The big leagues: By-line and all…

Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of my internship thus far, and exciting as well has been editing a package that was featured in both the print and online versions of USA TODAY. I was given the assignment by one of the Video Editing team members I work closely with who has been giving me some helpful tips along the way. She was in need of making the deadline for the next day and we had discussed the original piece during a table discussion at a news meeting earlier in the week. The story would be a centerpiece in the print paper as well has a cover section on the front page. It was my job to take what Shannon had transcribed during the early logging and edit the entire piece from raw footage. I was warned that the piece was shot from a videographer that was new to filming and interviewing since she specialized in writing for paper, not shooting. I quickly learned that this edit would be a challenge but as my first official by-line in the paper and online, I would need to step up and create a solid piece of work for both sections.

With the help of Shannon’s transcriptions and not being afraid to check in with her to have a second opinion on the visual aspects of the story, I felt confident in my work and was proud of the end result. I was also able to learn a lot about the technical aspects of editing specifically for USA TODAY, in regards to certain watermarks they add to their video, the types of transitions and edits they prefer as well as the visual flow they tend to rely on for longer magazine-type pieces. It was a different type of editing I was used to, since typically in broadcast editing, I am used to a deadline that has a limit of the next 2 minutes for air time and will go on no matter what. At USA TODAY I was able to take my time and look carefully at the visual aspects of the piece. I was able to create a true story from multiple angles and layers and chose whom I wanted to highlight in the story since it had a corresponding article in the print section. What I enjoyed most was being able to get creative with my piece and edits, rely mostly on b-roll and Nat sounds to tell the story and find the true arch in the characters, rather than the facts. It was certainly something to be learned when editing for a more feature-based publication. I was also able to learn much more technical parts like creating QR codes that corresponded with the print story so readers could scan the paper and see my video on the front page of the paper. This is something that will really take newspaper readers into the next generation of media.

I was thankful that I had Shannon to guide me in the creative process and when I was questioning myself I had her to back me up in my decision making. She assured me at times that I was not alone in questioning myself and even now I see editors on the video team working together to make vital decisions on the story-telling process. Teamwork asking for help is ultimately what leads to a more efficient and effective creative process.

To watch the final product , please feel free to click here!