Just a couple of years after I graduated from the University of Washington, students in the journalism track were receiving Flip video cameras in their first class, starting them up on the basics of video production nice and early.
It was a smart move by the UW's Communications department. After all, journalists keep hearing that they need to learn video, be on Twitter, juggle melons, and write a story.
That's fine by me. Most of us don't operate in a world of entitlement. We have to adapt to the current's flow.
For the first two years at AP, I felt I needed to get my reporting and writing to a level where I was comfortable with those skills. I needed that because learning photography video -- especially video -- is a whole other game.
I finally began my video journey this past November.
At the Northwest Video Workshop, which was organized beautifully by TJ Mullinax of the Yakima Herald-Republic, I jumped in the deep end of the pool. I wanted a technical challenge: low light and action. At the same time, I wanted a simple narrative. So I looked for boxing, and lucky for me, there was a boxing tournament that weekend. Even better, they organizers let me shoot it:
My goal for 2010 is to become a fully functional all-platform journalist. It's something, I think, I need to do if I want a shot at this business in the future. It would go nicely next to my fluency in Spanish. I kid, sort of.
Video requires lots of practice. Final Cut is memory game. A button here does that. A command here does the other. This button will move your b-roll, this other button will erase your b-roll.
That means I do silly and simple things like this video of a driving across I-90 -- shooting the lights on the freeway in an unfocused lens -- just for practice's sake.
To learn, I watch a lot of videos and this 5 minute piece from This American Life TV show remains one of my favorites.
I hope that by this time next year, I'll be as comfortable behind a camera as I am behind a keyboard. But I have so much to learn, so much to learn. It's daunting.