Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MA in twitter and podcasts

Birmingham City offering a £4000 MA in learning about web 2.o apps twitter etc. Here's the link to the story in the telegraph, but there's a bigger issue here.

So before your colleague leaning over you thinks er!!!!, consider how tech apps, APIs and the rest are now driving the new journalism ecosystem.

I'll post something more substantial soon

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Observer in blog-tweet read

The Observer in tweet read. Call it the power read (skim, stop, speed read, digest)
Obama Show hits London - I caught Clinton's UK visit once. Obama's GSummit visit razzmatazz n all will bring London to a halt. As the article says, when President Obama travels, a small city - part of Washington and the mobile White house comes with him.

Myspace nosedives. They've been forecasting its demise since it begun, but now, er now, The Observer speaks of how Facebook etc are picking of members. Message in a bottle: everything has a shelf life. How long till twitter slays Facebook. No wait, Facebook has already gone on the offensive changing its interface recently to mimicking Tweet. Watch out for Life-Work, a new network that manages you.

Suicide kit £35. Combination drugs that help you call it a day. Grim but for euthanasia advocates about time. Life the price of a pair of sneakers.

Tweet chef recipe:) Recipes in Tweets. Now c'mon this makes no sense. Here goes my own. Rice n peas:
Soak kidney beans day. boil, add to boiling rice. Chop onions, add tomatoes, spices and curry paste. Roast chicken legs with stew paste. EAT..

Trust who, BBC vs Blogger: Nick Cohen pours over the inevitability of now: the Net pummeling journalism citing Clay Shirky's example of Alisara Chirapongse, thai fashion student whom turned her hand to hard journalism during Thailand's 2006 Military coup.

"In this time of upheaval", Cohen says " the BBC has a public duty to invest and broadcast he journalism that others can't afford. It is failing spectacularly to live up to its responsibilities".

* Next week I'm at the BBC talking with one of its top execs, so will loop this as a pick up interview.

The above were came off the back of tweets from reading The Observer. So long as there are great writers and strong stories, I'll lay akimbo reading.

Sports videojournalism - cult of personality

David, vjing at base camp: Lennox vs Tyson World title fight. Apparently I was one of few, if not the only journalist allowed to stay in his camp and watch, record him train. But even more significant I was then hired by the Camp.

Endless debates surrounding videojournalism invariably fall within the ecosystem of news production. Sounds tautological: video journalism, journalism dah!

But videojournalism is a style, not exclusively a genre.

"Hey you shoot like a VJ", connotes a personalised subject narrative form of story telling c.f Tom Kennedy ( fmr Washngton Post head of video).

I started a post a couple of days ago, not finished, because it dawned on me there was a wider debate, which I could fold into my thesis.

It embraces an Alice in Wonderland moment - going down the rabbit hole. More on that in time. Could it be part of a chapter for my publishers on emerging story telling?

Nervously, I hope so. Due date, fairly soon, Gulp!

So videojournalism, the stark link outside of the artificial walls of journalism is "sportsjournalism".

Lets see video-sportsjournalism? Sports-vid-journalism? V-SportJournalism?

You get my point. Not quite a beguiling axiom. Answers on a postcard please for a suitable one.

10 sporting moments
But reading The Observers Sports Monthly and Max Davidson's The 10 Most Sporting Gestures, rekindled a passion for sports story telling.

Davidson's list is truly humanising and wrenching. At the 36 Berlin Olympics German long jumper Lutz is caught offering advice to Jesse Owens who is one jump away from being disqualified. The advice to remark his run-up earns Owens the Gold, Lutz, Silver and Hitler, an almighty slap in the face.

Owens later expresses how all the medals in the world could not hold up to the friendship offered by Lutz at that moment.

My favourite, and er , woops a de facto indictment on television is Cricketer Andrew Flintoff offering a consoling handshake to Australian Brett Lee, after England narrowly clinch the Ashes- Cricket's supreme prize.

Er TV missed the magic moment. A photographer did not.

The Alice in Wonderland theme develops a notion of peripheral story telling around the principle subject. TV films the scene, photography/ VJ captures the space. The space is bigger than the scene, which is why as you read this zoned in to the screen, you notice nothing of your surroundings before something catches your eye.

Peripheral vision then comes into play and an automotive action of you turning away from what you're doing. ( long breath)

Double click to play Flash Promo
size 224k
dur 110'

That peripheral played a part in capturing this set of pictures whilst covering Lennox Lewis Vs Tyson for their 2002 Undisputed World title fight.

These aren't exclusives; other TV crew were shooting Tyson's departure from his weigh-in, but I held this shot for about a minute. This in VJ is the plumb line for my arc. Meaning it changes everything.

When I captured these into FCP way back in 2002, you can see from my file name what I thought about the shot. Tyson looks bothered.

Click to enlarge

Creative story telling
Sports journalism has always had a freedom that news journalism craves. Objectivity and impartiality untouched, the film making is expressive, the language is replete with idioms and the play of words.

Oddly though it has no place i.e. Sports docs on TV. You try selling one to commissioner.

For visually stunning filming, you can turn to any number of sporting events, but often it's not the scene spectacle that captures the individual triumphs as much as the space. Super bowl films are classics for this.

The touchline filming offers a POV, difficult to capture with TV's semiotics. When Dan Marino unleashed the ball and the camera tracked it; SF 49 ers Montana ran those invaluable yards, his eyes mimicking the million mile stare; or when Marcus Allen soared through the clouds to evade that defensive line, you needed to see it at field level and slow moed to feel the grace.

Documentary makers have done us a huge service.

SV journalism ( ah there!) could do as well, inconspicuously filming on the line. This shot here is me at Twickenham England Vs Rugby, shot on my A, processed as a swf file for an online promo.

In training the UK's first regional newspapers to become videojournalist's Charlie a sports journalist spoke about a scene he needed to film that evening: a swimming gala in which the main subject was an Olympiad.

He had a choice, go TV, VJ (as many of us have come to know it) or free frame filming - an advanced iteration of VJ.

You can see the opening shot now: the swimmer on their marks, arms dangling in slow mo, eyes focused down the tunnel, the start-whistle jerked backwards, everybody tense, silence, then a hard splash on the water and an explosion of sound and energy and then she speaks and when she does she's lying down in her bed looking at the ceiling. Muscle memory.

All the while the videos slightly off centered. Charlies also did a good job. Sports videojournalism - cult of personality

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Media versus Old Media. Wise guys

New Media versus Old Media. Colleague Rob Ojok told me a story that I have reworked.

Editor of a newspaper at a conference gets indignant at a young new media guy telling him about what's wrong with the newspaper.

Editor: "What do you know.... Tell you what if ask me anything about our company and if I can't reply I'll give you $100. I'll ask you something about new whatever and if you fail, you pay me $5."

New media guy nods.

Editor: "Why can't an RSS feed provide me with the grab headline, pic for the story that would have originally done the same for me in my newspaper?"

New Media guy ( mumbles under breath... "that's not the point &^%@*") Hands over $5.

The audience cheer

New Media guy: "If the economy continued on last year's growth trajectory, could you forecast as I have done to the nearest thousand dollars, what impact AIG would have made on your company's earnings?"

Editor ( looking baffled): "Er, what...!" then smiles and takes out 100 dollars and hands over to the young new media guy.

Audience animated, and rowdy....

After it all calms down.

Editor: "Ok bright spark, tell us all here. What's the answer?"

Young New Media guy gets up, walks over to the panel, digs into his pocket and hands over $5.

Audience silenced...

Moral : There isn't any other than. We don't always know the answers, but it doesn't pay to be a smart Alec pretending you do. Cuz there's always someone else out there smarter, even when they don't have the abs solution.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cyber realism story telling

Just wanted to lhighlight this: Cyber realism story telling. Fascinating article I came across essentially saying back to front, complex story-lined multiple narratives are in vogue.

21 gram, Pulp fiction, Babel are just a few examples of cyber realist films says article by James Harkin which owe their popularity to the....Net.

Lots to say about that as a fair few of my VJ pieces ff what might appear to be discombobulated story lines.

But the story is worth a good read and is accompanied by a nice mash-up google site Cyburia.tv

Everybody loves the Sunshine- Roy Ayers Interview

Interview coming up in a couple of minutes

George "the funkadelic" Clinton BBC Radio interview

It started at Uni.Varsity I became a DJ earning myself 50-100 UKP a week.

Most of that went back onto a record collection, my spare time spent rummaging through record fares looking for rare and old records from say the King Label or Chocolate City.

I was a burgeoning news junkie, but my left side wanted to be a DJ. Decisions, decisions. In 1987 I got my first gig in radio as a radio reporter. I have located one of the early reports.

A week ago I received this note from an old friend from those days

Greetings from an old friend !

Cast your mind back to your crazy days in Leicester. For some reason you
popped into my mind out of the blue, so I Googled you !

Judging by everything I see on the internet you've done well for
yourself. And to think you used to give Vijay kittens everytime you did
a piece on air - ah those were the days. Well if you're ever in
Leicester, or in the vacinity, give me a shout, and we'll have a beer.

Your old friend and collegue,


Deepak Patel

In early 90s the two passions collided, hosting a radio show and playing music on BBC's London station. Producing/presenting the show meant we, Sheryl Simms co-presenter and I, could ring any number of celebs/stars to ask them on courtesy of our listeners of course.

So its from that era onwards to around 2000 that I've built up an archive of radio interviews, which I'd like to share. Most of the interviews are still on reels, such as a 10 second clip interview with Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam. We spoke for an hour.

But for the moment, here's George 'bad funkadelic" Clinton, the Jay-z/P Diddy of his time whose anthem One Nation Under the Groove was just peachy.

George fused soul, funk with rock, drawing inspiration from one Jimmy James aka Jimmy Hendricks. A brief visit back to the halycon days of carefree, warehouse parties and mobile phone that were the size of potato sacks.

Actually mobiles phones weren't around. One Nation stands as one of the aspirant records, which social networks are realising in their own way. Njoi. I'm dancing in the kitchen now.

Video and the Net, Web 1994. The Guardian.A decade before youtube

On viewmagazine.tv -The Newspapers and the Net circa 1994.

It's difficult to fathom. Video and the web 1994.

It's the year of Friends, Celine Dion's The Power of Love, and an advert which had bizarrely cross over value, which ad people call "overlook". Remember "Hello Boys, Wonderbra".

So in 1994, the web had just been conceived, Marc Andreesen cracks a browser code, Mosaic. At an interview for my new job, the managing director asks me if I know anything about the Internet.

I say yes, blagging it a bit. I'd worked on a gas-model flow programme in 1987 for the Net, but the web is different. However I soon have an account with compuserve and my first graphic design tool, Corel Draw.

1994. Fifteen years ago, a generation in itself. Video on the web was being trialled. Cybercafe off Charlotte street was one of the venues.

At the station, I Videojo a piece on the new chip thieves. there is a growing trend in thefts of memory cards and hard drives, particularly if your card is top of the range e.g. 112mb.

My colleague however catches the zeitgeist. What influence will the web have on the newspapers, such as The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian.

It's worth a visit to see for the social history of the web and:
1. what the newspapers said
2. videojournalism in 1994

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Epics Mad and brilliant viral video

Who ever dreamt this up for the TV company; it's a viral deserves all the awards that exist. Shame you don't see the creatives/directors credits.

It's Epic, Mad and brilliant. Bonkers brilliant. Thanks to Alice Klein for pinging me

Monday, March 23, 2009

Soul Music Archive - Not videojournalism :)

Trawling through the archives, I am coming across reels and reels of interviews from the BBC radio show I used to co-present with the fabulous all roound presenter Sheryl Simms.

I'll create a page on Viewmagazine.tv and upload as many as I can, after they've been digitised. No small feat!

This is a clip from Omar doing some amazing vocals. Omar had a hit with "There's nothing like this", which led to work with Stevie Wonder.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Extreme videojournalism

Extreme videojournalism. It used to be the case that I took it for granted the assignments that I came by freelancing for the BBC World Service or working for anyone of the number of networks.

But recently I met with some friends and later this year we've mooted an expedition for the sort of shoot that has its risks, ( risk assessment forms ready) but would yield great stories.

We're back to the down and dirty, get into the trenches form of videojournalism. No one ever said this stuff was glamorous.

It got me thinking about some of the more extreme assignments I have undertaken in the past, so here's a precis of my top ones.

This shot by David Berman of Sitbonzo is the only mocked up one. I said to David about what I had in mind and he had me leaping off these wall. It's probably a shot that would be apt for some promotional stuff - whatever that may be.

Out with Nato, we're in one of their attack helos. The journey is controlled, but still has its risks. I get out to grab some shots and almost get swept of my feet by the blades.

One of the more extreme assignments, 5om below water and within minutes caught up in ribbon current which will seperate me from my buddy and cause me to hyperventilate and run out of air. We did the odd buddy breathing as I decoed going up. The feature exploring WWI wrecks in Turkish waters made it onto the BBC World Service.

US special Forces were in Ghana training ECOMOG forces for among other things free fall across enemy lines. I declined because of a timetable clash an excercise with live ammo. But this was the closest I have come to also interviewing Ghana's senior armed forces, who normally shy away from going on camera.

This was an expeidtion to Jordan which resulted in a report on BBC World Service radio. It's hot and I'm filthy. I'd spend some time with a local tribes group and then overnight in Wadi. It's an eerie silence that's incomprehensible.

I worked the townships during my stringer ( freelance correspondents) time in South Africa 92-94. There are endless stories here, which are pretty extreme. On one occasion we're being followed by a group. The guy who's car I have emerged from has an incredible story to tell. we're asked to leave Soweto by nightfall.

The camera is the legendary sony vx1000 . The first consumer dv cam on the market. Mine lasted many years. I still have it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Journalism is dead, Long live journalism

By tradition, it is a phrase that has come to signify the end of an era and beginning of another, with no visible time break. A flag at half mast informs those mourning that it will be business as usual.

In newsrooms across media lands, there appears to be no continuum. A profession which in the UK is credited to Addison and Steele now a multi billion industry is being picked apart at the seams.

Journalism is dead, long live journalism !!

It seems preposterous to think anything positive about these times. As a freelance journalist during the 80s and 90s, that sunken feeling of finding a job is a phantom limb that never quite goes away.

When I look through files and read through the endless rejection letters, I might have wished of nothing more than a shakeup to give me an in. Oh I yearned for it, but not like this, as I watch friends and acquaitances get promoted down or sacked.

In 1992, the height of another recession, I was told [nicely] by one BBC human resource personnel, "Don't you think it would be better for you to find another profession?".

I'd already junked a career, burnt its ships, in Chemistry. What was I to do? We've all faced this.

Perhaps I was fortunate. Armed with references from BBC Newsnight, BBC Reportage and BBC GLR, I upped sticks and sought out a story that would rejuvenate a crumbling non-start-of-a-career.

There was only one place to go where my passion could combine with my curiosity and technical skills. South Africa was my "Long live journalism", in which films such as Through the Eyes of a Child, BBC Radio 4's First Time Voters, and working with ABC News gave me a panoramic insight of what I truly wanted to do.

Through out the years that followed, each job I took, and out of the many only two were by formal interview panels, I was forced to re skill, retrain myself. In effect I know what I know now because I had to to find the next job.

Journalism is dead, long live journalism. You're a fool I would have said to think that.

In May, my university stages a conference with international interest: Journalism in Crisis. If you're a freelancer it always was.

But it's being acknowledged that this perfect storm: the economy, Internet, tech revolution, cultural change in attitudes and what the Financial Times presented in a deeply insightful article: When Papers Fold is tantamount to: "Journalism is dead", with no "long live" tagged on.

When Papers Fold by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, lists antiquated costs structures in the business of newspapers among others variables why journalism is dying.

The glass half full approach, staring at these hard time, might posit a new approach akin to William Webb-Ellis, apocryphally, picking up a football in 1823 and instead of kicking the damn thing, running with it.

A new game was born, which today sates the appetite of grown men, women, boys and girls: rugby. My cousin Paul Sackey excels at it well.

The Net and associates does not spell the end of journalism, but the beginning of something else, whatever that may be.

I am no longer a day-in-day out journalist, but recognise what it could do for me a videojournalist, blogger and the like.

We're not far of from the proclamation to accession, when new models and refined old one will fill out the 4th-5th estate. This flux will sort itself out, this death will pass.

How ready will we be when it dawns?

Journalism is dead, Long live journalism

SXSW Epic Mania - Promo coverage by IM Videojournalism

Epic Mania @SXSW coverage Austin 2009 by IM Videojournalism from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

SXSW Epic Mania - Promo coverage by IM Videojournalism David Dunkley Gyimah. A lengthier feature will be produced for viewmagazine.tv.

Going to dump a larger version 950X 4oo on viewmagazine.tv tomorrow Makes for better viewing experience.

Thanks again for all your support. Njoi as much as I did putting this wee thing together and comment if you can.


p.s thanks to Aleks Krotoski ( Guardian) for Henry Jenkins shot :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Videojournalism at SXSW: inherit the media earth

Something's going on...

It's not what you think its is, because you can gather as much notes as possible, wield your pen like a sword in battle at Hastings, rubber neck at the design artisans whose work yield no formula for you to translate. But you have to let go

Something's going on.

When the day wraps you'll stand alone, gazing onto the streets and people below you.

You're tired. You can't quite figure it out. Will you be one of the new video-architects that will inherit the earth?

Everyone's doing video and if they aren't they could easily do so. Talk Video is cheap. So you're thinking how do I do it and do it differently.

Run to get creative- David checks out the morning landscape of Austin Texas

Dan Willis, an engaging entertaining speaker opened SXSW with his caveat: Birth of a Nation, DW Griffiths racist yet breakthrough movie that would inform many others of thinking scale, going creative, breaking away from the conformity of traditional structures.

It's a wonderful observation, and ascribes to a value of film making which Hollywood would later dine on in excess and still does: DO EPIC S**T.

Yet there are other examples, many. One of my favourites is Melies' Le Voyage dans la Lune in 1902.

What you have to recall about this time is cinema, the birth of the moving photographic image is new. There is no precedent.

Lumiere [ the inventor of film-cinema] as expressed by countless studies sees no artistic value in this medium: "Film" he says "is nothing more than scientific curiosity".

George Melies 15 years on from Lumiere's first "curiosities" produces a film of fantasy. It's never been done.

Video architect web journalists

The video-architects of today are themselves setting new courses, defining a semiotic game theory behind this new comms-art which is growing online.

The true scale has no where near materialised yet. The web I have said in previous posts, and you know is only a teenager and if you're grappling for the turgid sense of change, I'd advise you watch my colleague Mark's 1994 short news feature on Newspapers and the web.

Clay Shirky on innovations in publishing at SXSW.

Just as the mobile phone will soon change beyond recognition. Its ergonomics and design is at present superfluous around the contours of our face, video on the web - a 3d spatial grid will change.

There is nothing intrinsically technically beyond wonderment about video. Every one's doing it; the illusion about its intellectual execution held fastened for decades has been shattered.

It is the "Fish and Chips", the "Pasta Bologneses", the "Pap and Chicken" of electronic communications.

When 19th Century Art under the auspices of Academy Le Baux were forced to moved away from classical metering, chiefly through the new impressionists, it was the dawn of the wondrous and exciting modernism.

This glimpses the new tear in the sky. The language of the new medium will likely emerge as bold as those that have trod this path before us. And they too will be ridiculed. "But this is not news@!£"

In cinema, the greats e.g. Kubrik treated their craft like the golden fleece. It wasn't enough just to think ambitious, to direct a scene, but to comprehend the medium's 'architecture'. Kubrik understood films malleability as did Hitchcock whose Pleasure Garden circa 1925 and the Lodger which follows lay the foundation for his later opus.

Space, dimension, the image-sentence informed, albeit sometimes subtly the deep recesses of what might be called "Kantian beauty".

We're drawn to an aesthetic. It does not trump all, for style over substance is unforgivable.

Celebrity pap over intrinsic inherent values feeds banality.

The question-statement I posed to an engaging and warm audience at SXSW, the question posed to the pragmatist futurists Henry Jenkins returned an answer that urges us to look at the whole product.

Visionary Henry Jenkins being interviewed by me [David] about transmedia.

In essence DO EPIC S**T

Hollywood's since upped its game in a bid to return costs and profit. De facto it's been playing with its form. The few blockbusters subsidy the loss making experiments it unveils to stay relevant in our times.

Videojournalism has some way to go yet, but we won't get there by aping past forms, by feeling smug at what was once, by assuming it it aint broke why fix it.

We'll get there by innovations, alchemy, of jumping of the edge: as an applied chemist I have some inkling from the evenings spent in labs trying to shape a substrate to match a chemical formula and failing.

But failure was one step away from transitory success. Transitory, because today what is relevant has no guarantees for its future.

The alchemists of the video age are out there. Channel One's defunct broken model, I told delegates at IM VideoJournalism presents an interesting spring board for a new generation.

"Come to the edge. He said. They said. "We are afraid". "Come to the edge". He said. They Came. "He pushed them and they flew"

Guillaume Apollinaire

The video feature Epic Mania from SXSW will be published soon.. [ I hope!]

David Dunkley Gyimah presented IM Videojournalism at SXSW from presenting at WeMedia where his work was cited for Elevating multimedia narrative through tireless experiments that push MM to a higher standard. He was a 2009 RTS and International Video Journalism Awards juror. More on david here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Meme for SXSW talk

Click to enlarge

Memes are just fab for creative thinking.

I'm soo addicted to them that I could draw in Hieroglyphics all day.

The one above is the whole 1 hour talk on paper, whilst the one below looks at something Henry Jenkins calls transmedia or intertextuality. How video informs all the other things

Why do i like em? They sort out my fuzzy head allowing me to draw/pull on ideas at will and inserting them into my presentations, without fear of rewriting pages and pages.

But for a real funky drop dead gorgeous meme from SXSW by an artist go here

Images from SXSW

A few images from SXSW

IM videojournalism is NOT I am videojournalism!! but .. you get the idea


I walked into the Green Room - where the presenters are destressed before their talk. Everyone around me had friends and family - sort of kumbaya moments.

Are you by yourself, a kind SXSW volunteer asked.

Gulp, er yeah! So what next, I asked

OK, I'll come get you at about quarter to ten

I nodded, then quickly added nervously , er could you make that half past I have a few things to set up.

( blimey she must a thought. Who do you think you are? Ridley Scott. You're only doing a talk, not setting up scene with a 1000 extras)

Here for talk

Here for the meme diagram I conceived a week earlier for the talk

So much to read, how do you find the time to attend conferences?

What's in the goody bag?


A whole shelf of magazines. Truthfully I couldn't bring anywhere near as many as I wanted with me back to London, so I left them for room service. Not sure they'll read em either.

Hide and Seek

Whos's hiding behind the Mac?

We went to a talk, Karyn an editor from New Riders and me. We'd already been discussing a book. I wanted to remember the moment. You know, if/when the book materialises, this is where I started that anguishing climb to write and write and write.

I put my camera on auto 10 secs, placed it on the chair in front. Karyn was chatting merrily away and then as it hit a second countdown, she ducked. LOL

The last post.
Tucked away in a corner all by my lonesome. I am a sad figure. I wrapped up my last post. To my right is the entrance to the SXSW trade fare.

I'd just finished filming/interviewing Henry Jenkins ( Convergence Culture) and Dan Willis ( fab designer)

My last twitter was something like - thanks everybody for great 72 hours. It's been great and I have really enjoyed it. And you're all in my heart and on my birthday wishes and will cherish you next to my bosom.

It was too long to go on twitter!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blogging and the ideas hub

If blogging is about sharing new ideas then I couldn't have hoped for a far better outcome from attending sxsw.

In fact SXSW is an ideas hub.

On the last day, I interviewed Henry Jenkins - an extraordinary thinker- whose book Convergence Culture wraps up so many new media theories.

Transmedia is a favourite in his must-read book ( I cite it within my Phd draft bibliography).

I fully echo jenkin's them of building "huts around the house". So Hollywood does the film, then collapses a whole load of media around it. In my presentation on IMVJ this is how I advocate producing video journalism.

Then I had a chance to meet Dan Willis - another expansive thinker. His point is that everything on the web is a deriative of print.

It's such a clear unabmigious argument and he connects so many dots in what we could be doing, though he's not prescriptive.

I interviewed him for about 20 mins. This will be fun.

City jog
This morning I went for another jog - this time with my super 8mm camera. There's some truly nice break-a-dawn images that I came across. I hope I got the exposure right on the cam.

The Brits were out in force this year - a point made by the festival organiser, Hugh Forrest. The major presence was the Department of Trade and Digital Britain.

I'd live to ahve talked to them, but they seemed busy most of the time, and you know what it's like when another brit voice accosts them with the seeming desire for representation. :(

But I had a great session and ever so often would be stopped to talk to one of the delegates, many of whom I sat down with afterwards and talked more about film and video journalism.

I'm going to try and convince my Uni that it should have a presence here next year.

I will most definately be cutting a film from here, so look forward to sharing that with you.

So from me here in Austin Texas -SXSW. It's toloos.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

SXSW rocks. Next on SXSW - Viewmagazine

SXSW rocks. Next on SXSW.

Apologies if at all for the effusive language. This morning, Sunday, I got up tired, groggy. It was 7.30. Urgh overslept.

I looked outside my window and I was on Danny Boyle's 28 Days film set. The streets were deserted.

What the h*** is going on. It's 7.30. It was irresistible. Within 4 mins I was on the street, jogging gear on, filming.

In this shot above I'm lying in the middle of the street: it's now 7.45 Other shots followed. I have got the nose for SXSW promo opening. Serendipity.

Yesterday on SXSW
After the event. Picture courtesy of Karyn Johnson

Meanwhile, I have completed a segment of yesterday's talk which you can find here and on viewmagazine.

Within the piece I make a number of references. This one to a Blue Print article is probably worth a read, insofar as the content is quite apt for its time. The article was however written in 2001.

No I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way. The article highlights the flux and energy of digital creativity. It's a continuum.

There's another goody on Viewmagazine.tv. One of the video's from Nato's War Games that I showed and made the point that as a swarm of VJs we could cover conflicts coordinating our shoots.

I have worked enough hostile and conflict areas in Africa to know its potential. The comparison and potential for live cine-videojournalism alongside BBC Newsnight's award winning concept: 10 Days to War, remains strong.

The point: that drama could be undertaken by VJs with strong direction. Did you know that 24 used the z1 camera? Slightly bigger than the camera I'm using.

BTW the Editor and commisioner behind 10 days... Peter Barron has since left Newsnight to become a senior figure in google, but I hope to interview him about the show soon.

David presenting at SXSW on IM Videojournalism from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Late afternoon yesterday Paul Egglestone , amazing guy from Sandbox (UK) and I did a couple of talks on camera about the event. I'll post soon. And I got an interview with Zoe Magolise who wrote the "top blog" : girl with a one track mind and was outed by a Brit Newspaper.

I'm hoping to turn those cuts over to student at Westminster.

Today on SXSW
Today I hope to put together a couple of interviews, so please if you see me do come up and lets have a chat.

An hours talk is sufficient time, but there's so much I can talk about how VJ shoots cross over into shows.

So on viewmagazine, you'll find a story shoot I did with

  • A $ 300,000 Ferarri 599GTB
  • Interview with Quincy Jones
  • Constructung the International film show Filminute
  • Deepe sea diving looking for a WWI wreck in Gallipoli
  • Working with World Heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis
  • Creating a series of commercials

To everyone that has been so generous, I'm indebted. No point playing baseball in a public arena if you don't have crowd support. :)

David Dunkley Gyimah a senior lecturer and Phd Student at the University of Westminster was at SXSW explaining new work flows within digital media and video journalism

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Digital media mania melodrama

I have got it. I knew I had the symptoms listening to the speakers talk about design for the New York Times and not getting it.

(Doh it was not that talk. 5.25 now.. the seminar I'm listening to is very engaging.)

The not getting it has nothing to do with the speakers, for in the vice grip of digital media mania melodrama there's nothing you can do.

Essentially it's overload. The melodrama is me metaphorically whipping my hair back in slow motion, except that I don't have any hair. But you get the point.

What does it mean to design for sub communities, asks a delegates. Are there values different asks one of the speakers in reconciling the question.

No matter, digital media mania melodrama prevents any rational links within my own discursive thoughts.

SXSW is a beast of an event. If it were farming the twitter feeds as WeMedia were doing a fortnight ago, I'm pretty certain they'd be in the number one spot.

So to y discombobulated demeanor - the product i fear of terminal jet lag and the steep climb down from the andrenalin rush of presenting this morning.

Saturday, and the small matter of social networking will, must now work its way. Question is will I be of any use. Digitmani can lead one to not just cease to understand what's going on, but respond with a stream of gibberish.

Yep, and that's reflected in this post. I need some sleep !

? One the one hand the values are around social conformity.

Showing a network TV interview technique- one camera

Showing a network TV interview technique- one camera
thanks to Todd - from Canada :)

Showing how to interview SXSW from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Seems like some stuttering on vimeo- so here's a repost from google video Urgh running out of power.

For more on videojournalism hop over to my site viewmagazine.tv where you're find a ton of multimedia.

The one's to check out I couldn't show at SXSW are http://www.viewmagazine.tv/im6.html
and use the sub navigation.

There's the interview with Quincy Jones which you'll find by the search.

Big shout thanks to David Berman of Sitbonzo for the picture on the front of my site. Fabulous photographer. Like I said photojos have that eye and also make great VJs.

Look forward to catching you for a drink somewhere. just come up to me and say hello.

Friday, March 13, 2009

SXSW people talks new mobile computing

SXSW talking gadgets from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Introduction to SXSW

SXSW from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.
Just got to the arena of SXSW and signed in and did this short introduction video blip.

Apologies. I'm using the A1 Sony's mike. I hadn't set up and then realised I need new battery for me Wireless.

More stuff soon.

This took me 15 mins to put together.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roger Mosey BBC Sports Chief speaks Olympics to Westminster

The BBC's head of Sports Roger Mosey has painted a gloomy picture for the future of journalism at a talk at the University of Westminster.

Addressing some 50 students Mr Mosey spoke about the worrying context of journalism and the lack of plurality in British Journalism.

A strong regional and national journalism network is good for the BBC he said, but he lamented that the situation in British journalism looks to get worse.

Mosey spoke about the idea of working with its competitors fearing that the market could lead to the disappearance of regional journalism.

The BBC's the only game in town he suggested, on the basis that the license fee supports the BBC journalism, but it wasn't a position that brought cheer.

He spoke about the number of newspapers in the US under threat and how disappointing that was.

In more buoyant mood, Mosey talked about the BBC's recent triumphs in negotiating the Masters contract, Football and bringing formulae One back to the BBC.

Making a string case for free to air, Mosey made the point that 42 million people watching the olympics was indicative of how the free- model should not be discarded.

Monday, March 09, 2009

jobs, digital and futures

Nick Davies, author of Flat Earth said as much that when the banks emerge from the credit crunch they'll be stronger, but journalism has yet to undergo its own reforms.

There's no business model yet that shores up the loss of revenue in both sales and advertising.

Years ago when I was a struggling journalist, it was very different.

I'm putting an animated CV in Flash today and noted that in the space of my 15 out of 22 broadcast years, I'd worked or freelanced fora dozen or more outfits - some like channel 4 News for a considerable period.

I'm not sure whether to say, in spite of the hardships, and there were many as I told an audience at the NUJ last Saturday, if you preserved enough, you'd find something.

The BBC then was the main repository for new talent and there was enough diversity to ensure, if you sent enough letters out you'd find someone looking for a researcher.

But times have most definitely changed. The jobs are still there, but you need to be more equipped, and there are a lot more grads vying for the 2000 or so turn over jobs that apparently become available each year.

So why did the student, and an extremely talented one whom I met last Saturday, seem so unsure of her chances?

She spoke Five languages: Spanish, French, Italian, English and Flemmish. She had an assured demeanor, and an engaging personality.

But she confessed to knowing little about the new unsure world of journalism, where key word search engine scripting gets you more eyeballs than mellifluous measured words.

One audience member lamented at the bizarre nature of the digi-ecology. You can't make money from blogs, twits and the rest - well broadly- but you're expected to know and practise all this.

In Miami, talking to the very talented students at the knight Foudation the same theme arose. But here they accepted what was the norm, even if it was a forced one.

The lowest denominator in media making is now so univerally acknowleged that there is no mystique over what was a revered art.

Then too we had heroes e.g. Charles Wheeler, Kate Addie, Magenta Devine, Eddie Mair, Tom Brokaw.

Today's market is so fractured that the stars still command their place amongst the legion of traditional admirers, but journalism has plunged into a world of celebrity or get-there-quick.

Deference is a word in the dictionary behind deadbeat.

What does this mean? Not much if you want to get existentialist about it. The market will sort itself out, new jobs will emerge from embers, a new crop of writers, visualist, story tellers will chart a path, unfamiliar to traditionalists.

Prime jobs for presenting to a broad audience will become even more scarce. A front cover of the BBC's mag says the future is small. Like Nick Davies said Journalism needs its own reforms

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gap Man Videojournalism@viewmagazine.tv - hahaha

Forgive me the indulgence, cuz I won't repeat this. All a bit surreal this, but I expressed an interest to capture an urban, grunge style of videojournalism.

At various talks I have always called videojournalism, getting down and dirty, the photojournalist with the movie camera.

Then David Berman from Sitbonzo, an amazing photographer, with his equally astounding crew stepped in. [ HIRE HIM.. HIRE HIM]

I'll be profiling David and his work soonish. I managed to sneak a few video shots during the shoot. And apparently during a break in the shoot when I wanted to move my car, for fear of it being nicked, plus it was freezin, so needed a jumper, David and crew recorded a message on my camera. Haven't seen it yet.

So back to David and crew. David's got that arts director eye, works extremely fast and with the crew we had a fab time as I pretended I was Jay-z.

So Yeawh Phrew I became the model. Go on laugh. I did, a lot.

If you can ignore the bloke in the middle, which negates the point of the shoot [Oh you you know what I mean] this is Gap man goes video journalism.

p.s Hey I'm wearing Nike's [ product endorsement... product endorsement... No I didn't get paid.. Nike email I'm not expensive LOL)

If you're going to be at SXSW, See you there. Otherwise this morning I'm speaking at the NUJ.

Pictures copyright courtesy of David Berman

Friday, March 06, 2009

Viewmagazine's Videojournalism image by Sitbonzo

Sitbonzo - a group of creative photographers with years of experience and an amazing aesthetic have completed a shoot with me looking like I work for gap clothing.

I'm hoping to use pics as part of a presentation about videojournalism at SXSW et al. So I'll post when I see em.

All a bit of a laugh really, though it was freezin and shooting under railway tracks is a lot filthier than you can imagine.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Viewmagazine - did you know

That these were the first regional journalists, from the Hull Daily Mail, Liverpool Echo and Press Association in the UK to learn videojournalism in a programme devised by David of Viewmagazine.tv

That James Wagner was the first dedicated journalist to report from Second-life, here talking at a summit in Sweden. Sadly, Second Life seems to be no longer in vogue.

When Reuters reported to journalists at the Online News Assoociation their findings being the first journalism outfit to equip reporters with the Nokia N95, Viewmagazine captured the discussion.

Christiane Amanpour, the venerable CNN Correspondent was more than a little surprised to hear about some of the advances in webournalism reportage and that branding herself online with blogs and tweets would open her up to a new audience.

At the premier on Dreamgirls Viewmagazine spent a cold evening interviewing the stars, and left the camera rolling so you could see waltz and all. (video to be re-loaded)

When the BBC provided info about its trials over embedded video Viewmagazine.tv captured it here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Creative ideas - Obamania

Sometimes the very mention of the idea brings you down in a cold sweat. Actually it's mixed emotions. First you think wow, and talk at rapid burst speed.

Then, in a moment of clarity, by yourself you ponder and think er, what have I done.

We all do it. I said to some journalists there are broadly two types of people, which you can guage from an easy experiment.

Place a tennis ball in the middle of a room and in clear site out of the way a bat. Some people that file in will make a beeline for the ball, then cite the bat. Others will go about sitting down where they were told to.

A much better more tested experiment comes from Prof Winston who presented the highly entertaining child of our times - a programme that looked for clues about how children develop.

Some children are random - fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. Others need structure and safety. I guess we all do in some measure, but I often can't help make a decision based on the thrill.

In 1992 I did something really stoopid. I boarded a plane to South Africa for the first time, with the hope that a person whom I'd corresponded with in one letter would meet me at the airport.

If he hadn't shown.. well that would have been curtains.

So in a long winded way, back to what have I done. A friend, a super talented composer, described by the press and all manner as being an exciting contemporary composer has been asked to score something for one of the supposedly many official 100 days Obama fests in the UK.

So she leans over and says can you do the visuals. Yep sure I say. Half an hour later, "Oh dear what have I done".

I guess it's that fly feel again. Why do I do it !@£@!!%^^%.

Here's Shirley, and a site I was building for her, which is not finished and will be scraped with a new one when I can get the time. But just listen to some of the music.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Shooting drinks at the RTS Awards -Profile Don Omope

Profile Don Omope:

Don in full directorial flare shot some footage from the RTS Awards, which will be used as a package soon.

It's a behind-the-scene film before the announcements of the nominees and winners, and Don gets to show us the au natural look.

I'll post a bit of the footage this week.

Don started out as a TV and Film Undergrad before going off to Goldsmith to earn a Masters in Broadcast Journalism.

I met him at Westminster and we've stayed in touch and done quite a few shoots together. I don't know whether it's mentoring, but it's been good to see how far he's come in confidence and TV making skills.

His doccie from Nigeria is the stuff of nightmares. He dropped by my house with hours to go before boarding the plane and I gave him chapter and verse about what he may face and then the rest was one calamity after another.

The doc was fine, ( it was a grade just short of a First) but the assaults and intimidation he suffered; his driver was beaten, one of his cameras stolen, leaves you feeling lucky to be able to go about your filming business in London.

A couple of the shoots I really admired him for were:
  • Dreamgirls - the red carpet. It was mad and bloody cold. Not though he says as cold when he had to spend 11 hours filming in a cemetary.
  • Vlog Butterfly - an interview with Head of BBC Multimedia News Peter Horrocks, Don captured the making of the documentary behind the scenes.
Don writing now:
There is no better time to be a video journalist than at present, with cheap equipments and an abundance of stories to tell ... especially when working for and with David one of the 1st video journalist around. The RTS was one of those shoots you attend and you get reminded of how much more ethnic minorities are absent in our media sphere.

And this very much ties in with the current debate taking place next week. You'll kick yourself if you don't turn up.

Calling all Digital Journalist, ethnic journalists in London etc.

Photo: a couple of years ago Programme maker and academic David Dunkley Gyimah hosted B3 Media's "Breaking, Entering and Staying in the Game" at the ICA Cinema with Nelson George (US' Filmmaker, writer), Catherine Johnson (Screenwriter, Bullet Boy, and author), Ray Paul (Executive Producer 1 Xtra, Specialist & Live Music programming 1Xtra), and Maxine Watson (BBC commissioning executive)

'New Media, Diverse Platforms' - NUJ Black Members' Conference
Will new media mean new opportunities for Black journalists? All ethnic minority NUJ members welcome. Speakers include David Dunkley Gyimah, international award-winning journalist and lecturer. Light lunch. Saturday 7 March 2009, 11.15pm-4pm at NUJ HQ, 308 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DP. To register email joannef@nuj.org.uk.

A couple of days ago this (below) was posted on the Press Gazette's website. It concerned a major newspaper group for ethnic minorities folding and then finding a buyer. I'm speaking at the above NUJ gathering next week so felt this post apt and timely. Here's the thread. See what you think?

Press Gazette reports

New Nation saved from closure after buyer is found

New Nation and two other Afro-Caribbean titles have been saved after a buyer was found by administrators.

Last month, the Ethnic Media Group – which ran New Nation, Eastern Eye, and other ethnic titles – went into administration. ......(more - the link is further down).

It led me to post a response, which was replied to by Haile Dube Yaas who said
David, the fact is the mega-websites of The Guardian and Telegraph are loss-makers but are subsidied because they believe that is the future. The black media do not have the resources of these giants and need to break even today, not tomorrow. .......

I then replied to Haile.
The absence of any press which has had a relationship with readers, let alone ethnic, in communities establishing and developing their identities is likely to have consequences. This shouldn't happen I say, so what's the strategy?
Why you need (ethnic) media. In some cases it acts as a counter balance to the perceived status quo. When BBC 3 ran a populist but highly controversial programme: The Trouble with Blackmen, it caused an outrage within the press. I set about remaking my own version interviewing people like Doreen Lawrence. More here

Ethnic Journalism in trouble.

Please do take a look and see what you think. Here's the whole thread on the Press Gazette, but before you link of there, this below provides further chill winds.

From the US from New Media America: No Tears for the Chronicle. and from the editor:
Editor’s Note: The San Francisco Chronicle is teetering on the brink of collapse, if it cannot find a buyer or further slash its staff and operating costs. Bought by the Hearst Corp. in 2000, the newspaper lost more than $50 million last year and its readership has steadily declined. NAM editors asked ethnic media journalists and media observers what life would be like without the city’s major daily.

NAM Staff Comments on News of Possible Closure of SF Chron from New America Media on Vimeo.

What is the solution because there are some damn fine writers here, the US and elsewhere finding it hard. Not because of them. But because the dynamic has changed.

No one would have said the Monks of Valencia circa 1600s were not superb as they handcrafted the scriptures, but Gutenberg's press changed the dynamics.

So what do you do. Just what do you do. Do something or do nothing?

BTW if you're from the NABJ or similar it'd be great to hear from you. I have attended NABJ gatherings on and off since 1994- the Big Unity in Atlanta.

Who would have thought back then of this crisis. A crisis indeed for all, but acute for smaller business and ethnic press.