Monday, May 31, 2010

Amazing work from the Californians

Borderland from California is a place. on Vimeo.

You'll like this, a lot. It marries so many elements but in a minimalistic way. In many ways it might not have worked, but it's the cinescope, dutch tilt motifs, narratology and the visual perception. Superb! I'm now a big fan of California is a place.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The newness of old -innovatory story telling

There is little that it genius, or for that matter new. Each substrate we happen upon has its antecedent, somewhere, sometime.

Ignorance is usually are excuse for failing to find it. Not purposeful, for knowledge can never be absolute.

Each generations proposes new solutions, attempting by default to also discard the past. We have moved on. But the past provides answers for why we exercise or seek to try new things. Without the past, the old, we cannot have the new.

It's a catch 22, because we would rather the old remained hidden, yet at the same time, the solutions are rooted in various trials that have succeeded or failed of old.

The question for developing that which we deemed new, innovatory, then is a simple one. What can we add to the giants before us? What is our contribution to the form having burrowed deep into the archives of our choice?

Ignorance no longer becomes a default excuse, but a failure on our part. There is nothing that is new, if we prepared to drill deeper than often resources allow. What though can we contribute?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Creating cine-sites using the integrated videojournalism approach

Creating cinema-sites along the lines of the Apple Trailer page uses the integrated videojournalism approach.

It's been a busy couple of weeks and won't relent, so I have been absent from these pages, but I did want to share with you a project I have been doing for the last couple of days, in-between book chapters and the rest.

Site starts with a short promo featuring Shlomo, one of the world's most acclaimed beatboxerspercussionist. who was working with Colin Currie - an acclaimed

In Jan early this year, as part of my residency at the Southbank Centre I participated in a programme called Collisions. Well, I'm now looking to create the legacy of that event, and some event it was.

The strategy falls along the lines of what I call an "impact site" or Outernet. It's when you take a single subject and engineer its reportage through video and online.

South African Poet Lebogang Mashile performs for the audience.

Thanks to the wonderful pics of Dominic Brewser, the job was a joy. Here's the ongoing results. I have treated the photos to enhance their aesthetic and am adding appropriate video where I feel firstly I have and secondly where it will be appropriate.

Thanks to Adam Westbrook whom I invited to join as a videojournalist. Some more of his directional work, which I'm editing will be up soon.

Food and cooking was an integral part of the programme. We all took turns in the kitchen aided by the Company of Cooks and SE1 United. I cooked on the first day, Jollof Rice, spicy plantain with an avocado mix and spicy chicken. I have never cooked for 50 people. Was I nervous? Not until my sister range me up to say she couldn't come to help. The video of my Jamie Oliver moment, er no, will be posted soon.

This methodology is one I also lecture in as final project modules for Masters students. In the end it's all ones and zeros. Flash, which I have been working with for more than a decade, provides the platform.

The bombastically talented Dave Clark

I'll be deconstructing this and others e.g. how to produce rostrum camera production slides in a forth coming book, in which I have been promised one of the most sought after film directors as an interview. Fingers crossed. To peruse the Collision site go to

Penny Woolcock the director of 1 Day - a grime hip-hop feature length film which she street cast and had the rappers breaking into song as with a musical was one of several artists, who I had the pleasure of meeting.

Multiple award winning poet, writer and recently MBE Lemn Sissay on the final showcase of Collisions

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Images of Cairo

Journo getting to grips with videojournalism

We engage in a street lecture.. c'mon anyone can join. Feel like a tour guide LOL
Golden morning

Mosquito bite - £@%^& in hotel room

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cairo Television's videojournalism

“The more we experiment, initially the more we are likely to fail. The more we fail, the less we are likely to fail again. Then the more confident we become. The more confident we become, the better the experiments we conduct and the more successful we become. Videojournalism’s exactly like that"

Cairo state television is taking the plunge into videojournalism and are looking at videojournalism not neccesarily as a cost-saving device per se, nor exclusively a more hands-on-deck approach, but a combination of this and the emerging aesthetic.

Eminent award wining journalist and Nieman scholar Prof Yuen Ying Chan, now director of Journalism studies at Hong Kong University asked a pressing question couple of days ago during our session on videojournalism the future. "Wasn't I talking about cinema verite?", she asked.

The differences are as wide between the two forms, I answered as they can be the same. Videojournalism is the feisty bastard child which seeks to be more than the sum of its parts.

That view is shaping up from prelim ethnographic studies that has me somewhat surprised.

One of the UK's most respected film makers and author of "the story of film", called it impressionism. Granted its use was in an artistic praxis at the time and there followed a debate about videojournalism's schizophrenia.

Videojournalism has its problems, but in the manner Cairo TV want to adopt it, it gives a respectful berth to Cinema Verite, adopting more "accelerated verite" under the ambit also of that precious statement of the 50s "4th person singular".

I hope to make a feature about what happens. See you on the other side.

Through the eyes of a Child Director/producer David Dunkley Gyimah, 1993 The Line Producers, South Africa.

Two days ago at this conf in Bratislava, a chap approached me and said "Through the eyes of a child". I winced and then sheepishly said "yeeessss", naively thinking he'd seen the programme.

As it happens Tidiane, an award winning journalist in in Senegal, was the french translator/narrator on this features I made in 1993 whilst living in South Africa.

We'd never met before and here 17 years later were reminiscing about the prog and South Africa for the first time. Happy times !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What video and Videojournalism can do for you

What videojournalism can do for you - an integrated approach illustrated with this diagram below.

Firstly videojournalism sits at the heart of what I do in media. It is an integrated approach which allows me to pull off or push together cognate media, explained much better in this Apple article.

I call it the IM6 Approach.If you search IM6 on, you'll find a range of articles.

The phrase was coined by Ted Turner... "Use every part of the pig, including the Squeal". In video as the illustration shows, I can and often pull put or put together a number of assets.
  • Website - ( winner at the Knight Batten Awards 2005) was built around a videojournalism praxis. The original submission in 2005 can be found here and I did think of flat screens from Minority Report in making it, so there are similarities with IPad's presentations today The presentation of film and text means if you take a page like this one below the video comes first with text wrapped around the video - film. This example below shows videojournalism training at the Financial Time. The article and film can be found here.
    1. The FT has now a bouquet of programmes it has created using the videojournalism paradigm
    2. Sites like show how Videojournalism is also integral to Multimedia storytelling. Here's how videojournalism made this multimedia game theory documentary: The Family

    3. Promos - The Yannis Kontos Photopromo I showed was influenced by the overlap of videojournalism and photojournalism. You can see that here (pixels without borders). The background to the video is we had about 1000 pics to sort through in three hours and then score the piece which he presented on a big screen to the World Press Photo Awards ( Ist prize)
    4. I mentioned during my talk, students I lecture at my university and the three different sites. Alas time constraints I could only point to the one.

  • Pics and Design
  1. Here's a snap shot of a video I made - an interview with the CIA. Using Final Cut Pro, I can also pull of a pic whose quality online on an HD camera rivals still cameras

  • Audio - which I can pull of the video timeline
  1. On the Final Cut Pro pic (above), you'll notice the timeline is a block - (1 brown, 2 purple). The purple element is the audio component which I can export to form an Ipod or audio track for any number of projects, including this one here from South Africa ( see below)
  • blog- This blog; its specialist topic is videojournalism. Though apologies because of commitments I have not been blogging as much as I should. But the point is there's a content pathway derived from Videojournalism.
  1. Multimediast bloggers like Adam Westbrook have made invaluable contributions in this space
The slide below gives my POV of the the many things you can do within the video ecosystem making films, but that was more than brilliantly shown and executed
  • Thomas Loudons' fabulous VJmovement - the BBC of the future
  • Irina Samokhina, publisher of Krestyanin, Russia demonstrated how in the short space of two years she is transforming her company into a digital platform using videojournalism
  • Premesh Chandran CEO of is blazing a trail with videojournalists working with citizen journalists and finding an out on TV screens as well
  • And then Thomas Bella's of who showed how branding and the use of entertainment programming can bring in audiences.
I'll fix the links on the above and post some more soon and speak about the second slide later. BTW this and much more is being published in a book by Peachpit called Revolutionary Video

Friday, May 14, 2010

Slides for MDLF - The future of videojournalism.

The future of videojournalism.

Opened talk with over view of the below:
1. Showed two films. One from 1994; the other from 2005. I wanted to demonstrate that between 1994 and 2005 there has been a visual language change for those that started in 1994.

No surprise. If you learned a new language. say English, Russian or Manadarin, 15 years ago, by now you would understand the language enough to use its local dialect.

An example of two camera - film approaches from different eras

Channel One wanyed its reporters to be multiskilled, so many got to use the web very early. The new total reporter would shoot video and build sites. These skills are only difficult when they are foreign to us.

Future will be more Outernet: personalised and landscaped
Videojournalism is a combination of skills and does not mean exclusively news making. It's a total package and one that encapsulates a quikc turnaorund understanding of cinematographic film news making

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Global TV videojournalism

New World Order - article for Sony Magazine by David in 2001. The Order is only now materialising.

I'm in transit to Slovakia, before Cairo, to share ideas with 150 of the top media and digital media execs from around the world where I'll be presenting, listening, and chairing a session on New TV.

And in this new tv setting the production methodology is one of videojournalism.

In the last couple of years I have been researching an aspect of videojournalism, which I call the Outernet, as part of a PhD.

I wanted to do this, a sometimes tortured exercise, to understand better, drill deeper into the tissue of videojournalism and its cognate areas e.g cinejournalism.

And to complement some of the practical techniques in training and videojournalism I have been doing for the past 16 years.

The research is proving highly interesting and some of those will feature in a book I'm writing for Peachpit.

The coming years will prove the most fertile period for this art form, because that's what it is, something manifestly more than it seems, ushering a fundamental era in authorship and trust.

It's not a restrictive language and its deconstruction will force the hand of new technologists to up their game and theorists to revisit and formulate debates of subjectivity and objectivity, which we've wrestled with uncomfortably for far too so long. The realignment is well due.

DVCam revolution
Get ready for a slew of new DVcameras with features that hitherto have not been present on current cameras.

Commensurate with this, will be new understandings and rationales within the filmic (subconsciousness) space.

Thus far we've taken the visual grammar for granted at the behest of the radio narrative. Every video moment requires a voice track.

To practitioners this is a period of great creativity, but what does it mean for execs and business managers ?

That truly in the main videojournalism will have nothing to do with costs, because the mean cost threshold would be fixed, normalised.

So it boils down to one of the most contentious, but exhilarating areas of film and art mode:aesthetic.

Aesthetics is not about beauty, but that which we create and make sense of; it affects our sensibilities in ways that envelope unique characteristics.

In the future, global New TV will play to these in far more sophisticated ways parallelling the decades of creativity that have underpinned other creative arts e.g. music and film.

And in many cases, it will be about a modern day versions of old formats ( that's what the research is showing) and housing films in environments which can be viewed as stand-alone or within their own architectural aesthetic.

How to woo an audience and keep them in a world flushed with video will keep us awake like no other time.