Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to collectively create a mobile cloud-based newsroom B-roll library with Dropbox

So you've (hopefully) got a bunch of reporters with iPhones and want to easily punch up your videos with B-roll, intro files, closing credits, etc. But you don't have the time or are unable to do it because you're at the scene.
Someone in your newsroom probably has done this already. So why not share it?
The answer typically is that the workflow hasn't been worked out properly.
Enter the cloud.
If you all use Dropbox and share a folder, you can all share all your B-roll videos so that you can make your own clip in iMovie (or whatever video software you prefer), fast and professionally.

Here's how to do that:

* A bunch of reporters with iPhones/iPads (2 or above)
* Dropbox (free) and iMovie ($4.99).

* Have a master account (like your paper's brand) and share a folder with everyone in the group.
Create sub-folders within it for each reporter/videographer.

On your device, allow Dropbox to upload items from your camera. To do this, go to Settings, Camera Upload, and set it to On.

This will upload your photos and videos to your Camera Uploads folder in Dropbox.Only you can access this folder.

Note that in the shared folder, outside of the sub-folders, I put an intro file. That way everyone can access it remotely.

* To get a file from Dropbox to your camera roll, all you need to do is make the file a favorite, and then download it. If you don't favorite the file, Dropbox won't let you download movies.

So on my phone, I went to Dropbox, added the intro file to my favorites and save the intro to my camera roll, so I now have it for all my videos.

On iMovie, add your intro, your video and boom, you're done. Here's a quick example for didactic purposes:

* To add a B-roll file to the shared folder, simply shoot the video and save it to your camera roll.
Boot up your Dropbox app and move the video from your personal Camera Roll to the shared folder.

That way, everyone can use it. If they're short, you can upload them with cellular service, otherwise you'll have to find a wireless spot.