These three templates for fast-turnaround video news reports have been developed by media project visionOntv1 for shooting on mobile devices.

They cover single-take interviewing, single-take reporting, and shooting resuming video on mobile devices. They enable you to produce short videos that require no editing, which can be distributed straight away after they have been filmed.

The templates have been developed for absolute beginners to get the most out of their mobile video technology, and for people with skills but little time. They are released under a creative commons licence and will feature in visionOntv’s Citizen Media Handbook2, to be published in 2013.


Walk the Talk – the single take interview template

BUDDY UP! This template needs two people, an interviewer and a camera operator.

Android devices can record with an external microphone. See the Video and Audio Techniques chapter for details of the audio adapter and how to use it.

Run a microphone test. Record some voice with it, and tap the end of the mike with your fingers.
Can you hear the tapping when you play back through headphones?

The Prep

Find a quiet space.

The interviewer should have an informal chat with the interviewee to find out the most interesting / funny / outrageous / tragic things they have to say, and prepare the questions to elicit those answers.

Your questions can be opinionated, and should cover everything the viewer needs to know.

Don’t do a “dry run” or rehearsal of the interview itself, as the interviewee will go flat the second time when you actually record. Make this “pre-interview” appear like a normal chat. At the same time, make sure you get the background information that you need, plus her name and her title, or how she likes to be described.

The camera operator should practise framing her shots during this, but without putting the interviewee on edge.

The Interview

Reporter: Stand close to the interviewee and tell them to talk to you, NOT the camera. Remind them there is no editing, just one take.

Camera operator: There are just 5 static shots. The interview is filmed in a single take, and you move smoothly and quickly between the 5 shots.


Single take interview template
  MCU Reporter DIRECT TO CAMERA: Introduces where she is and who she is talking to
  MS Interviewee OVER THE SHOULDER of Reporter: As the interviewee is introduced, and later for variety
  MCU Interviewee: Answers questions
  MCU Reporter: Asks questions and does “noddies” (silently responds to the answers)
  2-shot: Introduce this shot for variety
Piece-to-camera: Reporter signs off


1. Keep the shots changing. DON’T get stuck on the interviewee giving an answer. It will be boring! Instead, keep switching to the 2-shot, the mid-shot, and the “noddy” of the reporter.

2. Be quick but smooth when changing shots. Be very steady when you’ve arrived at the shot.

3. Try to sense the reporter’s next question and be in position for her as she starts.

4. Don’t forget the 2-shot!


1. Keep the interview short (3-5 minutes or less). It helps to ask only 3 questions.

2. Make sure you interrupt with another question if:

– the interviewee is going on too long. or the answer is dull or cautious.

– the answer is unclear. Clarify proper names and acronyms, and anything which would not be understood by the general viewer.

– the answer is controversial. Be a journalist, not just a publicist, and ask critical questions.

3. Prompt her to say the interesting things she told you in the pre-interview.

4. At the end, ask how viewers can get involved or get further information.