How to: Making Daisy Whitney's 'New Media Minute'

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As a reporter who covers new media and online video, I decided in September 2007 that I could no longer just write about the medium; I needed to produce my own show as well.

So my husband and I created the “New Media Minute,” a weekly online video report looking at the news and trends in online video. Creating this Webcast was relatively easy for us. I could use the information and news I follow daily as a reporter for TelevisionWeek and other publications as a basis for the content.

Since my husband, Jeff, is a professional videographer, we didn’t need to invest in any additional equipment.

Here is a step-by-step account of how we create the “New Media Minute” each week.

The Content
During the week, I maintain a document with story ideas for the “New Media Minute.” I look for research reports on new media and online video consumption, as well as interesting data points that showcase a new or quirky trend.

On Thursdays, I turn that research into a short script. For a minute-long show, the script runs about 200 to 250 words. I try to cover two to three topics per week--the key is to make them fun and insightful. Usually one of the topics will be based on a story I am breaking in TVWeek on Monday, but I try to approach it from a different angle for the “New Media Minute.”

We make extensive use of B-roll in the “New Media Minute,” so I need to make sure my stories can be illustrated with Web video.

Shoot Prep
I read through the script a few times to commit the ideas and topics to memory. I don’t read from cue cards or use a teleprompter because I have found that viewers respond best to a natural delivery, rather than a TV anchor-y style.

That’s why committing the topics to memory, rather than the precise wording, works best for this show.

The Shoot
Usually on Friday or Saturday afternoon we shoot the video. We decide, based on the content and whether we are in town, if we want to shoot at the New Media Minute World Headquarters (our living room) or on location.

We once shot an episode while on vacation in Florida simply using the internal camera on Jeff’s computer. We also shot an interview with WineLibraryTV’s host, Gary Vaynerchuk, at a wine event in San Francisco because we had already been planning on attending the party.

When shooting outside, you need to give more thought to where the sun is coming from. Ideally, you want the sunlight on the face of the person you are shooting. When you shoot inside, you have more control over the light and sound as well.

Depending on how much or little I flub of the script, and whether the dog barks or the children come racing out of their rooms, we will shoot anywhere from two to 10 takes.

Next, Jeff shoots the B-roll while I eat bon-bons and have my nails done. Most of the B-roll comes straight from Web video, so he sets up his camera on the tripod and shoots several seconds of each Web site or Web video that I talk about in the report. Sometimes, he’ll move the screen a few inches forward or backwards or shoot from a side angle to mix up the look.

He edits the clips together using Apple’s Final Cut Pro, then compresses the video using Apple Compressor for uploading to YouTube.

Once the video is uploaded to YouTube, he e-mails me the URL. I then log into my site,, and embed the YouTube video there.

Next, I use iContact e-mail distribution service to send out an e-mail alert to my contact list that a new video has been posted. E-mail is critical because you want to remind viewers when you have posted a new video and guide them to it.

Soup to nuts, we probably spend more than eight hours a week on the “New Media Minute.” That includes story research, writing the script, learning the script, hair and makeup, set up, shooting the standup, shooting B-roll, editing, compressing, posting, creating the weekly e-mail and answering all e-mail responses regarding the show.

Here’s a list of the equipment we use:
Sony DCR-VX2100 camera: $2,500
Lavalier Microphone, a clip-on microphone with a wire that connects to the camera: $40
Mini-DV for tape: $7 to $10 per tape
Manfrotto Tripod: $325
MacBook Pro with a 2 GB hard drive: $2,500
Apple Final Cut Pro 6-Studio 6: $1,300

-By Daisy Whitney

'New Media Minute' is the creation of TVWeek writer Daisy Whitney and her husband, videographer Jeff Brooks.