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IJC Training: Reporters and Cameramen Learned How to Create Video ‘Stories’ as a Team

26 December 2019
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"The key of a video’s success is the relation between the reporters and cameramen." This sentence started the training ‘Reporter and cameraman – how to make a good team in the field’, organized by the Independent Journalism Center on 7-8 December 2019 at Chisinau. 18 cameramen, camerawomen and journalists learned from Andrei Captarenco, Radio Free Europe, Romania, and Catalin Balan, ‘BA DA Media’ Production House, Romania, how to create a video ‘story’ in a team.

"In order to be original, we need to tell a story. The story can only be created if there is a good communication and understanding between a reporter and a cameraman, who make a team together", the trainers told to the participants.

According to them, the team should communicate before each event in order to handle any unforeseen situations. Such situations were analyzed via a tutorial filmed by the two trainers during the 2018 protests in Bucharest.

The trainers warned that cameramen do not have to be ‘slaves’ in this relation. On the contrary, in some circumstances they have to take over the control and shoot important details, even without a tripod. "I prefer to lose quality over the ambience’, emphasized Catalin Balan, specifying that ‘a good cameraman has 'three heads', which means that he has to put himself in the shoes of the reporter, of the viewer and do his work, all at the same time."

Andrei Captarenco showed the participants what the backpack of a cameraman or of an ‘universal journalist’, who works alone, should contain.

An important tip offered by the trainers was to replace words with images in order to avoid the outdated style of the coverage. The experts recommended journalists to use visual metaphors generously – one of the methods of making a quality media product.

During the second day of the training, the participants presented video reports that they have worked on earlier, which were then discussed, and received suggestions for improvement. Carolina Buimestru, student at the Chisinau School of Advanced Journalism, had the courage to present her short films made before becoming a student. "I’m grateful to the trainers for information, experience, attitude and, last but not least, for their support and appreciation. Now I have other wings to reach another level in the creation", she confessed.

Irina Baxan, reporter at Nordnews.md, learned how the reporter-cameraman relation can be strengthened. "A quality product should be the result of a fruitful collaboration between a cameraman and a journalist. There is no “head” and “subordinate”, but a whole body", believes the journalist.

The training was organized by the Independent Journalism Center, as partner of ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova’ (MEDIA-M) project, funded by USAID and UKAid, and implemented by Internews. The MEDIA-M project aims to promote the development of independent and professional media in Moldova, giving citizens access to a broad range of perspectives and contributing to the creation of a more resistant to political and financial pressures media sector.