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Thursday, January 29, 2015

WFAA uses iPhone to tape half-hour show

WFAA 8 Dallas shows us the future of TV: The reporter and the iPhone

WFAA iPhone show host Mike Castellucci talks how he did it; plus advice on how you can do it

If you work in TV, then you've probably heard someone say at one point there aren't enough photographers around to shoot the day's stories. This means a reporter or producer will have some waiting time until these unsung heroes of the newsroom finish taping and get back to the station to shoot the next stuff.

We've heard stories online of reporters taking matters into their own shooting stories all by their lonesome with nothing but a phone or iPad.

Well, WFAA Dallas Good Morning Texas host Mike Castellucci has taken it a step further and actually produced an entire half-hour special with only his iPhone aptly called Phoning It In. And if the former "Why Guy," didn't continually point out the iPhone was recording the video, you might not notice because it looks great.

There is even a running joke in the show concerning channel 8 chief photographer Mark Muller waiting back at the station with his $50,000 high-def camera and nothing to do.

This is all kinda ironic if you realize how much WFAA pioneered the use of high definition back in the 1990s. In fact according to a press release, WFAA became the first station in the Dallas/Fort Worth television market and America to broadcast a high definition VHF signal.

Now that pioneering spirit becomes much smaller and cheaper...and well, fits in your pocket. And it certainly fits in the modern newsroom's budget. It's no secret there have been cuts in terms of equipment and personnel throughout the broadcasting industry. What better way to solve these problems than have reporters shoot their own news on a phone?

There are tripods, lenses and other equipment that can make the video quality more professional looking. Once everything is in the phone, apps can be used to fix the lighting and colors of the video or you can touch it up in a real post-production environment. Pull out the USB cable and you're in Final Cut Pro X or whatever else is the flavor of the moment.

But photographers shouldn't be heading to the unemployment office just yet. You have to actually find folks as talented as Castellucci and willing to do the work with just a phone first. That's the hard part.

So make sure to watch the video and see if you agree that phones are the future reporter multi-media journalist (MMJ) cameras of the future!

WFAA iPhone show host Mike Castellucci talks how he did it; plus advice on how you can do it

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