Feature Video

Feature Video Project

  • Feature Story Grading Criteria –


    1. Upload a Word document version of your feature story proposal to your website media library and post a link to it beneath your feature story video on your website.
    2. When you begin to edit your project, create a project folder and name it
      lastnamefirstinitial_feature. Store all your video (standup intro, standup close, interviews, and b-roll), audio (voice overs, and music), and a copy of your feature proposal including your 7 open-ended questions and the 7 activities that you will use the 5-shot method to capture to help tell your story.
    3. When done with your project and exported your final video to your project folder, right click on the folder and create a compressed (zip or dmg) file, Then upload this file to your Google Drive and paste a link (make sure to change the settings to “can View,” otherwise I will not be able to view it) to it under your video on your website. Once you publish you’re the posting of your project, click on the Google Drive link and the feature Story proposal links and make sure they are both working.



    1. The TRT (total run time) of the project must be a minimum of 90-seconds and no more than 3-minutes in length – (Shorter than 90 seconds, or longer than 3-minutes will not be accepted, grade = F)
    2. DO NOT include any video shots or stills shot with a vertical cell phone orientation. This will result in a grade of F.
    3. The project must include an on-camera standup by the reporter to open and close the story. Failure to include BOTH an open standup and closing standup will result in a grade of F.
    4. The project must include at least one interview, but may include interviews, or sound bites from more than one person. Failure to include an interview will result in a grade of F.
    5. Including any interviewee saying and/or spelling their name in your final project will result in a grade of F on the project.
    6. Including any audio and/or video of your asking your interviewees questions in your final project will result in a grade of F on the project.
    7. Poor audio quality at any point in your production resulting from shooting interviews, standups, or voice overs in a poor sound environment (this includes an excessive amount to of echo, or reverb), or from inappropriate use of sound recording equipment, or from sound recording equipment failure WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC LETTER GRADE REDUCTION IN YOUR FINAL PROJECT SCORE. (Hit: bring headphones to your shoot and check your audio immediately after shooting. Especially your stand ups and interviews. Don’t leave the shooting location with only bad audio recorded.)
    9. Camera framing is EXTREMELY important. Failure to respect the use of Rule of Thirds, Diagonal Lines, Head Room, Lead/Look Room, and avoid distracting backgrounds in all your shots WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC LETTER GRADE REDUCTION IN YOUR FINAL PROJECT SCORE. (If you don’t understand any of these, ASK!)
    10. Camera movement is EXTREMELY important. AVOID EXCESSIVE ZOOMING AND PANNING. You may move the camera slightly to follow a subject, but avoid extended right-to-left, or left-to-right camera shots from a fixed position, or tripod (these are called “pans”). Don’t be afraid to allow your subject to move into, or out of, a static (non-moving) camera frame. These make good points to cut to another shot in the edit. AVOID ZOOMING. If you want a closer shot, move the camera closer to the subject. EXCESSIVE ZOOMING AND PANNING WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC LETTER GRADE REDUCTION IN YOUR FINAL PROJECT SCORE.


  • Feature Story Grading Criteria – Continued
    1. Fade up the video 10-frames at the start and at the end of project – (9.09pts)
    2. Each person that appears on-camera must be identified by name with a lower-3rd graphic (A lower-3rd graphic is 2-lines of text in the bottom 3rd of the screen that gives the name of the person or place on-screen on line-1 and below on line-2 gives their title, position, or other identifying info. Note: Line-1 and line-2 are usually separated by a graphic dividing line). – (9.09pts)
    3. The fonts of the graphics must be readable (this usually means thicker rather than skinny fonts, and a relatively normal, rather than a fancy, font). The fonts should have both drop shadow (black) and an outer stroke (black) of 2-3 pixels applied to enhance readability. – (9.09pts)
    4. Each speaker in the video should be on screen for a few seconds, with their graphic, to identify them, then B-roll should be used to show what they are talking about as they continue to speak. The B-roll prevents your project from being all talking heads on-screen. The B-roll should be related to what’s being said in the interview, sound bite, or VO, but can be related to what is being said and does not have to be video of exactly what is being talked about in the interview sound. – (9.09pts)
    5. Do not “ping-pong” between the B-roll and the interview, or VO footage. That is, do not keep cutting from your interviewee to a brief B-roll shot, then back to your interviewee, then back to another brief B-roll shot, repeatedly. Try to use a minimum of 3 to 4, or more B-roll shots before coming back to the same speaker on-camera. – (9.09pts)
    6. The project must also contain one 5-10 second minimum voice over (a voice over, or “VO” is the reporter, or host/announcer talking while B-roll is playing on-screen (A VO is not sound bite or interview audio). – (9.09pts)
    7. No jump cuts (a jump cut in this type of production is usually an edit in the interview that causes the person on-screen to jump when speaking. When this is properly covered by B-roll, this type of interview edit will be seamless and un-noticed. – (9.09pts)
    8. No black gaps (this is an unintentional blank space left between 2 video clips on your project timeline), and no flash frames (this is a brief, out of place piece of video and/or audio, from 1 to a few frames long, between 2 otherwise properly cut video, or audio clips) – (9.09pts)
    9. Sound mixed to proper levels (dialogue should average -6db, without over-modulating. Over-modulation is hitting zero peak on the audio meters). Music is not required, but if used should be mixed to a lower level which does not compete with the VO, or sound bites (proper music level during on-camera dialogue is usually averages between -15db and -18db, but this is just a ballpark (Your music level may vary depending on the music used). If there is a segment of your project that is a montage of video shots with music, the music should fade up to full volume and average around -6db without over-modulation during these shots and then fade back down, if followed by VO, or interview sound. – (9.09pts)
    10. Export your entire final, edited project timeline to your external hard drive using Media Encoder with the settings H.264 and YouTube 720p HD. Save the final video to your project folder you created to start the project. – (9.09pts)
    11. Upload the exported project to your YouTube channel and turn it in by embedding it in your Major Projects page of your blog. – (9.09pts)
    12. Call your instructor (me) and/or email with any questions or tech problems.



(The Feature Story Guidelines below are NOT the assignment instructions, just something to help you make e well-done project)

Feature Story Guidelines PDF

The following assignment is designed to help you to master your skills using Premiere Pro, as well as:

    • How the single camera system works.
    • How to get, evaluate and organize ideas for productions.
    • How to turn ideas for productions into words.
    • Video and audio editing for single camera productions.
    • Principles of audio.
    • Lighting on location.
    • Budgeting basics.
    • How to select locations.
    • What equipment is needed for field production.
    • Directing single camera productions.
    • Personnel needed for single-camera productions.\The operation of various audio and video support equipment.
    • Location set preparation.
    • How to get permission to use field locations and talent.
    • Evoking viewer emotion through camera angle, location, and editing.
    • ASSIGNMENT: You will write, record and edit a news or feature story video package.

Example Student Videos:

FIU Dance

Airstream rebuild


UPS behind the scenes

Get Your Release Forms Here – Projects will not be accepted (as in you will receive a zero) if they are not turned in with signed release forms

Scan or photograph your signed release forms and email them to me at reidvv@gmail.com.

You must get a release for every person who is prominently featured in your video. Minors must have their parents sign for them.

Click Here To Download a Talent Release Form You Can Use

Why Your Project May Need Talent Release Forms
(call if you have questions-786-406-0148)

Click Here To Download a Talent Release Form You Can Use

In the event you cannot check out a video camera from the equipment room, see below:

  1. You might want to shoot some tests using your camera phone to judge its audio quality to know it you need an external recorder. Subjects closer to camera create better audio than subjects farther from camera. Always playback your audio in your camera and/or audio recorder and test its quality using headphones before releasing your interviewees and before leaving the location. If you find your audio is bad after you leave location, it’s trouble. If your phone audio is good, there is no need to use an external recorder.

    1. If your phone camera audio is no good. You can record you interview and/or voice over with both your camera phone and an external recorder as demonstrated in class. Here is a video tutorial on how to sync the audio recorder sound with your camera phone video and to eliminated the camera phone audio, if it’s bad. How to Sync Dual System Sound From an Audio Recorder in Premiere Pro CC (Note in the tutorial, he claps a slate at the end of his dialogue lines to use as a synchronization point. In your case, I suggest recording a hand clap as you start recording your interview or stand up to use as a sync point.)
    2. Call your instructor (me) and/or email with any questions or tech problems.



How to Shoot Good B-roll

Shooting B-Roll Using The 5-Shot Method

The Five Shots – 10 Seconds Each

Click Here to Download the Files to Edit Using the 5-Shot method

Do-It-Yourself Cell Phone Tripod Mount

Pre-shoot Checklist

Watch these videos about how to use the Canon Vixia HF-M40 Camcorder

How to tell your Camera to record to your SD card

Click Here to Download the Canon Vixia HF-M40 User Guide PDF

Click Here to See A Basic Tutorial on Using Premiere Pro

Click Here to Download Files to practice Editing with Premiere Pro

If You Anything Edit At Home, save your project to your hard drive and watch the video below on how to ALSO save a Final Cut Pro XML File to Open at School.

(Your home version of Premiere is newer than the School’s version, your project from Home WILL NOT OPEN at school without the XML File)

How to export your Premiere Pro project for uploading to YouTube

Feature Story Shooting Tips

How to Shoot Good B-roll

Shooting B-Roll Using The 5-Shot Method

The Five Shots – 10 Seconds Each

Click Here to Download the Files to Edit Using the 5-Shot method

Do-It-Yourself Cell Phone Tripod Mount

Pre-shoot Checklist


Click Here to Download the Rule Of Thirds PDF cheat sheet



Free Technology for Teachers: Three Easy Steps to Recording Better Videos on Your Phone or Tablet.

Using Warp Stabilizer (to correct shaky cam footage) and Morph Cut

Download stabilization and morph cut files HERE

How to use Morph Cut

How to use Warp Stabilizer to Fix Shaky Footage

Click here to Access a 100% free video news package producing/shooting/editing course by Shawn Montano