From:   Katie Davison <>
Sent time:   Friday, November 11, 2011 11:27:30 AM
Subject:   [GlobalRevolutionMedia] fw: Tips for 10 Tips for Video Documenting

From WITNESS - good tips for citizen journalists.
See below.

Hi Katie, 

This is Chris Rogy. I'm interning at WITNESS in New York. We would like to offer 10 Tips for Documenting with Intention, Authenticity and Impact in the form of 1/4 or 1/2 page double-sided flyers to mediamakers and citizens capturing media. Last week we had a meeting with a member of the National Lawyers Guild and contributor to OWS. In that meeting we felt a need to help construct a list that brought videomaking practices closer to legalistic needs and desired outcomes, mainly considered through the lens of evidentiary video. With all your experience and expertise, we're hoping to get some feedback and/or present this to the media working group meeting for feedback. 

Please let us know your thoughts on the below items!




Follow these top videomaking tips when documenting OWS activities to help ensure your footage can be optimally used for advocacy, raising awareness and supporting legal cases.
Remember: You have the legal right to film police in NY State!

1.     PREPARE: Know your equipment. Turn off features to maximize battery life (e.g. wifi search on phones). Have charged and extra batteries, use empty memory cards and bring back-ups. Use a camera strap. Where possible, turn-on correct date, time and location capturing features. Write the National Lawyer's Guild's # on your forearm and save in case you need legal support: 212.679.6018

2.     FILM WITH INTENTION: Hold your shot steady (minimum 10 seconds), pan VERY slowly, avoid jerky movements and zooming - move closer when possible. Get multiple angles - wide, medium and close-up. Film for those who aren't there - what do they need to see to understand what's going on? If violence or abuse occurs - KEEP RECORDING.

3.    ALWAYS CAPTURE: Date, time and detailed location (intersections with street signs and/or landmarks.) Get various angles when documenting the size of the crowd, number and formation of police and any weapons they are holding or using. Record any police orders given and document the time and the officer's name and badge number. Always record when police are creating or moving barricades or orange nets.

4.   CAPTURE DETAILS - INCIDENTS: If there is an incident, film or say names of officers, badge numbers or helmet number into the camera. Be agile: Film from above if possible, or low, officers' legs to capture what's happening. Consider verbally adding noteworthy facts of what was happening before you started filming to give context while you film.

5.     WORK AS A TEAM: If filming, have a partner to watch your back, help keep you safe and alert you of other potential shots you should capture. If more than one of you is filming, try to get separate angles of the same incident - ideally keep each other in view. If you are at risk of arrest and want to keep filming, consider giving media card to friend for safe keeping and replace with empty card and KEEP RECORDING.

PN: not sure this is worth adding, but found it in some of Eileen Clancy's materials- pasting here for your call: "If possible, NEVER film protesters doing things that seem illegal or dangerous; if footage of police brutality is on the same tape as protesters doing something that could be considered aggressive, the cops can claim they were using reasonable force."  



Regardless if you are uploading unedited or edited footage, it is essential to provide the following information so your footage can be found and coordinated with other footage. There are hundreds of videos on OWS, but many lack this essential, useful information. Select a Creative Commons license when uploading so others can remix your video for advocacy purposes, and so it can be collected and archived by others. Follow these tips.
  1. TITLE: Before deciding on title do a search for other videos/news like yours. Keep titles brief. Describe content in the video, try to stay away from adjectives. Use repeated keywords if possible in your title. E.g. Occupy.
  2. DESCRIBE YOUR VIDEO: Format descriptions so they are consistent (this: From URL (source) - Date, Location and details of what happened BEFORE, DURING and AFTER recording.
  3. TAG YOUR VIDEO: Always add these tags -> date, time, city, specific location, occupy wall street, ows and applicable keywords, eg: 'police brutality' 'arrest' 'pepper spray'
  4. SAFETY or SECURITY CONCERNS? If you think faces need to be blurred or feel the video may harm someone's case or dignity, upload privately and email the National Lawyers Guild at NEED AN EMAIL HERE
  5. SAVE AND NAME YOUR VIDEO: Do not rely on YouTube or other sites to save and preserve your footage - it may be taken down and valuable technical information is lost in the upload. Save original footage to your computer and back up to an external hard drive. Name files and organize so they are easy to find - add date, location and tags.

Looking forward to your feedback! Thanks!


Christopher Rogy
416 Adephi St. Apt 4A
Brooklyn, NY 11238