My first video interview ends in a Midlands Today fantasy

This is quite exciting, to me anyway, because I’ve done print interviews and I’ve taken video – now I’ve finally put both together. There are lots of mistakes but on the whole I’m not unhappy with it, especially as it runs uncut with no major hiccups.

Video interviewing feels kind of like driving a car. You can steer perfectly well but then you have to learn to duck-paddle your feet at the same time. Ie, you can ask questions but you also have to be thinking about the shot, and the directional mic (oops), and a good final line, and what they are saying, and what you might ask next, and oh dear, did I not even mention the name of the shop or who Chris and Pete are. (Well, it was spontaneous.)

In digital journalism, you’ll also most likely be holding the camera, too – fortunately, it was an easily manageable Flip in this case – but it can be hard to hold it steady when you’re gesturing with the other hand to keep on talking or trying to direct Pete Ashton back into shot…

Then you’ll need to write up a traditional news intro for your BBC Midlands Today presenters (or whoever), something like:

‘Retail is hard!’ – that’s the view of two local bloggers who have become shop managers overnight after opening the BullRing’s first-ever pop-up arts shop.

Local artists in Birmingham will be competing alongside big names such as Debenhams and Selfridges, after Chris Unitt and Pete Ashton were offered the chance to turn their arts blog into a retail opportunity in one of Europe’s largest shopping centres.

Called Created in Birmingham, after the blog, the shop aims to sell everything from paintings and prints, t-shirts to local photographs, all made by Birmingham artists. Shoppers are even being encouraged to come in and have a chat on the sofas to find out more about the artworks and how they are made.

It opened last night [25.02.2010] and we went along just as they let out their last customer…

Created in Birmingham shop opening night from Katchooo on Vimeo.

Then simply finish with a few quick voxpops with local grizzled shoppers, a cheesy chat between Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee, and that’s a wrap.

Ok, well maybe I need a bit more practise first.

For more on the CiB shop, here’s the lowdown from the CiB blog.

5 thoughts on “My first video interview ends in a Midlands Today fantasy”

  1. Loved this – then again, I may be allowing nostalgia or something like it to influence me, having spent prep school days in a town near “Brum”. More relevantly, I was interested by the mix of real and virtual that these new entrepreneurs have hit upon, I wonder if we’ll see that duplicated in similar commercial settings? I’m also envious of your mastery of video, was it a steep learning curve or an easy thing to absorb?

  2. I guess none of us is in Kansas anymore.

    Mastery of video? Well, ahem, I quickly learnt not to move the camera too much/fast. Horrible viewing if you do. 😉

  3. You should do a blog some time about “whatever happened to Kansas, and is it still a great place to be?” I mean, I think what you came across in a Birmingham mall surely illustrates the fact that the real entrepreneurs using new media can be discovered in your own backyard. I think there’s a lot of virtue to be found in applying the notion of “think globally, act locally” in pursuing a viable travel journalism life, and we don’t all have to subscribe to the single-model notion of “community” as it’s come to be defined by one subset of travel bloggers. If it sounds like I’m alluding to disputes, I suppose I am, but it is a valid point and question to put to you, which I wouldn’t ask elsewhere because (a) I think culture plays into online communication, and I understand your voice, culturallly speaking (whereas I’ve never adapted to a certain type of abrasiveness American style, and tend to overreact to it myself;, not good;), and (b) at this point in time, much of that subset of digerati (is that the right word even?) are dead set against what they perceive as the “sinking ship” of traditional media and anyone sitll tied to it (being me among others, but especially me since I’ve been equally vocal back at such people). So, having put myself in some context, my question is to ask you what set of circumstances or reasons led you to go so far afield in engaging with social media experts [sic] as to go to something like SXSW? I mean, was there a process whereby you discounted all the social media seminars/workshops that surely take place within the confines of a NUJ event or other British writers conference? And if you really reached the conclusion that your best option was to attend an event organized by the digerati (?), then how did you come to choose one that was five thousand miles away rather than within the U.K. and/or EU? I’d think, EU and U.K. citizens alike would have more commonalities and concerns of both a real and virtual variety than going into the depths of Texas 5,000 miles away? I ask all that, because you seem so well balanced and I can understand from your professional experience and credits literally where you’re coming from, whereas I have some deep misgivings (to put it politely) about some of the self-appointed powers-that-be and online players on this side of the pond that propagate the one-size-fits-all model for travel blogging. P.S. – before you even respond, I can tell you already that you’re also right in one regard, and that’s that Austin is a weird city and so is that entire part of this country. I won’t go into personalities, and I probably dont’ need to;) Fortunately there was a freeway called the I-10 that let me drive through it very rapidly. Kansas is still an easier place to understand.

  4. Hi Hal

    I’m not sure if I fully understand what you are asking re issues with ‘the digerati’ – horrible term indeed. There are a lot of self-appointed online gurus and social media ‘experts’ but then I don’t think they are too difficult to spot, especially when you meet those who genuinely engage and understand internet culture.

    I >can< answer why I picked SXSW Interactive, though.

    It was kind of a think local, act global thing. Six people from Birmingham UK had visited the festival the year before I went and all noted via Twitter/blogs/etc that attending it had fundamentally changed their understanding and allowed them to meet a rather interesting/useful/deleteasappropriate set of contacts. These local contacts who I hadn't even met IRL created a thought in my head… especially since the print industry was slashing budgets and work was drying up even for the experienced and well-connected.

    First though, I attended some webby gatherings in the UK but felt very much like I was operating without context. (SXSW is very good for contextualising all your random thoughts and understandings.) The UK also doesn't attract the best speakers or put on such a wide-ranging event.

    I do believe, though, that it was when I researched SXSW and found out about the famous game of Geek Frogger played in real life across the I35 that sold me. A career conference, with parties attached, and in a 'city of weird' – well, it wasn't a big step from there to booking a ticket.

    If you're going to have a life, you might as well have an interesting a one as you can.

    SXSW did feel a bit Americanised though – too much focus on the bottom line – but that's why the 'Kebab' breakout panel hijacked a conference room and became one of the highlights of the festival – here's my attempt at a write-up of SXSWi Kebab.

    What’s your take on travel blogging btw? Not sure I’ve come across the one-size-fits-all model (do you mean Matador etc and trip blogging?) – but definitely trying to get away from that with Tourist Vs Traveller.

    It’s still in its experimental phase. And plans are afoot… *emits evil blogger laugh*

  5. Hi Fiona,

    I’ll respond in random fashion to your last.

    About the issues with the digerati (their term, not mine), those are debates that have been put up long before I tuned into them. I actually found out about the followmeatsea thing last November thanks to your handy link at Jere my He ad’s blogsite. What was going on there involved personalities and viewpoints that are central to what I’m referring to, also as far as the one-size-fits-all view of blogging. Part of that being, that your background in journalism or media counts for nought, all that matters is their stellar prior business background (…although they never quite reveal how that applies, do they?:))

    Events focused on blogging – if they work for you at a certain stage in filling in gaps in your knowledge, I can understand how that can justify the expense. Personally, I don’t even go on ASJA or SATW or other conventional trips due to the expense, but those at least organize fam and side itineraries at the venue for anyone who wants to write up something on the destination in addition to the value of the conference.

    Being too focused on the bottom line – actually, I’d applaud anyone for doing that. We are still in a world-wide recession, and many people in this part of the globe are fearful and desperate. Many more still, are people thrown out of day jobs in media and thinking that blogging is a quick fix for an unpredictable and shrinking job market. That reflects in the emphasis on how to monetize a website/blog.

    I don’t have a take on travel blogging, as far as a vehicle I think it’s one of many to include in a wider revenue stream, but I can’t see it being a 24/7 activity for me, ever. Yes, I was referring to things like Matador, Worldhum, Gadling, although there’s good writers in each, there’s also some howlers that exemplify what I dislike most about some people’s notion of travel blogging. I don’t mind if someone likes a different part of the world or different type of travel activity, the only thing I can’t stand about reading someone is when they’re totally self-involved and not at all involved with what they’re supposed to be telling about.

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