Journalism using video is in a crisis. You see an alternative: Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Decameron, creatio ex nihilo etc. I’m not disagreeing with you for now, but they are smaller elements towards a human need for deeper expressive narratives. Cinema —the art of the moving image, as old as civilisation but crystalised in the 20th century that’s the future. I did say future.
You’re dismissive, I know. You wanted to read about the next iteration of tech enveloping 3D, even 4D non-euclidean virtual environments, or even presence reality — holo deck images created in your home. You can find these in several of my previous posts.
No, at this very moment, perhaps you’ve decided you need not read any further because you’ve never heard anything so absurd. Bear with me, as it’s possible you’re exhibiting what psychologists refer to as an illusion of explanatory depth. It is the belief that you understand what is before you more than you actually do. We’ve still got a way to go in cinema, let alone its derivative forms — still cinema.
It is so obvious to you that cinema has nothing to do with journalism, because you implicitly know this, because aside from everything else, you know cinema is the stuff of fiction and Captain America Civil War.
Here’s a conundrum. Is it so obvious that everything you know is down to experience or constructed from experience? Course it is! Yet this wasn’t the case before the 1700s, when philosophers Descarte, Locke and Hume proposed this.
Perhaps that’s too far back. Is it really obvious that you could be made to electrocute someone to death on the say so of a man in a white coat? N0! But you would. That was the Milligram experiment in the 1960s.
And how about this for only just over a decade ago, was it really obvious that video embedded in web sites, surrounded by audio and text was the future. N00o it wasn’t. But your hindsight bias is working overdrive now to, perhaps, suggest it was.
On a personal note, I wouldn’t consider it obvious that if you create work that attracts the attention of your peers, alongside a group of people you’re invited to meet the future King of Britain, Prince Charles.
I digress. Yes that’s a surreal one. Where was I?
Been here before
I have a habit of saying things and getting myself into trouble.
- In 2005 I said, embedded video on websites would be the future and that online would require new styles of writing and content presentation. This was before YouTube.
- In 1994 I was lucky to be one of the first NUJ videojournalists working for an outfit, in which the media said its approach videojournalism would never take off. Five years later the BBC adopted the style. The rest you know.
- I built a prototype Outernet site and suggested in a decade or so we’d be live streaming from homes and connecting video via video-hyperlinking. Apple put it on their front page for talent using their product.
Outernet sites are not yet the norm, but everything else I’ve mentioned has come to pass. For idea (1) I was awarded the Knight Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism. The Guardian Newspaper and Storyful would win the same award years later for their work. and invited to speak at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
Here’s a citation from the US coveted innovation labs, the Knight Batten Awards and what they said about a prototype video site I built before the days of YouTube.
Entrants to the awards included: Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, and BBC. Viewmagazine.TV was a site I built from scratch. Ninety percent of the articles, the videos, the podcasts, the interactive media, the photography were produced by me.
Then I set about designing and creating the pages - some of which are below. They included a range of story forms and diverse array of stories, such as these from the future of mobile, new photos of Bob Marley, a tie-up between Brixton and the Bronx, Jay-Z at my university, and Nato’s million dollar war games.
The judges pooled from some of the US’ finest media organisations said:
This interactive magazine foreshadows the future with its use of hip new story forms and hight video-centric web tools.
So how do I justify cinema and what does that mean? And what does cinema offer that traditional journalism built around television doesn’t. And, how do you use tech to support cinema journalism? please Click here for part 2