Success Stories


More than just pretty pictures

One of our clients is McGraw Hill.

Not just the TV stations, of which KGTV is one, but also the magazines. All of them.

Our task was to take the magazine into the world of online video by equipping their journalists with video cameras and teaching them to shoot and cut and publish in the burgeoning world of online video.

One of McGraw Hill’s magazines is Architectural Record.

This is a very high end magazine, with extreme interest in the quality of the images.  It is, after all, about architecture.

This is no place for Youtube or bad quality shooting.

We have been working with them for about a year now, and they started to migrate their video online in a big way about 6 months ago.

Yesterday, the prestigious MIN award nominations were announced.

In the field of Online Video, Architectural Record was nominated, along with CNN, Entertainment Weekly video and Newsweek video.

We are just delighted, and very proud of Bryant Rousseau and his team at Architectural Record.

Working with small, hand held cameras and cutting of FCP, the in-house journalists at AR have proven that VJs can deliver award winning quality in one of the most demanding of fields.




Fourth from left

Tiffany Burnett, a graduate of the TCA bootcamp training, and a TJ on the first run of 5Takes has now started working for the New York Post as a Videojournalist.

You can see her coverage of yesterday’s USAir Hudson River ditching here.

Here’s another one.

Congrats Tiffany!


12 responses to “Success Stories

  1. It’s a good thing poor Tiffany had those still photos shot by others to use for her plane crash story!

    I guess VJ means using other people’s work since the VJ couldn’t get there in time to cover the real thing!

    That’s a rather poor example to try and promote as “good” VJ work.

    Some might say it’s a good example of what VJ’s can not do!

    Cover the news when it really happens!

  2. I think its more an indication of what The NY Post will accept or wants. Like the paper, I think. Not much going on qualitywise. But like we always say, good enough. Good enough for the NY Post.

    Anyway, just for you I just posted another one.

  3. I think here work speaks for itself.

    It also speaks for the NY Post.

    Yet another print publication learning the hard way they don’t know how to do “good enough” for a market like New York.

    They are on the same path as all newspapers, big and small.

    This work proves it.

  4. I think its safe to say that Technology got the scoop!

    A SECURITY CAMERA ON A PIER GOT IT ALL , AS THE PLANE CRASH LANDED!!! What will get replayed for the next decade? Gee Let’s think!

    Good enough! and thank goodness for those people on the plane!

    Doesn’t London have one of the largest security camera systems in the world?

    With some face recognition software one could

    generate stories with out leaving the office.

    Cameras can’t be every where at the right time. But neither can people.

    Good Enough is just fine.

  5. Stephen, maybe there’s a paradigm shift occurring and what has been considered professional, may be on it’s way out (then again – maybe not).

    Take the case of what happened with the advent of the Straight Photography movement in the early part of the 20th century:

    “In 1904, Sadakichi Hartmann wrote a “Plea for Straight Photography”, in which he argued for a “straightforward depiction of the pictorial beauties of life and nature”. Over the next 20 years, a new style of photography emerged, championed by a group of influential photographers — most notably Alfred Steiglitz and Paul Strand in New York, and Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and other members of the f/64 group in California — which came to be known as “straight photography”. In contrast to pictorialism, its 19th century predecessor, which imitated painting and relied on tricks to disguise the photographic origin of an image, straight photography celebrated the beauty of tone and detail that is found only in photographs. ”

    I see many parallels to what’s been considered stylized professional video content and the way content is shifting towards a more realistic style that is intimate in it’s style/technique.

    Maybe instead of all the whiz bang gadgetry that now pervades what is termed “pro quality” video content, that the shift taking place is towards a more realistic, more intimate and less stylized content – I’m not saying you’re right or wrong – just offering a different perspective.

    In addition, I’m not saying one shouldn’t be educated and practiced in proper technique (I’m constantly asking and learning to become better in my technical skills), but it seems too many detractors are wrapped up in only the technical aspects of content and not enough in the substance of the story being told.

    Some of the best still documentary projects I’ve seen were shot with nothing more than a single camera body and two lenses with a brick of b/w film as the palette – the rest was left to the seeing eye of the shooter. That equivalent is being done by shooters like Travis Fox of WaPo and others.

    Maybe it’s time to quit being so hung up on the technical part only and allow shooters to just shoot – make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes in a way that isn’t done by verbally abusing them – just because they tried with what resources they had available to them.

  6. Two things Cliff. I’m Stephen, not $ who could be a “Stephen” but we don’t know. It’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery of a puzzle just who they are.

    Second I’m all for people learning from their mistakes but having the cheering section going “Wow, cool amazing, good enough” instead of “well its a start but you need to work on…” is not really helping anyone.

  7. Our friend Cliff has always been quick to jump to conclusions, then act on them. only to find out he was wrong.

    This is the case again.

    No Cliff, I’m not pencilgod.

    As long as VJ’s can work for failing companies that think good enough will work, they’ll be around in force.

    The good news is the all VJ newsroom movement has been consistent.

    Finding a home in failed newsrooms and then helping said failed newsroom remain, at best, right where it is.


    That doesn’t include all the foolish newspapers adopting this VJ plan and now, they too, are shutting their doors and putting out of touch still photographers, who thought they too knew something, but didn’t, where they belong.

    Out of work.

    Sound familiar Cliff?

    I knew it would 🙂

  8. There are two forms of “content” in video journalism. I am trying to find the right words to describe the two… External and internal are the two terms I am stuck on now… until I can think of better words.

    External content is real life. Pure content. If a plane crashes, it crashes. If someone does something, they do it whether or not a camera is there to capture it or not. Real life happens. That is external content, or pure content. Video journalism does not affect, control, manipulate, stage this life content. It simply exists. (which by the way, is the fundamental underlying definition of “truth.” Existence is proof of truth.) Anyway, as video journalists, we should strive to find interesting and relevent external content… that affects society. Average, boring stories are a dime a dozen. We should seek and find strong external content.

    Video journalists should capture truth, existence and reality. But we can only capture it via audio and video. We are a filter. We also likely have to edit it down. Our choices, our shot selections, audio selections, voice over words, writing, producing, etc… creates a separate content (PKG.) That is the internal content of our work.

    So when we discuss, debate or critique “content” there are two separate entities.

    Obviously, compelling content happens and we can either capture it and communicate it effectively – as close to truthful as possible. That is the job of the journalist.

    There is reality…. and then there is “staged” content, or production content. (Movies, sit down interviews, staged events and press conferences.) Television News has become probably 90 percent “production” work. Production is controlled, staged (ethically staged interviews, demonstrations, events, press events, etc…)

    There are news stories which contain all of the above. In spot news events, security cameras are more and more likely to capture the incident, unless someone gets lucky and is the right place at the right time. More and more citizens are also armed with video cameras… so the role of the professional videographer being in the position of capturing spot news events “as they unfold unexpectedly” is changing. That role is moving away from news photographers, and towards citizens and security cameras. TV news crews do follow up interviews and production work.

    Most TV stories have a combination of source video, interspersed with some sound bites, etc… That is what TV News does everyday. The internal “content” and external content of any PKG can be critiqued. Just remember, the viewer is the most important element of any story. If the purpose of the story is to communicate a broad overall synopsis of the crash scene…. do whatever it takes.

    There are many ways to approach content. Most spot news stories involve…Get the video on the website now. Get the crash. Get some survivors. Edit it together. Move on. Quick. Fast. Easy. Quality at times is sacrificed for speed.

    I will not go on and on… but that is how spot news works now. The initial incident is totally out of anyone’s control. But a quality talented visual storyteller, on the scene early, can definately find the right shots, get the right sounds, interview the right people, and tell an outstanding visual story… much better than a poorly trained, inexperienced, untalented man, woman or child with a video camera. That is where Craft, Creativity and Commitment have value.

    Compelling images will stand alone. And they can be captured with a security camera. If you want the generic news video of the day… there are a lot of providers (local TV News.) If you want higher quality…. it takes a bit more time and talent.

  9. WoW! Opps! Sorry about that ! Its just that both Cliff and eb have given such a Cool opps! sorry again! insight on how technology changes reflects across our culture and particular News Organizations.

    Good enough, opps! sorry! is a sliding scale dependent on a infinite amount of variables. So Now I know .
    But, It probably only helped ME .

    Does anybody smell the TALL POPPYS OF New Zealand??

  10. My mistake for the mix up on posters ID’s – The diatribe I read from the detractors is cookie cutter so it’s easy to mistake who’s saying what anymore

    $ – droll to say the least

    Out of work – far from it – I’m having to turn away offers due to my current load of video production and web design work thank you very much.

    Once again – assumptions from a so called professional journalist without facts – typical of main stream news media.

  11. “Does anybody smell the TALL POPPYS OF New Zealand??”

    Was that a crack at me?

  12. Glad to see you’re still using those valuable “breath holding” skills Cliff!

    A quick visit to your out of date reel on your web site shows how little you do.

    I’m sure you do turn away a lot of work.

    It gets old working for free as you have done in the past for Huffington.

    I’d turn that kind of work away too!

    When I use the word “work”, Cliff, I’m refering to people wanting to pay money for your skills.

    Not people looking for “free”.

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