Iographer: Perfect for the Changing Environment in TV Reporting and Production

YBLTV Anchor / Writer / Reviewer, Brandy Falconer.

YBLTV Anchor / Writer / Reviewer, Brandy Falconer.

YBLTV Meets Iographer

While the concept of trustworthy reporting has been the focus of media attention lately, it is the important shifts in equipment, field reporting and production that are shaping the future of journalism. Some of these shifts are driven by cost reduction, others by capitalizing on the ability to capture hyper-local or esoteric stories, not to mention breaking news without having to wait for an entire news crew to arrive.

After a few years as a journalist in the wine industry covering industry events, I saw the trend shifting from written articles to video segments, and the resulting increase in consumer engagement. Unlike most of my younger friends I was a stranger to using my phone to record, edit and share videos, so when I found a TV Reporting and Production class being offered through UCLA extension, I jumped at the chance to master these new skills.

Our professors were veterans of the KTLA news team, one a news director and the other a cameraman who literally grew up in the business. While the first sessions focused on the time-honored rules of integrity in journalism and reporting in the field, we quickly moved to the current changes being seen in production and reporting, namely the rise of “multimedia journalists” at local TV stations, and the equipment that was making this possible.

While our professors may have achieved success in the golden age of reporting, they were shining examples of ‘adapt and flourish.’ They were eager to take us from past to present and tell us how the cell phone in our hands was as capable and even better suited for local news production than the bulky, expensive film equipment that was the industry standard just a decade or two ago.

With a smartphone in hand, individuals are now able to get instant footage with the point of view perspective not possible before. As news stations across the country were pressured to scale down production costs, these “citizen shots” prompted them to start adopting multimedia journalism as the norm. It offers a chance to capture more stories, with a quicker timeline from recording to broadcast, with a single reporter to write, shoot, report and edit a piece and have it ready for the evening news.

The bulky TV camera is replaced by the smartphone or iPad, and the corresponding audio and lighting equipment has become more powerful in smaller packaging. But in order to pull this all together and make it manageable for one person, a mounting system is needed. We experimented in class with a device called the Iographer, a simple molded plastic device that allows an iPad or iPhone to snap in, with handles on the sides for steady shooting. Three cold shoes on the top allow for lights and a microphone and a 37mm lens thread offers options for different lenses. At the bottom, a ¼” screw mount is ready for a tripod, and presto! you are a one-person show, a multimedia journalist.

After trying a few other systems on my own, I eventually decided on the Iographer and have not been disappointed. I have shot on-site video on my own with a tripod and have had a cameraman use it for booth-to-booth reporting at trade shows and wine industry events. The equipment can easily travel with me on a plane, and be at the ready in my car.

For crowded events and intriguing stories where bulky equipment can hinder your success, the Iographer is ideal for capturing quick, quality video.

For more information visit #madewithiographer