Back to Beijing

August 4, 2008

I’ve been to China on assignment for National Geographic Magazine four times in the last decade so it was interesting to dig into that story again, this time for MediaStorm on behalf of the Asia Society. The website and Longing for Blue Skies, the short film I produced and edited, just launched last week on their website.

It was fun to look through all the wonderful photographic coverage on China. One of the things I’m learning is to craft sequences using a single photographer’s work as a way to give more structure to the narrative.

The other fun part of this project was the chance to sit down with Orville Schell, a writer, former journalism school dean and now the Arthur Ross Director, Asia Society Center on US-China Relations

It was my first major on-camera interview (which I directed and lit ) and Orville was a joy. You could hear the sound bites tumbling out of his mouth and the hardest part of the job was getting the two hour interview down to my first cut of 9 minutes, then again down to the current 6 minute piece.

While you’re on the site, check out the Room with a View feature. A nifty piece of citizen journalism that involved a simple look out the window.

Please pass this along to anyone who might be intersted.

And let me know what you think!

deep water

June 17, 2008

I love teaching and I love learning too. So I was in good company as a coach at the NPPA MultiMedia Immersion session in Louisville, KY. The students were photographers (one a Pulitzer Prize winner) picture editors, newspaper directors of photography and even other teachers; photojournalism professors from the top three PJ universities in America. It was great because I learned a ton. You can see all the student stories online.

soldier online at msnbc

March 20, 2008

Everyone is always asking how to make money in multimedia .

In time for the 5th anniversary of the conflict, a multimedia story I produced with photographer Brian Sokol, about a family who lost their son in the Iraq War, is now online at msnbc.

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Since I’ve been at MediaStorm, my colleague Eric Maierson has been working away on this multimedia story on the Congo with Marcus Bleasdale. It launched yesterday.

MSNBC also launched a different Congo multimedia feature based on the MediaSTorm interviews and Marcus images.
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As they say in high school: “compare and contrast.”

air sick

January 21, 2008

Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk is responsible for perhaps my favorite multimedia piece thus far …and now he’s done it again with a video about global warming created from twenty thousand still images.

If I ever considered working for a newspaper again, this is where I’d love to try it out.

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My friend and former teacher Zach Wise has been working on the redesign–more re-imagining– of the Las Vegas Sun’s website. It finally launched today with lots of big photos and bigger multimedia pieces.

Read the backstory.

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shameless self promotion

October 11, 2007

A PDN.edu story about the Ohio University “Soul of Athen’s” project I worked on this year. Check out the project itself. It’s really cool.

Soul of Athens

NYTimes staffer Nicole Bengiveno headed down to Atlanta to do a story on the home foreclosure trauma,where home foreclosures are up 75% over the prevoius month. Her excellent work ended up as a picture page in today’s paper. She wrote the text too.

But if you head over to the NYTimes online, you can see the exact same story (with many more images) as a 4 minute slide show narrated by Nicole with the voices of the people who lost their homes. Tell me which one you think is more powerful. I don’t think there is any doubt.
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Just talkin’

August 16, 2007

I love talking with interesting people. Last week I had breakfast with George Jardine, a very cool guy from Adobe who helped design Lightroom. We met at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC and talked about a few things that we’re both extremely passionate about, with the big one being photography.

Two days later we got together again and this time he recorded our conversation for his great series of podcasts. We spoke about photography, new media, films, audio and where this might all be going. It was a fascinating and enlightening conversation for me plus I got to wear a very cool and amazingly efficient microphone on my ear, just like a popstar.

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Have a listen.

Last month I spent a week at the SantaFe (New Mexico) Photo Workshops, teaching a new class: Visual Storytelling with Audio.

The nine students ranged from professional photographers to fine artists to teachers to advanced amateurs. It was a great group and they worked long hours using the Zoom H4 recorder and AudioTechnica mics, Audacity, IView Media Pro and Soundslides Plus in addition to their digital still cameras.

In a single day, they each recorded, photographed, edited, mixed and output a multimedia show. Then they did a new piece the next day. Then for the third time, another new piece in a single day. Their heads must have been spinning but each piece got better and better.

Here’s a QuickTime movie of our final presentation and a cool frame from that movie..

And here are two of my favorite pieces from the final presentation:
Rick Scibelli’s Final Spring and Julie Skarratt’s In This Moment.

(Thanks to Joe Weiss for letting us use SoundSlides Plus, his new supercharged –and very cool– version of the classic media production tool that makes slide shows simple and now creates work that looks more and more like you’ve slaved away in Final Cut Pro )