Saturday, September 28, 2013

The 100 videojournalists - one of the most comprehensive research to date about the least understood form

They go by the name of the 100 Videojournalists. They existed as a unconnected collective, like Zavattini's filmmakers, Robert Drew's Cinema Veriteist of the French's Dziga Vertov group.

Each generation throws up its radicalists, who strive to show they have seen a greater horizon, and that previous formalists or cinephiles were flawed in some way.

The Internet claims to be THE harbinger for change, but it is really only the latest-to-arrive medium to provide the radicalists with a chance to do what they do best.  Before that it was cable, letters, telephone, community boards etc.

Our intelligence is only equipped for the norms and then shocks of its time, which is why some of the best brains still proclaim the 1960s as far more radical than the 2000s. It's a matter of relativity and conscious load bearing. That is how much we can take.

What separated the 100 videojournalists, however were some fundamentals, which would upturn some of the most venerable paradigms in film and the art of learning.

McLuhan said the medium is the message. He was right then, but the 100 videojournalists could prove rhetorically that this was now flawed and this would be before the Net. Many of us state content is king, but when everyone has the content is that still the case?

Imagine this. You travel for the first time to Russia, then Spain, China, Burma then South Africa. You're with a friend. All you know is English, and you're very proficient. But each time you get of the airport you encounter a problem.

Someone speaks to you in their native tongue. You can only guess what they's saying, but your friend each times rises to the occasion conversing with locals solving problems.

In communications and the landscape of video journalism, the art is the equivalent to knowing all those different international languages. The one traditional media is proficient at is English. And their proficiency is such that they've exported this form to others and maintain a tight grip. It's the one they understand.

The philosophy of the 100 videojournalists was to comprehend all the other international languages and reverse engineer its theory.  Film is cited as language like, and learning film requires not only a flexible mind, but a radical one.

The 100 videojournalists lasted less than a decade. It took that long for traditionalists to understand and rebuild a narrative to discard it. Today it's become a practice-based theory, meaning it can be taught.

Some of my Masters students will recognise traces of it in lectures, that our reception to problem solving, whether that's making an film, writing a letter, solving a maths problem, is tangible, if we're equipped with the diversity of knowledge-approaches.

Some months ago, I interviewed one of the figures the world owes a debt to, the great Robert Drew who pioneered Cinema Verite. It was one of the most enlightening interviews I have ever had, but I left also understanding how the 100 videojournalists could pick flaws in some of his very eloquent arguments.

In the coming weeks I'll divulge more of the 100 videojournalist philosophy and how you can truly comprehend its potential

David in Southern Turley, couple of hours drive from Syrian border

David Dunkley Gyimah is an award winning videojournalist who is completing a Six year doctorate study into video making, videojournalism and our cognitive  behaviour to the form. He has taught groups around the world, and most recemtly was training activists in Southern Turkey, a couple of hours from the Syrian border. find out more from


The 100

but there was something about them.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

See what I see: the best story, is you, but no one's watching

Two videos merge into one this morning illustrating the point over and over again.

South Africa, 1994 - THE story, that needed telling. The end of Apartheid

By David Dunkley Gyimah. Connect with him on Google 

What is one of THE stories in the world, now!  Put another way, one of THE worst events in the world that is not being told, but should be told.

I know there are many, but I'm talking about one with a currency that, that is univerally so gripping that if it came to you, you'd give it the time of day.

But then at some point you'd switch off. It's also the type of story, that you may not necessarily share because  it's not funny (haha) story.

So I make videos, in fact I make lots of things and have done for a while and the drill was to always focus on who we needed to appeal to.

In broadcasting it was the guy in the pub. ITN News had a saying, it's got to be simple enough to be understood by the people in Wigan, which is as un PC as you can say to Wigan folks.

But back to the point, which is. I like the striking visuals, I like the stories, but in order for them not to be transient, the core skill, which has several terms e.g. 360 ( BBC) in early 2000s, to the marketer - All platforms, is the cinema experience.

In the early 90s I came across one of those stories. I got pretty incensed why no one was paying attention. So cutting a long story short, I left London to go and live in South Africa, during the tail end of Apartheid and with the little knowledge I had got to understand the story close-up and why we weren't listening. But the story did travel on radio, print and TV.

I'm on one of those stories now. I'm absolutely riveted by it, but I KNOW that to get anyone to see what I am seeing I have got to get you more. It really is not just the story, though I think I can do a pretty good job on this one. It's the whole cinema experience.

It's about the familiarity of experience. It's what was refined by the Star Wars franchise and pushed to the Nth by Apple.

Code everything to that lasting experience. The film, the people behind the film, the magazine piece, the facebook page for feedback, the pictures you can use, the transaction that identifies YOU (user)  as integral to making the whole story work.

Because now, you, are that part of the story not in a cliched, figurative way, but in the eyes of content creators, asking ourselves, how we allow you in and you want more.

I'm involved in one of the world's worst stories. I need to find that way, for  you to see what I see.
P.S there's a Chatham House rule on the story at the moment, that's why I can't be explicit.

Skateboarder Magazine - Gurus in the Ganges (Full Length) from Patrik Wallner on Vimeo.

Fab story this one ( No this is not the story I'm involed with)  and it works for the reasons of semantic fields. Take one field as diadactically different from one and drop it into another