Brandon Follett prepares to ‘Bourdain’ a roach in Thailand….
I spent most of yesterday screening submissions for “What’s Your Trip”, a new series we are producing for The Travel Channel.
It is a weekly compendium of ‘User Generated Video’, from people who travel all over the world with video cameras (and who does not bring one). It is not, however, home video.
We are trying to create a new genre here – sort of ‘video postcards’ from around the world. And of course we are paying for the video we air.
As a result, my eyes are bleary from screening hundreds and hundreds of these.
B-roll.net is a site for professional videographers.
I was invited there several years ago by someone named ‘Ivan’, who seems to have disappeared, but it is populated by a wide range of characters and regulars. They all share one thing in common – they all have a deep passion for ‘the craft’.
It is a craft that is under assault; an assault driven by technology. Now, cameras are in the hands of many – and that number is going to keep growing. The multiplication of platforms escalates the demand for content, and the ease with which one can upload means vastly more video is now in the public domain. Theses trends will only continue.
For the men and women at b-roll, this is a problem they are grappling with.
What they represent is the best, or at least an aspiration to the best, in terms of quality. That is something that will never go away, no matter how many others suddenly enter their field. The pie only grows bigger.
Yesterday, one of their contributors posted a comment on the VJ Revolution which I think is worth reprinting in part here. This is from Eb:
I have been thinking about video journalism and what elements go into it. Why? Because if we cannot define what value our work has, then we can’t “sell” it. The VJ model is being sold to management. Michael has defined it, and promoted it, and will continue to. It’s time for us to define and sell the value of high quality. How? Obviously, the NPPA has been an advocate for our craft. But beyond the NPPA, is there a selling point of our value?
I have singled out Four C’s of Video Journalism: Content, Craft, Creativity and Comittment. Content has value, no matter who shot it or how it is shot. Anyone can capture compelling content – even with a cell phone. But not on a consistant basis. So when there is no compelling content, Craft becomes important to viewers. If you shoot quality, it can be seen. Craft has great value (look at photographs in magazines, then look at the average person’s.) Creativity also has great value and is recognized, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story. And a Commitment to video journalism is needed from inception to air – for a quality story to be produced. Commitment not just from us, but from every person in the news room. (This is lacking in many newsrooms now.)
These Four C’s can be directly used to compare any piece of work. Whether shot by a solo VJ or a three person crew. Consumers know quality and like variety.
Craft, Content, Creativity and Commitment.
Works for me.
As I screened through the hundreds of submissions it occurred to me that that is exactly what I was looking for as well.
Now… back to the search.