Principles of Broadcasting

One of the subjects in mass communication which i am very familiar with is the “Introduction to Broadcast Media” (MC-3 @ the USJR). Broadcasting runs in my blood being with in the industry since 1987. Being heavily involved in the news production on daily basis, i acquired huge stock knowledge about broadcasting in both theories and practical uses.

Whenever MC-3 is offered in the first semester at the University of San Jose-Recoletos where i had a five-year teaching stint, i always see to it i can explain the technical terms in layman’s words. My technical training has put me on the advantage to explain well about the matter. I told my class that they should know the technical side of broadcasting to fully understand it.

Here’s my presentation to the class on the principles of broadcasting:

Television Camera Shots and Direction Cues

The slide presentation below is one of my lessons in Television Production Management and Directions under the Introduction to Broadcast Media for the mass communication students at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City. In this presentation, i discussed about the different camera shots and direction cues for program directors and floor directors. The video on the slide can’t be played due to the limitation of my Slide Share account. Nevertheless, i put a short discussion on every slide after the presentation.

It shows the different shots according to the Proportion of the Object, meaning the size of the subject with respect to the frame. If the object is small and the background and foreground are big because the shot is wide, it means it’s a Long/Wide shot.

It lists the various Camera Shots Categories.

It shows the different shots of a person according to proportion.

It gives a concrete example or actual camera shots according to the proportion of the object.

It talks about the Number of People in the Frame, from Single Shot to Crowd shot.

SLIDE 7 (Movement of the Camera)
Zoom In/Out
—  (Video can’t be played)  It refers to the movement of the shots from long shot to close-up shot or vice-versa by adjusting the zoom lens of the camera. It is the camera’s component that moves while the subject is stationary.

SLIDE 8  (Movement of the Camera) 
Panoramic/Panning Shot — The shot moves sideways, from left to right or vice-versa while the subject is stationary with the camera is at a fixed point. This shot is use when correlating a subject to another subject within the vicinity. A panning shot should not be used to show how big an area. Use Long Shot or Group Shot instead.

SLIDE 9  (Movement of the Camera)
Swish Pan — This is done by panning the camera fast from one subject to another to show correlation. It’s usually applied in sports coverage and other action shots.

SLIDE 10  (Movement of the Camera)
Tilt Up/Down
 — You should not call it Pan Down/Up since the latter is the camera movement sideways of the subject. It refers to the movement of the camera from up to down or vice-versa of the subject. When you take a shot from head to toe–that’s Tilt Down.

SLIDE 11  (Movement of the Camera)
Dolly In/Out Shot — The camera moves forward towards the subject or moves away from the subject. This can be done when the camera is mounted on a tripod with a dolly (base support of the tripod).

SLIDE 12  (Movement of the Camera)
Running/Trucking — When the camera moves sideways while the subject is stationary by bringing the camera to either side, left or right of the subject.

SLIDE 13  (Movement of the Camera)
 It is used when the camera follows the movement of the subject. It involves dollying and trucking.

SLIDE 14  (Movement of the Camera)
 — The cameraman is walking while taking the shots on a subject so that different scenes are captured from the beginning of the shot until it stops.

SLIDE 15  (Movement of the Camera)
 — It’s when a camera is mounted on a crane and operated by a cameraman down below using a remote controller. The shots vary from low angle to bird’s eye view.

SLIDE 16  (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
— Here, the camera is on steady position while the subject moves in unto the frame running. The frame initially appears empty and suddenly the subject appears running unto the frame.

SLIDE 17 (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
 — The subject walks in unto the frame.

SLIDE 18 (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
 — The subject is falling from above unto the frame. One example as shown in the slide is the Fita commercial where a portion of a car fell into the ground.

SLIDE 19 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
 — This is when the camera is positioned on the ground or below the subject. It creates a “giant-effect” on the subject.

SLIDE 20 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
High-Angle — It is the opposite of the Low-Angle and it creates a “dwarfism effect” since the subject appears small on its plane.

SLIDE 21 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
 — Most of the time, this can be achieved by taking a shot aboard a plane or chopper or air balloon where an aerial view of the subject is possible.

SLIDE 22 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
 — Any shots can be used to establish or identify a place of an event. In a concert, for example, a long shot or crowd shot can identify how big the concert is. You can make the facade of a building to establish where the event is taking place.

SLIDE 23 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Master— In an interview, the close-up shot of the interviewee makes the master shot. In a speech, the close-up shot of the speaker is the master shot. In a basketball event, the long shot from the upper box is the master shot. In short, Master Shot is always what the camera is recording.

SLIDE 24 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
— In an interview, the shot of the reporter while conducting the interview is the reverse shot. In basketball, reverse shot (from the other side of the court) is always labelled as such to avoid confusion among the viewers as to the point-of-view.

SLIDE 25 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
— As the name says, it is a reaction. It’s not a Reaction Shot when a cameraman shoots a pretty lady talking to someone beside her while someone is speaking in a conference.  Remember, a Reaction Shot has a relation with your Master Shot (the speaker). The Reaction Shot should have been someone listening intently to the speech.

SLIDE 26 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Insert — Those are close-up shots showing details of a document, photo, etc. This usually comes after a long shot showing the subject. For example, a person is holding a document in the previous frames. The insert shot that follows should show the details on the document.

SLIDE 27 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Point-of-View — as i mentioned in Slide 24, when covering a basketball game all the cameras should be placed in one side of the court (SLIDE 28). Otherwise, the viewers will be confused on the direction of each team if the video will display the shots from the opposite sides of the playing court. The same with biking as shown in the slide: Camera 1 shows the biker moving towards right direction while Camera 2(positioned at the opposite side of the road) shows the same biker moving towards left direction.

SLIDE 29 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
— Any shots can be used as Cut-Away for the sole purpose of masking the jump cut in the sequence of video clips. This is usually done when joining two video clips of an interview that shows sudden jerking or omitted portion of the clips. Most cut-aways are Reverse Shot or Insert Shot or a video of what is being discussed.

SLIDE 30 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
— It shows the direction of the subject in the frame. This is done by applying the Rule-of-Thirds during a shot where one side of the subject is left with a space to show the direction. The image on the right of the slide shows no space in front of the car and it is confusing the direction of the car.

The rest of the slides in this presentation can already be comprehend by means of its labels. So, i would leave this post up to this point. Just leave your questions or comments in the box below if you have issues or something to clarify. 🙂

Ethics in PhotoJournalism

The prezi below is one of the lessons about Photo Journalism in my Media Laws and Ethics class at the University of San Jose-Recoletos. Due to “student-demand” (clamor of some students), i’ve extracted this slide from my secret room in this blog and published it here.

I began by telling the class that since there was no Code of Ethics of the local press photographers in the Philippines, so i decided to dig on the National Press Photographers Association’s (in the USA) Code of Ethics (Slides 1 – 5).

Next slide shows the images from the short-film “One Hundredth of a Second” which i made a film-showing and discussion with the class.

I zoomed in to the third image at far left in Slide 7 showing a 1994 Pulitzer Prize winner by South African photojournalist Kevin Carter (13 September 1960 – 27 July 1994). Carter photographed a starving toddler in Sudan in 1993 while the latter was crawling to reach a feeding center. The picture appeared like Carter was waiting for the vulture to prey on the dying toddler. Carter was heavily criticized for taking pictures and didn’t extended a helping hand to the child. He explained that it was his call of duty to document the scene. He had previous instructions not to touch the kid because of transmitting disease. Though, he revealed he shoo away the vulture after waiting for 20 minutes. He was haunted by the girl’s fate amid criticism against him. He committed suicide at the age of 33, three months after winning the Pulitzer for Feature Photography.

I asked the class without explaining the info above the following questions:

  • Take the shot or help the girl?
  • Ethical or not?
  • Conscience or profession

Some contended that photographers should apply the “Shoot first, edit later” rule to decide what pictures are appropriate for publication. “Edit later” doesn’t mean altering the image but merely choosing which is right for publication. Deletion in photojournalism is considered manipulation.

In cases like Kevin Carter’s, some opined that is already the personal decision of each and every photojournalist. However, Paul Martin Lester, professor of communication at the California State University has recommended “Six Ethical Philosophies” to guide photojournalists when taking shots. Please continue reading each philosophy along with the slides. 🙂