First, let us accept the fact that stand-ups are
necessary to a broadcast news show and must be shot.
Many young military journalists are under the mistaken
impression that stand-ups are done by civilian
journalists only in an effort to reach stardom. It certainly
is a factor in getting the civilian journalist noticed and
known to the producers and public of the news show,
but it still is not the only reason stand-ups are done. The
stand-up will place the reporter as actually being there
at the scene of the action. With a stand-up, the reporter
can often convey vast amounts of information about the
story with a few quick images. For example, a reporter
wearing a Marine parka and shaking with cold as he
seques into another wonderful sequence of shots,
certainly does not have to spend anytime describing the
terrain in which a particular Marine unit is working in.
Likewise, the reporter sweltering in tropical dress
whites does not have to mention the heat on Guam.
Many times stand-ups help create visuals for an
otherwise dry story. An example of this would be a
stand-up outside the local school introducing the agenda
before the school board tonight. his created visual is
often overused, however, by the lazy reporter, especially
when most of the reporters sound bites are shot in the
One-Man Band Shoots
Lugging around tens of thousands of dollars worth
of video equipment by yourself is not only very tough,
it is an unnecessary risk to the gear. You should always
have two-man news crews on field shoots. However, if
there are extenuating circumstances and a one-man
shooting assignment has to be made, the following tips
may help your people deliver a good product.
. Doing an interview while you are also shooting
the interviewee is best achieved when you do the
following: set up the camera shot of the subject
and then tell the subject to look at a designated
spot that you will then move to while conducting
the interview. Tell the subject exactly what you
are doing and let him in on the process. This will
make it easier for him to play along and hopefully
not shift his position.
l Shooting your own stand-up may sound silly, but
it is possible. Take a light stand and place the
white balance card on it at the same approximate
height as your face. Do the white balance and also
focus on the card, using the edge of it to exact the
focus. Then move the stand back a few feet and
stand exactly in its place.
With practice, both of these tips can produce usable
products. But remember, they are to be used in
emergency situations only and not as a regular shooting
The on-air talent of any news production, whether
that talent is the news anchor or the reporter doing the
stand-up, is the final tool in the communication process.
All the technical tools of the trade and all the good
writing, editing and production will fail if the on-air
talent is not creditable and understood.
There have been countless articles written on the
phenomena of the news anchor in the television
medium. The debate on the pros and cons of media stars
and the worth of an anchor will not be discussed here.
It is accepted as a fact, backed by much communication
research, that the public still demands to have a human
face-to-face relationship of sorts with their news
programs. As such, it is our duty as Navy broadcasters
to supply such human contact to our audiences in order
to better communicate our messages to them.
The news anchor of any program, first and
foremost, must be a competent broadcaster with an
appearance that will not distract the audience from the
message he is transmitting. He must also be seen as the
person in control of the news program. He must never
seem lost or confined and must always appear to know
how and where to go during a newscast. Examples of
how to project such an image of the anchor follows.
. It would have to be a very unusual news day to
prevent the anchor from opening his news
program with his personal identification. Only a
very unique story can start on-air without an
anchors introduction, much less open the whole
program. Such a story might be a cold start
piece that begins with dramatic natural sound or
the sound bite of enormous significance. The
scene of President Reagan getting shot was a cold
start on most television news programs. But even
with such a major story, the news anchor came
on shortly after the cold start natural sound
scene of the Hinckley attack with the programs
identification and his own. Sometimes cold start