Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Video Assignment

Proof of Concept Video – 60 points
Approximate 2-minute (minimum 90 sec) video story

For Wed 18 May Lab, Rough Cut Due Fri 20 May by noon and final (incorporating feedback) is due Wed May 25 at noon

Story subject:

  • Shoot at least seven (7) video clips of one person doing one repeated close-up activity that involves his or her hands. Get a variety of angles (remember the 5-shot process) and distances; but be sure to get several extreme close-ups of their hands. You must not interview someone you already know.

Before Lab on Wed May 18th:

  • Shoot about about 5 minutes of video; be sure to have all “five” types of shots.
  • Transfer the video to a USB drive or upload to your Dropbox or burn to a data CD. Do not bring your camera and expect to download the video in lab! If you are going to edit on your machine there is no need to upload to Dropbox.
  • Create a log before class. (This is like the transcript stage of our first audio story.) Here is a form from the BBC. The important thing is to know what shots are “where” (an annotated timeline). The log can be on paper; bring it with you. (I will want to see them.)
  • Create a rough “script” — which segments from the log do you want to put together to tell a story? The script can be on paper. (I will want to see them.)
  • We will edit video in lab using Windows Movie Maker. There will not be time in lab to shoot voice overs.
  • Your story must have have a good title near the beginning as well as credits at the end. Credits must include (1) your first and last name; (2) the words University of Washington; and (3) the month and year (you may include other information).

By noon Wed May 18th:

  • A blog post containing
    (a) a one-two paragraph summary of the story and an explanation your goals; note any reporting/video challenges and
    (b) one to two paragraphs explaining how well you met your goals, what you learned doing this project, and what you would do differently if you had a chance to redo this assignment.

Due Fri 20 May at noon:

  • An email to me with a link to your YouTube embed.
  • Put “COM466 Video-1” in the email subject line; assignments that use any other subject line will not be read and the assignment will be considered “not turned in” (no points).

Due Wed 25 May at noon:

(1) Blog Post: You will create a blog post on your blog as well as the COM466 site that promotes your video story; you can use the story summary from your earlier blog post but make it clear why this story is interesting to a general audience. The post will contain your embedded YouTube clip.

The blog post headline should be illustrative of the story (not “video assignment”) and you should tweet a promotional link.

You will also upload your edited video (.avi or .mp4) to your Dropbox public folder. Be sure to name the file something like “mike-video.avi”. The file name MUST BEGIN with your first name (lower case) and there can be no spaces in the file name.

(2) Email to me:

Put “COM466 Video-2” in the email subject line; assignments that use any other subject line will not be read and the assignment will be considered “not turned in” (no points).

In the email, include the Dropbox public folder link and the links to your blog post (both on your site and on the course site).


  • Content – Does the clip tell a story? Are sound bites logical (progression, relevance)? Are you giving the listener the information she needs to understand the story? Is each person clearly identified? Can this story stand alone or does it need text for context?
  • Sound – Is the audio listenable? Is there some natural sound and is effective or gimmicky? Remember: No Added Music. There should be no music unless it was recorded in the background of your interview, and it’s critical to your story. All natural (ambient) sound must be “true” to the story (if you’re interviewing the chef of a restaurant and want clanging dishes, record it at that restaurant – not another).
  • Video – Is the video watchable? Is the light appropriate (or over/under exposed)? Are the clips long enough for context or so short as to appear “jumpy”?
  • Bonus points for news value (your framing is critical here)

NOTE: These are the same criteria that will be used to assess the audio on your final project.

Grading (Rough Cut – 10)

  • 3 points – submitted on time
  • 3 points – correct length
  • 4 points – content is coherent and interesting

Grading (Final Proof of Concept Video – 50)

  • 5 points – incorporates feedback from rough cut
  • 5 points – content is coherent and interesting (and there is a real story)
  • 5 points – the video is technically competent and demonstrates all five shot types
  • 5 points – no distracting background noise
  • 4 points – YouTube upload has appropriate title, description and tags. There is a date (such as Seattle, Washington) as well as date (Month, Day, Year).
  • 4 points – content includes clear, complete ID of interviewee
  • 3 points – cuts are smooth, not jarring
  • 3 points – title and credits
  • 2 points – correct length
  • 2 points – content includes a clear, complete self-ID to begin or end the story (for example, “My name is Jack Jones, and I’m a senior at the University of Washington”)


  • 5 points – blog post due noon on Wednesday
  • 4 points – promotion/announce blog post (both sites) has compelling headline, overview and photos
  • 3 points – tweet promoting blog post is compelling, timely and contains course hashtag
  • 5 points – news value (bonus points)

If you do not use the proper subject line for your email to me, you will have missed your deadline (no points).


One Response

  1. […] For Wed May 25, bring video to class — do not worry about sound, we are focusing on sequencing (the five-shot process per BBC). […]

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