2015 will be the year of the mobile field reporter - Smartphone video and multimedia journalism is going mainstream

The mobile reporting and smartphone filmmaking revolution is going to get a lot more interesting in the new year.
Here is what is on the 2015 calendar so far.

In January, the good people at ICFJ and IJNET will be offering my new 10-lesson Quick Start Video Course in mobile video journalism. 
They will offer a new, free online lesson every week as we count down to the launch of the Smart Film School. Stay tuned for updates on this project!

In February, the gang at Journalism.co.uk  will be hosting my popular two-day mobile reporting workshop
Here is the outline of what I teach in a two day crash course.

At the beginning of March, the Smart Film School will be online offering 100 video lessons on smartphone filmmaking and mobile video journalism.
This is a comprehensive masterclass that journalism educators and professional journalists will get a lot out of.

The entire newsroom of journalists at Public Radio International (USA) will be the first to take the entire Smart Film School course.
Contact me if you would also like to give this training to your entire organization: I offer volume pricing plans for course licenses purchased in bulk.

At the end of March, the folks at RTE Ireland are putting on the first-ever gathering for mobile video journalism and filmmaking in Dublin, Ireland.
It is called MoJoCon and features an all-star lineup of speakers and exhibitors.

I’ll be sharing my experiences of building a world-class mobile-first journalism center and developing the MOJO training programs for Radio Free Europe.
There are a few early-bird tickets left, so go and grab ‘em! at http://mojocon.rte.ie/
In April I will be at the International Journalism Festival in Italy presenting “Your Smartphone is Your Newsroom”  and producing two workshops on mobile video and multimedia reporting.

In May, I will be producing a week-long immersion program in Berlin with faculty from the Danish Media School of Journalism.

Over four days we will be training reporters on all aspects of smartphone storytelling.

In June I have been invited to present a two day mobile reporting seminar for undergrad students at FHWien University in Vienna, Austria.
All this means that mobile reporting is will be going mainstream in 2015. 

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Mobile journalism workshop: Create multimedia and video on iPhone & iPad

Robb Montgomery's workshop schedule

  • PRAGUE: January 2015
  • LONDON: February 17 - 18
  • DUBLIN: March 27-28
  • PERUGIA: April 15 - 19
  • BERLIN: May 4-7
  • VIENNA: June 11 - 12

Two day course on creating multimedia and video on iPhone & iPad

This two-day workshop will show you the techniques for creating interactive visual stories with mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Participants will learn how to plan and film multimedia stories, write to pictures, work with story subjects, and produce short video reports.

This course is designed for people who need to know the fundamentals for producing high quality visual stories from the field with an iPhone and iPad.

What will the course cover?
How to capture high-quality video footage
How to film cinematic sequences to tell your story with pictures
How to shoot professional quality video interviews
How to edit video on a smartphone or iPad
How to produce interactive images that include Web links and audio
Best practices for sharing multimedia
The most practical apps and essential gear for getting broadcast quality results

Who is the course for? 
Reporters, editors, content marketers, communications heads, journalism educators and Web producers.

What will delegates learn by the end of the course?
Gain hands-on experience with many storytelling techniques for creating snackable and shareable content for mobile consumers.

Participate in exercises that involve visual story planning, visually-led reporting techniques and writing to pictures.

Have a comprehensive view of how field reporters can create a wide range of multimedia content and how to organize workflows to take full advantage of this capability.

Skill level
Foundation to intermediate.

What do delegates need to bring? 
A laptop.
An iPad or iPhone running iOS8 is recommended as you will be able to do all of the exercises. (Tips and apps for Windows Phone and Android will also be shown.)
Participants will get a comprehensive list of apps, gear and accounts to set up before the workshop. A laptop will be helpful to bring as well.

About the instructor
From designing the world's first mobile-first newsroom in Georgia to training Egyptian journalists on documentary film, Robb Montgomery has fully embraced the idea of video storytelling going mobile no matter the locale.
Montgomery has taught visual editing and storytelling at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and at the International Academy of Journalism.

He developed the smartphone reporting training, technology and workflows used by hundreds of Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) reporters and correspondents.

He is the author of “A Field Guide for Mobile Journalism” and a former editor at the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. 

My Cyber Weekend Sale Ends Tomorrow! Deals from Robb Montgomery

Don't miss your chance to take advantage of three amazing deals before they expire Monday at midnight.

1) Get “A Field Guide for Mobile Journalism” for only 99 cents. This highly-rated interactive book normally sells for $10 in Apple’s iBookstore. (The sale is only offered for iTunes account holders in the USA, Canada, UK, and Germany)


2) Get my upcoming $300 smartphone course for as little as $25 during the Smart Film School fundraiser.


3) Take the introductory “Make Smartphone Video Like a Pro” video course for only $15. (This course retails for $100.)

Use the coupon code: CyberMonday

Or click on this link to redeem the coupon:


All deals expire at midnight Monday.

"Robb Mod" your Shoulderpod to Make Smartphone Mobile Video Like a Pro

This video lesson from the Smart Film School shows you how to quickly modify a Shoulderpod to help you make pro video with your smartphone.

CNN shootout in London: iPhone 6 vs a Pro TV camera

An iPhone is meant to complement the material gathered by expensive, complicated and time-consuming pro gear. 

In this video, a CNN camera operator makes direct comparisons that are biased towards the kind of difficult filming environments where a pro camera performs best.

The video has generated many comments but I am weighing in here to hopefully provide some perspective about such comparisons.

An iPhone 6+ (properly kitted up) can produce great video.

I show examples of the gear and apps that dramatically improve quality at www.mojogui.de  

A mobile device can do things that a dedicated TV camera cannot.  For example the Hyperlapse app by Instagram uses accelerometer data to make smooth motion shots. 

The iPhone can also quickly cut shots together and upload rushes back to the news desk while the reporter is still out in the field. 

All mobile devices have small sensors, and as a result, have limitations when filming in low light conditions. 

An external lighting source (or two) is essential in these situations.

A pro TV camera also is very heavy, expensive and makes the operator a target when filming in tense situations. An iPhone is much safer to use and less likely to cause back problems. 

A pro video camera gives a camera operator manual control over iris (exposure), focus frame rate and other settings critical to getting the best quality. 

The Filmic Pro app gives an iPhone video journalist many of those same controls.

If the CNN cameraman had used this app to film and set the frame rate to 25 fps, the iPhone video he made would not show the light flicker that is common with a frame rate mismatch. 

A frame rate of 25 fps is used in countries where the frequency of the electric current is 50 cycles per second (England, for example)

A frame of 30 fps is used in countries where the electric current is 60 cycles per second (USA, for example)

It is a false expectation to suggest that an iPhone should replace it entirely. It is a different device with very different limitations and some extraordinary strengths for field production tasks.

I share tips for getting the best quality video from smartphones in the www.smartfilmschool.com

Support my new masterclass video school series of lesson and get a $300 films school course for as little as $25.