Going Deep

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…going…. going….gone? (not until tomorrow morning)

Michael Blair.

Running back for the Cincinatti Bengals and the Green Bay Packers…

and now, a TJ or Travel Journalist for 5Takes Latin America.

Blair is just finishing 5Takes Bootcamp, where he learned to shoot, cut and upload video for the vlogs he will be delivering as he roams across South America for us. He leaves on Friday.

Blair had never touched a video camera before – but he sure has handled a football.

What happens when you give an NFL pro a camera and send him off to travel the world? What does he see… and how does he translate that vision to the rest of America?

There was a time when that idea would have been laughable.. but no more. Look at how small the camera is! (It’s the little thing in his right hand). And it’s Hi Def!

Television and video were once the realm of a select few… Matt Lauer and an army of technicians. (Where in the world is Matt?) But not anymore. Where in the world is Michael Blair? After all, we have seen hundreds of segments where Matt or Katie or any number of local reporters suddenly dress up and become sky divers or chefs… or football players… Why shouldn’t anyone be able to don the garment of ‘tv presenter’. I mean, come on! How hard is it???

Now we can empower anyone with the power of video and television.

Think of the possibilities!

Artists, poets, writers, musicians, sports pros.

It’s the democratization of the most powerful medium in the world. It’s giving voice to people who until now thought of themselves as passive observers, or at best, subjects to be watched.

Michael Blair spent plenty of time ‘on’ TV. But he was never allowed to take control of the medium.

We selected him because in addition to his athletic prowess, he spends his spare time writing poetry.

Now, we’re gonna see what he can do in video.

Tomorrow Blair decamps for Buenos Aires, along with four other TJs we have also provided with cameras, laptops and training – as well as a platform to show their work. They are an airline stewardess, a writer, a mother of 8 (!) and a very funny guy from NY who lives with 2 cats. These are all ‘average’ people, now empowered with television.

I’ve already seen their first work at the bootcamp.

They may not be Matt Lauers… yet, but I think overall they’re a hell of a lot easier to watch than Brian Williams!

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