Teaching Video, Part 6 - Standups

A standup is when a television reporter appears in front of the camera to narrate part of a story, usually toward the middle if it's a live shot, if not it can be both near the beginning and near the end, which is called a "look live", kind of faking you are doing live shots but within an edited package.

A Reason for Your Standup

In terms of style, you want to sound conversational, but you also want to know what you are saying. You want the shot to be well composed, and ideally, you also want there to be a reason for you to do the standup. You should be describing something that is happening in your immediate surroundings, interacting with the environment, doing a show and tell about an important part of your story, or showing some sort of live action while doing your standup. This can be done on or off tripod. If on tripod, you can zoom in or out of what you are showing.

Smooth and Steady

You don't want to slip-up, though, both in your words and physically, or with your camera, with a weird, fast zoom, so the emphasis should be on a smooth and steady delivery. This incorporates all the voicing techniques for radio, while also looking as good as you can on camera. You can relax yourself before your standup shoot by doing a bit of stretching both for your body and face.

Your Posture

If you’re reading from a script, hold the script up fairly high, but remember not to obstruct your face, so the viewer remains focused on what you are saying, and the shot they are seeing, rather than on you holding a piece of paper and trying to read. Also don't forget to look straight into the camera. As the reporter, you don't want a tilt or an angle, you want an air of authority and looking straight at the viewer. Think of Chris Christie during GOP debates. You also want your posture to be good and not erratic, straight up and not all slouched around.

Just Relax and Stay Focused

You want to relax as much as you can, enjoy the moment on camera, and keep the focus on the story and your words rather than yourself. Don't fidget or bob around, basically don't move without unnecessary reason, but also don't look like a robot. Standups are not easy. It's a good idea to use your hands to do something, or to gesture around, without overdoing it of course. You want your hands at 90 degrees while standing. Below, you look like a nervous robot, or bored, above, you look a little frantic if too high. And have action on your face, without overemphasis, but with some movement of your eyebrows, mouth, etc ....

If you enjoyed this tutorial, make sure to check out the other chapters in my video series.

Teaching Video, Part 1 -- Your Equipment and How to Use It

Teaching Video, Part 2 -- A Lexicon of Shots

Teaching Video, Part 3 -- Shot Composition and Sequencing

Teaching Video, Part 4 -- Nat Sounds and Action Shots

Teaching Video, Part 5 -- Interviews

Teaching Video, Part 6 -- Standups

Teaching Video, Part 7 -- Choosing Your Video Stories and Shooting Them Wisely

Teaching Video, Part 8 -- Ingesting Into Premiere

Teaching Video, Part 9 -- Writing Your Script

Teaching Video, Part 10 -- Editing

Teaching Video, Part 11 -- Raising Your Game

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