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Multimedia and Video


Submitted by Jim Barnett

On Saturday, January 16, Indianapolis hosted the ASMP National Education Series Multimedia & Video Seminar.  Gale Mooney and Paula Lerner were the presenters and it was held at the Art Institute of Indianapolis which has classrooms in the distinctive office complex located on the northwest side of the city called The Pyramids.Multimedia Photo 

During the first two hours, Paula presented her work and showed how easy it was to produce multimedia shows and incorporate them in the still photographer’s workflow.  "Her work on location in Afghanistan and her stories about the lives of Afgan women were awing", said Tony Arrasmith.  "I loved how she brought the power of the still image to life when combined with sound and placed into a video format".

Gale followed with her full blown video work.  Lights, camera and action were all part of the discussion.  "What stuck with me more than anything else was Gale's emphasis on - if you are going to get into Video, do it right", said Tom Dubanowich.  "If your going to put yourself out there as a professional in video, be a professional and that means from your equipment all the way through to your paperwork.  It isn't going to be an easy road if you plan on picking up the newest SLR that happens to shoot video and believe that's all it will take to transition into the field."

Quality sound reproduction was heavily emphasized by both of the speakers.  Gale and Paula felt that if the photographer couldn’t get the sound right, then his/her production was bound to fail.  Both lectured in length about the techniques they used to capture sound.   Of course, they also discussed the other aspects of video/multimedia production including software, shooting style and ultimate end use. 

We had 59 people in attendance which represented the largest ASMP event in Indianapolis in over a decade.  Not only was the local area well represented, but we had photographers from Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville and Chicago.  The speakers were delighted with the turnout and commented that it was a very responsive and engaging group. 

 

Submitted by Tom Dubanowich 

Multimedia and Video, Take Two 

 

With the advent of digital SLR's that capture video (beautifully I might add) the photography and video industries are closer than ever to blending or merging into one industry.  Video capture is well worth exploring as a viable additional business income stream.  It (video) is coming.  Any trepidation about making this transition will seem strikingly familiar to all of us that made the leap from film to digital capture.  All of the same concerns are there.  How do we not only tame this new media, but what do we base the business model on?  What should we charge for?  How do we describe our projects etc... 

 

Paula and Gail both gave good presentations.  The actual strength of the event was the fact that they presented together.  Paula reminds us that "multimedia" is not dead and still has a viable spot at the production table.  I am somewhat jaded toward the high volume production world of business to business multimedia and video, having cut my teeth there in my early years. (I personally do not endorse [name calling], but some in that world had a name for the video shooters) the video people were called the "vidiots".  This stemmed from a felt sense of the lack of craftsmanship that went into their production values. They would show-up, whip out a white card to white balance, grab a sun-gun for fill and start shooting, often times without sticks (a tri-pod) in an attempt to achieve that MTV/SNL look.  Add shabby clothing and an unkempt artist appearance and viola a vidiot. 

 

This all came rushing back to me, like a too large plate of lasagna eaten too close to bedtime.  Gail drove home the need to either become an expert or surround yourself with experts.  The SLR's have benefits, but they are not part of a wholly integrated video production system. Learn the components of good audio, good editing and shooting for motion, but don't just stop at being a video shooter.  Still commercial photographers have always taken great pride in our craftsmanship and production values.  Great lighting will never go out of style, but as producers of commercial images we bring much more to the table than simply good image capture.  We take on assignments and produce the heck out of them.  I take great pride in controlling every square inch of the visual portion of our client's message. Let's face it, at heart we--commercial photographers--are control freaks. We need to control everything on set, for that very reason we are not wedding photographers.  Can you imagine telling a bride to go back and start over, "only this time with more feeling". And trying to explain to all the bridesmaids that they need to tighten the formation, but walk slightly staggered like geese fly so the camera can get a great compressed perspective while still seeing all their emotional faces.  What Gail drove home is the need to position ourselves as Producers.  She made it perfectly clear the video shooter is not a highly paid position.  If we think editorial rates have been stagnant for twenty years, take a look at video shooters "day-rates".  Our industry (and all those whom have gone before us) has worked too hard to achieve a reputation of producing the best quality imagery.  I would hate to see us slide into the realm of video capture only shooters, with no control over location, casting, wardrobe, props and action.  I do not want to simply show up, shoot video and turn over the hard drive at the end of the day.  I do not want to become a "vidiot".  I want to continue to be a Producer.