Sunday, October 26, 2008

Origins of Multimedia meets Video journalism Flashback 2001

The piece is called The Family - a finalist at Channel 4's Digital Awards. Click here to launch

It's something else to look back on this piece of multimedia work from 2001. One of the first attempted integrated multimedia video journalism pieces.

I need to tell you a few things.
  • Few people outside of the design community knew what Flash was. We were on Flash 4 going into Flash 5.
  • Flash did not support video, only bitmaps which you had to animate to look like video.That meant you had no video controls. You had to write code.
  • We were on 56k modems, so we had to encode these to unfathomable small sizes to today's standards [using load movie scene variables] because broadband resided only with big companies who could afford T1 lines.
  • IMVJ was the dream, that is matching video expertise with Flash. Credit here to Rosalind Miller the designer and encoder.
  • We filmed at a boxing gym set up for urban kids, quite a few from troubled backgrounds, in Islington.
  • We collected sound using a sony walkman and video with a Vx1000.
  • I got hit in the ring operating a minature steady cam. Yep suffer for your art.
  • The piece had no navigational direction, it employed play and spatial theory. If you've never read Lev Manovich - The Language of New Media, go order it now. It's where I got my epiphany from
  • Heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis' team on seeing this hired me to work with them. I had the time of my life witnessing the fight of the century Tyson vs Lewis
  • You can read about it here in Blue Print - an article that I think has some currency now as it did back then.
  • I was introduced to BBC Commissioning Editors to consider some more "circular docs", though it never came off
  • It lead to me meeting Hillman Curtis - The Flash Guru -awesome!
  • Read up further on video hyperlinking - something I believe will be the next disruptive method/technology. The Economist rang up for an interview aferwards. Gobsmacked!
  • If you look at the credits ask yourself now if you could perform all the known disciplines, because that's where we are with IMVJ now.
  • This week I'll pull out another Flashback from 1996 - an ad broadcast on CNN International, made in 24 hours and whose renumeration you could only describe as "silly!"

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