Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lucky Wall Street Journalists with Grammy's Adele.. but filming her?

You have to envy the few Wall Street Journalists who managed an audience with the Grammy's darling Adele.

In an intimate setting the august US newspaper gave the Brit the floor to perform "Someone Like You" from her record breaking album 21.

For many of us Adele could perform in pitch black and we'd still coo, reach back into ourselves and think "blimey her story!". Yes I know it's called radio. So the idea of me posting about Wall Street's video is in essence a moot point.

Yet for the journos in the audience, the experience they got, which can't be replicated exactly with video, is worth a thought or two.

So what's wrong with the video?  Take a few minutes...

She's telling her story. Her story is writ large on her face and hands.  I wager those in the audience would have been transfixed on her, her face and hands - extraordinary expressive.

But we, viewing, rarely see this. The big closeup, ironically captured photographically on the above video's poster frame, is rarely seen. The pained look, the eyes, her eyes... Her poetics of expression. Then there's Ben her pianist who seeks anonymity, but whose fingers dance across the keys. He too is telling, and reflecting Adele's story.

So watching this video you're loving Adele and thanking quite rightly Wall Street, but I'm also telling those I work with, the new generation of visualists that they still have much to offer, as the Street, hasn't quite cracked it.

Is the print generation still getting to grips with the differing concepts capturing the representation of the event versus its affective state?

It will nail it one day, but for now if you can produce exemplar work, people will come to your site.

How do you produce exemplar work? If you're studying etc. watch what others have done and attempt to understand the art of visual storytelling. Deleuze, a philosopher talked about the affectivity of the close up, much admired by Hollywood studios on Dietrich et al

And there can be no bigger star at the moment than Adele.

Think Sinead Oconnor's "Nothing compares to you".. No! I didn't say film the whole thing in close up.  But watch how Adele's  own video is made. Because the video maker is an artist abstraction is key, but the close up still features.

You can read David's work with the Financial Times and Chicago Tribune training them in the art of videojournalism on