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How to shoot public hearings

Over recent days I have been shooting a series of videos for a non-profit organization called Broadband for America.

These videos are essentially highlights of public meetings held by the FCC into how to bring broadband for far-flung corners of the country.

The key to producing a three minute video from a public hearing is to get interesting bites of as many compelling speakers as possible into the piece. I also interspersed one-on-one interviews with the interviewee looking straight into the camera as if doing a location remote.
Cutaways are also critical in pieces like this, not only in order to avoid jump cuts, but also to illustrate the types of people that show up for these hearings and are directly impacted by the subject in question - in this case, a lack of high-speed internet.
Because there is no script and no narration, the editing of the video needs to tell the story. The upsounds, bites and graphics alone should be able to illustrate what is going on without the need for a voicetrack.
This video was shot in HDV 1080 interlaced format, but then compressed into an H.264 codec HDV 720 progressive video format. The graphics utilize a simple slate and Final Cut Pro machine fonts.
You can view all the videos here.


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