First of all, it was an honor to cover such a beautiful, iconic event. But without a camera crew – or even someone to assist me (at one point, even just someone to grab me some water would have been a game-changer!) – I knew I had to arrive prepared, stay sharp, and get creative. New media at its finest!
Here is how I covered the 2017 Emmy Awards red carpet equipped with only my Smartphone:
- Knowing bustling red carpets are very noisy, I knew I needed something to block out the noise for my interviews. I didn’t have the means to purchase high-tech cameras or microphones, and my news company did not provide any assistance in this department either. So I did my research and came across the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Microphone HD, a $99 microphone you can hook up to your cell phone (people use these to record karaoke sessions too!) to somewhat block out the noise and record video at the same time.
- Bring a backup phone charger or two… or three… I had three.
- Know your social media apps! Each one has their own format of going live and posting updates. Practice posting until it feels natural. The more you know, the more efficient.
1.) TWITTER: Tap the feather icon; tap “Live” to start broadcasting. Anyone can now see and join your live broadcast on Twitter and Periscope, as well as send you comments and hearts to show their support (or distaste!) of the broadcast.
If you want to send out Tweets, you must be quick – people walk by fairly fast on red carpets, so you don’t have time to pick out the perfectly composed Tweet, hashtag and filtered photo. Post your photo/video up with some simple wit or description, and hashtag or tag where you’re at and who you’re with.
Going Live on Facebook is very interactive because you could respond to your viewers and comments in real time as well. Because I was interviewing with the microphone in one hand and phone in the other, I did not have time to do so until later – but if I DID have an extra hand, I could’ve answered some of the comments and asked the celebrities some of the questions that viewers were asking. To go live, go to the “Post” box and tap on the “Live” button, add a description for your broadcast and tap the “Go Live” button when you’re ready. It’s simple and fast, so you could capture content in real time – great resource for on-the-fly broadcasting.
3.) SNAPCHAT: The Snapchat app is definitely a fun one to work with – IF you have time. For example, when I was covering the celebrity red carpet for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s show, I played on Snapchat with the various celebrities and their kids, changing up the filters with fun characters and getting various shoutouts in my “Snap Story.” Or here is me and model Chrissy Teigen playing with Snapchat at her Coach purse gala:
But when you’re on a very active red carpet like the Emmy’s, you will not have a lot of time to play. Still, I used Snapchat for quick, 10 second snippets of fun things I saw or celebrities who briskly walked the carpet, just to capture the fashion or interactions of the people. Just tap the button for a quick photo and send to your story, or hold down the button to record. Snapchat used to only allow 10 second videos, but now you can keep recording if you hold down the button (it will record in 10-second increments after that could be pieced together to create one full story/interview).
4.) INSTAGRAM: Going live on Instagram is very similar to going live on Facebook and Snapchat, allowing you to create media that appears at the top of your followers’ news feeds for 24 hours. While you are broadcasting, you can see how many viewers you have and can respond to comments live. As soon as the broadcast is over, however, the live video disappears – so you must be focused and quick on your feet to answer and interact with viewers. You can also record for a 24-hour span with the “Normal” setting. Just click the camera icon on your Instagram home page, select “Live” if you want to broadcast live, “Normal” if you want to broadcast a story open to viewers for 24 hours, or “Boomerang” if you want to make a quick time-lapsed video from a burst of photos, like a 2-second video (I got a couple of celebrities twirling their gowns).
And lastly, digital journalism came into play as I composed a small feature for my company:
Be prepared. Stay creative. Have fun.