Boots on the Ground: The Canadian Military Journalism Course

Ten days I spent in a place I have never been, doing something I never thought I would be doing.

In May, 11  journalism students,  recent graduates and I were sponsored to attend the Canadian Military Journalism Course in Calgary, AB. We were promised an introduction to military-media theory and some hands on experience. We got both.

Watch as I get just a small taste of what it’s like being a military journalist.

The course was a fantastic introduction to military journalism. Likewise, putting this documentary together was in itself great practice for an aspiring video journalist.

Lessons learned:

1. Plan ahead. I came up with this idea on the plane. I would have loved to call some shots before filming.

2. If recording audio in inconsistent environments, do all the voice overs in one take to keep them sounding alike.

3. Real documentaries are interview-driven. Hence, this isn’t really a doc. I didn’t want to get in the way too much.

4. Don’t be too afraid to get in the way.

5. Shot listing is maddening, but worth it for longer projects.

6. Don’t be afraid to screw up. There are 499 other shots to choose from.

7. Shoot to minimize editing.

8. You are not limited by your equipment, only by your imagination.

9. Just because you aren’t being paid doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

Equipment:

Camera: Flip UltraHD Video Camera (8GB) @ 720p, 60hz

Audio: Edirol R-09HR by Roland, internal microphone

Software: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

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