Digital daze…

Welcome to the wonderful world of multimedia – San Francisco style. I’m at the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association Digital/Multimedia Workshop at SF State. Just got out of the beginning of the morning session, kicked off by Kim Komenich of the SF Chronicle.

I was here last year too and it has settled down a bit. Last there there was a buzz…this whole multimedia/video thing was new. Now many of the participants have been at it for a year and are finally getting comfortable.

Kim started his session with a short video (what else?) with interviews from pioneering video journalists – still photographers who entered the world of video and multimedia years ago and staked out their ground. Dirck Halstead pointed out that most of us (print folks) were raised on TV and video…but you used to have to have lots of gear and be working for someone to do video. Today, of course, video is within the reach of many.

Today…the web is not a platform…newspaper, magazine, TV, movies are platforms.
The web is a culture…about conversation.

Kim followed up with a motivational speech directed at the audience of working pros and students, telling them that:

Once you grow into your vision…it’s a matter of nuances…learning some of the soul…just like a good jazz song there is soul that comes into multimedia…

He compared shooting stills to gathering assets needed to make a story…but that now you can choose between audio, video, stills….whatever works to gather the assets needed. Although these are unsettling times, he concluded…he reminded the listeners that now:

You’re a storyteller first and you’re publishing to the world.

My take as always…it is fun to be here, amidst the excitement and the camaraderie and learning. There’s a lot of backslapping and hugging and greeting old friends and friendly enemies. However there are only four broadcast members present. And we’re all kind of in agreement – the print folks see the future and are scrambling to take the high ground while TV sits on it’s thumb thinking they already own it.

I’m doing two workshops today…the first on blogging. Will let you know how that goes as we wind it up. The next two are the same – how to use Final Cut Pro/Express/iMovie for print folks taking the plunge. Kathy Newell (newly hired as KTXL’s night assignment editor) will work with me on the latter. Why are we doing this? We’re both addicted to sharing and learning – but we also want the still folks to realize their roots in video. I’ve been hearing, “We’re not TV!” and I want to point out that what is new to them is old to us. Yes, we are all entering a new age on shifting ground and no one knows for sure what if anything is going to survive to become the model for Internet news video. News itself may not survive…or survive as we know it. But the roots of videojournalism and multimedia pass through fifty years of television news back to the origins in movies and newsreels…and back from those to early photography and then wood engravings of events before photography emerged. Back to paintings and pictographs. It is all tied together and should be a binding theme rather than a dividing one.

We are all storytellers and together we can publish to the world!

3 thoughts on “Digital daze…

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