Thursday, June 24, 2010
CNN iReport roundtable: Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET

Please join us here in the blog for our weekly roundtable talk, an informal discussion about what's going on at CNN iReport.

 

We'll open comments at 3 p.m. ET and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

103 Comments
June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi everyone,

Hope you're all having a good week.

June 24, 2010
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Hello there!

June 24, 2010
Click to view pjohnson20's profile

I'm an 18 year old student going into journalism next year at the University of Iowa. I figure I should start iReporting to hone my skills... any tips on 1)the video itself, and 2) finding the story.

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Hello @all - OneMervOne, a producer here at CNN is here if you have any questions about video production quality for your iReports. We hope to share more tips on this in the near future as well. But now's your chance to get your questions answered!

June 24, 2010
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hello everyone!

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Do you have any stories in mind, pjohnson20?

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@pjohnson20 W00t Iowa. (I'm from there.) Welcome to the roundtable! U of I is an excellent choice.

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

Hello all, welcome to the forum!

June 24, 2010

I can't see my comment can you guys?

June 24, 2010
Click to view SPKPhotog's profile

Hi there!  I'm heading to the St. Pete Beach area on Saturday - curious if there would be any photo projects this weekend?

June 24, 2010
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@gentill Yep!

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@pjohnson20 -- You're lucky we've got Merv here to talk about video production. As far as story selection goes, I would encourage you to do iReports about stories our issues you feel passionate about or are really interested in.

 

You can also check out our assignment desk to see what stories we're looking for right now. http://ireport.cnn.com/community/assignment

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view pcolabeach73's profile

Hi, all...new iReporter...how do I get my story vetted? 

June 24, 2010
Click to view delwilliams's profile

Hello all

June 24, 2010
Click to view sbeasla's profile

Hello everyone!

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@pcolabeach73 Welcome! I sent you an e-mail a bit ago. Did you receive it?

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@SPKPhotog -- I don't know if we have any specific assignments that would cover the St. Pete area, but that is a beautiful town.

I'm sure you'll find something interesting and we'd love to see it.

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

Hey all

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view pjohnson20's profile

Well I'm just getting into the video production (a few youtube videos, nothing much) What are some things you look for in videos that make them stick out from the rest?

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

If you've got any questions on video composition or lighting, especially when shooting iReport videos at home, @OneMervOne is the man to answer them, so fire away!

June 24, 2010
Click to view SPKPhotog's profile

I can do that!  Looking forward to some chances to practice from the beach - and grateful that there won't be any oil on that particular beach!

June 24, 2010

Oh good

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

Is there any talk of increasing the file size allowed to maybe 1 gig?

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@SPKPhotog -- There's a couple assignments you can keep stashed handy:

 

Travel photo of the day -- for a stunning single shot anywhere

http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=337949

 

Travel snapshots -- We look for a collection of shots from different people, at a different location each week (Right now it's Lake Tahoe)

http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=1310

June 24, 2010
Click to view pcolabeach73's profile

@nsaidi Hi, thanks. I did not receive an email from you.  Weird.

June 24, 2010
Click to view EWillies1961's profile

Hello everybody

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi pcolabeach73 and welcome.

One thing that helps us when you post stories is to make sure that your phone number is listed on your profile.

It's only available to specially trained CNN staff and it makes it a lot easier for us to reach you so we can ask you questions to approve it.

 

It's no guarantee that we'll be able to vet it, but it helps.

June 24, 2010
Click to view delwilliams's profile

@OneMervOne I am using a Kodak Zi8 for my shoots. Do you prefer HD at 720 or 1080?

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

pjohnson20: believe it or not, if you're just starting to get into video production, i would say first stick to the basics, over time, once you understand how a camera works, how light works and how to compose a shot, you can break the visual rules later and come up with something eclectic.

 

what naturally stands out would be what's visually appealing to the eye as an image.

 

so having some thought into what goes into your frame, having balanced lighting on your subject, having your colors come out cleanly, a visual flow i.e. your eyes see from left to right, having those lines cleanly, those are the good habits you want to try start cultivating now, those you will carry with you down the road.

June 24, 2010
Click to view pcolabeach73's profile

@davidw  Ah, I did not include that.  Back to my profile I go! 

June 24, 2010

Here I am.. :)

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@pcolabeach73 Wonder if I messed up somewhere along the line. I had some text for an e-mail specifically to you stashed, so I just pasted it into an e-mail and resent it to you. Great photos, by the way.

 

To everyone: We were just talking here about adding a phone number to your profile too (visible only to us) if you don't already have it there, as one way to make it easier to get in touch.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@dpkronmiller -- I don't know the answer to the file size question right now.

June 24, 2010
Click to view lila's profile

Hey guys - jumping in a little late here. SO excited to have Merv here. He's one of our favorite editors.

June 24, 2010
Click to view zdan's profile

Heya, also joining the party a bit late. Get your video brains thinking!

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@dpkronmiller -- Do you find that you're not able to upload your stories at the current size?

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

@delwilliams:

 

Hi Del, from that camera, 1080p would be the best format to send it in, thank you!

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

Thanks David anyway. Just curious since sometimes HD video gets so heavily compressed under 200megs.

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

Anybody have a video project you're dreaming of doing, but not sure how to tackle it? Thing big, folks.

June 24, 2010

@nsaidi Some of us don't have phones and find it easier to communicate by email:)

 

Did everyone see the cool clouds I filmed this morning?

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

I shoot often in 1080i - should I convert to 1080p prior to upload?

June 24, 2010
Click to view QuintinBarry's profile

Howdy! Hows it going everyone QB here! What it do?

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Very cool @DaElmer

June 24, 2010
Click to view pcolabeach73's profile

@nsaidi  I have it now, replying.  Also, I've edited my profile to include phone number.  New to this, so this forum is great for asking questions!

June 24, 2010
Click to view sbeasla's profile

Excited about the Lake Tahoe travel shots. I was just there recently and submitted my photos! :)

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@DaElmer -- Just a suggestion, you know. Whatever works best for you. ;)

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

Merv shared a couple of tips with me before the meeting that I found very useful. One that I hadn't thought of was that if you are using a webcam, don't sit too close to the camera. It makes your head look HUGE! I have a really big head, so it was kind of scary when he showed me.

 

He also recommended lowering your chair so the webcam is pointing downward at you.

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Hey @QuintinBarry we're taking video production  questions for @OneMervOne, a producer here at CNN.

June 24, 2010

Thanks @hhanks I was watching radar late and saw an incoming storm heading east but south of us. I could see the moon clearly so I set up and got some great shots.

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

@dpkronmiller:

 

if you're camera is in native 720p and you're pushing it to 1080i, i would suggest you stay in 720p. 

 

if you have a problem with compression, try sending us the file as is first as a HD version of a .mov, see how big that file size is

 

another option is to export the file as a.m4v and send us that version, there shouldnt be too much data loss that way.

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@pcolabeach73 Rock! Glad we talked.

 

@sbeasla Awesome!

June 24, 2010
Click to view KCRep's profile

Hello everyone!

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

Thanks Merv. I shoot 24p at 1080i on a Cannon Vixia.

June 24, 2010

I would post the links but the last I heard we still couldn't..

@nsaidi I understand... With facebook and other internet stuff, we don't really need a phone. Learning to live without..

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

yes defintely, remember that there is a optimum focal distance between camera and subject for every kind of camera,

 

and in webcams if you get too close, your image becomes concave,

 

so what you'll want to do is sit back a bit from the monitor, and you're going to have to position yourself through trial and error till your image is flat and you've got about 1 inch of head room above you in the frame.

June 24, 2010

@davidw

Check out my latest I report ;)

 

I recommend going to the third video it shows the results of the experiment.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@gentill, I'll try to take a look.

June 24, 2010

Thanks!

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

I was just thinking about the old "MySpace angles." LOL. Manipulation of camera angle and light.

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

@dpkronmiller:

 

Hey David, looking at the tech specs for your camera, in your case you'd prob want to send to us 1080i since your camera natively shoots 480p instead of 720p;

 

however, you would want to send us stuff in 29.97fps instead of 24p, the film effect doesn't work too great here.

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

@dpkronmiller:

 

just saw your earlier post, yes if you are able to convert to 1080p prior to upload that would be best.

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

@blugirlart Thanks for joining us! Saw your tweet yesterday. Looking forward to seeing how that event is going. Lots of people responded and said they were doing it. Hope you'll keep us posted.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@blugirlart -- Thanks for the heads up. How did you find out about CNN iReport?

June 24, 2010
Click to view nsaidi's profile

So for those not in the know, there's a movement called "Hands Across the Sand" and people around the world will be joining hands in various places. I've heard from a lot of people planning to go and iReport about it this weekend. The movement actually started before the oil disaster but it's still going.

 

Here's the link, if you're interested in checking this out: http://www.handsacrossthesand.com/

 

Something that we heard about.

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

thanks merv!

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@everyone -- We're real happy to have Merv here and he's going to keep answering your questions, but if anyone's got any non-video questions, we can answer those too.

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

So if I follow I should shoot - for you guys anyway - at 1080/60i?

June 24, 2010

@davidw

 

Did you like it?

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

@dpkronmiller:

 

yes in your case, 1080/60i and if you can convert to 1080p before sending it in, that's cool.

June 24, 2010
Click to view RomaniaScene's profile

Hello all!

 

Question for David...will you have a "kids project" on assignments anytime soon?  I have more than a few who love to take my camera away from me from time to time and would like for them to get in on the action...what do you think?

June 24, 2010
Click to view dpkronmiller's profile

great - that helps - thanks Merv! Have a great day guys - gotta get back to the grind!

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Thanks @dpkronmiller - good to see you!

June 24, 2010
Click to view EWillies1961's profile

@OneMervOne

I have a Canon FS200 w/37X optical zoom. It is sold as standard definition but can shoot 16:9 and 4:3. Isn't 16:9 the form factor for HD?

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@gentill - I haven't had a chance to watch the videos yet, but I took a quick look. I think a little extra light would make a huge difference in your production.

Like I said, I haven't had a chance to listen to the whole thing, but it was kind of hard to see what's going on.

 

Merv showed me a light rig he made out of a light clamp from Home Depot and a GE Reveal light bulb for about $10 bucks.

June 24, 2010

@OneMervOne

 

Do you like it?

 

By it I mean my latest i report.

Again I recommend skipping to the 3rd video.

June 24, 2010

Sorry I didn't notice until we did it over. I have some new footage but I don't know how to upload it onto the report.

 

Does anyone else know?

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile
June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@gentill -- you would have to upload it as a separate iReport. You can't add images to a previous story.

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

EWillies1961:

 

the Canon FS200 is a native SD camera, in those cases the 16:9 that comes with it is usually stretched, which distorts the image 'stretches' it to create the 16:9 effect.

 

HD camera chips shoot at 1920x1280 pixels which is the amount of pixels which naturally creates a widecreen 16:9 image

 

in your camera, the 1/6 CCD chip creates a natural 4:3 image, so i would stick to that as opposed to setting the camera to stretch the image out.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@RomaniaScene -- I don't know if we've got any specific assignments for kids. You have to be at least 13-years-old to be an iReporter, though younger kids can get their parents to upload their stories for them.

June 24, 2010
Click to view LauraJones's profile

Sitting here in Flagstaff AZ...looks like the fire just took a turn for the worse!  The smoke plumes are higher than I've seen them and the winds just kicked up.  Uploaded picture just a bit ago.

June 24, 2010

It's uploading

June 24, 2010
Click to view EWillies1961's profile

@OneMervOne

Thanks

June 24, 2010
Click to view RomaniaScene's profile

Yes, thanks...the ones that are over 13, in the middle school asked about it...I wanted them to have a "real time" shot at doing an assignment online, not just the ones that I give them in class.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi @LauraJones -- Thanks for posting the photo. I hope you're a safe distance from the fire and that everything is okay.

June 24, 2010
Click to view MelissaF's profile

Hello all...just dippin in to check out the conversation..hope all is well :)

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@RomaniaScene -- That would be interesting. If you think of any ideas that would be good for kids that age shoot us a note.

You can also check out CNN's student news section which is geared towards students. http://www.cnn.com/studentnews/

 

June 24, 2010
Click to view SPKPhotog's profile

Back from an impromptu meeting - will definitely send some travel pics! 

June 24, 2010

I am currently working on a grant project to fill food pantries in my area. It is through Pepsi refresh..

I am also growing 100 tomato plants for families around town..

June 24, 2010
Click to view OneMervOne's profile

Hi everyone,

 

thanks for all your questions, hope I was of some help,

 

I'm sure we'll do this again.

 

Till next time,

 

Mer.v

June 24, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

Thanks for joining us @all

June 24, 2010
Click to view RomaniaScene's profile

Yes, David, I will send a couple of suggestions for some "kid friendly" assignments so they can run with the big dogs...have a good week everyone!  Bye for now from Romania.

June 24, 2010
Click to view Ryn's profile
Ryn

Hey all

Late as always.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

That was fun. We're going to try to have OneMervOne back in the future.

If you think of other topics you'd like to learn more about, let us know.

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

@Ryn -- always nice to have you. Hope you're well.

June 24, 2010

Have a Great Week My Friends:) Watch my recent MOON VIDEO :)

June 24, 2010
Click to view davidw's profile

I've got to go. Take care everyone.

June 24, 2010
Click to view marjo82's profile

cnn ireport:

there has been reports that the bp oil spill site may be exploded in an attempt to fill

the opening with debris. i would suggest that the oil spill area be cleaned of any salvage and flattened.

a massive cement block or steel platting would then be lowered over the cleaned up area. the massive weight of the cement block would sink into the sea bed and suppress the oil spill opening. the weight of the massive block would cause an indentation around

the blocks perimeter that would be fortified and sealed to prevent any minor oil leakage.

                        joseph p.martino

 

June 26, 2010

RIP Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett...Take care, Al

June 28, 2010
Click to view Sherbien's profile

Hi everyone,

 

we'll all start the week right. i started my week going to the longest mural painting.

June 28, 2010
Click to view Kojoman's profile

THE SOLUTION:

But are we willing to make the sacrifice?  

 

So the supreme court has ruled against (cities like Chicago) ban on handgun ownership. Which really didn’t surprise many of us. After all we (Americans) are a nation of violent behavior, so guns is a must have for us. We’re also the leading manufactures of guns and weapons of mass destruction. All we don’t use ourselves (or on ourselves) we sell the other countries. Even if they have no need for them, we’ll help them create needs for them. So being the case, I suggest we legally arm everyone, even our small children. Like officially teach them as young children, (age 4 & up) of the proper uses of how to use them (guns). We should be allowed to carried guns in public like during the old western days.  Shoot outs should also be allowed, in designated rareas, if the needs arrive. Like the golden age of dueling. 

 

And while I am at it, we should also legalize drugs, since our so call war against drugs have no chance of succeeding. That is as long as there’s a demands for it and there will always be that demand.

 

Consider this,  we wouldn’t be in the currants wars, number 1, our southern border, nor Afghanistan. Of course taking such stands, would eliminate thousands of high paying jobs. So the question is, are we willing to make such a sacrifice?  

 

June 29, 2010
Click to view dubob's profile

I was wondering when the real comparison of what the military will be like after open gays reveal themselves.  Especially after our highest General allows comments such as "That was so GAY" after a French dinner.

 

No one is looking at the real "two faced" view from the ranks when our civilian government imposes these new regulations knowing they've not thought it out because they have no idea what it is like to be military.

 

There is going to have be major changes to shower tents and dormitories.  Because the heterosexual male or female will be required to shower with homosexual males and females under the current way of doing business.  Either the showers become free for all co-ed or private; which will cost some major general dollars!  Just look at what is correct and fair!  I like the co-ed idea!  I believe pregnancy would be an increased side effect!

July 12, 2010
Click to view SteveBova's profile

I believe most intelligent people have common-sense and see through the smoking mirrors and wool being pulled over their eyes. That said, what were the pro dispersant scientists thinking? Common-sense dictates having oil only on the surface rather than through out the water column would do much less enviro damage to all wildlife in the long run. Perhaps our government don't want the masses to see more oil soaked water-fowl, however, they must realize these birds will die none the less from starvation due to the massive dead zones created by the chemical dispersant's decimating the food chain! PLEASE STOP KILLING THE OCEANS! Steve Bova  

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