4 Takeaways from Day 1 of #NABshow 2017

1. The Future of Storytelling is Interactive

Eduardo Angel led an extremely engaging session called "Unraveling Digital Workflows for Mobile Storytellers." He not only gave fantastic advice, such as best editing organizational structures, best devices to record sound on and color advice, but he also painted a picture of what video will be like in the near future.  He quoted Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine: 

In the next 20 years, anything that is not intensely interactive will be broken.
— Kevin Kelly

One example of the way we can create more interactive video content is through a new interactive genre called "Video Hotspots." Throughout the video "hotspots" are displayed allowing the viewer to choose their own path -- it's very much a modern form of "Choose Your Own Adventure." Another style is called a "Q&A,"  which gives the audience the control to navigate the video interview how they like and skip the parts they don't find useful. Hotspots and Q&A are just two of the many new interactive video style that Verse, an interactive video platform, let's you create. 

2. 360˚ video live-streaming is the future of journalism!

High quality 360˚ cameras are expensive and time-consuming. They often require a heavy lift in post-production, such as stitching and adding graphics, a work-flow that does not work well with the fast-paced nature of video journalism. Nick Harauz lead a session called "Mobile 360" where he showed us the various cameras we could use to create 360˚ video and 360˚ live. One in particular that stuck out to me was the Insta360 Nano, which is only $199, and clips on to your iPhone. It has an app on the phone that lets you stream direct to Periscope or Facebook Live. It's exciting to think that users can now tune in live for events and see a 360 perspective, as opposed to the standard 16:9 frame. This will also foster more citizen journalists around the world.

3. Write content for butterflies. Wait, what? 

Amy DeLouise lead an engaging session on "Writing for Web & Social." The key takeaway I received from her talk was that people are attracted to content that they can learn from and learn from fast. She noted that "readers are butterflies," they "sniff, sip or move on." If readers don't find what they need easily or conveniently the less likely they are to engage with the content and share it. Some of the most successful styles of writing you can practice to capture the reader are: "How Tos", lists and curated content. Why? Because they are the easiest to digest. 

4. #PrEditors or #ShrEditors are on the rise! 

Nick Harauz also lead a session called "The Rise of the PrEditor," where he shared tips and tricks on how to manage a PrEditor lifestyle. A PrEditor is a Producer & Editor, that sees a video project through from concept to delivery, this means writing, storyboarding, budgeting, shooting and editing. This is a very popular way freelancers work and now a popular job title for companies requiring that individuals have strong skill-sets in all areas of production. This can be overbearing, but also rewarding. Here are some tips to help manage: 

  • Get to know your camera well.
  • Save editing presets, even the simple ones (like fades), it will save you time. 
  • Budget double the time you expect to take. 
  • Make deadlines deadly. 
  • Beware of clients who do not know what they want.
  • Beware of clients asking for discounts.
  • Don't over shoot. Only shoot what you need, remember you'll have to re-watch all the video in post.