Sunday, July 10, 2005

Attack of the Camcorder Zombies

(2005, Horror) The Live Shot isn't the only thing that gets killed in this gore-fest about a Nashville news crew's encounter with a growing scrum of auto-focus brain-eaters. Connie Stevens and Flava Flav co-star. **1/2

Okay, it's not a late night horror flick, but it is a nightmare scenario for most photogs. Curious viewers with prosumer gear stop by live trucks all the time, usually when you're busy editing, setting-up and cursing. Let's face it - minutes from AIR and way behind sucks no matter where you park the live truck; add a cross-eyed troop leader with a Sony of his owny and you got trouble, Mister.

Instead of a slasher movie still, this shocking scene is photographic evidence of an even more alarming occurrence: Broadcasters and bloggers sharing ideas, stating views and trading tips. Say what you will about WKRN's other endeavors, any station that opens the doors other emerging media has my respect. Via Terry Heaton, we learn the Nashville station recently held their first ever video training session for area bloggers. Twenty local push-button publishers signed up for the event, which included classroom and field work.

Cool, this breakdown of barrier between town-crier and passersby intrigues me greatly. Many in the camera community shriek at the loss of lenscraft inevitable in this transfer of tools to amateur hands. They have a point, but that ship has sailed. It left port around the time tiny lenses hit the markets, which makes all those dusty old Betamax and VHS Cameras pioneering vessels in a shifting seascape, stalwart galleons tossed about in The Age of Convergence...

But I digress, as usual. Far more tangible than my overblown anecdotes are the rapid changes taking place in the real world media landscape. This latest twist in the process is one with real merit. They even have a cool t-shirt.


Paul Chenoweth said...

You have little to fear from us amateurs. I believe there will always be a significant difference in the quality of coverage that a trained/seasoned photog can deliver. The big difference is that the professionals aren't always at the right place at the right any effort to help the 'accidental video journalist' should be embraced, not feared.

You guys will aways have my respect, let's hope that the stations who experiment by using some of us 'camcorder zombies' will do the same. Most amateurs haven't a clue of the pace and pressure that you face every day...and little knowledge of how you manage to deliver quality on a consistent basis. My lens cap is off to you.

Chewie said...

Wait - if it wasn't a horror movie, why am I horrified? The picture alone made me shudder. Shutter.

Paul did make me feel better, until I realized that soon the quality of lensing won't matter -- we've already redefined home movie techniques like shaky cam and ADHD zooming as clever postmodern critique, rather than the sloppiness it is.

Content is now king. Perhaps that's as it should be. But I'll still miss the consistency of professional journalism. My citizen journalist news anchor was hung over as hell this morning, and he mumbled through a story about Iraq? Israel? Ireland? while feeding his dog and brushing his teeth. I think I might have missed something.

Allen said...

"See Blog Shoot"? So they blog before they shoot? That doesn't make much sense.

jon said...

We are trying to find good movie script to take the kids this weekend. Good movie script reviews are hard to find

I just stumbled onto your blog while looking. Seems to happen to me a lot since I am a knowledge mooch LOL


kalisekj said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!