Friday, October 11, 2013

News gathering Video Technology and Guerilla Journalism!

Los Angeles, CA—Wherever you go in the City of Angeles doing news the paranoid public relations people and their security agents demand absolute control over anyone shooting video.   The equipment to shoot quality video was cumbersome and difficult to move around without attracting loads attention.  That’s changing faster than the speed of light.  They can’t seem to repress the journalist with the notepad but ejecting cameras from most real estate has proven all too easy.
Today you can shoot very watchable video with quality iPhone cameras and a host of small camera choices.  The somewhat new GoPro cameras are nothing short of incredible.   I have two of them now; the Hero 3 and a Hero 3+ are in my video gathering arsenal.
Any day now and I will take delivery of a Blade 350 Quadcopter that will zip right past security guards, police and fire lines.  It will instantly defeat even the tallest walls and fences to obtain exceptional HD GoPro camera video.
On the ground I’m looking for ways to conceal the little GoPro cameras so I can do interviews and get B-Roll without attracting any unwanted attention.  I am learning to do low profile scene stand-ups guerrilla style.  My goal is to get in and out of the scene before anyone knows I’ve gathered my needed video. 
Quality audio is important so as you see I will rely on a Zoom H4N recorder with lavalier or shotgun microphones.  As you can see below the onboard microphone does not cut the mustard!  As a freelancer there are really no equipment limits as long as I can bag the story.

The tiny GoPro needs some stabilization when handheld and there are solutions in the way of small Steadcam type devices that can be obtained and employed.  
Most mainstream news directors and editors are presently fumbling around with the lawyers, journalism ethics professors hoping to learn if they can embrace the technology for their own reporters and photographers.  In the meantime I will go out and get the story! 

The Blade 350 can be purchased from B&H Photo 1-800-221-5743


Milo Mindbender said...

Depending on where you use that drone I see great potential for abuse. Looking in on a fire OK, broadcasting police posistions ina hostage standoff not OK. The potential for privacy violations is beyond belief, and some paparazzi do not acknowledge any boundarys with current technology. I personally would treat such a drone as a intruder and a new form of clay pigeon if it came snooping around my AO, and defy someone to claim its carcass. Be careful with letting the genie out of the bottle here, and listen to your moral compass while using it. I wouldn't take any pictures of others that I wouldn't let be used of myself.

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

So far it appears being able to broadcast from the quad copter is still years away. It will be unable to give a live broadcast on police positions so that it was not in any way an issue like card helicopter technology.

I suppose you could argue that it could be used to peer into bedroom windows like a peeping Tom but that again is a different issue and a wrongful application. That would never be "newsgathering".

Anonymous said...

That's great video, Paul! Excellent quality!