You Won’t See This on Local News….*

Just in from 5Takes Latin America…..

Here is the most recent vlog from ‘tj’ Erika as she and 4 others make their way across Latin America.

(Glad to see you found it)

We supplied them with video cameras, laptops and some rudimentary training in shooting and cutting.

This was shot by ‘tj’ Mary. Neither Mary nor Erika had ever really shot or cut before.

You tell me… does it work?

*title courtesy PF Bentley


26 responses to “You Won’t See This on Local News….*

  1. it worked. in so many ways.

  2. Beginning. Middle. End. That’s storytelling, right?

    And a star is born!

  3. I have to ask. I thought the VJs shot their own material. You know. One person working alone. No crew.

    Looks to me like someone else is shooting the camera. Not her. No true VJ work as I thought you were promoting it. If she has to have someone else shoot the camera, how can you call this the work of a VJ under your previous definitions. This is no different than any other traditional crew with an on camera talent and someone else shooting the video.

  4. The piece was shot by TJ Mary (home schooling mother of 8) about Erika – airline stewardess for Southwest. I don’t think this qualifies as ‘traditional crew’. Both of them picked up their skills in the bootcamp prior to departure. Sorry if this was not clear.

  5. Sigh…

    It just never stops with you Mini-Me.

  6. The storytelling was great, but the audio left me wanting captions at some points.

    Are the TJs not outfitted with wireless lavs or shotgun mics?

  7. I thought she did a good job for what it was and who it was. I was disappointed to see two people producing a story when, as I have heard so many times, that is a waste of resources according to the VJ theory.

    Not a problem with me. It is embarrassing though to others who claim to be VJs when the truth is they are nothing more than a low budget two person crew.

    Where is the intimacy that was so important to the VJ dream that was promoted because the subject was only having to deal with a single individual? It’s not there! This product is, as I said, a low budget crew. Two people. No knock on them. They are learning. But they are not acting as VJs. They are “traditional” in every sense of the word.

    Some might say the less pretty person was put in front of the camera to achieve a better product. Of course that will be disproven the moment she handles the camera responsibilities while TJ Mary (home schooling mom) does her reports. If that ever happens at all.

    The fact is this was not a VJ product. It was a group effort and, in the end, proves what I’ve always believed, two minds are better than one. This product was much better than if it had been shot by a lone individual. Even with the lesser experience of those involved.

  8. Jeez, let us not get too hung up on the ‘one man band’ thing. the VJ concept is, if nothing else, about empowering people to express themselves in video, sans crew. As neither of these woman had ever touched a video camera or edit before this experience, I would be hard pressed to call the equiavalent of a professional crew. What we are looking at here is simply an interesting manifestation of the ‘democratization’ of the medium – get an idea, get the camera, get it online. No muss, no fuss, no crew, no meetings, no discussion, no nothing. I like the approach. for anything.

  9. Well stated, Michael.

  10. What happened to your “more cameras, everyone has a pencil” sales pitch? Looks like it went out the window! There had to be some discussion between the person doing the shooting and the person doing the speaking on camera. This was not an individual effort. It was a group effort no different than any other production. There is no “manifestation” of anything other than two people with very basic training and even more basic paychecks filling time on your show. What happened to the “new way” of doing things? It’s not on display here.

    You say “no crew”? Well lots of others will say when you have a camera op and an on cam talent working together, that equals “crew” at any TV news station in the country.

    There was discussion between them to make this happen. They are doing the job just like any traditional crew. You’ve posted a perfect example of that kind of work and now want to claim that isn’t what it is. Sorry Mr. Rosenblum, the link you posted yourself, proves you incorrect no matter how much you’d like to deny it.

  11. Just because everyone has a pencil does not mean they are required to write about themselves. In the stations that we move from 8 crews to 50 cameras we don’t make a rule that you can only shoot by yourself or about yourself. We in fact encourage people to film each other if there is some story telling benefit in that. We supplied both Erika and Mary (along with everyone else) with a camera and a laptop and taught them the basics of shooting and cutting. What they do with it after that is, in keeping with the whole idea of ‘liberating people through video’, entirely up to them. They are free to shoot and cut and post whatever they want. If they want to shoot each other – God bless ’em, be my guests. If they want to shoot their own on their own, also OK by me.

    As for the ‘basic paychecks’ comment, this does not really apply here – these people are participants in a ‘reality show’ and although we do pay them for their time, we are also travelling them all over Latin America and inviting them to make their own small films at our expense, and putting them on TV. I think that is a pretty good deal no matter how you slice it, no?

  12. “putting them on TV”!

    Wow! now you even drop any pretence about the web and it’s future. It’s all about letting people get a chance to be on TV!

    What an opportunity for them! How magnanimous of you! I guess they don’t know how much you put in your own pocket. Opportunity abounds when you’re around! As long as people can pay for the “privilege”.

  13. Maybe you don’t understand how this works, or maybe I have not made this clear enough. These people are paid to participate in the show. They don’t pay for it. They get paid. And yes, I think it is pretty good that they both get on TV and get a chance to show their stuff and get paid for it and and get to travel all over Latin America for 8 weeks. I don’t see too many other people offering this… or am I missing something here?

  14. “Of course that will be disproven the moment she handles the camera responsibilities while TJ Mary (home schooling mom) does her reports. If that ever happens at all.”

    Actually, each of the VJ’s has done a vlog from each of the 4 locations so far. They are all on the 5 Takes website.

    As far as I know from looking at Mary’s vlogs, she has done all of the work herself or with a tripod. In any event, Erika’s vlog could have easily been shot using a tripod, or someone from the salon could have held the camera. Because they did use two doesn’t mean they have to, and my wife’s work is proof of that: actually, I think that most of the videos I’ve seen have been shot by the TJ himself. If you’re at a restaurant and the waiter hands you your plate, that doesn’t mean that it took two people to serve dinner. I could come up with dozens of other analogies.

    The VJ’s are cramming in the vlogs into an extremely tight production schedule. My wife is so busy that I usually go several days without even getting a text message from her.

    Besides having to be available for on-camera work all day long (she puts on her wireless mic when she wakes up, if she took if off the night before), the TJ’s must also travel between countries each week as well as from hostel to location every day.

    They do their editing right there in the hostels, usually with no internet connection, or air conditioning. In Manaus, it was so humid that her finger wouldn’t slide across the touchpad on her laptop. In the locations where internet access has been bad, they’ve also had to participate on message boards as well as produce thoughtful blog entries. We haven’t seen your blog yet, !. Let’s see what you’ve got.

    Even so, they manage to squeak out a 2 to 3 minute piece each week in their extremely limited spare time (when not totally exhausted from the production schedule). I’ve watched all of them, and I don’t see any video where the TJ is on camera where either a tripod or some on-scene non-technical person couldn’t have pointed the camera.

    I put out, as a hobby, [let me stress hobby. I have a consumer camera and am stuck with Windows Movie Maker] about 3 pieces a week. I am limited by having a full-time job and by being a solo parent of 8 kids. I have no doubt whatsoever that with the VJ quality gear (not much of a step up from mine) that the TJ’s use, plus a few minor VJ staple items like a real tripod, maybe a light or two, a wireless mic, etc. that I could produce a sellable story a day all year long. But unfortunately for this debate, I have a job that I love and can keep vlogs as a hobby. (Unless I can convince those guys over at the Discovery Channel that I’m interesting enough for my own show – they’ve stopped taking my calls: what with the restraining order and all.)

    As far as TJ pay, 5 Takes is paying them as talent, and so you can’t use that to decide what they’d make if they were producing VJ content for sale. That would, of course, be determined, by the local market and the quality and volume the VJ could produce: all of which is completely up to the VJ, and is limited only by his or her ambition and/or desire.

    I hope my wife got one of those Brazilian’s while she was there !!!

    Jim, husband of TJ Mary.

  15. Well said Jim.

    I’ve been withholding my comments until now as Mini-Me considers what I do as a hobby (again, he’s misinformed due to his arrogant ego blinding him).

    As you stated – all we hear are Mini-Me’s rantings – and yet – no proof of what he has accomplished in any form of video work – even though he says he’s been doing this for 30 years…

    But hey – we don’t have to prove anything to him (I sure as hell don’t) any more than he has to prove anything to us. He seems to feel it’s his duty to save us from ourselves and from the heretic Michael Rosenblum (sarcasm mine) 😉

    At least I don’t hide behind some moniker of a name and point to Fox Noise for my website. I’m suppose to be ashamed of what I do and how I do it from the implicated posts he has made recently. Whatever.

    Condescending comments like Mini-Me’s are a sign of futile desperation as far as I’m concerned. He may deny it – but denial is a river in Egypt.

    Change or Don’t Change (I really don’t care) – the paradigm shift is happening either way.

    My name is Cliff and I AM a Professional Solo Video Journalist

  16. No Cliff. Being professional means you get paid on a regular basis, make a living, doing something. You don’t make a living being a VJ.

    Both you and Mr. Rosenblum have your hypocrisy on display here. In one breath you freely talk about all the crap on television and in the next, you are applauding a poorly done story about Brazilian bikini waxing.

    Go to any TV station web site Cliff. See how they are all putting stories on the internet as well as on their television broadcasts. That’s what I’m doing every day. You are not. You can’t even produce something new once a week!

    Mr. Rosenblum claims these people aren’t working as a crew when, the fact is, they are working just like any other television news crew in the country.

    Mr. Rosenblum claims there was no discussion before the story was produced when the fact is none of that could have happened without prior communication between the camera person and the on camera person.

    What was the result? A story about bikini waxing. Wow! There’s something “better”! Pathetic is more like it. Especially when one takes the time to look at the prior claims made by you and Mr. Rosenblum about the expected quality of both the subject matter and final product produced by VJs.

    Instead we get excuses about how these people haven’t done this much. How they are just learning. But they seem to do the job well enough for Mr. Rosenblum to fly them around South America, pay for their hotels and give them low budget consumer camera gear and laptops. That’s cool. He’s found a way to make good money. That’s not any different than a lot of tiny TV stations who grab freshly minted communication graduates from the local college and put them on the air. But, even those folks in those tiny TV markets are getting paid much more than what Mr. Rosenblum is offering them. They even get health insurance!

    Reading about how Mr. Rosenblum gloats about giving these people the chance to “be on TV” is the most base come-on for any low budget operation.

    What was posted here as a fine example of “product” by VJs? A traditional crew produced story. The subject matter? If that isn’t the lowest common denominator I don’t know what is. Then the excuses start coming from Mr. Rosenblum. Denying the reality. As if he says the sky isn’t blue even though, plain as day, it is.

    Where do you get the money to buy your own camera gear Cliff? Where do you get the money for the gas to take you places to shoot your claimed VJ efforts? Where does the money come to pay your electric bill so you can run that computer that edits your claimed VJ efforts?

    Of one thing we can all be sure. That money does not come from people who are paying you to be a VJ. You know it and I know it.

    The one who needs to adapt or die, make a transition, is you Cliff. I suggest you make the transition to actual employment instead of enjoying a hobby that is costing you money. You would learn a lot.

  17. Dear ‘!’
    I now understand.
    You don’t understand that this is an out-take from a television program. Think REAL WORLD but we give the participants cameras to make some videos about what is happening to them to be posted on the web. Get it now?

    Here is what I think you should do.

    Watch the show.

    You can find all the info you need at

    Watch the show and you will understand what is going on here.

    And in the meantime… chill out. You’re gonna have an aneurism or something.

    Also, if you want to see what ‘professional’ VJs do on a regular basis, go to the video part of

  18. I appreciate your pointing me to another place to see “professional” work by VJs. It just seems odd to me, after hearing so much about the 5 Takes VJ, TJ, whatever, concept and it’s potential, to be disappointed. Not only in the initial product, but also your seemingly erratic explanations about what is and isn’t VJ work.

    I’ll work on understanding your ever changing definition of “VJ” as time goes on. I hope you are able to refine it to what you claimed it should and would be.

    I look forward to seeing the show!

  19. of all the pain in the asses on the internet, ! (the original) has to have ! (the blue one) as a minime.

    he is great for an argument, but it gets rather old considering he talks of “making a living” all the time, yet spends most of his time here.

    on cue, minime… tell us how your van is working as we speak…

  20. To the original ! – That comment is priceless.. 😉

  21. Watching closely

    Hey Jim,
    wanna know why Rosenblum is paying your wife as “talent”? Because If they didn’t call them “talent”, they would have to classify her as a videographer/editor and would possibly have to pay her overtime for putting in 16 hour days.
    Here’s a newsflash…….2 people=crew.Its nothing new and its exactly what Rosenblum has been saying is Bulls*** for at least the past 7 years.

  22. Dear ‘watching closely’
    You are clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so ‘listen carefully’, and I will explain this yet one more time just for you:

    1. Mary Sturges is NOT making the show. The show is being made by a team of VJs who accompany Mary and the other 4 TJs around Latin America. What Mary and the TJs shoot does NOT go on air. It goes online as their vlogs… (get the concept yet?). Let me make this even easier for you. Ever watch a show like Real World? It’s like we have given the people in the house a camera so they can put video online along with their comments. Do you get it now?

    2. If you give someone a camera, they can shoot anything they want, including other people doing stuff. Even in the VJ stations, on VJ can shoot another reporter. Do you get this yet? If the answer is no, return to 1 and start again.

  23. Watch and learn “watching closely”. There really is one born every minutes.

    Cue Cliff and other unemployed believers to join in with their own inexperienced views that they have yet to even make work themselves.

  24. Watching closely

    A) how is vlogging “democratizing” TV?

    B)I thought you said VJ”s shouldn’t appear on camera

  25. Michael,

    Just saw your interview on Q & A, and couldn’t agree with you more, RE the new “democracy” of true free speech coming on.
    We know nothing about what is really happening in the world. Hopefully we will soon, and the Neanderthals that control our viewing “pleasure” will be wiped off the map.


    Dennis Manuel

  26. I really enjoyed you on C-Span, I guess media
    consultants really pull it in. Wish I were in the business, e-mail me if you need help-workers.
    Thanks, Cheers

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