Friday, May 29, 2009

Fight Club Videojournalism - Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules, because the truth, there are none.

Guidelines, yes.

"Stop trying to control everything and just let go".

Once you learn to ride the bike, then you might want to try the wheelie.

Excerpt taken from forthcoming *thingy exploring The cool hunters.

First talked about five years ago whilst presenting and chairing the day of digital paraphernalia for The UK Film Council - UKs govt film funding body.

Videojournalism Training from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

GOTO for wider screen version

Thanks to Robb Montgomery for shooting me.

I spent three days in Chicago doing a masterclass in editing and two days of Advance VJ, which I can tell you is no way near enough.


Interesting point here, Robb or for that matter a traditional TV person could see from the rushes how many times I have taken non-standard shots, the sort of shots that should not even be digitised.

I make a habit of this often shooting unconsciously and there have been many occasions when I'll give the camera to an interviewee and ask them to shoot a POV.

The point? It's the things we do not plan, the mistakes that often yield unique creative processes. I know of some brilliant technicians (camera etc) who've worked on shows and told to undo what they've learned for the desired affect.

It's difficult but there is a way of making professional mistakes, which to a director might work.

In The Usual Suspects, as the accused lined up for the first time, with Benicio Del Toro doing the funny accent and everyone laughing that scene was not in the original script. Singer, the director keeps it in for good reason.

Del Toro's flatulence game ( unknown to the viewer) makes his fellow actors laugh and shows them to be a team - needed for the script. In Good Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams ad libs his way through.

There is an underlying philosophy to this and as way of illustration consider the following.

If you look at the way we teach 4- 6 years old Art, it's free flowing with abandonment. Then when we get to secondary school we are given form and process.

And by the time we get to university, if that's the case, our sense of identity revolves around rigid form. The intuition, the impromptu thought has been civilised.

To re-capture the peripatetic essence of the 4 year old, we must try to return to those values (small, "v").

How do we do this? And how can we make use of those imperfections and rawness.

How does Pollock know when an action brush works?

This summer, in conjunction with one of bastions of Art and Culture, The South Bank, I look forward to distilling some of this either as a workshop or video. Incidentally the Obama Video on (Click US Flag) is slowly catching. Thanks to those who've fed back.