Meeting one of the greats in Cinema Albert Maysles was one of the rare moments, but I also had my Schneider super 8mm camera with me. The look regarding this doyen of film making is exactly what I needed. Super 16mm with a bolex would have been even more preferable.
When we talk about videojournalism we often negate its cognate fields e.g. radio, writing, presenting - but these are important assets in your arsenal that gives you choice. I have preserved some of my favourite interviews which include the late Eartha Kitt, Mario and Marvin Van Peebles, and James Brown's saxophonist Maceo Parker.
This is one of my favourite cameras and probably expensive, the Digibeta 900. At the time it costs, with lens, about $50,000.
I used it on a number of videojournalism stories for Channel 4 News, particularly in South Africa 1999 on a follow up story called the Successor Generation.
The three photos show off that workhorse of a camera - the VX1000. In the mid 90s this was the camera of choice, and the image below is of the first generation of Macs for editing. I actually took a flight to the US for 300UKP return to buy it which was still cheaper than buying it in the UK.
One of the most memorable pieces was the runners-up piece for Channel 4's competition Unleash the Talent - a multimedia piece which still stands the test of time. See what yout think?
A measure of how good the VX1000 was comes from this shoot below. We're returning from a Nato War Games exercise in HRH's private plane. The cutlery is silver and the royal crest is everywhere to be seen.
During the exercise all the cameras we had were ruined because of the high salt content of the environment. The VX1000 though did not buckle.
On our way back at 40,000 feet we were tagged by this Tornado to escort us part of the way, or shoot us down, if we ignored their call sign.
At one point we were so close to each other I could clearly see the face of the copilot. He obviously saw me too as in the footage I have of this event, he quickly closes his visor.
I have worked with several cameras and I presently have four including the DSLR, but it really is horses for courses. My PhD thesis reveals a more fundamental issue which has to do with the interpretation of reality and how it's codified through the image.
The cinematic has the ability to innervate the image and suspend judgement, but that's a more philosophical post for later.
The upshot is how you extract meaning from the story and how you perceive an intended audience will do so without taking the eye of the prize - that takes experience. As my next post will argue when technology is levelled, and there are no advantage to be accrued from aesthetic excesses, you go back to the fundamental cognitive element, the story.
And this intangible - the story hides a number of cues that require excavation, that won't always work.
Dr Lancaster's book on DSLR Cinema places Hollywood's ability towards the motor sensory experience of film in the hands of a new generation of film makers such as Eliot Rausch - who spoke to us a couple of weeks ago - and some old hands pushing the form such as Shane Hulburt.