The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
Please join us here at 3:00 p.m. for our boot camp wrap-up discussion. Members of the CNN iReport team will be present to answer any questions you may have and offer feedback for those iReporters who participated in our storytelling challenge. For our final assignment, we challenged iReporters to report on a local landmark and you showed us a variety of places, including a civil war fort (pictured above), a beloved locomotive, and a sweet shop in Sri Lanka.
We really enjoyed being part of the boot camp experience and look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you’re new to the roundtable, here’s how it works: We’ll open comments at 3:00 p.m. ET and you can post your comments and questions below. Talk to you then!
Hi all. Welcome to the roundtable and congrats for surviving seven weeks of boot camp!
Hi katie. I really want to thank all of the staff for these very informative bootcamps. I feel like I learned quite a bit from them. This really shows us iReporters that you care. Thanks again.
Hello from Sunny San Diego :)
Thanks for running it. I've had a bunch of fun with this stuff.
What ho what ho
@KCRep, that's so sweet. Thank you! It's been really fun and informative for us. Is there anything in particular you (or anyone else here) would like to learn from future boot camps?
Hello: I thought that it was a good boot camp. I have a general question about the format of iReport. The categories seem limited. Is that by design. Do you wish to direct the content. For example, I am a techie, and the assignments seem to center on the iPhone which hamstrings other tech reports of interest. Is this the policy, or are you open to generic tech talk tags (again as an example)?
BTW - the user content venue is a great idea and wave of the future
Sorry I could not do the last assignment, I really wanted to but my son needed my car for work.
Hey there! Good to "see" you.
@TommyBanana - Here is the generic Tech talk assignment - http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=212164 Does that help?
@TommyBahama I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you referring to the boot camp topics? They're listed here under "schedule": http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/bootcamp/
Hi there cynthiafalar! Welcome.
Hi Nicole :)
The bootcamp and assignments made it possible for me to finish that story I wrote/videotaped about the CEO of the Superdome and the media tour. The editing in particular was useful.
Sorry guys, I wandered off from boot camp. I did check out the generic tech talk, and the tags confuse me -- social_network etc. The engineer in me hates posting something with a tag that is not descriptive or relevant. Am I to ignore the tags?
@ljmagnuson - I will pass that along to @OneMervOne (look for more of him soon).
Sorry I'm late.
Hi, cynthiafalar! Thanks for participating in the final boot camp challenge. Nicole will be dropping in soon with some feedback on your video: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-506027
Hello to everyone!
I think that the next boot camp should be contest-oriented and the winner gets a column or two on the main page for some national exposure.
Thanks Katie! I am hoping to improve my skills and apply them to some video messaging that we will use for the non-profit I work for (the Education Foundation of Indian River County). Any suggestions and/or ideas are greatly apprecaite!
Speaking of national exposure, I saw myself on CNN this morning in a political ad holding up my license plate, what a shock LOL.
@KCRep Cool! I'm hoping to post those ads on the iReport blog soon. I'm glad you caught it on TV!
Well let's get started; in regards to the locomotive, I thought this was a lovely piece! Cynthia, you did a great job of getting the details in there, telling the story, getting quotes, nice b-roll, photos. I enjoyed the scenes with the train, ,the differing shots, the charming music. Overall, it was a nice package with great information. And I LOVE the topic. So sweet!
What could be improved, perhaps? I thought the pacing could have been quicker in some spots, the lighting was a little dark during the interview portion, it seemed like it could be a little shorter, and the audio was a little bit noisy in some places. Granted, you have to work with whatever situation you have.
I've enjoyed the Boot Camp so much. It was a challenge for me to edit because I had so many great interviews.
Hey all! Sad to see this round of boot camp ending - it's been a blast. Really appreciate all the insight and extra work the iReport staff put into this. I saw and learned about so many cool things from all the iReporters too - thanks!
When I saw it I almost spit out my coffee!
Welcome @mskents and @dmi2! Thanks to you both for shooting landmark videos.
congrats KCRep :)
Glad everyone enjoyed the boot camp.
We're already starting to think about round two.
Anybody got any thoughts on what we should try to learn next?
So, dmi2 I had the pleasure to review your video:
Overall, I thought it was fantastic. The variety of b-roll was really nice and your choice of music was very fitting. (One note for everyone, though: Be sure to use music that you own the rights to or that comes with your editing software!) The footage at the beginning told a story about how to get to the fort without explaining it, which was great.
I thought the interview was really interesting, but it definitely could have been trimmed down. I know it’s tough, but most videos for the internet run between 2-3 minutes.
When you’re editing, think about the best sound bites and what helps tell the beginning, middle and end of a story. You can always include additional information in the text portion of your iReport if needed.
And one final tip, remember to write an SEO-friendly headline. You may want to include "Fort Sumter" in there somewhere just for search engine purposes.
Hi all from Uruguay!
I thank iReport Boot Camp because I learned
a lot and also had fun!
Hi there @mskents, welcome and thanks for coming! I'm going to be giving you some feedback momentarily on your submission: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-506973 (just need a few moments to put it up!)
Well, since you put together audio, video, storyboarding, etc, how about the graphical end of it -- animations, credits, etc for a truly polished piece.
@david.....So much was covered, I can't think of any other ideas. I hope someone can though, would love to learn more.
Hi @ljmagnuson! Nice work on the Superdome iReport. (It's here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-508109) First, GREAT get. How'd you score the interview? I love that you had him talking in so many different locations. It gives you a nice sense of the scene and a glimpse of his daily work. One thing I'd do differently if I were you is edit it down some more. It's fantastic to see so much b-roll of all the parts of the Superdome, but you could probably trim down his Katrina story quite a bit to just the most colorful parts. I thought some of the most interesting things he said were in describing the scene they found when they returned after the storm, and the story he told about the woman he saw near the elevator. Those are the pieces that paint a picture in your mind and really make the story come to life.
Thanks Nicole! All points are well taken. I agree with you. I learned a lot about pase after I completed my video and watched some of the other vetted submissions. I also have started paying closer attention to other videos I have viewed on iReports. Thanks again for the great feedback! If you are ever on the south-east coast of Florida, look me up and I will give you and the team a tour! Thanks again!
good morning from the Philippines
@TommyBahama Great suggestions! Thanks.
Katie brings up an excellent point about the music.
@cynthiafalar Awesome! Thanks for participating!
@Katie - Thanks for your comments and support. You are so right about needing to tighten up the whole thing to get to the 2-3 minute mark. I'll edit the headline shortly!
I guess for the next round if there was a way to help us with the cutting - what to leave in / what to take out, that would be helpful.
Hi @Sherbien! I got to review your video. This was a very ambitious package, and you did a great job packing a lot of information into just a couple of minutes. Also, we know you lost your iPhone, so props to you for re-recording everything.
Just a few thoughts:
In the beginning, I would have liked to see more of an establishing shot -- maybe a sign with the mall's name. If you didn't read the title of the video and description, it takes a while to know the package is about a mall.
The interview is a bit hard to hear. It looks like you conducted the interview in a quiet spot – which is great. Next time, you could try to lower the volume on the b-roll while the subject is speaking.
Finally, you have lots of B-roll, which is great, but I might be more selective in the images that you choose. Also, it seemed like the camera moved around a lot. Next time, pick a few shots – varying wide, medium and close – and hold the camera steady for several seconds.
Overall, a great effort, and I hope you will continue practicing your new skills!
@TommyBahama - You are always welcome to use any tags you wish
I watched your iReport this morning and thought you picked a great landmark.
That stadium was really interesting.
I really liked the nugget in the interview with the ball from 1930 and the one from the 2010 World Cup.
I think you could have built the whole story around how the sport has changed, but that great building hadn't.
The guy you talked to was a great character. You could tell that he loved what he does. It would have been really cool to walk around the stadium with him. I'll bet he could point out some really neat things in the stadium.
I also think your video would have been more effective if you had edited the b-roll of the players with the interview.
The shots were nice and steady, which is great, so you had really good shots to work with.
I think the audio would have been better if you could have gotten your mike closer to him.
You did a great job picking you subject and gathering your story elements though.
Thanks everyone! Gotta run - time to host my local talk show! Can't wait for the next Boot Camp!
@dmi2 I think editing video is one of the toughest parts, so no worries. It's really tough to figure out what to get rid of.
CNN APJ Sarah Hoye had a great suggestion in her boot camp piece to shoot to edit: http://www.cnn.com/2010/IREPORT/10/15/storytelling.bootcamp.irpt/index.html Basically, she explains that you should think about what shots you want ahead of time and what story you'd like to tell, and it helps to limit how much you shoot.
We can definitely provide more guidance on this in the future!
I leaned a lot and I also had fun!!
I recommend it!
DOC507218 (Centenario Stadium)
I'd love to see some of the best reporters get offered jobs at CNN, or paid for a story or two. Some of the struggling photographers and journalists out there would appreciate it.
Ljmagnuson....that just happened very recently.
@ljmagnuson -- let's take it one step further -- a CNN branded website done entirely with user content, and ad revenue shared with contributors.
mskents: I think you have a great thing going here. Some really nice footage, great interviews. Just a really gorgeous piece to watch. And the images that go along with it (those rows of pumpkins!) are just lovely.
Overall, it's more than five minutes long and I would recommend keeping a piece like this in the neighborhood of three minutes or less, personally. The footage here is so gorgeous ... but yes, the length makes it hard to follow the whole way through.
The establishing shot in the beginning gives an overview of the setting, but is also hard to pin down; perhaps start with a shot of a museum building. Get us excited about the museum, tell us why we should care. Then, give the history and set up all the interviews and take us on the tour. You do a great job with getting in close during the rest of the piece, and the costumes are fun. So, editorially there's a lot to work with.
As far as video quality/technical issues go, the audio quality is very good; the lighting is a little dark in some spots, but the footage is nice. I would say use shorter cuts throughout and monitor the pacing of your piece. Your voice-overs are good and I love the historical tidbits. And then be cautious of your transitions; some of them feel a little too tight. Be sure to give them room to breathe.
Thanks dsashin, I learned alot from the boot camp. Thanks also for the comment and I'll be applying them on my next submissions.
Hi Hhanks and everyone. It's sad that this is the last activity for boot camp.
I have my last questions, what is your comment if I submit the story about the graveyard dwellers on this submission: /DOC-508883
@katie - I did not review Sarah's report before I went out - I think I need to go back and review the other pieces supporting all the assignments. Maybe even make some notes for handy reference in the field!
I do think about some of the images I hope to get before I go out, but have not roughed out the story beforehand for fear of missing something or trying to force a good story into a bad preconceived idea. Bad approach?
@cynthiafalar Thanks for coming! Have fun.
Off to a story - gotta go.
Have a great day and looking forward to checking out all of the great landmark stories :)
Thank you iReport Producers for the Boot Camp.
ljmagnison -- That's a cool idea and we've been pretty happy to see some iReporters get hired in various capacities at CNN.
They went through the regular channels for getting hired, but the exposure they got from being iRepoters helped.
You can see what jobs CNN is looking for here: http://www.turner.com/careers/index.html
Cya Chris...great stories from the Womens Conference!!
@Sherbien - that looks interesting, too! Couple things off the bat -- the camera seems to be moving a lot. Try holding one or two shots for several seconds -- it is less jarring for the viewer.
Also, titles are OK, but they can become a crutch -- if possible, let one of your interview subjects say what you're trying to convey, rather than writing it out.
I used Movie Maker to make my video about the Homestead Museum. I would like to know more about the editing tools available. Perhaps a new assignment could be how you celebrate holidays in your piece of the world.
@Staff....do you know when the next round of bootcamps might start?
@dmi2 I think it's a good idea to have a rough idea of what questions you want to ask, but you're right, you definitely don't want to limit yourself from discovering something new. The more you shoot and edit, the better you'll get.
All of this said, you did a great job! I don't meant to come across as harsh, just constructive. :) I really liked the way you framed your interview subject and the video really made me want to visit the fort.
WOW! This was such a great service and experiment.
Quick edit tip. If part of your story speaks for itself through visuals, try taking out any audio that is telling the same story. Example - If you're doing a story about Halloween - use visuals to show Halloween and then choose sound bytes that tell a slightly different story to compliment the visuals.
Also, challenge yourself to pick shots that don't match the audio...if a man says red truck...you don't always have to show a red truck at the exact moment you hear the word red truck. Experiment with sliding your visual cuts. It will help to create more of film look. Example - in the real world - when someone across the room or to the left/right speaks - it usually takes a person a second or two to turn their head to see who is speaking - take a look at movies or popular tv shows - they always cut their shots about a second or half second after the audio of the person speaks for a more natural cut.
I've really enjoyed following this! Keep up the great work! The responses have been inspiring!
@Staff, how about a badge for attending bootcamps? Please, i want my first one.
Thanks @davidw for the comments!
@katie - no harshness taken! I appreciate the honesty. I guess I do do a little pre-planning because I do have some questions in mind to get things rolling with whomever I talk with.
Hi @pchase! What a lovely surprise seeing you here.
iReporters, at the risk of embarrassing Paul, you should check out this video he worked on recently: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/10/26/license.plates.map.cnn?iref=allsearch
It's a great example of storytelling with excellent editing and interviewing.
@KCRep - Don't worry KCRep. We've got more badges coming soon, so you'll get plenty.
We're planning another boot camp next year and we'll definitely have a badge for it.
Thanks CNN Ireport for this booth camp and looking forward for more.
Sorry to be late! I thought the boot camps were wonderful. I particularly appreciated the one on shooting video. I would love more on that in the future. I found the feedback and tips incredibly useful.
I have a few suggestions for future (hopefully!) boot camps:
For me, it was really nice to see the featured photos on the roundtable page beforehand. But it would have been nicer if there had been more feedback from the pros on those particular photos BEFORE the roundtable. Really, it would have been great if they had given a thorough evaluation of about 5 different submissions - perhaps submissions which really illustrated the points on the "hints" page. I think we might have gotten more out of it and been able to really absorb what was being said.
The roundtable format made it really difficult to follow - particularly on the photography roundtable. I found myself having to reload the page, run over to look at one iReport or the other, re-load the page again to see the other comments, run back and look at another submission, etc. It was difficult to get anything really meaningful out of that, at least for me.
I really think getting to watch the videos or see the photos with the critiques beforehand would have been very interesting and would have made the roundtable more lively, too.
Anyway, I think it was a great idea and, as I said, I loved the video one in particular. Thanks for doing these. They can't have been easy to organize!
Thank you for your comments. I totally agree. My beginning is much weaker than my end. Community involvement was my theme but it probably wasn't clear enough. I didn't want to leave out the tour of the building but the lighting was terrible. My focus could have been just about the National Honor Society Students because that was my favorite part. Great Kids!!!!!! I admire the people who edit on a daily basis. Very difficult to leave out something you care about.
I mentioned that about pay for some of the stories because there are a number of journalist and photographer web sites I belong to, and most of them are telling people NOT to do IReports, calling it a ripoff, etc. which really bothers me ... I don't agree with what they say, but look at it more like an aspiring musician who plays "open mic" night which is generally unpaid, to gain an audience. I see photography and journalism as "performing arts" in alot of ways.
And what happened that some folks got CNN jobs. Can you tell me any more either publically or privately. Just curious.
@pchase -- Awesome vid of plates artist!
@alisonv Thank you! That's really valuable feedback. The roundtable format isn't perfect, so we'll look for ways to improve it next time.
What was it about the video boot camp that you liked best?
I thought that both the experts were really helpful and very patient with us - willing to take the time to explain things, since most of us aren't professionals. They were quick to answer the questions and really gave us some important details about technical things like upload settings. I learned so much from that. I copied and pasted it to a Word doc for future reference!
Thanks @katie & @tommybahama! You now know all my edit secrets.
@mskents -- Yeah, I think maybe that is a lens on what makes this museum such an important landmark. I think the interviews were just so awesome. You could have had some sort of angle, for example, where you have the establishing shot of the museum and you talk about how it's important to the community, how everyone is invested in it, and the move right into the interviews with the kids. Those were so fantastic.
MSkents, I know how you feel! I think editing is the toughest part.
I liked reporting on a landmark and seeing what was important to people from all over the world. I did try to edit to three minutes but since I had thirty minutes of video I gave up to five minutes. I liked that it forced me to think more about editing and how it keeps the pace in the story. Thank you to CNN I report for putting on this boot camp.
That's good feedback ljmagnuson.
I agree with the open mic analogy.
I think iReport offers people a guaranteed opportunity to share their stories with the world -- the added exposure could make their work more valuable, but that's a bonus.
Here's a couple of examples of iReporters getting CNN jobs:
Adam Siegel got a job as a tour guide and freelances with us when he can.
I don't know if you remember our intern Jordan Sarver. He was also an iReporter and freelances with us.
We've also enjoyed watching the career of former iReporter Ashley Porter. She's not at CNN, but she's doing great in Austin. http://www.news8austin.com/content/274843/local-beer-crafters-brew-attention-with-austin-beer-week
@alisonv The thought of you pasting the roundtable into a Word doc is the sweetest thing ever. I'm so glad you got so much out of it.
It goes without saying that our experts were AWESOME. They loved interacting with all of you and being able to give feedback on your iReports. It was so fun to watch.
Great vid of plate artist. Thanks I report for helping us shape our skills as citizen journalists in our own country. The round table also is a good way of shaping more our skill. Experiences from booth camp is priceless. Thanks again. Happy weekend and happy hallooween!
Pondering the editing issue for next time. Maybe a two week assignment with the first week submitting an assignment, then the second week re-editing it after getting the expert's feedback?
@dmi2 That's an awesome suggestion! I love it.
@everyone We've got a few minutes left in the roundtable. Anyone have any final questions/feedback on the boot camp?
@dmi2 -- great idea. I learn the "whys" better when I see a concrete example.
@alisonv @mskents -- agreed. It's so tough to take out something you love. And it's hard not to feel the pain when you have to make cuts of something you're attached to.
Speaking only for myself, the only things that ever give me consolation on such occasions are that A.) Getting my piece approved > not having it approved, and B.) I have to play a role in making something watchable/readable or else the information might not be absorbed at all.
Katie, :-) It was really fun for us. I have been a photographer for many years and took formal courses years ago. I've never studied video in my life - just learned by doing - and that's another reason I liked it so much. Yes, the experts were awesome!
That is a great idea dmi2. That would be a great challenge.
Thanks @all - see you at the next roundtable, and of course the next exciting iReport challenge
dmi2 I like that idea. I almost thought of presenting my story from two points of view.
Thanks everyone. See you.
We're getting toward the end of our time, but I want to thank Paul Chase for joining us.
He's one of our video production gurus and we've worked with him for a long time.
It was a nice surprise to hear from him.
Thank you all for joining us today! It was a pleasure hearing from you all. We'll keep you posted on boot camp round two! Have a great weekend, everyone.
Does anybody have any other questions before we wrap up? Next week's discussion will be a free-form chat, so we'll have plenty of time to talk about any issues or concerns you may have.
@katie @TommyBahama and @davidw - thanks! Regardless of the assignments, I can't wait for the next Boot Camp.
To all the CNN iReport Producers thank you for an amazing opportunity. To all the iReporters thanks for sharing your worlds with us.
Take care all.....
@mskents - our posts crossed, thank you!
Thanks CNN iReport!!!
I am so very sorry I kept up till midnight and then fell asleep, and got up now, but its too late so sorry everyone, it 2.00 a.m. now
sorry to arrive late technical problems wow mine got vetted on cnn The Doll Cemetery thanks
Thanks CNN Ireport
Hello from the Philippines. I created 2 stories on this, and I did my best. I am glad I've shared my stories, and was able to tell the world through CNN about 2 interesting landmarks here in our country.
@TYson thanks for the feedback on my Cemetery Doll
Has anyone heard of CVHIDTA and there sister program I'm also on twitter @nale112
Well here is some of the things that they do
CVHIDTA use mainly the Fresno meth task force and the sister team witch use the the same concepts but target mid level and common drug user they use mainly sheriff like MAJEC for Fresno county and so on for each county they have a sheriff from every county from kern to sacromento and each county has a special task force like majec
Begin forwarded message:
From: ryan <email@example.com>
Date: October 27, 2010 12:57:33 AM PDT
Cc: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "USA.firstname.lastname@example.org" <USA.email@example.com>
Subject: District attorney
Begin forwarded message:
From: ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 22, 2010 8:20:28 AM PDT
Subject: FBI,Whitehouse,US supreme court,US district attorney
Begin forwarded message:
The CVHIDTA mark drug users with a device and they are able to listen to a persons inner thoughts they also can stimulate the central nervous system causing ( real life like humans feelings from twitching , extreme pain , numbness in any part of the body)they also can send sounds into the mind.they torment the drug users (mainly first time offenders ) and scare the drug users to fear for there life resulting pulled over by sheriffs carry weapons with drugs in the car making a more punishable crime.making it look like a regular traffic stop.the physical mind games to the torchering threw nervous system.my name is Ryan Matthew Nale they have had a team on me since 2006 to now 24/7 torchering me they also have plain clothes personal who help interact with these tactics and I can describe some of them
I have sent this to the FBI, the Whitehouse,the US Supreme courts,US district attorney and there are program that uses the same concept for mid level common street people using drugs
My name is Ryan Matthew Nale I know
This because they have had a team of roughly 20 people on me 24/7 since 2006. I'm sending you this letter because this is a major problem it come down to the suppervision who allow this to take place. I have contacted the FBI and many other top government agency informing them how I know how they operate and I have seen some of there personal