You need to break these so called rules, but knowing them first helps.
Worth listening to, to at least understand the boundaries often of education which becomes conventionalised.
This from one of the great cinema makers, Orson Welles in 1960 talking about how he landed Citizen Kane (CK) as a newbie. CK has often been voted one of the best films ever by Western audiences. His words here could equally apply to other forms and for me news and current affairs. This tweet below via Christa Morrison
First, a back story. In 1994 a group of thirty youngsters became the first NUJ recognised videojournalists in the UK. The term was generally viewed as a journalist who filmed, reported, produced and edited their work. We were generally derided. Today several of the original VJs are BAFTA or Oscar nominated, or otherwise run large media companies.
Inherent to the do-it-all-yourself, some began to form strong views on the nature and style of storytelling they were up against. It generally dominates today. It does so because of a seemingly appropriately rendered word, “convention”. That is a way, an act or execution that largely a group falls in line with. But it is a construct. The word was back then how do we get to the truth by creating a standard. Standards however are cultural and time sensitive.
It was so in film, which Orson Welles broke in cinema many years back, and just this month, “Everything everywhere all at once” did winning multiple Oscars. Several VJs also broke ground in factual storytelling like BAFTA winner Dimitri Doganis for his films like The Imposter.
Wells hits the nail. His creativity, ignorance and advice from one of the best camera operators then Gregg Toland gave him the confidence that he could do anything. Toland was incredibly well respected. You imagine him saying there are no conventions; it’s what you want to achieve. And off Wells went.
In 2015 in a presentation at Apple, I rounded up six years of a PhD study that would take me across several countries and observing and interviewing several reputable journalists and media personnel. The conclusion was many award winning journalists were throwing away the convention rule book ( e.g. rule of thirds!!!) , though keeping within some guidelines to produce factual stories and news.
And when you interviewed them, showed their films to audiences, or conducted a visual analysis, they were relying on either distinct or pointed langues within cinema; the many cinemas that exist. Their work I would define as cinema journalist which builds on the late great Robert Drew’s Direct Cinema. You can learn more about Cinema Journalism below.