Friday, March 31, 2006

Mobile News

The ubiquitous mobile phone has an even richer future. True or false?

Two years ago as part of a project with the BBC's Interactive department, we, myself and handpicked students mapped out a world where the future would collide with the present.

Here the mobile phone is transformed, not merely from the shoot and edit capabilities some devices can handle now, but a fully fledged HD quality camera with sophisticated editing bay and fast network publishing. More coming

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mike Smartt ex- BBC Online Chief

An example of a video hyperlink, which I'm working on to refine so the transition is seamless, but what do you make of what Mike says. Pretty Candid really! No you won't get that from an existing BBC Manager.

Amputee Sierra Leone

Yannis was having a pizza with friends when he called me. Come on up, it'll gives us the chance to talk about Sierra Leone.
Early jan, Yannis sent me prints. I looked at them and thought Gosh these are harsh. . . even painful. Weeks later the pictures would be garnering multiple awards.

I call Yannis invisible. He's 6 foot plus, but has the ability to get into a moment in time that defies common thought. He wanted Terry Callier's Sierra Leone, but alas despite emails and a good hearty chat with Terry's record company, nothing came of that wish.

The track you hear was specifically written for this. A heart warm thanks to Micheal Donkor, Joel Dumba and Eric Osei-Poku.

So there we are. Tell us what you think? If it moves you enough perhaps you could find time to give to an Amputee cause.

So, I say to Yannis, I can't make it in today but how about a rain cheque. . . tomorrow?

"Oh tomorrow" he quips I'm off to Columbia. Such is the life of a photojournalist.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What if

What would you like to change?

Simple question, without a simple answer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Band of Sisters - the new multiskilled media prosumers

One of the most visible evolutions of our contemporary media age has been its democratisation and meritocracy. So it was a joy yesterday to spend two hours with a class comprising all women in mid-career or contemplating pursuing video as a new hobby or career-turn.

The course in North London, at a place called, Heron House, [] trains women in technical skillls for example graphics, editing, camera, lighting.

There is a world of difference when speaking to mid-career women, some of whom may have families. They want a practical, realistic view of the industry and if they don't mind me saying will let you know very quickly if you're off message.

Some of the questions revolved around the differences between Final Cut Pro and Premiere. How After Effects could add value to your production. How Flash as an application is so underused by broadcasters. How to go about setting up an online station. And for me a firm favourite how a number of tertiary institutions are failing to train modern day producers to take on the market.

As a former BBC employee and freelance producer, I'm not talking about producers in the BBC sense, formidable as they are, but the more radical multi-skilled creative and journalist. In an interview with the world editor's forum [] I mention how divisions of work, labour and diehard habits mean we usuallly execute tried but tested methods, but which often make us impotent too to new ideas and practices.

In part this is because of unions and regulatory laws, and the other frankly, why should I multiskill, when what I want to be is the best camerawoman or most adept editor. Learning any new skill merely dilutes my specialism, or does it?

Realistically, our broadcast/ AV industry has a good enough turn over, but not enough, to meet the ever growing demand of graduates et al who want into the media. But herein lies a rubicon , which has been crossed knowingly or not by everyone.

If you can't get into any number of organsiations. Don't despair. Today, broadband allows you to broadcast your own material. The market then becomes your judge and jury and that's healthy. That's what the English 17th century philosophers, Thomas Hobbs, refered to as the Intelligent Commonwealth.

I don't doubt that the zest and curiosity in the room, coupled with combined knowledge could be a real tour de force in setting something up as a collective. Interdependence [ Covey's 7 ways of success] is a strong theme here for building upon ideas which appear someone distant.

The Open Source movement and its ethos may be counter intuitive to business but it has served many netizens and media envagelists well. Copy left rather than Copy right will equip you with tools that can be shared and assit you in growing in unison with your shared partners.

"So how do you get your stories?" was one of the questions, as I opened up With great patience and feeling emotive about the subject. I have a day job, but will work around the clock or do the "Death March" ( c.f coders working arond the clock). Yes, I said, more or less everything you see on the mag is mine in production, but that takes away from the point, that quid pro quo arrangements are constantly going on, so that everyone's a winner.

The real point here: you, and your stories is the killer content.

Broadcasters and Publishers exist because of you. As I write this, I have just finsished marking some Masters in Journalism student work. One student has interviewed an Indian gentlemen who's taking it upon himself to ride his bicycle across the world. He has the most extraordinary tales. His day job, after his sabbatical, is working as a government civil servant.

If he ever puts up an online site detailing his Phileas Foggesque travels I'll be one of many I trust who'd log on.

online video packages made for broadband c.f Jakob Nielson for what that entails

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The secret services and the net

Could the Net eventually do away with the secret services, particularly if a group of intelligence officers are successful in pushing open source secrets onto the net?

multimedia photomontage. Why do it?

World Press Photo winner Yannis Kontos New
Yannis' photomontage proved to be a huge success, but for some it was a travesty. Should photos have any place in video production? Zooms, pans and the use of music may heighten the emotional effect. On the other hand they could be viewed as a simple distraction. Yannis and I are hoping to produce more. Should we?. If you're interested in more multimedia narratives see web promos back at

interactive documentaries

Interactive Documentary- a runner up in Network Channel 4 Unleash the Talent signaling how to rework documentaries to make them interactive. Is this the future for documentary makers restructuring their wares online. An early proponent of videohyperlinks, where videos will connect with each other in the same way hypertext does. What do you think?The Net 2010: And what about the Outernet . Where does that feature in the future of media: a utility that will lay open universal access to create public broadbandcasts on the fly?

From Print to TV

Videojournalism in Sony and UK broadcast industry magazine
The Producer magazine features an article, drawing great attention in the UK, about videojournalism and how British newspapers are learning to become TV/video makers. You can downlaod the pdf of the article.
The editors forum recently interviewed me about the Press Association Programme I headed up training newspapaer journalists to become videojournalists. This is indeed a hot and controversial topic. Should print journos have to learn anything about multimedia or tv?

The Them and US

The Them and US Pt 1. New
Podcasts and blogs may sound de rigeur, but to culturalists there nothing more than the repackaging of old ware.

Who is them and who is us? Is traditional media really in danger of atrophy? Will there be a fundamental departure from one media to another? Who will win and who will lose?

South Africa season

The South Africa season: David looks at stories and updates from the world in one country, culminating with the hit reality show The Apprentice, South Africa. . .

Rewind South Africa's then Successor Generation, made originally for BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 News. An upate soon on what's happened to them all since. +

Political Assassin  New Trailer
One national UK Newspaper said it was: "One of the most explosive articles you will ever read".