Local Story, Local Video, No Problem

“Good stories don’t just assume relevancy; they prove it.” So says the folks at American Press Institute. The rationale being that readers and viewers only take the time to consume stories that show they have personal importance or impact their immediate community.

It’s not a secret that digital media companies are fighting it out for readers, viewers (eyeballs!), as the market has become more fragmented and consumers look to social and mobile. At the same time, video has emerged as a driving force — a means by which newspapers and their digital counterparts can capture their audience and give them that context, that authenticity — that makes them feel the story is indeed personal and impacts their community.

Whether it’s to support the article, enhance it, or provide more emotional value, video is a key component for any newspaper’s strategy.

But getting that perfect video for every local text-based article is one thing, doing it is another.

Let’s face it — local is hard. Local video may seem loco. What newsroom has the time or money to run around getting video for everything?

The struggle is real, and while video syndication platforms have done a good job providing national and international coverage, they too don’t have the ability to get granular.

That’s where Stringr comes in.

Stringr is solving this with its on-request platform of over 75k videographers across the country who are ready anytime, anywhere to capture the video you want. Get breaking news, b-roll footage. Conduct on-camera interviews, cover events. Dig in and get visuals for your in-depth storytelling and creative advertising. Stream live.

Stringr has got you covered, with videographers, curators, editors, producers and more.

Stringr is working with newspapers to help support local journalism, by providing speed and cost efficiency.

Bottom line. You write the story, we’ll bring the camera.

Connect with Stringr at Mega-Conference to discuss how we can bring your local community together.

– Drew Berkowitz

drew@stringr.com

Stringr Integrates Shutterstock API to Offer Photo and Video Assets into End-to-End Solution

New York, NY (November 12, 2018) – Stringr, the premier marketplace that allows media organizations to buy video footage from both amateur and professional videographers in an efficient, streamlined process, has integrated Shutterstock’s API to offer licensable photos, vectors, video clips and music tracks to Stringr customers. Shutterstock is a leading global technology company offering high-quality assets, tools and services through its creative platform.

“The combination of Stringr’s ability to request custom video and Shutterstock’s library of more than 225 million pieces of visual content gives our customers more options when working to quickly and easily publish content,” said Lindsay Stewart, CEO and Founder of Stringr. “Our goal is to offer a one-stop-shop to source, edit and publish content, and access to this vast library opens up the options for the sourcing portion of this publishing process.”

“Through the Shutterstock API, we aim to equip all creative professionals with the content, tools and services they need wherever they may be working,” said Alex Reynolds, GM of Platform Solutions at Shutterstock. “With more than 1 million assets being added to the Shutterstock collection every week, we can provide Stringr’s customers, including media publishers, with the freshest, high-quality content to license and download for all their projects.”

 

About Stringr

Stringr (www.stringr.com) is a comprehensive video marketplace that enables media organizations to source custom footage, edit and publish — under very tight deadlines.  The company leverages the only nationwide network of more than 60k highly responsive videographers who provide broadcast-quality video in every major US market. Stringr is based in NYC and was founded in 2014 by Lindsay Stewart and Brian McNeill, who met at The Wharton School.

Shooting A Solar Eclipse

Stages of Solar Eclipse

Viewers located along the total eclipse path from Salem, Oregon to Charlestown, South Carolina will see three eclipse stages, while the rest of the country will see partial eclipses of different variations.

The solar eclipse will occur in three stages: partial, total, partial.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 5.25.06 PM

Credit: Imeida Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Solar Filters

To view the eclipse properly without damaging your eyes or camera sensors, you will need solar-viewing glasses or a solar filter for your camera. Note: The glasses and filters are only really needed for the partial eclipse stages because of the suns intensity.

Both solar-glasses and solar filters can be found on Amazon or B&H Photo.

Optics & Stabilization

To capture great footage of the solar eclipse you will want to fill the frame with as much of the sun/moon as you can. That requires either zooming in or having a longer lens on your camera.

You will need to stabilize your shot using a tripod or another solid foundation to avoid shake and other movements, which are multiplied when zoomed in.

Other supplementary shots to get are of people or crowds gathering to view the event, general festivities and reaction interviews to the eclipse.

Camera Settings

Manual Focus: To get the best and most consistent results, you will need to manually focus your shot.

ISO: Set your cameras ISO to 400 or higher. This will allow you to maintain a good shutter speed without adding too much motion blur.

Preparation & Don’t Forget!

Plan your route and shooting location. Scout it out ahead of time. This will allow you to properly execute the day of the eclipse, without having extra steps to think about.

Charge your batteries and make sure your memory cards have been formatted!

Clean your camera lenses and sensor to avoid having spots on your shots.

Check the weather and hope for clear skies!

How to: Shooting with Wind

by Kaitlyn Mitchell and James Payne

At Stringr, we always encourage you to utilize the natural sound (also known as nat sound) of the setting you are in. But sometimes that lovely nat sound can include high speed winds that make your Man-On-Street interviews unintelligible.

We’ve outlined the top techniques for coping with wind while shooting below:

  1. Avoid It: If you have an external microphone, position it to face away from the direction of the wind. If you’re shooting with just a smartphone, try to block wind with your back/body. This also applies if you’re doing a SOT interview.

WC

2. Put something on the mic: There are several options when deciding what to cover your mic with:

A windscreen is just an inexpensive black foam microphone cover; however, they aren’t great for shooting in actual wind. Windscreens are better for breathing sounds or soft air movement, (i.e. you’d be better off using these in the great indoors).WSA deadcat is great at killing wind sound, because it is big and fluffy (and aptly named, as it rather resembles a dead kitty cat’s tail). These often slip over the original windscreen. The wind gets absorbed into all of the fluffiness and dampens that horrible sound.

deadcatvmp_01

3. Edit it out: Usually we recommend that you submit your raw footage to Stringr; however, if you do have experience using editing programs or apps, this can be an effective way to remove the wind sound from your MOS interview. If you like editing on your smartphone, try apps like MoviePro or FilMic. For traditional video editing, Adobe Premiere is a fantastic desktop program, albeit it takes a considerable amount of time to learn how to use and is pricey.

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But even if your video clips do contain wind, don’t stress! Wind is natural sound, after all; and nat sound is always preferred over hearing the latest Justin Bieber track blasting on your car stereo in the background of your footage.

Just belieb in the power of your raw footage (see what we did there?)… As always, string on, Stringrs!

 

 

 

Interview Etiquette: Making the Fourth Wall Disappear

This week on the Stringr blog, we have tips on interview etiquette. If you don’t know the industry term “MOS,” read up — with the increase in protests around the world, we’ll be making footage requests asking for man-on-the-street interviews more often!

THE STRINGR BLOG

by Kaitlyn Mitchell
Here at Stringr’s SoHo office, we’re thrilled to see Stringrs eagerly accept our footage requests at every hour of the unrelenting news cycle; though of course we don’t subscribe to the “if it bleeds, it leads” ethos espoused by the 2014 thriller film Nightcrawler.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler;Image: The Independent UK

As a member of the curation team, I often watch Stringrs approach scenes with emergency medical personnel, the police department, and/or the fire department present. Last week, our in-house video producer James gave fantastic technical pointers on sit-down and Man on the Street, called MOS, interviews in his How-To  series. Now that we’ve covered the basics of framing an interview properly, it’s worth going over interview etiquette.

Last week, there was a residential building fire in Ridgewood, Queens that I covered for Stringr. I noticed that there was at least one professional…

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Stringr Interviews: John Joeb on Natural Lighting

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

Stringr John Joeb shoots real estate marketing videos by day for his production company ClearlyFine, but enjoys the extra cash he can get by being an active Stringr in his free time. Joeb quit the hospitality industry in 2013 in order to pursue his dream of being a full-time filmmaker. He answered an ad for a real estate videographer, and got the job thanks to his associates’ degree in filmmaking. Nowadays, Joeb’s day job involves using drones and glide cams to capture professional footage of beautiful properties in Florida, skills that easily translate to being a great Stringr. Here are his tips for using natural lighting.

Last week, Target announced that it would close 13 stores nationwide, including Joeb’s local store in Florida. Joeb shot fantastic b-roll footage of the store exterior and interior for Stringr.

John Joeb stands in as an interview subject in his Target footage for Stringr.

John Joeb stands in as an interview subject in his Target footage for Stringr.

Stringr: Walk us through the process of the shots you captured at Target.

Joeb: I approached a couple of people and they weren’t willing to talk on camera. So I thought, I need an interview, and I myself shop at this Target, so I’ll just do it. I knew that I wanted to do a rack focus, and that’s where the subject is really crisp, and the background is blurry. I knew the Target logo would be recognizable. I put something on the ground, to mark where I was going to stand, and I recorded for a few moments. Then I went back and looked at the shot, to make sure that I had the focus and the lighting right. I knew the lighting was better near the store, but I liked the dramatic lighting of the logo versus the natural lighting that I had above me. I just used the lighting from the parking lot, and I made sure the shot looked good.

A still of a mailman wading through floodwaters to do his job, from footage Joeb captured for Stringr when Tampa had severe flooding in August.

A diligent mailman wading through floodwaters to do his job: a still from footage Joeb captured for Stringr when Tampa had severe flooding in August 2015. 

Stringr: What are your lighting recommendations for outdoor shoots?

Joeb: Even for the photography that I do, I love natural lighting. The flash, you can tell and it just doesn’t look right.

Stringr: What types of external lighting devices do you use, if ever?

Joeb: In a controlled lighting situation, I use five or six lights, to make sure that everything is lit evenly. I prefer LED versus anything else, because of the heat. I don’t want my talent to sweat during real estate shoots.

Stringr: What are your tips for shooting at night?

You’ve got to know your surroundings. Number one, make sure you have no noise by adjusting the ISO and aperture. I don’t always follow the general rules that we learned in film school, but I just make sure that the shot looks good to me. I say, follow the light. If you know your camera and you know your craft, you can make it work.

Still of a shot of Jeob's Target footage.

Still of a shot of Jeob’s Target footage.

Stringr: How do you plan a shoot?

Joeb: While I was driving to the Target store, I was thinking about the layout of the parking lot, what light sources were around, my kit, how busy it would be. I just wanted to make sure that everything was lit evenly. When I arrive, I look at the scene, get my camera out, and look for something that works.

A still from drone footage captured by Joeb for his production company, ClearlyFine.

A still from drone footage captured by Joeb for his production company, ClearlyFine.