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Digital Stories Guide

Creating Original Content

Some digital stories will require original content. You might have to take your own photos, shoot original video, or create your own sound effects/music.

Now that most people have smartphones with such good cameras, taking pictures and video with your personal device is a great option. See the Filming Tips box below.

No matter what you might be producing, make sure you reserve equipment ahead of time at the library. Full listings of the library equipment can be found here.

Below is a sample of some of the audio and video equipment you might find helpful to complete your project. 


Examples of Audio Capture Devices



Zoom H4N Audio Recorder - A portable recording device and a 2-channel USB interface in one palm-sized unit, the H4n Pro Handy Recorder from Zoom features a built-in stereo microphone, two low-noise preamps with combination XLR / 1/4" inputs, multiple recording modes, on-board effects, a built-in metronome, a chromatic tuner, and more





SONY MP3 DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDER - a digital voice recorder with 2gb built-in memory and a swing-out USB arm that you can connect directly to your computer


Examples of Video Capture Devices

Smartphones and Tablets - If you own a smartphone or tablet, you can use it to capture video to communicate a digital story or idea. Check out this link to learn techniques of capturing good audio and video with your personal device: Shooting with a Smartphone


Canon DSLR Cameras - DSLR cameras can be used to capture both still pictures and high quality video.  


 Canon XA10 and XA11 Video Cameras - Professional HD cameras with XLR inputs and headphone jack for audio monitoring. 


Filming Tips

CHECK YOUR BATTERIES & EQUIPMENT: This is something you want to check and double-check. Nothing is worse than being out on a shoot and having to call it quits because your camera died.

TAKE YOUR PLANNING MATERIALS: Don't forget to take your interview questions, maps, release forms, storyboards, and anything else you prepared for your shoot.

USE A TRIPOD: Using a tripod is a much-overlooked aspect of filmmaking. Your footage will look a lot more professional.

AVOID ZOOMING: Zooming is an art. Films with a lot of zooming resemble home movies.

STICK TO ONE ASPECT RATIO: Pick one aspect ratio (16:9 or 4:3) in your camera settings and don't change it. It will make editing much easier.

SHOOT MORE THAN (YOU THINK) IS NECESSARY: If you're not quite sure if you got the take right, try it again while you have everyone in place. Scheduling reshoots is difficult and inconvenient!



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