Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Michael Rosenblum's New Online Video School & Video Wall Project

Videojournalism pioneer Michael Rosenblum, who has produced TV and video documentaries -- and trained aspiring visual journalists -- around the globe for decades, is now bringing his school online.

So if you don't have the concentrated time or tuition for one of his $2000 weekend bootcamps, you can study at your own pace for $9.95 per month (or $99.95 per year) via his online video tutorials at his New York Video School, now in beta. It is patterned after's all-you-can-eat monthly subscription fee model.

While you won't get the hands-on personal instruction that comes with joining one of Rosenblum's real-world group sessions, you will get access to training materials and lessons, forums and member groups. Students will be able to upload and share their work with others, receive comments and critiques, and then re-shoot and/or re-edit their assignments accordingly. From Rosenblum's perspective, it makes more sense to learn about video from video, as opposed to reading books about it.

In a recent interview, he told that, despite the name, the school's reach will be global -- and, in fact, not even limited to professional training:

"The school's target audience is not just journalists, he said: "We live in a world that is increasingly going to be dominated by video. You will use video to sell your car, to file a resume, to get a date.

"We think video literacy is going to be essential for survival in the 21st century. Our audience thus, is everyone."
While most of the material is tech-related tutorials about shooting and editing, we were gratified to see that visual storytelling was among the curricula offered.

In the Basic Video Storytelling class, students will learn "how to find a compelling story, shoot it with great coverage on the topic, and put it together in a exciting and interesting way that audiences will love." The Intermediate Video Storytelling class offers further instruction on sound bites, procuring and conducting interviews, and script writing.


On his blog, Rosenblum reveals that he has applied for a Knight Foundation grant for an unusual video project.

He is proposing to give 1,000 Flip cameras to 1,000 people in Newark, NJ, teach them how to shoot and edit their own stories, and then "create a gigantic video wall in a public space where we will show those videos, 100 at a time, simultaneously, while editing the sound to move your attention from square to square."

(He is separately trying to launch a similar project with 100 Flip cams in Gaza.)

Both ideas, he says, constitute "an attempt to change the shape and architecture of journalism for the 21st century."

The video wall I wish to construct, is both journalism and it is art.

We have, in the past few decades, dessicated journalism. We have removed the art from it. It has, from time to time, tried to sneak back, in the form of great photography, for example. But we have failed to embrace the art side of journalism, much to our detriment.

[The video wall] is a kind of impressionism brought to video. Instead of getting one linear video story, we are going to deliver a pointillism of video, if you will, in which the viewer of the work will be bathed in the ’sense’ of what Newark is really like.
Rosenblum's Knight proposal can be found here, and makes for provocative reading.

What do you think of Rosenblum's video wall concept? Is it art? Is it journalism? Please share your thoughts.

1 comment:

Poeder said...

It is neihter. When you put Youtube full screen on various screens in a wall doesn't mean we see journalism or art.

I wonder what would happen to the video generation when we have a very long power cut.

We beter learn to draw pictures and to train pigeons to bring them around.
Eventually we will go back to that, we have to......