Sunday, March 23, 2008


CAMP VIDEOJOURNALISM from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Robb Montgomery, founder and ceo of and I knocked heads.

In Cairo for a week we filmed a series of meetings, deconstructions and talks with editors that will emerge as the film CAMP VIDEOJOURNALISM

CAMP VIDEOJOURNALISM is a story about new areas of storytelling. Robb has huge amounts of newspaper and web experience as a visual editor with a background that includes The Chicago Tribune.

As a piece of entertainment we hope you enjoy it. As a piece on how to it may have some currency.

We were due to present at their annual media gathering - a huge affair - but before then we decided on creating a VJ piece and the accompanying "making off.." which would demonstrate widening the news agenda, uncovering fresh areas of what constituted news and new techniques in news making.

There's some drama as well, when Robb falls sick from a bug and I'm constantly, to my amusement, spoken to in Arabic, before a hotel staffer insists because I look like a Nubian.

Don't ask.

Then there's the states's state-of-the-art TV, which really is something and the management's desire for videojournalism, which starts off, that is the presentation not quite how we thought it would go.

The trailer above and playing on will be deconstructed for my Apple talk on the 27th March at Regent Street, 7 O'clock.

It combines the use of Final Cut, After Effects and Live Type - which I use to create film titles using key frames.

On I have dropped in a 960X 408 file, originally from 600mb down to 8mb for swift download

Advanced Videojournalism

In Advancing Videojournalism, we play around with the subject-verb/ object in visual grammar, which enables us to shoot with the necessary focal narratives and cut aways in situ.

Effectively how to shoot to edit and identify the film's internal tempo and how to move it along by directing around the shoot.

In the last three years there has been a frenzy in video used in journalism.

But how significant has the emergence of video news making been to the established network news agenda?

It's a difficult question to answer, but what seems apparent is a general outlay of video skills have emulated television's stanza and its news agenda.

You could argue there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I had an interesting discussion along these lines with a senior executive from the METRO - the free newspaper.

If you're at Apple, say hello


Cliff said...

David - what has been the reaction to this melding of Solo VJ'ism and this new language of cinema - especially those entrenched in the stodginess of traditional journalism?

Does this new melding elude to the idea of rules are meant to be broken - and thus a new way of reporting is born or is it to appease the masses for a softer, more entertaining way to consume the news?

This may be the catalyst I need to get creative after a dry spell this winter.

Warmest regards to you and the Fam...

Cliff Etzel - Solo Video Journalist

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah said...

Hi Cliff

I can't generalise as you're always going to find resistance in news making: it has embedded rules and what nots for so long that established organs are likely to continue as is, until. . .

Television, film, painting - they're all living arts.

The geneology of paining has travelled through Impressionism, Expressionism, Dadaism, Modern and Contemporary Art and that's just talking about western models.

Each time one of the forms found public space it had its detractors and supporters.

Cinema - likewise, and that's where many TV practitioners borrow heavily from.

Eisenstein's Battle Ship Potemkin - 1925 is one of the most heavily used "canvas films" indelibly influencing a generation.

Film techniques absorbed by TV such as linear causality and parallel narrative,Argentine author and film critic Jorge Luis Borges was talking about way back when.

I'm digressing.

News is documentary or film verite, but the tools used in collecting images are no different than the painters' brush.

As we become more televisually literate, we demand more, because a lot of what we see looks homogeneously the same.

Our language becomes more sophisticated. Our visual acuity becomes more enhanced.

A telling example: my mother and many others find Bourne's editing style confusing. A new generation need not refer to any visual dictionary to understand exactly what's going on.

The sacrosanct argument is you can't embellish news. But we do that anyway by way of subjectivity and the person/ organ informing you - albeit without design news execs will say.

What Videojournalism or Man with a movie Camera or even IM6VJ - Intergrated Multimedia 6 Videojournalism offers is a new lingua franca.

It's no different to the camera in the hands of a skilled director e.g. Abbas Kiarostami.

The web as a mega broadband pipe and interactive coding has more to give - and its getting it in terms of "the new painters", solo reportage - expanding the agenda and seeking new discourses.

Consider this for instance - call me naive - but given our many shared problems, why do we still use TV news a divisive medium.

Sorry but I could fill hours talking about this.

In the end something that has never been done, awaits to be done. Many might throw their hands in a resentment, but that won't stop the many others looking to make new meaning of the tools we possess.

p.s Incidentally this reponse is not to say factual TV hasn't undergone change.

Two pivotal points in my career

1. BBC Reportage late 80s - early 90s which introduced MTV reportage. Yes you needed a crew, but the gene of Reportage would find its way into many BBC docs and factual programmes e.g. Here and Now, Black Britain, Panorama.

2. 1994 World News Conference - a Canadian graphic designer refines the split graphic interface that would become a hall mark of CNN.

ps2. Breaking the rules. No for the sake of it, but the rules of TV were set up tp enable new comers to the medium to make proficient TV

Don't cross the line
Rule of third
Don't goldfish
Shoot with the light source behind you
Don't have your sots fight the music

They're guidelines, that's all they are.

Talk soon