Thursday, January 18, 2007

magnum's multimedia m*a*s*h triage

A number of people have highlighted the Magnum Photos In Motion M*A*S*H (the TV show ) audio slideshow. After thought and consideration I offer up a few observations.

Not unlike, I wonder how and if they got permission to use the M*A*S*H clips. There is the idea, and then getting Hollywood to sign off on the use of the show. With this cloud hanging over the project I can’t give it a big thumbs up, yet.

In general, the project falls prey to what many of us observe in our own work and other’s work, a tighter edit. [ I think that is my next common thread, #6. ] The slide show would benefit by losing repetitive images as well as the photos that don’t live up to Magnum standards.

While I like some of the sound, there is not enough of it, and the 'TV snow' sound got annoying after awhile. In one sense this seemed like padding out a bad to average assignment by jazzing up in multimedia. I think L.A. Times staff photographer Rick Loomis and James Nachtwey both did better jobs on service men and women doing hospital work in Iraq.

All that being said, I liked the fact that Magnum pushed the boundaries with this project. There are many things I liked about it; including some of the transitions, the strong use of text, using essentially an antiwar show in tandem with the obvious medical coverage. In one sense, pairing the 'every day' war reportage with M*A*S*H might have been stronger and more meaningful.

As I have noted before, you have to appreciate people taking chances and pushing the boundaries. Kudos to Magnum; but now everyone should think over what worked and what didn’t work and why not.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I agree with most of your analysis of the "mash" show. I think it was a ho-hum attempt to push the envelope in a way that could have given this current "war" in Iraq a greater and far more meaningful context.

Instead of splicing in what little audio that was provided, in addition to the annoying static, there could have been audio commentary given by the medics out there.

Using the real "mash" clips probably wasn't much of a licensing issue for Magnum. That's what their lawyers are for.