The prime real estate is our minds - our rational self and emotions. The latter has become the domain of PR and fictional cinema. Journalism, and factual storytelling has been found wanting. All it takes in PR terms is for a 'dead cat' to be placed on the table and journalism loses it way. What if that could change?
What's the most compelling piece of film you remember? Pause and think for a couple of seconds. Chances are it's from cinema, is artistic, cinematic or got to you emotionally. What if you could make media like this? No, not to create fiction, but fact-driven, using the styles, techniques, and tropes developed and refined over the years in cinema and art to create absorbing factual films and journalism.
Why would you? What purpose would it serve? And why now? A famous film expert Christian Metz once said, you never forget a movie, even a bad one. Like super glue, good filmmaking is a form of super story. It sticks with you. But there's no such thing as one cinema, a cinema that fits all. That's the mistake traditional electronic journalism makes. No, there's no one general technique. It's an art form. It transcends film and the obvious to see behind the veil of the apparent.
And at a time when the machinary of journalism is driven by public relations - Lynton Crosbie's dead cat syndrome is a good example - and politics through behaviourial psychology has found new ways to manage reportage, storyyelling must be bold and find new ways to communicate. Donald Trump's success is no fluke. Isn't it time we sought a fresh way of chronicling events.
The techniques and skill envelope a range of new methods that I identify and frame from my 25 years of work and doctoral thesis. Based on evidence and experience you can make informed choices about what you're producing.
It's arguable that reportage and documentary use cinematic techniques, but this is generally confined only to the surface look of the film and involves multiple personnel. The 'You" Dr David Dunkley Gyimah refers to is the next generation of One-man bands or what is commonly called videojournalists gaining a deep cultural and creative understanding of the form.
Today, media making has become The iPhone, VR, 3D, Drones, and Occular are the go to technologies for media innovations now, but the structure of video stories, its narrative montage is paramount to our reception of information.
In the 1960s, innovation was perhaps even more profound to what we're experiencing at present. French men Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, and Americans Robert Drew, Richard Leacock D.A. Pennebaker Albert and David Maysles minaturised the standard camera so for the first time it was small enough to be mobile.
This mobile filmmaking, as it was referred to; yes, the iPhone was not the first to be called mobile filmmaking, revolutionised the way everyone told stories. The language and narrative structure they devised is still dominant in new technologies.
These pioneers created a new cinema journalism, called Direct Cinema or Cinema Verite. Traditionalists did not understand it. Yet, Robert Drew's documentary, Primary, was so extraordinary it's preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Drew gave this interview to me (below) about his world and the new. He passed away in 2014.
In the 1930s John Grierson popularised documentary making leading to the multi-billion industry we see today. Grierson's friend Alfred Hitchcock and countless filmmakers showed that the greatest technology was still the untapped power of thought and the art of walking into a person's unconscious mind. Edward Bernays, the father of Public Relations who never shot a film in his life and whose work preceded nudge theory understood this more than anyone during the height of his career. For Bernays controling the mind of groups was necessary for democracy. Today 1000s of political campaigns, commercial advertising and businessses are based on his methods.
In the decade leading up the new millennium came another change with a revolution in video. New cameras and editing, yes, but something else whereby select authors actively played with the subconscious. Little is known about its achievements, but through exhaustive research Dr Dunkley Gyimah shows how the secret revolution, while it was explicitly about one man bands referred to as videojournalists, hidden from view was the makings of a contemporary form of video story making - a new powerful cinema journalism.
What separates these past innovations from the frenzy of the present was their ambition and artistry, the enormous issues in communication they wanted to solve, so we could all benefit from a deeper and reflective understanding of each other. Jean Rouch was an athropologist interested in using the cameras for his field work in Africa.
The story of Cinema Journalism
Inspired by Mark Cousins, an award winning filmmaker and author of acclaimed The Story of Film, who spent a week with Dunkley Gyimah at the Southbank Centre, David is looking to 2016 to document the movement in a number of ways. Knowledge of Cinema Journalism diminishes ignorance comodified by a hypertrophied form of traditional journalism. Here's what Mark Cousin's says about Dunkley Gyimah's work.
Technology: The Outernet
In the era of mass communication, the platform, that is the medium shaped the message, but what about in the digital age? It's not so clear cut. There's a cognitive dissonance about it. Featured in the Economist and Apple article Dr David Dunkley Gyimah spoke about hypervideo and the Outernet - a medium where the web is physically out there, where we can link into videos on the fly. One technology at the forefront of this is Touchcast, who work with the BBC, following an introductory role I played. Read what one of its founder says about Dr Dunkley Gyimah.
Here are other examples of the future of the web. The first features hyper virtual realism from China's Expo, which Dr David Dunkley Gyimah attended as a guest In this clip ayoung boy speaks to his grand parents teleported down the web
The Outernet is a feature of indpendent public space narrow casting, whose time witll come. Its potential was presented to businesses during a health crisis. This, below, one of a series of photos represents a future where communities control information and can exchange their content, bypassing the Internet.
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