As you plan your multimedia story, you have to decide which tools (video, audio, photos, graphics, etc.) would best tell each part of the story.

Video is best for depicting action, taking a reader to a place central to the story, or for hearing and seeing a person central to the story.

Here are some general guidelines for video:

  • Keep videos short, preferably 1 or 2 minutes, no more than 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Keep talking heads to a few seconds, then switch to "B-roll."
  • Effective "B-roll" specifically illustrates an aspect of the story, showing what the person does and their environment.
  • Because the Web uses a low frame rate, avoid action shots with a lot of movement or shots that capture nuances of emotion. They usually display poorly on the Web.
  • For social media sharing, try and grab the attention of the audience in the first 5 seconds. Use large text captions so video can be viewed and understood while on mute.

Taken from Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling, a self-directed course by Jane Stevens at Poynter NewsU.

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