When Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hit the airwaves, it caused a huge media storm with publishers all around the world covering the story. Why did they leave a life of Duke and Duchess behind? Was it racism? Should they have done the interview in the first place? And did public perception of the royals change as a result?
Publishers went into production overdrive, and here at Wochit, we saw how newspapers, broadcasters, and digital platforms found creative ways to tell the story with video in the days that followed.
The interview footage carried many copyright restrictions, so it was particularly interesting to observe the sheer breadth and scale of the storytelling that surfaced—not just from an editorial point of view—but in the ways journalists decided to deploy different editing techniques and video formats.
Here are some of my favourites:
With subtitles and sound-on
Wada7, a platform for young Arabic speakers, re-edited the interview to make it 100% social media friendly by first and foremost driving the story with text and subtitles and making it square. However, key moments from the interview are highlighted in a super effective way by simply playing them back with the sound on.
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With on-camera commentator
Swedish weekly women’s magazine, Svensk Damtidning, wanted to give its readers something extra with an immediate on-camera post-match commentary with its Editor in Chief. Filmed on a mobile device, the clip is enhanced by cut-aways of the Royal couple and is fully transcribed so that readers can enjoy the video without sound.
With voice over
Also adding their own commentary to the story, eNews’ reporter quickly recorded a soundtrack and added pace to the video with music and text overlays. What’s really great about this piece is the quick-moving sequence of images. Despite its short duration, the video managed to use over 40 different assets!
The fully automated way
French publisher Purepeople used Wochit’s video automation engine to create a story with commentary on the interview by French Royal commentator Stéphane Bern. It simply overlays text extracts of what he said on photographs of Meghan and is an effective way to get their own video on the site in under 2 minutes!
As a list
Another way we saw publishers tackle the interview was to break it down to a list. Liverpool Echo did so brilliantly with a 1:30 min video focusing on the 8 Key Revelations. The newspaper also optimised the video for IGTV by making a second version in a vertical aspect ratio and cutting it shorter.
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Splitting the screen
Meanwhile, La Repubblica made their list videos shine by really varying the composition of the video throughout. A particularly nice technique used was to split the screen in 2 parts. In the video, some photos are shown side-by-side to compare, and in other places, they use a quote card next to the image to split the frame.
As a slideshow with music
Meanwhile, Telemundo kept it simple with an animated slideshow of photos of Meghan and Harry over the years, each illustrating a point that was made during the interview. The points are highlighted with large and easy-to-read text boxes. By choosing a really great music track and making sure there is motion on each still image, the video ends up with a great pace and a sense of fun.
Using pie charts
Sky News Australia kicked off one of their videos with reactions from their own TV pundits and focused the attention on the public’s perception of the Royal family. At 3:24 minutes, it is one of the most in-depth videos we saw. We really like the way pie charts are used to juxtapose public attitudes towards the Queen vs. Harry vs. Meghan.
Want to explore more?
If you’re interested in learning more about how those videos were made or just want some more inspiration, let’s get in touch!