News Radio as Web TV

Just finished defining a process for recording, editing, and posting to the web video recorded during KJZZ’s weekly live radio call-in show, Here and Now. All on a budget of next to nothing.This was done using two consumer grade digital cameras, two tripods, Adobe Premier elements, a cd of the show recorded off the air, and some finishing touches using Windows Movie maker. It was inspired by Talk of the Nation‘s interview with Michael More.

To do this, we used two digital still cameras, a Canon PowerShot A540 and a Canon PowerShot A640. These cameras are not video cameras, so they save video as mjpeg avi files (just a bunch of .jpg photos all grouped together) and not real video files. This is important to note, in that the files should be converted to a true avi with some kind of video compression (I used Indeo compression). I used a program called MPEG Streamclip to do the conversion. Converting the file seemed to require less demand of the CPU during the editing process.

The beauty of simply using two tripods: one trained on the host, the other on the guest, means that all you have to do is start the camera before the show and let it roll. The other benefit is that these cameras are really small and that they seem less intrusive than full blown television cameras, so people seem more authentic, like they’re not performing for an audience.

The other detail is that the audio that the cameras captured were quickly thrown away. The audio that you hear in the finished video came directly from a recording of what went out on the air. It was a little bit of a bear to sync up the audio. When previewing the video on a television screen, the voices looked a bit out of sync, but when the same files were exported to YouTube, the voices seemed very much in sync.

The video segments were put together using Adobe Premier Elements. (I couldn’t use Windows Movie Maker because I needed to work with two video clips on a timeline). As I previewed the video, to switch between the guest and the host, I spliced the guest’s video and turned the opacity to 0. This allowed the video of the host to be viewed. I don’t know if this is the right way to go about it. But this was my first afternoon working with Adobe Premier.

I exported the edited video, then brought it into Windows Movie Maker to add the credits and the music. I’m sure this isn’t the most refined way to go about it, but perhaps you might find this useful or encouraging. One other thing that you might find interesting is that, to find Creative Commons licensed music to use, I went to jamendo.com to grab the first instrumental track with an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license that struck my fancy.

Throughout this process, I found that there was no shortage of opinions. Everyone I talked to had an strong views on how to do this. And everyone’s opinion was different. I’m not sure what to say about that, but I hope you found something in my description of this process enlightening.

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  • Angela Ambrosia

    John,

    This was helpful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Angela