Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Are cut aways necessary?

Mindy McAdams whom needs no introduction. Ok then, well respected renaissance prof in the media in the US and author of Flash Journalism, which I recommend you must buy left a response to a post.

I have posted it here as it raises a number of points which are worth looking at in so far as TV versus New Visual or even say Videojournalism is concerned - though VJ as term is open to so many different interpretations.

I know Mindy and admire her work, and I'm not perfect.

The piece Mindy's referring to is Why Video stories work VII
Mindy writes

Yeah but David those cutaways to the serious-looking reporter (you) standing there are totally lame. So TV news! So fake!

And what's with that intro with the siren? There was no siren and no yellow police tape the day of the interview. I think you needed either a VO intro or cut that whole bit with the siren, eh?

She's a great talker, you're right about that.

David writes

Hey Mindy How are yer?

Cutaways in situ are still the visual construct that drives the visual narrative.

After what's now been called the Yentob saga, where it was first thought this BBC senior figure inserted himself into his film which he discovered he didn't C/As came in for a bit of a bashing.

One network even dropped them.

But as a VJ or TV bod it's still the device that will get you in and out of an interview when there's little picture, plus it brands.

The looking serious is exactly how I felt listening to her talk about her day - again in situ effect.

The siren and pictures at the top is the window into the piece. That's both my arc and mis en scene.

It's a direct reference to the event which she was a part of and visually sets the scene.

I can see your point, yes there was no siren on the day of the interview, but I know you're not saying don't use archive or create "windows"

That interview took me about ten minutes to do and just as much to post.

Time wasn't the factor, but it's what I call "kill what you can eat".

It's also something I still advocate. I have got limited time - secs for users' attention.

A V/0 may have worked, but to those unfamiliar with my interviewee, I'll ask myself visually what gets their attention, her or incident.

* If I had copyright use of that iconic phone pic from the tube, I might have used that, but I'm free to use the siren pictures shot by one of my former brill students Corrine from the US last heard of in Iowa filming the Caucuses.

I left a response to, perhaps, this area we're playing in on Andy's blog talking about the various levels of VJ

VJ for tv e.g. interview with
Chatham House Director
VJ for VJ e.g.
Reuter's Phone story and some more that tear up the rule book. e.g. 8 Days

There's lots of things about TV News I'm not a fan of - and I have got a lot to say about that.

*I'm also aware on my VJ travels that a lot of VJs/Trainers eschew c/as, GVs, WS, PTC or stand ups et al, whilst developing their own house style e.g. award winning VJ Ruud Elmendorp whom on occasion does the odd PTC.

* Here's an interview with Ruud in Berlin at the International VJ Awards.

Yet the language of TV news or say cinema has some things as a VJ we build upon.

Personally done well,( and that's a point in itself) the insert construct ( C/A) I believe won't disappear.

But in the end it ain't about me, gonzo or TV mode. If I feel I can get a user to the end of an interview, then job done.


* not on original post to Mindy's post

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