Television Field Production And Reporting

Paperback | October 22, 2007

byFred Shook, John Larson, John Detarsio

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Television Field Production and Reporting provides an exciting introduction to the art of visual storytelling. Endorsed by the National Press Photographers Association, it focuses on the many techniques and tools available in television today.

The new edition of Television Field Production and Reporting will be 4-color for the first time, an absolute must in this visually oriented, rapidly changing field..

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Television Field Production and Reporting provides an exciting introduction to the art of visual storytelling. Endorsed by the National Press Photographers Association, it focuses on the many techniques and tools available in television today. The new edition of Television Field Production and Reporting will be 4-color for the first t...

Fred Shook, Colorado State University, Fort Collins John Larson, NBC News John DeTarsio, DiTarsio Productions, Inc.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 7.2 × 0.6 inPublished:October 22, 2007Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205111580

ISBN - 13:9780205111589

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Extra Content

Table of Contents


About the Author 

Introduction: Television Is a Language 

Chapter One: Telling the Visual Story 

The Difference Between Visual Stories and Reports  Heart, Emotion, Demeanor 

Placing the Human Perspective in Perspective 

The Value of Pictorial Narrative 

Silence As A Writing Tool 

The Silent Language of the Senses 

Putting It All Together 

Culture Impacts Perception 

How To Plan The Visual Story 

The Best Stories Convey a Sense of Progression 

Find Images that Convey a Clear Story Focus 

Write the Pictures First 

Reportorial Editing 

Working As Part of a Team

Prove the Story's Focus Visually 

The Focus May Change 

Look for a Story Focus in Spot-News Events 

Tell Your Story through People 

Strong Natural Sound Helps Tell the Story 

Build In Surprises 

Keep Sound Bites Short 

Address the Larger Issue 

Challenge Your Focus Statement 

Video Packages are Factual Mini-Moives 

The Lead 

Provide Visual Proof for all Main Points 

The Close  Be Hard on Yourself as a Writer 

Write from the Visuals  Look For A Story While Capturing Uncontrolled Action 

Look For the Larger Story 

Chapter Two: The Visual Grammar of Motion Picture Photography 

The Shot 

The Sequence 

Long Shot  Medium Shot 


How the Basic Shots Work Together 

Camera Movement 


Moving Shot 

Combination Shot 

Tilt Shot 

Tracking Shot 

Trucking Shot 

Dolly Shot 

Stabilization of Shaky Images 

Shots That Help Tell the Story 

One Shots to Crowd Shots  Master Shot with Cut-Ins 

Overlapping Action 

Matched-Action Sequences Can Be Shot in Spot News 



The Cutaway 

The Motivated Cutaway 

The Transition or Reveal Shot 

Using Camera Movement to Enhance Storytelling 

Point-Of-View Movement 

Thinking Camera

How To Avoid The False Reverse 

Vary Camera Angles 

Photograph People at Eye Level 

Contrast and Comparison 


Chapter Three:

Video Editing: The Invisible Art 

Editing is Another Writing Tool 

Toward a Philosophy of Editing  Everyone Is an Editor 

The Cut 

Choosing Edit Points 

There Can Be No Matched Action without Overlapping Action 

Cutting on Action or at Rest 

Into-Frame/Out-of-Frame Action 





Devices to Compress Time and Advance the Action 

Parallel Cutting 

Shot Order Impacts the Illusion of Continuity 

Content Dictates Pace 

Cutting to Condense Time 

Composition Affects Pace 

Screen Direction 

Editing to Eliminate the False Reverse 

The Transition Shot 

Sound as a Transitional Device 

Cold Cuts 

Flash Cuts 

Cutting to Leave Space for Audience Reaction 

Communication Pays 

Dissolves and Other Optical Effects 

Chapter Four: Shooting Video in the Field 

Composition Guidelines 

The Rule of Thirds 

Pointers for Wide Screen Composition 

Use a Tripod Whenever Possible 

The Handheld Camera 

Balance the Camera 

Use A Wide Stance 

Control Breathing 

Preplan Body Movement 

Walk in Lockstep 

Avoid Unplanned Camera Movement 

How to Use the Zoom Lens 

Avoid Calling Attention to the Zoom 

Avoid Speed and Duration of Zoon to Story Mood and Pace 

Recompose the Shot as you Zoom 

Storytelling and Planning 

Establish Communication in the Field 

Think Before You Shoot 

Shoot Sequences 

Shoot and Move 

Anticipate Action 

Shoot Only the Shots You Need 

Avoid Indiscriminate Shooting 

Edit in the Camera 

Shoot to Eliminate the False Reverse 

Involve the Camera in the Action 

Working with People 

Avoid Distracting the Subject  Staging Versus Motivating 

The One-Person Band 

How to Shoot and Conduct Interviews Simultaneously 

How to Photograph Your Own Standup 

Shooting in Cold Weather 

Safety First 


Safety in Numbers 

Plan to Make Mistakes 

On Returning to the Station 

Chapter Five: Writing with Light 

Photography Is the Art of Controlling Light 

Light-Mounted Fitlers 

Mixing Light Sources 

Basic Lighting Patterns 

The Role of Artificial Light 

Key Light 

Contrast Control 

The Inverse-Square Law of Light 

Backlight  Broadlighting and Short Lighting 

Lighting for High Definition 

Flat Lighting 

Light Diffusion 

Bounce Lighting 


Essential Lighting Equipment 

Lighting in Sunlight 

How to Light a News Conference 

Setting Up Lights in Cooperation with Other Crews 

Lighting Etiquette 

Lighting Spot News at Night 

Photographing Subjects with Dark Skin 

Large-Scale Lighting 


Chapter Six: The Sound Track 

How Microphones Work 

Directional Patterns 

On Choosing a Mike 


Frequency Response 

Microphones for the Video Journalist 

The Wireless Transmitter-Receiver 

The Mixer 

Essential Points for Audio 

Techniques to Reduce Wind Noise 

Be Aggressive 

The Microphone Hears Differently 

Sound Perspective 

Stereo and Surround Sound 

Covering News Conferences 

Recording Group Discussions 

The Two-Person Interview 

Record Room Tone 

The Seductive Quality of Nat Sound

Watch What You Say 

Sound and Video Accessories 

Chapter Seven: The Broadcast Interview:

Shooting the

Quotation Marks 

Establish Trust 

Practice Good Manners 

The Most Important Interview Question 

Save Your Questions for the Interview 

Do Your Homework 

How to Frame Interview Questions 

Use a Wireless Microphone 

The Art of Listening 

Avoid the Easy Questions 

Avoid Two-Part Questions  "How Do You Feel?" 

Anticipate Questions the Viewers Would Ask 

Practice the Fine Art of Hesitation 

Pitch Reporting Opportunities 

Prearrange Signals between Reporter and Photographer 

How to React without Appearing to Agree 

Retain Control of the Interview 

Interviewing Children 

The Talking Head 

Influencing How Viewers Perceive the Subject 

One-Eyed Talking Heads 

Body Language 

After the Interview Is Over 

Interviews Allow Reporting through Direct Observation

Chapter Eight: Video Script Formats by Luan Akin  Reader

VTR VO (Voice-Over Video) 

VTR VO (Voice-Over Video) VO/SOT/VO (VO SOT or A/B for Short) 

Intros to Live Shots 

Live Intros to Packages 

Package Scripts 

Reporter and Anchor Closes 

The Case for Caps and LowerCase 

Summary  Exercises 

Chapter Nine: Writing the Package 

Define Your Focus 

Write the Beginning (Studio Lead-in) 

Write the Package Lead 

Write the Middle or Main Body 

Write the Close 

Preplanning the Package 

Spot-News Packages 

Set a High Standard for Packages 

Use Natural Sound Liberally 

Chapter Ten: Write Like a Storyteller by John Larson 

Transmitting The Experience 

Writing Your First Sentence 

The Three Horses - Storytelling Tools for Video Stories

First Horse: Surprise 

Second Horse: Quest 

Third Horse: Character 

Tips for Writing Strong Stories 

Chapter Eleven: Video Journalism: Storytelling on Your Wosn by John Larson 

The Big Picture 

Size Matters-Bigger Is Not Always Better 

Bottom Line 

Starting Out, Over Or Up 

Six Overlooked Tools For Video Journalists 

Minute By Minute-One Man Band Lessons Learned in the Field 

A Guide Tour: Lessons Learned 

Chapter Twelve: How to Improve

Your Storytelling Ability 

Seek Gradual Improvement 

Have a Story  Involve the Camera 

Sequences Don't Advance the Story 

Don't Try to Show All of New Zealand 

Pursue Your Interest in People 

Motivate Viewers to Watch 

Develop Video Fluency 

Know the Community 

Curiosity Pays 

See Beyond the Obvious 

Show Audiences What They Missed 

Help Viewers Experience The Story As You Did 

Adapt Your Reporting to Story Demands 

Reporting the Nonvisual Story 

Personal Appearance and Conduct  Etiquette 

Shooting and Reporting Spot News 

Toward a News Philosophy 

Chapter Thirteen: Live Shots and Remotes by Luan Akin 

What Does It Take to "Go Live?" 

Spot News 

Television Live

Shot Formats 

Narration  Helicopter Live Shots 

Live in the Newsroom 

Live Graphics 

Live/Anchor Intros 

Reporter Close 

Anchor Close 

Why Go Live? 

Why Not Go Live? 




Some Parting Advice 

A Final Thought 

Chapter Fourteen: Law and the Broadcast Journalist 

Gathering the News  Libel  Invasion of privacy  Defamation 

Use of the Word Alleged 

Apparent Authority  Technology 

Telephone Recordings 

Subpoenas and Shield Laws 

Access Laws

Fair Use

Chapter Fifteen: Journalistic Ethics 

A Definition of Ethics 

Effects of Competition 

Situational Ethics 

Licensing  Contract With the Public 

At Issue: Image Manipulation 

Case Studies in Ethical Dilemmas 

Reverse-Angle Questions 

Staged News Events 

Reenactments  File Video 

Material Provided from Outside Sources 

Toward an Individual Code of Ethics 

Appendix A: Shooting Video:

The Basics 

The Camera 

The Lens 

Appendix B:

Improving Performance in Field Reporting

Developing the Qualities That Make You Interesting and Interested 

Reasons For Standups 

Seek Reaction 

Communicate What You Feel about the Story 

Delivering From the Studio 

Put Experience into Your Reports 

Multidimensional Reporting 

Marking Copy

 Learn How to Relax 

Develop Conversational Delivery 

Your Appearance 

Field Lighting for HDTV 

Let the Audience Know You as a Friend 

Impact How People Perceive Your Sources 

Posture Matters 

Split-Focus Presentation 

The Anchor Debrief 

When You Are Before the Camera 

How Reporters Evolve Into Anchors 

Appendix C: The Assignment Editor and Producer:

Architects of the Newscast 

The Assignment Editor 

Assignment Editors Help Conceptualize the Package 

The Producer 

Toward a News Philosophy 


Help Make the Station a Regional Force 

Improve Audio-Video linkage 

Visuals  Freshen File Video 

Use Talking Heads with Purpose 

Weather and Sports