Who’s holding the camera? The journey of sight and sound in representations of development

Image for post
Image for post

From photojournalists W.E. Smith, Cine-artists Chris Marker, Selma director Ava DuVernay and the millions of media makers YouTubers and Viners looking to deliver a particular style, being behind the camera matters for many reasons.

Filmmaking as an art, to express the unsayable is no where near a new idea, captured almost 70 years ago in the iconic essay by Alexandre Astruc, stating the author writes with his camera as a writer writes with his pen. However, you could be forgiven for often thinking we’re still in the 1940s.

Our experience and thought process, in the West, is wired towards a space and time shaped in part by great artefacts, art, architecture and philosophy. Ask the casual knowledge of art and they may mention Picasso, or Rembrandt, but they may hardly have known about the prolific and ecletic work of Egyptian Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (1925–1965) or Painter Henry Ossawa Tanner, an African American (1859–1937).

Image for post
Image for post

It’s barely twenty years since cameras became truly affordable and in that time the explosion in media forms has not necessarily been matched by the eruption in genre styles. We can look to AJ+, Vice, and individual talented filmmakers and YouTubers for some idea, but what are we missing?

In a short presentation at Somerset House, hosted by the C4D Network (www.c4d.org) and the Utopia Treasury, I’ll be speaking about my completed research around the next generation of media makers who create factual and meta cinema. Think Citizen Four, but at a level where a breed of videojournalists can create different styled products on the run in fast turn arounds.

For them there are no distinguishing features in mobile, drone or data journalism, as cinema journalists they simply use an array of tools to create the style they believe best suits the subject, period, audience, brand etc.

I got to spend about 6 years on the back of my own 24-years media experience sourcing award-winning these meta videojournalists around the world, detecting patterns in their work. What draws these individuals and I together into a schema is they rely on iconology as a merged practice of cinema, documentary, art, design, culture, architecture, literature and mnemonics, amongst others to create media that is as much about the subject matter as it is about themselves. They’re as critically aware of philosophers, such as Descartes, Kant or others that assist in their interpretation of their work.

To register for the event on Monday 19th December 2016 go here

These four trailers provide a sample of work.

We Are Syria: We meet some of the best young Syrian filmmakers near the border of Syria for an intense filmmaking sessions.

Chicago’s Streets — on an assignment training Chicago Sun Times

Image for post
Image for post

Cairo: in the month of the uprising.

Image for post
Image for post

Chongqing, China — the new metropolis

Image for post
Image for post

Video journalism’s anti-aesthetic short

Written by

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store