Tuesday 5 July 2016

A taste of real videojournalism at the World Sporting Championships

I spent a hectic and exciting few days working for the CPSA at the World Sporting Championships, at EJ Churchill's shooting ground near High Wycombe.

It was a terrific event, with all the atmosphere and excitement that you'd hope at a World Championship. That was no accident - the organising team from EJ Churchill, the CPSA and many more had worked hard to make it an event to remember.

I remember working in the Press centre at Woolwich at the London 2012 Olympics, and watching open-mouthed as radio reporters and videojournalists compiled their reports on laptops, uploading the finished pieces direct to their newsrooms.

How times change! Here was I doing the exact same thing - interviewing a sponsor or a winner, then rushing back inside to knock out a quick edited version to upload to YouTube, Facebook and the rest.

It was every bit as exciting - and nerve-racking - as I'd imagined. Normally I can take my time over an edit, fussing over a cut, tweaking the colour balance or the EQ on the audio. Here time was everything. I quickly learnt the value of having a basic "that's good enough" colour grade and EQ preset to throw onto everything, and covering up the odd jump cut with a simple lens flare transition.

The results looked a little rough around the edges, to my eye at least, but they did the job. It helped enormously that I had prepared some title graphics and selected a piece of royalty free music in advance. It meant I didn't waste valuable time at the venue, and it added a degree of polish.

All in all an exciting few days doing "real" videojournalism, a valuable learning experience, and most of all the client was happy with the results. So happy in fact they sent me a thank-you card. Isn't that lovely? People so rarely bother with cards nowadays, but it meant a lot to me.

I must give a quick shout-out to Lucy and Kate from Tweed Media, who were in charge of the social media side of things - posting a massive amount of material on Facebook and Twitter, and generally building the excitement around the event. Also to the lovely folks from Bucks New Uni media department, who were filming for EJ Churchills and were very forgiving when I stole part of their desk. Oh, and Carlito's Coffee which kept me going through the long days - a lovely guy selling some seriously good coffee!

To watch the rest of the videos, check out the CPSA's YouTube channel. And to see some of the great work done by the rest of the team, search on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the hashtag #WorldESP