Experiments in Storytelling with the iPhone using @FilMicPro @storehousehq @steller and iMovie featuring @fotopunctuation

I’m just back from the “RoosDagen” conference in The Netherlands where I held workshops on Mobile Journalism and also spoke as part of a Plenary session on the subject. While there I showed the most recent iPhone story I’ve shot: “Brendan O Se- iPhoneographer” which I filmed last week in Cork. As always I used FilMicPro as my camera App but I decided to experiment with the new version of iMovie (iOS7) on iPhone to see how far I could push it…

I’m actually very impressed with the new features which included Video Overlay, Detach Audio, Audio Fade in Fade out, PiP, Split screen and new title graphics etc.

Yesterday was an interesting day because it saw the launch of Steller a new Visual Storytelling App for iPhone. I’ve been a big fan of Storehouse for creating immersive multi media/visual stories since its launch but it is iPad only. However both are free and I would encourage you to try them both out if you can.

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Heres a link to a Steller version of Brendans Story (note max file size is 10Mb so I had to drop about 8 pages with videos to make it fit the size limit!)

https://steller.co/stories/205553277939484098

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Note: Best viewed using the App on your iOS device (as with Storehouse)

And I’ve just published a Storehouse version also. Download the App to view the full parallax scrolling/ immersive version

https://www.storehouse.co/stories/k113-brendan-o-se

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Mobile Journalism in the headlines, 3 recent articles. #mojo

Mobile Journalism in the headlines

PHOTO: RTE’s Patricia O’Callaghan, one of the first journalists to complete the mobile masterclass last Nov. with Circom in Budapest.

Its been a very busy month for mobile journalism, with the incredible inclement weather creating a “perfect storm” to test the capabilities of mojo in the field. I was interviewed by Broadcast Now as part of a comprehensive feature on mobile news-gathering which also included pioneers like Nick Garnett from BBC and SKY News with their broad adoption of live streaming via mobile.

Also I was invited to write articles for both the European Broadcasting Unions Technology magazine Tech-i (published quarterly) and Dan Chung, editor of Newsshooter.com also asked me to write a guest post on the topic. The amount of discussion and feedback about MoJo has been phenomenal and it really is great to see so many journalists embracing the new technology and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. Here are links to the pieces:

EBU Tech-i Magazine (PDF)
Broadcast Now (PDF)
NewsShooter.com (link)

Making news with an iPhone – the Quality debate

I’ve been researching and developing mobile journalism training for nearly three years in RTE. Most recently I’ve trained over 100 staff to shoot and edit and a few exceptional staff members have taken the challenge and created an entire news story – for broadcast. I have to point out this is not the norm, or even an everyday occurrence. But it is part of a pilot programme to examine and investigate the potential of mobiles and content creation / news gathering devices.

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Last Friday, Philip Bromwell, one of RTEs Full time staff Video Journalists, decided to use the iPhone 5S to shoot a complete story for broadcast. As usual Philip used the Mojo Grab bag I put together for his shoot.

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He shot in 1080p HD on the iPhone and then imported the footage into a MacBookPro to edit it in Avid Media Composer. At the end of this process he transcoded (downsized) the edit from full HD 1920x1080p to 720×576 SD and also converted the progressive scan to interlaced for our broadcast system.

On Friday night we agreed we would publish the SD version of the story on YouTube:

Then on Monday we published the full HD 1080p version to Vimeo

I would like you to have a look at both versions to see the difference in resolution from the TV version and the online HD version. This is one of the reasons that shooting with the iPhone (or smartphones in general) is ideal for online but somewhat problematic for TV broadcast. If you add into the mix the fact that the iPhone natively shoots at 30fps but in Europe (PAL) we transmit in 25fps then you uncover the second technical challenge for smartphone usage in broadcast. Professional Apps like FilMicPro and Voddio allow you to shoot in 25fps or in the case of Voddio render out in 25fps but Apple Apps like iMovie render out in 30fps. In order to convert the 30fps to 25fps you have to drop 5 frames every second, this leads to non fluid motion artefacts. This may seem like technical jargon to you and to a certain extent I agree with that – what most viewers watch is the Story, not the frame rate etc etc, so Philips story above is proof that in the hands on a professional storyteller – the device is almost irrelevant. THE STORY IS EVERYTHING!

Editing Video on Android – whats out there? Try TrakAx an Irish company with vision

In November last year I noticed a new follower on Twitter: @trakAx and after a little further research I discovered an Irish company who may well have addressed one of the biggest challenges for Mobile Journalism on the Android Platform: editing.

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With iOS/OSX Ive been using FilMicPro to shoot and iMovie to edit on the iPhone,  Pinnacle Studio to edit on the iPad and Final Cut Pro X on the Mac. The workflow is extremely easy no matter which combination you choose. With the iPhone you export from FilMicPro to the camera roll and iMovie sees the video immediately. With the iPad you transfer the video from iPhone either via the camera connection kit (as shown below) or via an App like Photo Transfer or indeed shoot on the iPad using FilMicPro.

It might be time to update this video with an iPhone5s, lightning Camera Connection Kit and iOS7!!!

With OSX you can connect the iPhone via USB and copy the files directly from the FilMicPro Library (no export to camera roll necessary) via App Sharing in iTunes of you can use iPhoto on the Mac to copy from the camera roll.

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The quality of the editing tools and the ease of the workflow is one of the fundamental reasons I teach iOS Mojo. However I have often publicly said I would love to have a comparable workflow for Android or even Windows Mobile.

In the case of Android, smartphones like the Galaxy S3 and the Note III have awesome cameras, which in the case of the Note III can shoot at a stunning 4K resolution. But right now (to the best of my knowledge) there is no Video Editing App that can deliver in-phone editing to the same standard as iMovie (or Voddio) can on the iPhone.

So when I saw this promo for TrakAx I got excited…

So here are my initial impressions:

1. There is a lot of potential in the App, it has a substantial advantage in the Google Play store right now as there is really very little to compete with the it.

2. The fundamental functions of editing are all within the App, Insert, trim, mix, audio fade etc.

3. The App leverages the power of the smartphone so as long as it packs a snapdragon 600 chipset or higher it will give great results*

4. The App accesses the photos App on Android so no exporting from other Apps – mind you, if FilMicPro had an Android version that would potentially be a great workflow.

5. I have reservations about the proprietary CHANNEL editing process which is currently limited to six channels, though each channel can support video or a stack of photos.

6. The live Mix solution before output is a novel approach to creating the final story, its more like taking 6 sources into a vision mixer and mixing it live that traditional non-linear timeline based editing. My concern here is that there is no way to pre-programme frame accurate cuts. You have to cut between channels as part of the final mix, the App records a macro of your mix cues, fades, audio mix etc and then at the final stage it conforms and compiles the final rendered story.

Overall I think it is a powerful App and its pitched at exactly the same price point as iMovie on iOS

€4.50, there is a free version too which the developers suggest is a good way to pre-test your hardware’s ability to run the App. Thats a very clever solution to one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Android platform: Market Fragmentation. So many manufacturers, devices, chipsets, cameras, specification variations and custom flavours of Android.

Anyway of you have a powerful Android Smartphone and want to experiment with video editing without having to dump it off to the cloud or to a PC/MAC then TrakAx Movie Express is definitely worth a look.

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I’ve plotted a ZeeMap with Mojo Practitioners, Trainers and courses around the globe. Check it out…#mojomap

I've plotted a ZeeMap with Mojo Practitioners, Trainers and courses. Check it out

I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time and I’ve been looking for a solution to do it. Originally I wanted to be able to create a twitter list and then get a coder to design a script to export the account info and geo-location info into a KML file for Google Maps. That seemed to be an issue as its an expensive way of producing it ( I have no patience for coding) so I stumbled upon ZeeMaps and it has most (not all) of the features I was looking for. Click the image above to go to the interactive version. If I’ve forgotten someone (apologies) or if you would like to be added drop me a DM on twitter @glenbmulcahy

***The Map is not optimized for mobile browsers so best viewed on a PC/MAC***

MicW launch to iGoMic specially designed for GoPro Cameras

MicW launch to iGoMic specially designed for GoPro Cameras

Heres the press release for iGoMic

Quick Video hands on with the Nokia Lumia 1020 | 41Megapixel Smartphone

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Please Click this link if the Vimeo video is not displaying correctly in your browser.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/79798076]

I’ve had a little time today to try shooting some video with the Nokia Lumia 1020 – you know, the Smartphone with the 41Megapixel Sensor!…..That sensor and the Zeiss lens together with Nokias PureView technology do produce some pretty damn fine results. I didn’t take many photos with the phone so I haven’t yet had to time to really asses the image quality but I have to say the video looks impressive. I deliberately tried to shoot textures, colours, depth of field shots and direct sunlight shots to test contrast ratio. All in All Im impressed. In order to edit the footage I had to install the Microsoft Windows Phone App on my Mac

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/windows-phone/id415571499?mt=12

but then importing was as simple as drag and drop. The files are 1080p Mp4 vids and I cut the sequence in FCPx.

Using a Radio Mic with your iPhone/ iPad Mojo kit…

*******NOTE: I have not personally tested ALL of these combinations so if you have discovered any issues with any of these set-ups please comment below and I will modify the post*******

If you need to use a Radio Mic with your iPhone / iPad Mojo kit there are several options available to you. The first thing to consider is what Radio Mic are you connecting.

I’ve used the Sony UWP kit which is the standard Radio Mic set we use in our Video Journalism kits. It comes in three versions:

A lapel transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V1 (Indicative Price €599)
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A Reporter Mic transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V2  (Indicative Price €599)

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An XLR adapter , lapel transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V6 (Indicative Price€990)

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There is also a comparible set available from Sennheiser EW100-eng (Indicative Price €725-€999) and other manufacturers 

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Its important to know the different properties of the microphones in questions- the lapel mic is ideal for indoor interviews, to use it in an outdoor environment you will need to add a Rycote windjammer to reduce wind noise. Its important to remember that in most of the solutions below the iPhone will ONLY record the sound from the radio mic so if you are conducting an interview where you want to hear both your questions and the interviewees answers than its not the best solution.

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The reporter (handheld) mic is ideal for run-and -gun interviews like Vox Pops and where you need to hear both sides of the conversation. The XLR adapter means you can turn just about any professional microphone with an XLR connector into a radio mic and use it in a cable free environment. I’ve never tried it but it could potentially mean that you could connect it to a rifle mic like this Sennhesiser ME66 and use it wirelessly away from the iPhone and radio receiver.

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Now to get to the options to connect the Radio Mic to the iPhone. The first thing to note is that most of the Radio Receivers come with two connector cables and a cold-shoe mount.
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In theory you can use either cable to connect to the iPhone but with different adapters. Lets deal with the mini-jack to mini-jack first.

Image This cable will need to adapted from a Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) to a Tip Ring Ring Sleeve (TRRS) to be used directly with the iPhone. Cables for this purpose are available from http://www.kvconnection.com/category-s/8682.htm

Alternatively you could use one of these audio adapters: NOTE ALL these adapters offer a STEREO / DUAL CHANNEL input as they connect via the 30pin / Lightning DOCK connector on the iPhone.

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Fostex AR101 http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/AR101.shtml

Fostex AR4i   http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/AR-4i.shtml

Tascam iXJ2   http://tascam.com/product/ixj2/

Alternatively you could use the XLR cable from the radio receiver

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to connect via these adapters

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Top left: IKMultimedia iRig PRO http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpro/

Top right: Tascam iXz http://tascam.com/product/ixz/

Bottom left: Griffin MicConnect http://store.griffintechnology.com/micconnect-mic-interface-ipad

Bottom right: iKMultimedia iRig Pre http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpre/

Note the iRig PRO is the only interface of these which connects via the 30pin/Lightning dock and as such it is a fully digital interface. All the other three are analogue interface which connect via the mic/headphone socket.

iMovie for iOS7 is good enough to edit a TV news story! Here’s My Free Gestures Cheat Sheet #mojo

iMovie for iOS7 is good enough to edit a TV news story! Here's My Free Gestures Cheat Sheet #mojo

As promised here is a downloadable CheatSheet to remind you of the gestures and new features in iMovie for iOS7. There are a number of really nice features in the latest version. 1 you can easily detach the audio from the video and edit it independently. 2. You can now zoom in on video when selected as a clip in the timeline. With the split audio feature it will now be possible to edit a news story entirely on your iPhone with iMovie!

To download the 1st page as a high-resolution pdf click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7eryslt6u6zl863/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p1%20copy.pdf
To download the 2nd page as a high-resolution pdf click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hbklxarebf95sa2/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p2%20copy.pdf

Participants on Circom Mojo Budapest gave 95.5% positive feedback to course.

So chuffed! The most recent Circom Mojo course in Budapest achieved a 95.5% positive reaction from the trainees. This is one of the highest feedback ratings we’ve ever had. I’d like to thank the team of trainers, Karol Cioma, Training Project Manager – Circom Regional, Darko Flajpan, Training Manager HRT Croatia and John Inge Johansen, VJ & Mojo Practitioner and Trainer NRK Norway for their fantastic support and contribution to the course. It was a great 5 days.

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The two RTE participants Patricia O’Callaghan and Aisling O’Riordan both of whom produced stories which will be broadcast on Morning Edition this week. Here’s a sneak preview….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jrff8UWb_I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FegC8f3uKtI

Remember these packages were shot entirely on iPhone using FilMIc Pro / iLapse / and Voice Record Pro and edited entirely on iPad using Pinnacle Studio

If you are interested in Mobile journalism or want to learn more about the course tweet me @glenbmulcahy

 

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