Thursday, August 13, 2009

Air Guitar Contest: vs.

Yes, there really are competitions for air guitarists. On KobreGuide, we proudly feature a short video profile, "Air Guitar Champ," by San Francisco Chronicle's Mike Kepka. Go watch -- it's hilarious.

When we lecture to classes about what makes videojournalism a distinctive medium, we often point to the visual virtues of Kepka's creative approach as an example of something you would not see on TV. And then we'll ask the class to imagine what a more conventional TV approach might look like and sound like. What elements would it contain?

Well, wonder no more. Every bit as good, in its own way, is Garland McLaurin's new 6-minute video from : "The U.S. Champions of Air Guitar." Its polished narration, on-camera interviews, and use of event B-roll are all unquestionably high quality. Though both stories share a theme, SFGate focuses on one individual, whereas Time pulls back the camera and introduces us to several participants. And without a doubt, Time's is certainly more traditionally TV-inspired and information-laden than what Kepka shows us on But some might argue that Kepka's quirky style makes his subject more memorable and, in its own way, provides the more emotionally enriching experience.

Both pieces are worthy of your attention, so please go take a look and let us know which you prefer -- and why.

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