In addition to the advice our pro instructors have for our students, every so often, we'll get lucky enough to steal away some time from other pros in the industry as well.
Below is Danita Harris' on camera advice. Danita anchors Live on Five for WEWS ABC Channel 5 in Cleveland.
OCB: What's Your trick to a great on camera performance?
DH: Treat the camera like a friend. Imagine you’re in a comfortable space and you’re telling a story to a group of friends who are interested in what you have to say. Keep it very conversational and if you mess up just keep going. Because that’s what you would do if you were talking to someone face-to-face.
OCB: Best advice to someone wanting to get started in this industry
DH: Preparation beats perspiration! Read over your scripts and know the meaning of the stories you are about to read. You will feel more confident in your delivery and it will boost your on-camera presence.
OCB: Have a Most Embarrassing Moment?
DH: I have a million of them! The most recent “brain to mouth disconnect” was when I said “Bill Clinton’s PREGNANCY” instead of “Bill Clinton’s PRESIDENCY”. Now that’s a blooper! I corrected myself and continued to read the rest of the script. But during the commercial break I laughed at myself. Remember you’re human and not a robot. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Want to hear more stories and advice from Danita? Click the link below to register. All are welcome!
By Tish Hevel
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
He anchors the cut-ins for the Columbus OH ESPN affiliate, does play-by-play as well as anyone you’ve ever listened to, and knows sports like the back of his hand…but it’s polka music that helped Milan Jordan hone his craft.
Yup, polka music.
The reason God made accordions. What’s that got to do with sports, you ask? Plenty.
Milan, besides being just a really great guy, is also a graduate of the Ohio Center for Broadcasting. He attended the Cleveland campus years ago…always with his eye on being a sportscaster. But when he graduated, there weren’t any immediate openings for entry-level sportscasters in the places he was looking.
So he did what he’d advise any good student to do: take a job in the business, even if it’s not what you want.
I feel like he should get extra credit for this…because he took a job at a radio station that played nothing but polka music.
And it was great experience.
And he practiced.
And he got pretty good.
And now he works for the flagship station of the Ohio State Buckeyes. So what if he had to learn that Frankie Yankovic was the King of Polka …and that the Beer Barrel polka is sort of the “Smoke on the Water” of accordion players?
It was a step on the way to becoming Milan the really great sportscaster. And so often, it’s all about taking that first step….
Thursday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m. Milan will be talking about his path into sports broadcasting at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting Columbus campus.
Want to attend and see if sports broadcasting is for you?
By Jodi Franks
Ohio Center for Broadcasting Cincinnati
I had great plans to knock off so many things on my “to do” list today when I opened up my office door and tripped over my soap box. Bear with me, as this ranty blog post will contain more clichés than questionable nanny’s in Charlie Sheen’s house.
Keep in mind I’ve been in this building at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting Cincinnati campus consistently since I became a student in 2002. I’ve worked in the office, worked as a GA, became an instructor then accepted my position as the Marketing Coordinator, ALL while I worked full time in television and radio.
Please believe me when I tell you, if you aren’t prepared to do the work, you aren’t going to get the job simply by just showing up.
Was my situation unique? Absolutely not, talk to any instructor or GA in your building right now, and you’ll hear similar tales.
I always ask students to think about how they felt when they made the decision to attend the Ohio Center for Broadcasting. The moment you knew that you had the fever to work in this business. Why? Because if you don’t maintain that passion each and every day, you will lose your way. If you aren’t prepared to handle multiple internships, work multiple jobs, sort of leave your personal life at the door, and get past this crazy, over inflated sense of self, you will have no one to blame but yourself when doors just won’t open for you.
And unlike Kindergarten Soccer, in this business, not everyone gets a trophy just because you made the effort to show up.
It’s the same way in broadcasting, you may have signed the enrollment agreement, completed projects, produced a solid resume, graduated in good standing, but that is such a small portion of what really counts. Even if you have true rookie “talent”, that won’t even rank on the list of things a potential employer will take into consideration when looking to add to their staff.
- Are you a team player?
- Are you dependable?
- Are you trainable? (Meaning, will I have to deal with someone who already knows it all, or are you willing to learn?)
- Will your references attest to your character?
- What sets you apart from the other people applying for the same job?
So, that’s it. I’m tired and my soapbox is splintering from repeated stomping as I tried to hit each point home.
Broadcasting is a family tree that doesn’t necessarily have branches as much as twisted tentacle-like phalanges that continually turns in on itself. We always welcome new family members, but, the initiation is not a process for the faint of heart.
However! If you do have the passion, and are ready to take that next step toward a career in broadcasting, we can certainly help you get there.
And we live for it.
Click here to check out and engage with the Ohio Center for Broadcasting community on Facebook
For about 10 years or so I toiled around down in the "indie" world. My indie world was the music industry and it was a blast. Touring, releasing records, meeting new folks, pretty much working for myself. However, one little thing always got me. One thing always sort of (or tried to) stand in the way between me and my aspirations: budget.
How can you push the boundaries artistically and promotionally while staying within the frameworks of a limited budget?
In other words, how can you produce and promote your art without losing the farm and putting yourself into major debt?
From a filmmkaing perspective, our Illinois Center for Broadcasting Chicago Suburbs campus may have an answer for you. Or at least some wonderful guidance from Mr. Scott Grenke.
Scott Grenke is a Producer/Director/Writer/Editor who has produced 5 Feature Films, with 2 in distribution along with over 60 shorts. He has agreed to visit our Lombard campus and spend some time on his Saturday to pass along some of his knowledge to you.
Here is The How To That Scott Will Be Discussing:
- Planning for the shoot
- Writing within your means
- Working with actors
- And more...
Want to attend?
Just register here or click the link below to RSVP so we can save your spot and we'll see you there, k?
Part 3 in the 3 part One Man Band Reporting Tips series by Mike McCarthy. Read Part One Here and Part Two here.
Props again to Mike McCarthy, an exceptional TV journalist for ABC 6 and Fox 28 in Columbus Ohio. Mike is what they call a one man band: reporter, photographer, producer and editor of his own stories. He’s come up with some tips to remember when you’re flying solo…and generously shared them with us. Today, the final installment of our three-part blog series:
Six steps of how to do an interesting stand-up when you’re the shooter and the subject
1. No “human microphone stands”! We love this one…a directive from Mike’s News Director who says it’s lazy to simply stand there, hold the mic and talk. There is almost always a way to make a standup more interesting, even if the camera is locked down on the tripod.
2. Show the viewer something. Think of what you can touch, shake, open, or close, for starters. It makes what you’re doing more interesting, and the nat sound can also serve as a kind of punctuation. Demonstrate with tight shots intercut with your narrative, at a minimum.
3. Look for mirrors or reflections. Shooting a standup reflected in something is just plain interesting.
4. Shoot “film style”, multi-part standups. Start on a medium shot and cut to a close up shot. This draws the viewer in.
5. Your LCD monitor will be your best friend! Flip it around on the camera so you can make sure you’re in frame and the shot is going as you intended.
6. Find a body-double or look for something about your height to help frame the shot. That’ll help you focus where you need to and make sure you are positioned correctly in the scene.
Again, a big thanks to Mike McCarthy for his wealth of information. He’s our vote for backpacker of the year!!
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson on Flickr
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This is Part 2 in the 3 part One Man Band series with tips from ABC 6's Mike McCarthy. Find Part 1, Mike's General Tips Here.
They call it being a one-man-band: a TV journalist who acts as reporter, photographer, producer and editor of his or her own stories.
There’s a terrific one working in Columbus, Ohio who recently shared some of his lessons learned with Ohio Center for Broadcasting students. His name is Mike McCarthy and he works for ABC 6 and Fox 28. They’re outstanding tips…and he said it’s cool to pass ‘em along, so here is the second in our three part series.
Mike McCarthy's six tips on shooting when you’re a one-man-band:
1. Shoot what goes away fastest…first. If it’s a crime scene with no remaining activity, you can get the establishing shots of the location later. But if someone’s being loaded into an ambulance, or if detectives are willing to talk, capture those moments first. Anything that won’t be around long is of high priority.
2. Remember basic sequencing: wide, medium tight. Shoot the scenes you need in all three forms as it gives you more options when you get ready to edit.
3. Get creative: use foreground and background. Anything that can add interest to your scenes will further engage the viewer. Take advantage of that.
4. Talk to your interview subject while setting up the camera. It’ll give you an idea of their point of view and allow you to determine how good of a “talker” they are. That way, if you’re going to need to prompt them a bit, you can get prepared.
5. Try for active interviews: mic ‘em up and let ‘em go. People who may be hesitant to be interviewed might be quite willing to walk around and show you what happened. That kind of “active sound” can add more meaning to the story, anyway.
6. It’s easier “writing to video.” See how much of the story you can tell with visuals and natural sound, then start writing. The nat sound makes great punctuation, and writing for the pictures enhances your ability to tell the story.
Friday, how to put movement and interest into a standup, when you’re the one shooting it!
Click here to check out the Ohio Center for Broadcasting community on Facebook!
By Tish Hevel*
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
*with tips from Mike McCarthy
It may be competitive as all get out to get into this business…but it seems like the folks who are already in broadcasting are beyond generous with their time and talents. Maybe they remember someone’s kindness when they were going for that first job.
A great example happened recently at Ohio Center for Broadcasting’s Columbus campus when TV reporter Mike McCarthy of ABC6 and Fox 28 shared with students some things he’s learned about being a “one-man-band”, a video journalist who shoots, writes, produces, and edits his own stories. First of all, we were stunned to find out he flies solo on some outstanding work…and second, his tips on how to do it well are priceless.
Mike told us that it’s cool to share, so here is part one of his general tips on being a one man band:
1. Think visuals first! Ask yourself what video you will need to tell the story of what happened, and shoot it. This illustrates one way it’s easier to work by yourself. If you’re the reporter, you don’t have to worry whether your photog got the video you need. If you’re the photog, you can be sure that the words will work well with your video.
2. Get out of the newsroom ASAP! There’s only so much prep work that can be done over the phone. Once you’re on the scene, you almost always learn more and can find interview subjects, evidence of what happened…and the visuals that’ll help you tell the story.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even from the competition on occasion. Whether it’s a body-double to help you frame part of the standup, or someone to ask an interview subject to wait for you, people are usually pretty willing to assist. And sometimes, you really can’t do it all alone, so go ahead and ask.
4. Wear headphones/IFB and always double-check audio. You WILL get burned on this if you don’t check. And there’s nothing worse than sitting down to log the video to find that you didn’t capture the sound. Save yourself the trouble of learning this one the hard way, and check the audio as you go!
5. Time management is key. When you’re working alone, you’ve got to make the most of your time and resources. The deadline looms, so get the video and interviews you need, work efficiently and stay on task. You’re totally responsible for the finished product so keep focused.
6. Watch as much TV news as you can. You can learn all kinds of technique and skills by seeing the pros in action.
On Wednesday stop back to read Mike’s six steps to shooting when you’re the one-man-band!
Not an Ohio Center for Broadcasting student or graduate? Click the button below to get the 41 Careers in Broadcasting ebook and see where our training can lead.
We’re often asked a simple question: “How does the Ohio Center for Broadcasting compare to a four-year program?”
The most accurate way to answer this is simple - take a look at the advantages of each, then compare how they apply to your life, your goals, and your timeframes. After all, this is your life we’re talking about, and no one plan fits everyone.
To begin, let’s talk about a few advantages of attending the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, and a few advantages of attending a four-year program…
Ohio Center for Broadcasting vs. Four Year College
Obviously there are many, many more considerations for each program, but these points hit on a few of the major questions:
- How long do you want to commit to a program?
- How soon do you want to be entering the broadcasting industry?
- Are you looking to round out your educational background, or pick up the core elements necessary to succeed in your dream job?
Think about how your current situation may influence your future decisions. Everyone has a family to consider (even if it’s two dogs and a goldfish), a job to think about, car payments to make… each situation is unique, and these various elements will factor into your decision.
Take a few moments to sit down and outline your goals for the next five years.
- Where does your education come in?
- How soon do you want to be working in your chosen industry?
- Do you need to make any changes to get yourself from Point A (today) to Point B (successful career in the broadcasting industry)?
Feel like shopping our program a bit more? A great place to look is our communities at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting or Illinois Center for Broadcasting Facebook pages.
Want to find out which types of careers are available in the broadcasting industry? Download our 41 Careers in Broadcasting Ebook below.
This is going to be pretty cool.
First a lil' background:
The Ohio Center for Broadcasting has always had on campus radio stations to provide tools to train our students in that hands on way we always talk about. Then, sometime around 2008 - we started launching branded stations. Those branded stations would fall into two categories: Unsigned Music and Sports.
Here's "the cool" I was alluding to:
On Wednesday April 6th at 10 a.m. MT - former Bronco's Wide Receiver Rod Smith will be kicking off a talk show at our Denver Campus Sports Station GoMileHigh.com.
Why is that so cool?
Well, if you are a Rod Smith fan you already know that he's a pretty charismatic guy - so the show will no doubt be fun to listen to.
But also because it marks the second big timer to shack up in our studios to host their own talk show. The first being Jarrett Payton doing his Jarrett Payton Show at our Downtown Chicago campus on ChicagoLandSportsRadio.com.
So...what are you doing tomorrow?
How about you tune into this first Real Rod Smith Talk Show on GoMileHigh.com?
You can listen right from your computer in your house, cubicle, cave - whereever you call home or work.
I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I’ve graduated from the Ohio Center for Broadcasting Cleveland campus!
I thought I’d let you know that I’m working in multiple facets of the broadcasting industry. First of all, I’ve been able to attend and work all of the Indians and Cavaliers games as a stringer for Metro Networks Radio. I have access to the locker rooms and clubhouses and get to interview the players and coaching staffs of professional sports teams.
How cool is that?!
I apply all the audio editing and interviewing skills that I learned at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, turning raw interview footage into sound bites used by sports talk radio stations across the country.
But that’s just the beginning…
I also am a sports reporter for AOL/patch.com in the northeast Ohio region. This is where I have the most fun. I am a one man band making video packages on local high school and minor league sports. Not only do I shoot video on the games played, I also conduct my own interviews and edit everything down into a final package that includes B-roll, VO/SOT, and actualities that get posted on the individual website for the community that I’m covering.
I use everything that I learned at OCB everyday: recording audio and video, editing, news writing (for my voice over scripts), and adding graphics to finalize the packages and give them the “professional touch”
I did have to spend some money on cameras, tripods, editing software, and microphones, but it has been well worth it as it doesn’t seem like I’ve had to “work” at all. I’m not saying that it isn’t hard work, but when you are doing what you love for a living you’ll never work another day in your life!
Thanks to you and everyone at The Ohio Center for Broadcasting, because my dream did come true!
Ryan E. Kaczmarski