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Covering breaking news as a solo V.J.

There is no doubt that it's much easier to produce finished packages when you don't have a tight deadline to meet. This is especially true for one-man-band reporters who are responsible for every element of making the piece.

Moreover, when you also have to shoot and edit a story, it's particularly tough to actually do any original reporting in a breaking news situation.

One good way to buy yourself some time - assuming the broadcaster you are working for allows it - is to produce an as-live simsat, or extended standup first. A simsat is where you shoot yourself answering questions. The recording is then fed to your station where the anchor questions are inserted. The result is what looks like a live satellite cross.

Below is an example of a report I produced for Times Now, a national TV news network from The Times of India.

Here I have produced an extended as-live standup. You will notice the footage which is being rolled in the background - that is b-roll that I shot quickly and fed raw to Times Now via ftp along with my standup. Editors where then able to cut it together to produce what you see above.

This turned out to be a great way to get material to air quickly.


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