Monday, May 26, 2008

The Video Journalism Revolution UK - Watch this

Birth of a station - Video Journalism revolution from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.
90 second clip shows Michael Rosenblum in song mode, with Vjs Tricica Adudu and Marcel Theroux commenting on their experience, rounded off with one of the station's news editors Peter Brookes whom would go on to become managing director of Manchester United TV.
If you're interested in video journalism, as a newspaper, broadcaster or citizen journalist, you will absolutely, most definitely want to watch this, the video journalism revolution in the UK.

The title was Birth of a Station, a play off from DW Griffiths Birth of a Nation 1915.

It is the documentary about video journalism's entry into the UK in 1994.

How thirty video journalists came together and what they made of their new skills, the training and views of Michael Rosenblum, and how a station costing 50 million UK pounds was born.

I was thrilled to bits when I stumbled across this in my archive, even if the quality leaves a lot to be desired.

It features, among others interviews with the late Sir David English - the newspaper editor's editor, managing director Nick Pollard and the CEO Julian Aston.

The doc has academic as well as real industry value.

It is a snapshot of a piece of broadcasting history emerging from a blank canvas.

Video journalism had never been practised in the UK. In fact no one knew what it was.

But after the launch, 100s of broadcasters from around the world visited the station to see how it all worked.

The VJ family
"You join a group of about 100 vjs around the world...., an elite bunch", Michael says on tape back then.

Well 14 years on, so much has radically changed, but so much also remains the same.

The anxieties, the fears - how will television crews react to us, the excitement it's all here.

Many, many of the faces you'll see have become household names, award winning documentary and acclaimed TV makers and a notable MBE.

Among them Marcel Theroux, brother of Louis Theroux and son of American travel writer and novelist, Paul Theroux; Dimitri Doganis, an amazing film maker and winner of several awards for films such as 'The Tea Boy of Gaza'; and Rachel Ellison MBE, behind the BBC's Afghan Woman's Hour, which promoted human rights.

Those are a just a few.

Channel One was able to recruit 30 trainees from 3000 applications, so it could do what many newspapers can't - pick their VJs.

This isn't on the film, but some of the filtering techniques included observing how you handled a camera placed in front of you.

Video Journalism vs TV - not a them and us
This doc gives a real sense that wherever you are with your video journalism ambitions, you will prevail, if you persevere.

Whatever the debate about rights and wrongs of video journalism making, a new generational crop of talent will emerge pushing film making much, much further than anyone could imagine.

The future of video journalism, is almost a throw back to the ghost of Channel One, 1994, when it won't be about news any longer, but a whole production cycle.

Channel One had a film review with Karen Krizanovich, an interactive show about the Net and was the first to broadcast down cable in which viewers could respond via the net.

Remember this is 1994.

It had a car programme testing the most recent releases, a cookery show, a travel show and the rest - all made by one, sometimes two person video journalist teams.

The truly most interesting aspect of video journalism will be regional and national newspapers commissioning and making programmes:
,, The Hull Daily Mail, and so on.

It's already happening with some outfits e.g. The Telegraph and the BBC's plans for local broadband news looks like a contemporary version of Channel One, sans cable distribution, which is what ultimately led to the station's demise.

Birth of a station coming soon.

Blog author David Dunkley Gyimah, was one of the thirty video journalists at Channel One. Today, he still practises video journalism and is now a senior university lecturer and Phd student, where he lectures on integrated multimedia video journalism (CSS site building, multimedia and advance video journalism) and advises a number of newspapers such as the Financial Times.

Video journalism's anti-aesthetism short from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.
You can contact him at facebook or skype: daviddunkleygyimah

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