Archive | August, 2011

Video – going viral

18 Aug

Last Tuesday during the London Riots everyone was stuck to the TV, on Twitter or youtube watching video pieces. So why did some videos go viral and not others?


Hackney Woman

Passion – it was inspiring and a beacon of hope in a really depressing time. She spoke her words with passion

Clapham Junction – Sky NEWS

He used his initiative, filmed it well and it sounds and looks good.

Brave – he is one of the only people who went up to looters and spoke to them.

Puts you into the situation – ” it’s 10 o’clock, I’m in Clapham ”

Malaysian Student

Shocking – this is so shocking

Darcus Howe  – Why did we forward it to mates?It was funny but it was also relevant and you don’t normally see a news reader put in their place. It also had drama

All of the above keep your attention because you’re interested in the people, there is a human interest. In some way they all express and capture views we identify with.

TASK 1 : Strengths ( S ) and weaknesses ( W )  – how do we see ourselves?

Pete S : I love planning and shaping W : not very good at thinking on my feet

Nat S : Directors eye and good storyboarding W : I don’t know how to edit

Ish S : Creative thinker W : Sometimes I lose the story in the edit

Size S : Creative ideas, pick things up quickly  W : Planning – I hate planning. Maybe getting my point across

Jenkins S : Good ideas, I look at things in a different way. Find the story really well W : too confident, don’t finish things to high standard


  • Always hold the story in your mind
  • Be braver when it comes to cutting things out, even if you’re tired and impatient. Sleep on it if your not sure
  • Planning – rough script and shot list

TASK 2 : Look at stuff you LIKE and ask why do you like it? LEARN from it and imitate it. Stuff you HATE – hold it in your mind and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes

The interrupters – 2 cuts of the same film


Explains the story, introduces the characters and goes more in depth as to the story. It’s slower

Geared towards festival film heads so you need to cut through to an audience who might of watched 4 films a day. They leave the explanation as to what it’s about till the end

What do they do to get your attention? You’re told people are getting KILLED but you don’t see much. They’ve used their own footage, news footage and audio from the news, audio of interviews over images & text.

Standard :

Captivating, emotional, traditional Hollywood trailer. It doesn’t give away the story line, it keeps you guessing

What do they do to get your attention? Strong passionate woman talking. Dead body right at the beginning, audio GANG WARFARE, emotional music

10 minute Challenge – pitch a response to the riots

Sizwe / Ish : Through My Eyes

Showing the build up and excitement, BBpin is pinging, getting ready to go out then flashing of all different races, sexes, ages pulling their bandana’ s up and leaving the house

Nat / Jenkins : Did This Have to Happen?

Split screen – man goes out on a normal street, normal day, comes home after the looting with.

Pete / Lucy : What Next?

Match live tv footage with talking heads : 1. smashing shops / shop keeper ” i’ve run this barbers for 60 years ” 2. relaxed kids laughing and enjoying the looting / young person  ” we just got hyped up ” 3. girl screaming at policeman / policeman ” i don’t understand why there is so much hate ” – What next? Get each talking head’s POV


I Predict A Riot

16 Aug

Glenn Mcmahon has reported from countries in conflict including Palestine, Libya, Egypt & now Hackney! He came into the office to give us some advice on reporting from the front line :

When it’s kicking off how do you find out what’s going on?

  • Twitter – live updates, good way to meet up with people, follow up stories and find contacts to interview
  • Get down there  – don’t just believe what your hearing, get down there and assess the situation yourself
  • Speak to demonstrators or community leaders beforehand if possible – find out whether there is a plan and whether this is something they’ve done before ( what happened last time? )

Where should you stand?

  • Behind the police can be a safe place to stand unless people are throwing things
  • Get a vantage point but be prepared to move with the trouble.
  • Stay on the peripheries, stay on the edge so you can observe the activists, police and authorities. See as much as you can.

Writing good content

  • Quotes add colour to a story – shop keepers, looters, police as many people as possible
  • Meet people, be outgoing and chatty. Find out as much as you can from as many sources
  • Research well with 2/3 sources and understand the issues
  • What you lead with will dictate the tone and ultimately express your opinion
  • Look for an angle – There’s not much point writing something from the same perspective as everyone else so try to offer some new insight

You can ask your local MP or councilor. Call the press office. There are other useful sites like : what do you know ( freedom of information – you can put a request in to the information officer in the council )  / they work for you ( what are your councilors up to )

You ARE legally allowed to film policemen. The individuals can say no but legally you can.

Being safe / are you a journalist?
Press card – you can get a press card from the NUJ even if your not with a newspaper. That can get you behind the police lines.

Be in groups and watch each others backs. Make sure someone knows where you are.

Remember – you have no special rights as a journalist

When you’re talking to people on the street sometimes it helps to make it clear your a journalist rather than a spy / police – at least they know where you stand with you and can decide whether they want to talk to you or not – You have to use your judgment as to whether it’s better to explain this or keep quiet.

How to get your story seen :  News is only news for a day or two so get it up quickly. Build a list of contacts or Independence news websites that you can publish your stories on ie Indy Media or Demonix . Follow big hitters on Twitter and hope they share your stories. Use Twitter # tags. Comment on other people blogs.

Hackney -what was our experience?

The rioters didn’t want to be filmed. It’s better to witness and write about it than lose your camera and get beaten up

Jenkins : me and Tom went down Dalston @ 8. There were 80 to 90 people and a lot of people form the Turkish community trying to protect their shops. Turkish were chasing the rioters out of Dalston, then the police started to question the Turkish community, which created  lot of tension. There were old grey men with machetes from the Turkish community

Liz : I went to the top of Clarence Rd, it felt like a party that had got out of hand. Everyone was drinking and seemed to be having a good time.

Video 101

4 Aug

We’ve got some many YH Creatives into video right now that we need some help from the professionals. Luckily for us and thanks to Media Trust we got in touch with Pete Deagle a Producer / Director for the BBC. Pete’s background is music videos and working with celebs on  T4.  Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to get some direction and hopefully see the results in the video we make. This is installment 1, next session 18th August – if you’ve got an idea you need help with come along!

Pete, how did you get into TV?  ” I did a history degree, then got into media as a runner and worked my way up. There are some good courses but you just learn on the job constantly, film, sound. I’ve been in the job 6 years and now I’m now a producer Director for the BBC.”

What are we going to work on?

Jenkin’s idea : Jenkins won funding for his first short film from Live Unltd. What’s it about? Can you use uni fees as an excuse for making money by whatever means?

Possible strap lines : “Which role would you pick?” Are you going to do something good with your life or something stupid?

Ish & Nat ( Double Trouble ) : Create Youtube videos that build bigger buzz

Alika : Create video that’s commercial enough to get on TV but still have room for some diverse and creative ideas

Where are We NOW?

Twins videos :

Wanted 3,334 views

Who’s doing what you do Well? Soldier Boy


Encore 300 +  views / Rich Mix 91 views




How long should video be? As long as it’s interesting! If it’s for dance video then it has a time span but the question is – is it interesting?

Who are you trying to reach? Most people watch video online on youtube. Virals are 1 minute, music videos are 3. We’ve got a short attention span these days.

How do you get noticed? There’s some great stuff on the internet that gets ignored and some really bad stuff gets popular. Have this question in your mind constantly.

What do you forward to friends? Funny or controversial, human interest gets people engaged – basically we watch things for a reason.

Answer : You’ve got to GRAB your audiences’ attention straight away and lead them into your video

It’s all about the ideas – it does matter what it looks like but you need  great idea before anything else

Constantly ask : is it entertaining people, is it interesting people and will it get them hooked???

Watch other peoples videos : what do you like about them? What don’t you like them? What would you do differently?

What’s out there already? What’s good, not so good and what would you do differently??

+ you really cared about the lead actor and it kept you interested. The story was really easy and simply to understand

+ split screen good, story kept Twins and Jenkins interest

– Pete and Lucy lost interest, no music

+ Beautifully shot and lovely story but slow to build and the entry point clearly puts peoplesl off as only 900 views