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Audio is the spine of multimedia.

Learn audio gathering techniques from MediaStorm founder Brian Storm and producer Tim McLaughlin. Developed over years of teaching photographers how to gather sound, this training module touches on the two most important types of audio for multimedia; The interview and ambient.

You'll learn when to use the audio interview, and how best to control the sound of that interview. You’ll also learn techniques to help you get compelling answers from your subjects.

In the ambient section you’ll learn about the power of ambient audio and what it can add to a multimedia story through on-screen examples of MediaStorm projects.

Develop learn and hone your audio gathering skills with this extensive tutorial.

Topics covered include:

The Basics of Audio

  • Giving your subject a voice
  • The importance of audio in multimedia
  • Amount of production time spent on audio
  • Common audio equipment
  • Audio formats and sample rates

Interview Basics
  • Who to interview
  • Interview duration
  • The intimacy of an audio interview
  • The importance of eye contact, concentration

Controlling the Sound of an Interview
  • Good microphone placement
  • Audio levels
  • Record levels between - 6 to - 12
  • Better to underexpose audio than over expose
  • Once your levels are set, don't change them.
  • The location of an interview
  • Rooms with soft surfaces, rooms with couches or sofas, closets
  • Signal to noise ratio

Common Audio Issues and Solutions
  • Problem: Kitchen noise, office noise, cell phone interference
  • Problem: Wind Noise
  • Problem: Handling Noise
  • Problem: Continuous Noise

Interview Challenges
  • Uhhuh or mmhmm during subject’s responses
  • Use body language to show you're listening
  • Asking questions that elicit answers that have context
  • Ask questions in pairs
  • Final questions
  • 30 seconds of room tone at the end of an interview
  • Why room tone is important

What ambient is and what it adds
  • Ambient is the natural sound of an environment
  • Ambient adds texture, sense of place, mood and context

Ambient Workflow
  • Recording ambient sounds separately from an interview
  • Recording 30 seconds of each ambient sound
  • Giving each sound an audio caption
  • Focusing on ambient
  • You will miss pictures while gathering audio
  • Never take pictures while recording audio

Mixing Ambient with an Interview
  • Gives a more textured account of the story
  • Allows the editor to place ambient sounds to advance the story.

  • Which do you do first, pictures or audio?
  • Learn audio before you tackle video


Multimedia brings a new set of challenges to the world of still photography. How do you shoot stills with this format in mind?

In this module, MediaStorm founder Brian Storm and producer Tim McLaughlin explain their experience working with stills in the field, and in post-production. They describe a practical methodology created to help photographers address the challenges and opportunities of multimedia storytelling.

Topics covered include:

How Stills for Multimedia is Different

  • In multimedia, a lot of photography is used
  • Shooting more like a cinematographer
  • Wide, medium, close up, extreme close up
  • Shooting for 16x9 playback

Important Details
  • Tight, clean portraits
  • Photograph old photographs
  • Where to find old photographs
  • How to shoot old photographs
  • Photographing details

Sequencing Between Still and Video
  • Flipbook Animations
  • Near Frames that end on a decisive moment
  • Two picture combinations
  • Using rack focus between still images

When to use Stills or Video
  • Use video to show motion and a synchronous audio visual experience
  • Stills are used for a decisive moment


Multimedia is all about learning to use the right medium at the right time.

In this tutorial, MediaStorm founder, Brian Storm, and producer Tim McLaughlin discuss the power of video as a storytelling tool that can be used in conjunction with stills and audio. They discuss the best uses of the medium, and techniques for capturing compelling footage that will work well in the edit suite.

Additionally, MediaStorm producers discuss the benefits of a video interview, as well as some of the compositional considerations important for post-production.

Topics covered include:

When to Use Video

  • Action and Movement
  • Body language

Basics of Shooting Video
  • Don't chase the action
  • Shooting on tripod
  • Shooting off tripod
  • Zooming
  • Panning and tilting
  • Point-of-view or Action/Reaction shots
  • Wide, medium, close up, and extreme close up
  • The 4-15 workflow
  • Crossing the line
  • Scene setting shots
  • Don't set up your shots

Shooting the Video Interview
  • The benefits of shooting a video interview
  • Two camera interviews to elevate the visuals
  • Syncing the cameras
  • Two camera setup and verbal stumbles
  • Composing for lower thirds
  • Composing with continuity

Producer: Tim McLaughlin
Video: Rick Gershon, Andrew Maclean, Leandro Badalotti
Executive Producer: Brian Storm

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