Tuesday, August 7, 2007

operation first casualty

Sorry for the delay…

I have been meaning to blog about this video for a while.

I am not sure if it was the mood I was in that day or a great video, but I really like the Iraqi Veterans Against the War's Operation First Casualty video.

The surreal aspect of these guys patrolling the streets of America really brought home the futility of war and the sacrifices soldiers make on our behalf. There are a number of strong storytelling aspects to this video, including a strong narrative through interviews, there is a little 'shaky cam' action but it is shot fairly cleanly.

I can vouch that the way they hold their hands is often how they do 'glass house' drills and is authentic. Some of the soldiers talk about how reenacting these moments helps them.

Check it out; let me know what you think. Check them out too.


Anonymous said...

Anybody knowing how to operate a video camera can do that. The story is good and interesting, the images are not. There are no good angles or light. In fact, most of the video material I have seen in newspaper sites is very weak and basic. What's the point.

Michael Fagans said...

Obviously I don't know who 'anonymous' is...and that makes it hard to respond in some ways.

I am not saying this is a masterpiece. I would agree with 'anonymous' that this is a good story, just not shot very well. That being said, I was amazed the first time I saw this video. I would argue in defense of the shooter, that broad streets in daylight, looks to be about noon, is a hard time to get any useful or interesting light.

I would argue that there is good video at newspapers, starting with Colin Mulvaney at the Spokesman Review. Or check out this from Miami, although the audio is very bad, which hurts the piece. Good story, perfect for video, not the best execution.

The point is, news, newsgathering and news storytelling is moving to the web whether you like it or not. Video is another tool that we as journalists need to learn how to use so that when a story calls for it, we can shoot video.

Do I think everything is worth video, no. Do I think once TV stations figure out how to put their video on the web newspapers are going to be in trouble, yes.

The paradigm is shifting. The good news is that good, documentary, storytelling has a chance on the web if you learn new crafts to supplement your old PJ, J and video skills.