Two years ago I began blogging as a result of a workshop presented by Richard Koci Hernandez here at the SFBAPPA Digital Workshop…now renamed the Digital/Multimedia workshop.
Change was afoot back then. I’d put on a couple of video workshops for students and broadcast cameramen in the three years preceding and the last one was stuffed with still photographers trying to learn video. What a shock – why were THEY there?
Soon after the traditional still workshop began to offer video sessions and it took fire. The fire continues, but the industry, both in print and broadcasting, is changing beyond what I could ever have believed. Newspapers are declaring bankruptcy…both media are cutting and gutting staff.
Buddy Kathy Newell is with me…we can’t seem to fall of the learning curve and keep coming back.
Here’s a quick take on some of the morning workshops
SF State professor Ken Kobre (and author of Photojournalism: The Professionals’ Approach) introduced and explained his KobreGuide website, along with these thoughts:
1. Challenge your interview – too many newspaper videos focus on a subject and their story without any challenge or other voices – interview someone who has an opposing viewpoint (aka balancing the story). Kobre pointed out that photographers tend to tell a story from one side because they are usually paired with a writer whose story provides both sides
2. The industry needs to standardize material so viewers know what to expect…we’re talking familiar formats
3. KobreGuide is a place for discussion and exchange of ideas and great videos
Dai Sugano/San Jose Mercury News
Showed off some of his visual masterpieces. The man is an artist with a vision few can match.
Jan Sturmann/Freelance & Scott McKiernan/Zuma Press
Freelancing in a Multimedia World
Their message: We love to tell stories…getting into amazing situations and changing other people by what we shoot
The principles of being a good PJ VJ have not changed – it is story driven.
But to run a business…a bit boring, you have a price, a plan.
These guys focused on life outside of the walls of a newsroom. Can you survive if you aren’t on staff? And can you survive if you aren’t freelancing for a news organization?
The answer is yes – there are companies, non-profits, agencies all hungry for content.
But in order to survive you have to know what you’re worth. How long does it take you to produce a story or multimedia piece? What is your time worth?
Multimedia projects so weird, so complicated…how do you judge? You need go get a handle on how long it takes (on average) so you can project costs/profits and give estimates to your client(s).
Also remember to amortize gear and include the cost of buying supplies. Simple business common sense.
Differentiate between marketing or journalism – don’t do the job if you don’t really believe in it…ask a lot of questions
Simple things work
Don’t be afraid to let folks know you are proud of something
Manny Cisneros/Sac Bee kinda surprised me. His take:
Three years ago he handed in his Nikon and was raring to become part of the (multimedia) Crusade. Now he’s back shooting stills.
He isn’t sure what is happening…it’s stagnant…are the crusaders running out of energy?
Richard Koci Hernandez/now a Ford Foundation Fellow at UC Berkeley was all over the place, so I’ll just toss out the notes I took as I tried to keep up with him
Read “Don’t Make Me Think”
Silverback for Mac – usability software
Rule #1 – Learn em break em and then make em
This guy is off the wall
Creativity – what everything boils down to…
Steal…the first rule (it’s not where you take things from its where you take them to)
You need to be a TiVo…you need to watch/know what’s going on/watch music videos…other people
GET OUT OF THE BOX
You need to have a journal (I have my blog) but the journal is where you write it down RIGHTNOW so you don’t forget the moment – the instant
“Wreck this Journal” (another must-read) every page tells you something crazy to do
Failure…we are all afraid of it
You have to fail
Whatever you think/think the opposite (another book)
A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule the future (yet another book)
Change doesn’t matter – it will be something else tomorrow
Remember why we’re here – if you can’t, move over
The future belongs to those who are willing to get their hands dirty
The future belongs to the creative people
Focus on one thing move to the next
Savor and explore a particular activity
Fail and fail again
Be the storyteller
Astonish me!!! Richard Avadon said this was the best piece of advice he ever got
There is no “I” in journalism
Collaborate share give back
And once again I am excited…rejuvenated…ready to rock and roll and travel the far roads…