Friday, September 28, 2012

Customer concerns buying Edelkrone's POCKET RIG

Pocket Rig. Image taken from Edelkrone promotional video 

By David Dunkley Gyimah. Connect with him on Google 

As you might know, I undertake several training regimes for videojournalists and photojournalists around the world, and recommend buys for a number of clients. 

In the past these have ranged from the World Association of Newspapers, the FT, and videojournalists within the BBC.

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the POCKET RIG, a device to aid all Canon 5D shooters Juan Antonio Rodríguez, Tous Seville (Spain) posted this extremely helpful response below.

Please read and be cautious. Hopefully Edelkrone will correct this, if a) customer service means anything to them or b) sales of the devices have any effect on their business.

Feedback from Juan Antonio Rodríguez
I just got the Edelkrone's POCKET RIG, directly from Turkey. The product is excellent, a masterpiece of engineering. The e-marketing of Edelkrone, however, is most regrettable, ranging from abuse.

First, from the date of payment via Paypal (26/08/2012) until receipt of the goods have passed 24 days!

That is, bad management of stocks. The worst thing, however, has been the sending itself.

Edelkrone indicates that operates with DHL International. Insured shipping charge 13.49 euros. They do not indicate, however, that customer will be charged upon receipt of the merchandise, almost 40% percent of expenses (office, "steps", VAT).

Exemplified in my case:
  1. Paid to Edelkrone via Paypal: 558 euros (pocket rig + follow focus) 
  2. Paid to DHL receipt of the goods: 200 euros. This amount is the result of application of 21% VAT, the "rights fee" of 3.4% and 63 euros (¿!) of "border management" to DHL. 

Clearly Edelkrone know what happens. If you operate with DHL is easy to calculate the real price of the received goods. Suffice request this information from the carrier. With this datum on the Edlekrone's Web, of course, nobody in the EU would buy their products. This is a clear abuse by omission.

Sorry strongly recommend NOT BUY PRODUCTS OF EDELKRONE FROM SPAIN VIA INTERNET. It's a shame, because they are magnificent. But selling online requires some ethical principles that Edelkrone completely ignores.

Juan Antonio Rodríguez Tous
Seville (Spain)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Social Video. Marketers imagination or the next trend?

No word quite enraptures businesses and post modernism media type, whilst befuddling traditionalists than the word "Social Media".

Harder to define, its description falls somewhere between the spread of information based on networks of consent and intra correspondence between ambient friendships.

Social media is the emperor's clothes, apparently. You really can see and marketers unable to contain their glee now preface every conversation with "social" as a panacea to deliver. How antisocial we must have been a priori 2005.

Take Twitter, Tumblr, Four squares, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and knit them all together and you're there.

Except social media experts will proclaim it's more than connecting the dots when singing for your supper. Each possesses a unique set of codes. Twitter is as much about finding great links to share, as it is revealing how unorthodox your life is.

Being resourceful, means understanding the power of presence and volume. That is being there on the conscious of your followers perennially, as well as generating that presence by your voluminous data, unless you're a celeb.

Unsurprising then, as tweeted by @MonicaSarkar, that Nokia states that social video is next in line for the magic stardust treatment.

Social video! It sounds like an oxymoron. Video by its very nature is meant to be shared, generally.

We go to the cinema to watch a film - social.  Crowd sourcing video is by its very nature social. Who can forget Eric Whitacre's Social Choir in 2010 which I spoke about participatory social media.

 Two years on what's changed?

Pedagogically do we know any more? Philosophically or thematically are we any wiser? Where does social end or even render video or film a uniquely different entity?

Social Video 

For my money I would posit, it lies in the connotative "call to arms" quality of the film.

Take these five  films: Super Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, An Inconvenient Truth, and Kony2012, and Triumph of the Will byLeni Riefenstahl. The latter mobilised a country and its footage has been used just as prominently by producers anti its messsage.

What they all have in common is a social message, as opposed to the classic Hollywood traditionalist film or concert cinema of Transformers. With the exception of Kony on my list, the others, in spite of their social good require you to fork out a princely sum of money to watch.

Kony 2012, as many other videos I have not mentioned ooze social because we're able to share their social message in their entirety.

But this is where we need to take stock. Video can become social by dint of it being shared and so for that reason alone almost every video on Youtube is social, which is a poor argument. Or as alluded to there is something inherent in the content that mobilises us.

If the latter is the case then social video has a more prominent Achilles. It cost. Good video relies on resources i.e. money and time to make.

That's because, though we may all get there one day, at present the art of making video, good video along the lines of the aforementioned is not the same as firing off a tweet, but is an artistic endeavour.

So whilst Nokia may have hit on the next best iteration of social, it's not as easy as it appears.

However, and that's a small however, whilst on this blog and I speak about the art of breaking rules to make videos, there are patterns and rhetorical strategies that go into making good social video.

For that though I'd urge you take a look at this popular post on a semiotic breakdown of Kony2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Art of Psychovideojournalism in London

It is the subjective-analysis of the art of videojournalism in relation to its geographical location.

Psychovideojournalism as a discipline pays homage to psychogeography. The latter is a field of study based around the idea of flaneurism (wandering) and owes its presence to the avant-garde movement of the 1950s.

In psychogeography in London, tours are arranged on foot around specific historical points designed to illustrate the richness of the landscape and surrounding architecture.

They include:
  • The knight Templar's headquarters captured in Dan Brown's Da Vinci code 
  • The Southbank Centre, acclaimed as the largest single arts centre which sprawls along the river Thames
  • Brixton, one of London's diverse boroughs where you can sample every African dish under the sun.
Whilst I have undertaken videojournalism training programmes around specific locales, such as Castle Howard in York (above picture) where the English film classic Brideshead Revisted (2008) was shot, today was different.

Academic and commercial text books featuring David's work

Videojournalism London

Around 11 a.m we met in a cafe off Oxford Street for the launch of the psychovideojournalism, a mental and physical exploration of videojournalism with London as our canvas.

We explored the different genres and forms of videojournalism and narrative logic on the basis the narrative of the VJ film's content film drives a particular production expression.

This generally works, but as I showed today we can disrupt that relationship. That was another difference to today's programme. 

Today's street lecture employed knowledge from my PhD thesis around future film forms, thus it addressed multiple, sometimes recalcitrant concerns, both theoretically and practically.

Below are samples of images from today as I use myself to illustrate a point in being filmed, to filming in Trafalgar Square and then the Southbank Centre.

I'm looking to run the next programme in November.  Details of this, it usually involves a small group,   can be found on in October

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Story Police aka journalist is dead. Long live

Journalism is in decline and young people are not interested in it.

You've heard it a million times.

When I googled: "young people not interested in journalism", I got 38,000,000 returns.

Admittedly, because of the way google works, that number does not represent the actual number of articles, but in comparison to young people not interested in gardening, there's a clear winner.

But don't be swayed. The fact that there are so many young people supposedly not engaged in news, doesn't mean they're not interested in news.

It becomes a question of relevance for young people and framing the right question. Are you as a young person interested in finding our how you deal with being shy, or that you believe you're being bullied, is news, and is relevant, but for a social genre.

Jim's post on a study: Young people consider news to be garbage and lies, gets close to my point.

The book by University of Texas journalism prof Paula Poindexter is one of those books managers should read, but won't, largely because in this disparate world of us there are so much academic knots to get through.

Which one do I undo that will help me, is the question.

Young people have always been ambivalent to news. I know that much from experience working at the BBC and its major youth current affairs Reportage, which attracted some 900,000 viewers on BBC 2 at 7.30 pm.   Newsnight pegged some 1.2 million, but we''re comparing cheese and wine.

Young people left news in their droves by official standards at around the 1990s. Certainly, the biggest change was cable and satellite. For once too a small station run by young people could vent its concern, otherwise the news media would listen curl their lip and proceed as normal.

So in the UK its parliament stories and in the US capitol hill and lobbys.

Any wonder young people couldn't give a chimpanzee.  The web has amplified this discursively through social media - that's the new new thing which gives young people that added matrix voice.

I'm about to introduce to journalism to a number of groups. I understand my dilemma. News' importance, as Lord Levenson puts it is because:
The press provides and essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects us all.
Trouble is when a young person is looking for the next wage package, or next best hit of recreational pursuit, or where to hang out when we're board, the press have no presence within aspects of this public life.

The press here being the traditional bricks and mortars with pensions and the rest. So the press by and large have to report, at least for the audience where they can either gain advertising or public interest, non-young people.

The model of news or the press was always creaky. A one size fits all was adequate until those with a voice found a way to be heard, which is precisely why the founding fathers of these institution believed themselves to be patriarchal and doing a public service.

TV could have been the Internet, free for all in the 1930's, but it was skewed, and Lord Reith, the Director General of the BBC believed you and I needed protecting, so the BBC would tell you what you should think.

Stuart Purvis whom I interview for my PhD film Storied, owns up. For years we perpetuated a myth that you couldn't make television, but you can and did. In this case he's referring to Channel One TV, a group of 25 year olds who revolutionised TV news in the UK in the 1990s. But the message is the same nonetheless.

What young people think, generational they will always think, unless the press become Lord of the Flies, ran by young people and the even then.

So I'm no more shocked by events that young people are apoplectic today than I was in the 1990s. What I want to be shocked by is the revolutionary young people who decide they will report on matters relevant to themselves in a way that captures the zeitgeist.

Many have tried such as Current TV, but the lesson if any, that we often fail to understand, is that priorities being young and for some carefree; you're not thinking about pensions just yet, is that unless you're planning Britney Spears, r Jack Ass news, whatever that looks like, you'll never get the numbers.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Film on the future and past of videojournalism - Must Watch

Did the BBC pioneer videojournalism? 

No, says the senior executive who brought videojournalism into the BBC.

Pat Loughry credits a little known company called Channel One TV.

So how did this obscure company no one has ever heard of become so integral to a movement that would have huge ramifcations around the world?

And this isn't hyperbole as its former press officer, now an executive at Turner/ CNN, states how executives flocked to the station to see how it worked.

Channel One was not responsible for making you pick up a camera and shoot, but when it launched way back in 1994 every broadcast manager worth their salt came to have a look.

The former chief executive of ITN, the UK's biggest commercial news provider pays tribute to Channel One, calling them pioneers.

Here's the rub!

Channel One Videojournalism

STORIED Videojournalism, Past, Present and the Future from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Channel One was a newspaper company broadcasting on cable. The irony is so rich, and if you'd like to sample yourself, an extended trailer is on

Videojournalists likened one facet of their work to speed chess. You arrived on the scene and would swiftly have to assess the story. You had one hour to wrap the whole story up, because you had another two, sometimes three stories, to fill in.

If you're a photojournalist it is the equivalent of what one of the photography's greatest theorists refers to as the punctum.

The punctum in the picture is the punch, the thing that stands out. In videojournalism storyform, you were scanning for multiple punctums, so it was fundamentally crucial you

  • Understood this ethereal concept of news
  • Knew when and where you wanted to break it.

Storied will eventually be a series of shorts. The trailer features Michael Rosenblum, Brian Storm et al.

The second trailer version will feature prominent managers from Channel One TV. But see for yourself how videojournalism started in the UK, and how when it closed it took with it a number of key features, I have since unearthed.

My overaching PhD thesis that looks at storyform includes Channel One TV,  a ground breaking videojournalism project in African in 1997, work in Egypt and qualitative evidence of where its going.

This is only a trailer, and a substantial section is also about establishing credibility, because there's some pretty jaw dropping things to come.

This film will have some value, I hope, if you're a student, professional or expert interested in corrections in media history, and want to have some idea of videojournalism's future.

The glimpse I give includes China where the net is a hologram in your living room. And there are many others.

See you on the other side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Advice for getting the job that does not exist. Bowl them over. Do something epic

Lemn Sissay poet and Mark Cousins, film maker behind The Story of Film

Get that job by doing something epic

I love this story,  This link shows you an amazing feat. Do something epic!

It might be common place now and its perhaps not the same person as I can't find the original link. But the story is he emailed a surfing competition to enter as an exhibitor and was turned down.

Then he sent them one of his pics.

The organisers wrote back immediately.. when can you come? They couldn't get him fast enough.

We are conditioned to tell people "er maybe". "No, there is no job", "let's have a chat and see", when you go for a internship, speculative visit, or answer an invitation from a contact.

Where possible I try and recommend ex students to employers and I know from my long experience. If YOU BOWL THEM OVER, they have no choice but to want to employ you.

So I coach people on what to say; not tell untruths, because if they had nothing to offer I wouldn't be able to recommend them in the first place.

I know from my own experience it works, and also to my cost as I came closer to a BBC reporters job, after meeting for lunch the BBC head of foreign news in 2002. He acknowledged I had a diverse and interesting CV, and I learnt you can't afford to be anything than persistent.

The question you must ask yourself then is what can you do to bowl them over.

As Eminen says, you only have one shot at this, so rehearsals, preparation, visualisation are crucial. You should know what's going to be asked. The usuals. Hello, how can I help you, what have you done, what would you like to do?

DO SOMETHING EPIC ( loved this too during my sxsw presentation)

Firstly then you drive the interview. Patiently but with determination, stack up the approach. I had one friend who got a job at sky. She got the job, not me. But I was able to steer her so she drove the 30 minute slot. She had one film we worked on that she made for my magazine It was a premiere of a film with Beyonce et al - the sort of thing the client would love. 

So I said to her as soon as the pleasantries were over she needed to show the hirer the video and let it do the talking. because on that video, she fantastically demonstrated a plurality of skills.

1. Chasing the interviewee. Have you seen how on the red carpet reporters have to hail and scream, There's a way of doing this. A colleague of mine made it an art form to the extent rival cameramen and women would reserve a spot for her because they knew if she got them close by, they'd get the shot as well.
2. She had done her research so the interview came across as a warm engaging chat.
3. She demonstrated she could go toe to toe with the professionals, because to her left was the BBC and to her right was Sky.

So firstly you need to leave an impression with them which is so profound they talk about you in the next meeting. Secondly ask yourself what you've done that is profound?  A film, a website, and your attitude!

Film impression

Your film should not be garden variety ie normal, but something truly exceptional and short enough to hold their attention with the possibility that its long enough to want them to see more.

Website impression

It should have functionality and content pertinent to the person you;re talking to. By the time you finish with them, they'll say can you make a site like this for us. This happened to a working colleague of mine who picked up an award from Channel 4, only to be stopped by another exec requesting if she could build one for them.

Attitude impression

What makes you exceptional?  Don't suck up to them. Your independence, but likability, and warmth must suggest you'll be a great asset. Do you know how to get interviews? You need to demonstrate this with a story... What's the most exceptional thing you've done? A friend of mine could blag a helicopter to fly his guest. I once did the same in South Africa covering Miss World I had a helicopter pick me up for free and they brought me back 

I'm about to post some interesting things on, I'm picking from what won't be going into my PhD submission early next year. It's been five deep years and its been illuminating.

David Dunkley Gyimah was voted outstanding lecturer by the National Union of Students at the University of Westminster. He is an award winning videojournalist, Knight Batten winner in Innovation in Journalism and a trainer consultant specialising in:

  • Creativity
  • Media cognitivism and semiotics
  • Videojournalism and online branding and web building

As a broadcast journalist he's worked for the BBC, ABC News, Channel 4, WTN  etc.

Artist in Residence, Southbank Centre
Academic & Videojournalist
Twitter: viewmagazine

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

How audiences will access video and online content in the future

Albert Maysles with David Dunkley Gyimah
How will audiences access the future of the web? I approached this using trend analysis, qualitative audiences feedback and cognitive behaviour and some other research techniques, such as phemonology.

I'm very grateful to James Montgomery, the Controller of Digital and Technology, BBC Global News for an invitation in 2011 May to speak to the BBC executives.  James wrote to me

Thanks very much for your fantastic presentation yesterday. I’ve had lots of positive feedback – so much certainly interested in your idea of you staying in touch as it all progresses.
James MontgomeryController of Digital and Technology, Global News

My pitch was along the lines of cognitivism. In the last five years I have been conducting a sweeping deep survey, which has involved sound qualitative analysis, so these ideas are not my opinions. Though phenomenology was employed, which is a methodology about how we know what we know. 

I have some twenty plus years in the media, starting my TV career with the indefatigable BBC Newsnight, followed by ABC News in South Africa,  and Channel 4 News and a range of other jobs. 

Some of those figures I have interviewed include Henry Jenkins, Dan Gilmor, BBC executives such as Mary Hockaday, and pioneers in film and scholarly text such as Prof Brian Winston. In all around 200 figures, 

It also includes audiencing, carrying out various polls and research in Egypt, Tunisia, China and the UK. 


How audiences will access video and on line content is research based on Dewey's How We Think? For instance, based on the current speeds of the web, by 2020, you should be able to project a hologram of yourself into the web to appear elsewhere.

In all likelihood we can expect a meta renaissance.  If you're familiar with the Johari conundrum, then you'll get it.

I hope to share some of the data at some point. There's also a couple of trade magazine's where I share my thoughts on the future of the moving image, which it would be unfair to post anything until they're published.

I have also got some 300 hours of footage that needs digitising. Some of that research I have alluded to on previous posts, but now I hope I can pull it altogether.

Talk again soon :)

Images below from forthcoming trailer on about the future of the web. A film made from my PhD

Brian Storm of MediaStorm - one of the world's leading agencies talks about my work

This is truely awesome. A child with his mother say hello to grand parents, except they're holograms being piped down the web. The web of the future will be truly immersive.  I recorded this in China, at the Expo.

Jay-z plays a part in the future of the web as you'll see on the trailer.

This man was hugely influential in the BBC because he introduced videojournalism to the BBC in 2000. In my interview he acknowledges the contribution of Channel One TV from 1994 saying we were too ahead of our time.

I was one of the thirty videojournalists at Channel One. If you're a media historian or interested in facts, then yes, the BBC or CNN was not the first to practice videojournalism, Channel One TV was.

And this is Sensai Rosenblum, who needs very little introduction. I am restoring the original 1994 documentary Birth of a Station, so you can see how we did videojournalism, which has marked differences.

Tom Kennedy who led the Washington Posts videojournalism. I shared some nice moments with him reflecting on the early days. The Post started in the US around 1996/7.

These are just a few of the 200 people I have interviewed.

David will be presenting to UNESCO, Denmark and possibly at News Xchange, Spain on the future of media. More from his site

Click here for insight into major new findings on 

What is videojournalism on the web, in multimedia and offline - a major study and film - and why it matters

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Presenting online video 2 - understanding meaning

A day later, and I have taken the opportunity to ask the delegates what they would like...

I'm looking to boil the presentation down to its essence, so out go the tips and tricks. Instead when we talk about video making, I'm interested in the following.

How what you do influences the audience in any way, or how you want to  communicate with them.

I'm reminded of the furore over Hotel Babylon in the UK in 1996. It was a programme made by an indie, and caused the biggest fuss because one of the sponsors Heineken objecting to black musicians,  Seal and Shaggy, being in the show.

Not long afterwards Ford motor company doctored a promotional image featuring a black man.

What we as image makers want to do can often be different from how the target audience imbibes or feels about what we're doing.

If you keep missing the mark, it might be because you're not reading your audience. This applies to the interpretation for film, news and adverts.

Experts refer to this as coded "preferred readings". Once you decide on how you want your message interpreted, you can then set about deconstructing it.

In its simplest form. Video shows the obvious when watching and the there are hidden communicated meanings.  The skill is understanding what that is, but even then understanding film is one thing, creating it to encapsulate multiple ideas is another.

Take cadbury chocolates advert below. Why did its sales shoot up following this ad?

In effect there are guidelines that help, but there are extremely fluid because the audience changes or is influenced by things you never knew of.

How we think is key to our grand quest for creating video and meaning. In the next post, I'll tell you how I got on with the delegates...

David published which examines videojournalism and includes data from his PhD research looking at audiences.

Presenting online video - what you don't know

How we mocked him, and many of us still do.

But he was right, and the irony is his delineation exposed the very thing he was alluding to in talking to an audience.

The Johari connundrum: what you think you know, but don't know is as old as philosophy.

So why am I kicking it around all of a sudden?  On Wednesday I deliver a lecture on Online video and as I sit in front of another powerpoint window I'm sighing, enormously I might add.

There are things I know and there are things I don't know, and the bits I know I don't know, well they're pretty big as well.  But overall given my experience in video and the five years reading more books than the average reader  for my Doctorate,  I'm confident of what I know will be of some use.

Online video is an interesting Johari/ Rumsfeld problem.

What's the difference between online video and offline?  At this point you'll match what most people know about it being a lean forward affair and that millions of video go online every hour.

Then the anecdotes start.

But there is a more powerful and simpler answer. All video is designed for you to watch. So if you could figure out how people watch, what they watch and how you go about producing something people ideally will watch, you've got it made.

This in fact is the premise in an ideas sort of way Freakanomics, except that cognitivism got there before Feakanomics.

Now for perhaps a known unknown. All video has a sweep spot. All video attempts to connect to your brain with an invisible umbilical chord and raise those dopamine levels, whether for pleasure, fear intrigue etc.

How it does so is based on cognitive behaviour which predates video. When you watch a play, with the right ambience, stage setting, actor projecting their voice and so on, you'll either engage or battle with bouts of abstruseness. You know, the bits where you pause and look around and think about the woman or man in the forth row.

Back to knowns.  In wanting to understand online video, I could do that Ten things you need to know about online video. This works to a degree, but is so prescriptive that its like applying a box of plasters to every different type of injury you're likely to encounter.

So what should I do instead? I'll tell you later today... here in fact.

David Dunkley Gyimah uses art, economics and storytelling to explain things :)