Thursday, January 29, 2009

The art of storytelling - video journalism

The art of cinematic videojournalism, David will be revealing his latest piece of work and the strongest link yet to videojournalism irresistible flair.

Video Journalism: We can do this one of two ways; the technical and you'll get something commendable or the creative and I can't tell you where that's going to end, but I can tell you it should not be predictable.

I'm currently going through video after video from judging this year's International Video Journalism Awards, and while I can't and won't say anything about the event, I'm reminded of the theory under pinning good, even great stories.


At SXSW where I'm scheduled to talk, I have something that makes that point and the new cinematic language of news telling. It will be something.

There is a story in anything, but to get there we/ you/ me must ask the right questions. If you're new to the game that can be daunting, if you're a bit long in the tooth, then you're forever probing for tensions, seeking the soft underbelly of the story.

It's the collision of attributes, the rub of consequences, the absurd vs normal.

I have to say that's one of the great things about working through the BBC, alongside editors who pushed you, who demanded more, because they believed they/you could deliver.

And that ethos then stays with you, like a bad/good rash, depending. But knowing the technical and even being creative is not enough. It's the kwa, and something else, the passion of it.

The Passion of VJ
Video journalism/ film is passion, a get down and dirty to deliver something out of your comfort, embracing the metronome, the heart of the subject with a peculiar synchronicity.

It works because it works. The technical is subsumed by a creative bent and that passion.

Some people are naturals, but most film makers go through the pain, years of the graft; there's no short cut, you have to make, and make and make some more and often come away feeling it was not good enough.

You're like a chef. Having learned the basics, you then start experimenting, and often that gunk ends up in the bin, but you try again until you know you're onto something. And then the inner flamboyance, the passion takes you because when you're confident you start to fly by the seat of your pants.

You're tempting failure each time you attempt something. Not because you're maniacal, but you want to push and push some more.

I love film and video. After 22 years I still approach it like hyperactive toddler and each time I see something in say, Man o Fire or one of those cutting edge one dot zero films, I exhale a "wow" and return to my Mac wanting to see if I can replicate the narrative and then redefine it for my own use.

The art of storytelling can be found in many books, but you've got to let go. "just let go". Pick up the bike, ride it, fall off, then get back on, ride some more and then when you're confident close your eyes and ride. It's hairy yet ultimately exhilarating.

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