Friday, April 18, 2008

Sports, Celebrities, VideoJournalism and Lennox

Friends who know my past always ask when they see a snippet of news in the papers. So will Lennox fight again?

And I always answer, I truly don't know, despite being good friends with his inner circle confidents and working for him as a videojournalist.

Of the sportsmen and women taken by what videojournalism had to offer, few can claim to be as sussed than Lennox Lewis and his advisors.

To date, Lennox owns copyrights to his fights and the documentaries leading to those fights because he's had someone by his side filming crucial scenes.

Five years ago the term videojournalism was not universal but Lennox had already taken on one of the UK's most accomplished award winning film directors/producers Ken McGill, with incredible DV cam skills.

He'd made films for Channel 4 on Sir Alf Ramsey, Gaza's Coming Home and Cricketer Ian Botham.

And in the run up to the epic fight with Tyson, the team brought me.

My brief covered several grounds: Vjing for Lennox's web site, Vjing alongside Ken who was director/producer, creating web promos, writing news copy and working alongside various broadcast teams in the build up to his mega fight with Tyson.

Sports and videojournalism

Sports and Videojournalism are made for each other, in a relation similar in the photographic world known as Special Photography.

Here the talent employs the VJ/film maker, negating the use of big crews, which is what Lennox did.

The logic makes creative and financial sense and has wider interests into the world of PR and Video News Release. If your client needs exposure, but wants to control their image hire a personal film maker/VJ.

Photographers have been doing it for years working with publicists.

The purists might argue it diminishes the journalism, that is verite of events, but that's a feature of modern day comms: Poachers, turned game keepers.

Skilled VJs can still influence the outcome of film, if, as they should, have their clients trust. And the best films invariably involve shades of grey.

This is certainly one of the growth areas of video-cam directing or to use the term loosely videojournalism.

I have argued it isn't a one stop shop here and in one of the earliest definitions of videojournalism here

Spice Girls Geri Halliwell, Madonna and a slew of artists have welcomed single crews to film them as either independents or to make their own films, made available to news outlets.

And this relatively, untapped area will certainly grow as the VJ dogma gets bigger.

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