Here's a new opportunity for videojournalists to critique each other's work. Spokesman-Review multimedia guru Colin Mulvany has launched a Website that enables his colleagues throughout the industry to get feedback on their projects from "expert visual storytellers."
It's called Finding the Frame, and Mulvany envisions it will become "a gathering spot where multimedia journalists can receive feedback on their videos, audio slideshows and multimedia projects from industry professionals and fellow visual journalists."
The plan is to have onboard as many “expert” volunteers as possible that have solid foundations in video storytelling, audio slide shows or Flash projects. This pool of reviewers will peruse the submitted links of multimedia in the “Story Pool”. If they decide to comment on a story, it will then become public on the Finding the Frame home page where anyone else is free to give added feedback.So far about a dozen videos have been uploaded for review, and topnotch practitioners are volunteering their services, including many whose own work has been showcased on KobreGuide.com. Among the accomplished panelists: Chuck Fadely (Miami Herald), Peter Huoppi (TheDay.com), Eric Seals (Detroit Free Press), Will Yurman (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle), and KobreGuide's very own senior editor, Kathy Strauss.
So why do this?
While most publications have driven head first into the online world, multimedia storytelling is still in its infancy at many newspapers. Unfortunately, not all people tasked with producing multimedia received adequate training or had the financial ability to attend a multimedia storytelling workshop. Many multimedia producers are self-taught, having picked up bit and pieces of knowledge along the way. Many photojournalists are struggling with how to tell an effective video or audio slideshow story that is different from the traditional still picture story.
Our hope is that Finding the Frame will begin to address the need for feedback and in turn, help multimedia producers improve their storytelling. Just read some of the comments by reviewers so far--you’ll be impressed. The professionals that have signed on as reviewers are the some of the top in the industry. If they critique your story, please thank them for giving up some of their precious time to help out a fellow visual journalist.
What we need is for enough producers, multimedia editors and photojournalists who have a solid experience with multimedia storytelling to step forward and share some of their knowledge with those that are looking for constructive, honest feedback.
If you want to improve by learning from the best, or feel qualified to help others learn from your insights and experiences, Finding the Frame should be your next stop. Says Mulvany: "We hope over time that this will become the place where great conversations about multimedia storytelling will take place."