Friday, October 24, 2008

Video blogging

Steve Garfield's presentation on Wednesday was certainly an impressive one. As prospective journalists, we are bombarded consistently by the progress journalism is making in video on the internet, on TV, or other mediums. While Garfield's subject wasn't revolutionary, the developments he showed us were very interesting, most notably the Qik site. I've known videos are becoming easier and easier to make and quicker and quicker to produce, but it was alarming to see how quick it can be. As the video is being shot, it can be online for people to see. I'm familiar with and watch live streaming video, but to see it happening in front of me was different.

1. I liked his video clips, and the technique he used in filming them. Taking the Jamaica Pond one as an example, he interviews John Tobin extensively, but does not keep the camera on him. Rather, he shows Tobin as he's introducing him to the segment, then shows the pond and the children running excitedly to it. By doing that, Garfield is using the advantages of video. He's not showing Tobin talk about something, he's allowing Tobin to be heard while showing the viewer what the City Councilor is referring to. In class, Garfield mentioned another way he does this, by placing b-roll photos in the shot while the subject is talking, to let the viewer understand what the subject is talking about.

2. I also caught Steve's streaming from the New Media expo. The people he interviewed seemed to be excited with the concept of live streaming, and you can see why. It's a "fresher" look at a news event, and it allows the subjects of the video to be caught in their natural moods and behavior. Sure, they took the opportunity to sell their websites or companies (aka "Women of Warcraft"), but it still allows the viewer to get a better sense of what these people are like.

3. I liked the point Steve made with the "Steve and Carol Show". He showed in his presentation how complex video and live streaming can be, but also used the show to demonstrate how the demand for video is so great, that something far simpler can easily suffice. Garfield is obviously well-rehearsed in the different forms of video media and blogging, yet one of the sources of his success was, as he put it, as simple as filming himself and Carol talking about the debate in their room. The show, especially juxtaposed with his Qik demonstration, showed a wide spectrum of results that can come out of experimenting with video journalism and blogging.

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