TIP OF THE WEEK: “Como the Tiger” – The power of the wireless mic

Greg Vandegrift (right); Brett Akagi (left)
Greg Vandegrift (right); Brett Akagi (left)

As a reporter, I always seek the best nat sound possible. Why? It helps achieve our ultimate goal as video journalists: to take the viewer there. To that end, I believe the wireless mic is the most important tool in our “box.” Crisp nat sound reinforces the video and advances the story. Admittedly, I’m not the guy or gal with the camera on my shoulder. I know the camera is important, but the wireless provides life.

In this particular story, the wireless mic gave us access that the actual fence on site blocked. It provided moments, action-reaction and behind-the-scenes access to name a few key ingredients.

((You may also like:  “Teamwork is Key”))

In a perfect world, I like to think that my copy merely connects all the wonderful nats and moments that the camera and wireless capture. My job is to stitch those together in a way that tells the most compelling story. If you haven’t figured it out, I live by the motto: I am NOT the story. Reporters need to remember that – at least in my opinion.

This particular story is about an effort to protect a tiger after it bit a child. I worked with two photographers on this story: Scott Jensen (shot/edited) and Brian Augustin (shot). Thanks to both of them for their wonderful work.

(Greg Vandegrift is a clinical professor of broadcast journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He freelances for KARE 11 in the Twin Cities these days, but Greg worked there full time from 1996 to 2008.)


“COMO THE TIGER”  Greg Vandegrift and Scott Jensen