbearable.  I had to force myself to watch it to the end in order to critique it for the assignment.

For our video news story assignment, I plan on using the tips I learned in class with the Flip camera.  Simple techniques can make all the difference, you just have to know and practice them.

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