Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Cine-videojournalism, small screens and futurescoping

At the RTS reception. In shot Peter Barron formelt BBC Newsnight Editor, now a senior executive at Google UK

This evening a key figure from the RTS jury panel emailed me to say he'd put me down to be a juror.

The RTS is the UK equivalent of the EMMYs - the gong much sought after by television news makers.

After being involved for a couple of years I'm much looking forward this time around as with the British election behind us, there's an expectancy towards this year's entries.

Two years ago, the victor was a bold concept traversing the line between fiction-fact and news making.

The BBC's 10 Day to War a dramaturgical series about the Gulf War attracted universal praise, as well from our secret ballot.

Some of the shows were directed by uber talent Bruce Goodison whom I worked with at BBC Reportage in 1992.

The programme followed in the footsteps of an earlier innovative BBC concept programme called "If".

What separated the two was one a dramatization of what had already happened.

The other was yet to with the theme of probability. What if, say, something catastrophic happened in the UK how would the country cope?

Cinematic DNA
Giant programmes shot for the small screen with cinematic DNA, which transposed into the web did not trully invite justice. I watched it via a DVD. Size matters.

What knits the aforementioned together was a much respected BBC figure who was Editor of BBC Newsnight.

Peter Barron is now Google’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs for North and Central Europe.

A fortnight ago I had a chance to visit and speak to Peter who I have known since I was a researcher on Newsnight in 1990, and he shed some light on 10 Days to War.

Alongside a compelling presentation on how google sees the future, he reflected on 10 Days casting a degree of caution for mixing fact and fiction for news type programmes.

Interestingly, 10 Days stoked an earlier venture I'd been involved in with Nato.

Here a cooperative of videojournalists illustrated how future TV makers could negate the expense of dramatic film, by actually being on the scene.

In 2008 Danfung Dennis, a photojournalist turned film maker showed this in its cinematic terms with Battle for Hearts and Minds.
David, as editor of a global videojournalism team embeded in War Games reportage with Nato
Today, fictionalised news, redolent of Newsreels contemporised is seeking a revival buttressed against real life.

Small Screens and a future
And here's where it gets even more interesting.

I have been meeting with a BBC execs where we're looking to convene a collective of Videojournalists/ film makers.

The  prospect exist of having their films shot and made for the big screen down at the Southbank.

I have wanted this for a while, videojournalism made for panoramic screens, before being downsized to the Net.

The relationship is different, the vista altered, the camera technology often the digital preserve of the Red Camera

And coming full circle one of the ideas that is being explored as a cinematic videojournalism project is with NASA practitioner and a PhD colleague of mine, Zann Gill

I'm at City University conference as a participant on hyperlocal and local television this Friday.  If you're there be good to chat.