Video formats and innovation methods

Robb Montgomery is a video journalist  from the United States who currently resides in Germany. He kicked off his session on Video Formats and innovation methods with a video which he has recorded using his iPhone, showcasing the power of Mobile Journalism (MoJo hereafter). Montgomery is also a journalism professor who teaches video storytelling in France and Austria.

Montgomery sheds a light on useful tools for mobile journalism. He tells the audience what he discovered exploring his iPhone. He displays the smartphone’s screen showing its camera roll and shows that the iPhone allows its users to edit videos for social media using what is called ‘Memories’ within the phone’s camera roll.

He explained his concept of ‘Revolutions’ in storytelling and how the schools where he teaches combine innovation and mobile journalism. The innovation in video and audio technologies enable journalists to shoot from anywhere nowadays: the equipment easily fits into their backpack which was unthinkable some years ago.

Montgomery teaches a workshop which enables student to picture the future of journalism by exploring technological stories. He says that the process of video journalism is all about “reinventing ways to meet people’s expectations, reach their customer journey with our content, with our media, with the media that matters to them”. Furthermore, he states that “the frontier at the moment is centered around trying to get better answers” to questions around video as there are various ways and formats to put together video content for different types of people. Live Streaming, A quick hit, Immersive (360/iPhone), Walkthrough, Explainer, Kinogram, Overhead, Graphical, First personality and Mini documentary are ten different formats listed by Montgomery’s as social video story forms for mobile that newsrooms and journalism schools should be aware of.

Montgomery makes a point that attention to audio is crucial when creating video content, and that therefore the equipment used for production is important. He recommends the so-called ‘dead cat microphone’ which is easy to use and is portable. He adds that the script and the delivery of the videos are equally important as they are the basis on which a connection is made with the audience.

Moving on to another format, 360 videos have become one of the most used video types as they provide the audience with a better perspective of what is happening. According to Montgomery, before even shooting videos, the best way to get acquainted with the 360 format is to take a picture. He states that one of the must-have when shooting a 360 video is a tripod, which allows to be at any desired distance from the object of the shot. A more detailed list of tips for the production of 360 videos can be found on Montgomery’s website.

Montgomery places video journalists (VJs) on top of a pyramid which represents the video strategy and which has specialists and generalists at the base: Montgomery concludes that, in order “to support a good level of video literacy, the top manager (VJs) must allocate resources wisely”.