Transition London media training
Spreading the word - a visionOntv media training hosted by Transition Town Tooting (for workshop background, see the Original Proposal below)
CONFIRMED FOR July 3, 2012, 7-9pm
Venue: Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Rd, SW17
VisionOntv video activist Marc Barto and Patrick Chalmers, author of Fraudcast News (http://fraudcastnews.net/), will deliver a two-hour taster training on how to use smartphones to produce short, no-edit reports for instant upload to the internet. The workshop is as a "taster" introduction to the visionOntv templates. (http://visionon.tv/produce). Participants should be able to start producing reports at once as an outcome of the event.
The suggested contribution towards visionOntv travel/admin costs is £5 per participant.
Transition Town Tooting has undertaken to cover Marc and Patrick's transport costs for the event.
There will be some pre-event questions for participants to answer to do with kit, aspirations for training and so on, to be delivered by would-be participants via this link http://visionon.tv/web/makingnews/transition-tooting
It is recommended that participants, or TTT itself, buy the necessary additional materials to transform existing smartphones into recording devices. That will mean participants will be ready to record and publish at once having done the training.
For android phones that means using a "splitter" audio cable and a basic-quality microphone (@ £25 in total for both). For iPhones, the more expensive (@ £50) iRig is required.
Further details on where to get kit are available on request.
March 22, 2012
Who? • London transitioners plus staff and volunteers from visionOntv
What? • Training in making effective video reports with the kit people have
Where? • A London Transition Initiative venue
When? • May or June 2012
Why? • To help Transitioners make their own media and get the word out
Who? This proposal is for a training delivered by visionOntv staff and volunteers to a self-selected, selected or mixed group of Transition Initiative people from London and places within striking distance of it.
visionOntv is a video activist network working for the widest possible distribution of video for social change. It enables people to create and collate video, creates video shows to put the news in context and collates the best social-change video from around the world. It has given many trainings over the years, the most relevant for transitioners being one that gave rise to the Merseyside Street Reporters’ Network, in June 2011.
What? That depends both on the number participants and also on what they or their local Transition Initiative wants to pay.
A training could be run solely by visionOntv volunteers for course participants over a few hours on a single day. In that case, a whip-round for donations towards volunteers’ travel, food and time would be appreciated. Something along the lines of £10/participant for a workshop would work.
A bit more money would open up the possibility of more involved trainings in a wider range of skills, run over one or two weekends. It would involve teaching participants to use several of the visionOntv reporting templates described below, fine-tuning their efforts and launch a reporters’ network with a dedicated website.
Final costs would depend on course formulations and the numbers of trainers and trainees. A one-weekend course for 10 people and two Votv staff members work be around £100pp or double that for a two-weekend one. (See the cost section below for more details).
visionOntv has developed a unique system of video templates to cut back the barriers between having an idea for a short film and successfully diffusing it to a wide audience on the internet. They include people’s mistaken belief that they need pricey kit to shoot a film, meaning they do nothing at all (we think smartphone video cameras are great and we also train people to report using digital stills cameras or no cameras at all). Those with the necessary kit often record poor images or rubbish sound, making footage unusable. Others get bogged down in editing and other post-filming work, never completing their projects. Those who do often produce work lacking coherence or context, so no one watches it.
visionOntv’s unique templates aim to avoid these barriers. They train people to make effective video reports that make a difference to society. More details are given in the Templates section.
Where? That depends on which Transition Initiative would like to host the training. The basic requirement is for a room big enough to accommodate the trainers and participants, with electrical power and suitable furniture and space for presentations.
When? A training could take place as early as May or June 2012. There’s no need for a long lead-in time given the simplicity and portability of what is to be taught.
The ideal would be a training event over two weekends, with a spare weekend in between. That would allow for delivery of the basics and a fortnight for participants to try them out before returning for screenings, feedback and fine tuning. Lower budget versions would be shorter, giving more flexibility on possible dates.
Why? There are many reasons why – visionOntv volunteer Patrick Chalmers has written a book full of them – the following is just a sample. First off, transitioners have a lot to say to the outside world, both in explaining their motivations for trying to cut carbon and prepare for climate change and to showcase what they’re doing. This alone would make transitioner video training a worthwhile place to invest some time and energy.
Any transitioner who has dealt with conventional media will know how hard it can be to get their messages across in a way that promotes positive change. Part of the reason is because mainstream media are often simply too over-worked and directed towards more advertiser-friendly priorities. There are dangers of reporter error and misunderstanding before you even touch on questions of vested political or commercial interests and their influence.
How? A number of visionOntv staff and volunteers would deliver the training according to the agreed formula and schedule. They are very adaptable depending to circumstances.
Templates The most basic is VOTV1.0. It entails using a mobile phone to produce a three-shot, no-edit story of 30-45 seconds for immediate upload to the internet. It suits newsworthy events or announcements of the what, where and when of something that is due to happen (great for Transition events). This mobile template link shows examples what’s possible by first timers.
The next template is VOTV01.5, which uses two people to produce a basic news interview. One works the smartphone video camera while the other does interviews, capturing decent sound using a microphone and a special adaptor. Their report shouldn’t last longer than three or four minutes and should be shot as a no-edit, single take that alternates between five basic shot choices. The result can be uploaded to the internet within minutes.
A third template, VOTV2.0, describes how to make video news reports using only a digital stills camera or no camera at all. It uses a downloadable software package to combine photos, a reporter’s own or copyleft ones from the internet, overlaid with a spoken or musical audio track. The basic result is a three-sentence news report although it could be longer.
Finally, VOTV3.0 is for a video camera news report that takes about four hours from shooting to completion. This is great for budding documentary makers but we probably would get into it at this stage.
Cost If a potential participant has little or no money that should not be a bar to them doing a training. We value eagerness to learn, commitment and perseverance far higher than cash, though we do need some money. We would encourage those who can pay to do so, even to overpay to help others participate, the training everyone gets will be well worth it.
What will affect any eventual training will be the overall “pot” of money available. That will decide how many staff trainers attend and what different parts of the training can be delivered. Less money will mean fewer elements and a shorter course, perhaps a single weekend or less, and vice versa.
The day rate for visionOntv staff, all experienced video trainers and documentary makers in their own right, is £200 per person per day. To that would be added intra-London travel costs to the training venue for staff and volunteers plus a contribution towards administration work.
There is a range of possible training formats, staff and volunteers numbers as well as the number of participants:
Option 1 One weekend Template VOTV01.0/1.5 10-30 participants Cost per person £50-100
Option 2 Two weekends Template VOTV01.0/1.5 10-30 participants Cost per person £100-200
Option 3 Half day Template VOTV01.0 - the rudiments 10-30 participants Cost per person £10
The suggested contribution per person varies according to the number of participants, Votv staff and volunteers..