Masterclass: how to become a mobile visual journalist


Robb Montgomery

Robb Montgomery, founder of the Smart Film School, and Patricia O’Callaghan, mobile journalist for RTÉ News, today gave the news:rewired conference a masterclass on the first steps to creating mobile journalism videos – or as the cool kids call it: MOJO.

The key to a successful MOJO package, Montgomery said, is the right training and equipment – there is no point, he added, in editors sending out reporters with a phone and then being surprised when they come back with poor footage.

Both Montgomery and O’Callaghan stressed the importance of a tripod – a light weight tripod is essential to capture the spontaneity of breaking news stories with mobile phones, they said.

O’Callaghan added:

I always, always, film with a tripod. I think it gives you the possibility to create professional standards

For interviews an iRig for microphones, a lapel microphone, and headphones are essential, they said – and a light source can come in handy too. Like all mobile journalists, they both stressed the importance of an extra power source – filming and editing drains your battery.

Looking for mobile filming apps can become exhausting and confusing because there are so many options, O’Callaghan said, but you only really need three kinds of app: one to film, one to edit, and another to share your video.

O’Callaghan said RTÉ uses the Filmic Pro app, edits with Pinnacle Studio, and shares everything through FTP. However, she added, she had also recently started publishing directly to social media.

RTÉ’s MOJO packages are broadcast on its TV channel, she added, but the trend is shifting to multimedia stories for social media combining text, video and images.

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