by Samantha Broun and Amanda Kowalski, guest contributors
"Falconry is my biggest passion in life. For many of us, our pursuit in the sport is a very spiritual place, and going out with your bird into good habitat and chasing wild animals with it is just very personal."
—Scott McNeff, falconer
One night at a dinner party, I (Amanda) had just met Scott when he casually mentioned that he had a hawk in his car and asked me if I wanted to come see it. I had never seen a bird of prey up close before and had no idea Scott was a licensed falconer. When he invited me to go out “hawking” with him, I had to go. And I had to bring my camera, of course.
I was immediately hooked. In addition to it being a visually stunning sport to watch, I realized there were a lot of great sounds as well: the bells used on the hawk’s legs, the whistles and sounds the falconers use when working with the bird, and Scott was such a great explainer of it all. That’s when I contacted Sam.
Despite the fact that falconry has been practiced worldwide for thousands of years, it is a relatively new sport in North America. Currently, there are just over 4,000 federally licensed falconers in the United States. When Amanda showed me some of her photos and asked if I wanted to tag along with her and Scott, I said yes.Comments
Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer
"The story will tell you how it wants to be told."
—Paul Grabowicz, Associate Dean of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Last month I attended a multimedia boot camp at the Knight Digital Media Center. This experience opened my eyes to the universe of multimedia storytelling possibilities — from cinematic videos to creative uses of found footage.
Recently our SOF crew gathered over lunch to look at some examples of video recommended by Grabowicz, including this one from NPR:
Some staff appreciated the film’s visual richness: the color toning, the varied angles, the mixture of image sequencing. Other staff members questioned its merits as a piece of news journalism: the sequence of images of locks (were they all ones he worked on?), not having a third party to verify his health condition, a questionable angle of a top-of-head shot. As a news consumer and a civic being, what did you notice?
We also discussed this harrowing time-lapse video of a man stuck in an elevator for 41 hours, which The New Yorker included as a companion to a longer print feature about the hidden lives of elevators.
Even though it’s an example of found footage, it didn’t just fall out of the sky. Producing multimedia journalism requires time, money, editorial, and staff resources. We’re challenged with juggling all of those balls as we continue to produce multimedia stories for our website and blog.
And, we plow forward. Stay tuned for a video we’ll be posting soon showcasing a panoply of voices from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly held in Minneapolis last week. Also, point us to multimedia narratives you like (or have produced yourself) and tell us how we can include your voices and stories in our process.Comments
Kate Moos, managing producer
Arresting. From the Mail & Guardian, this difficult and disturbing set of images accompanied by an interview with Leon Botha, an artist and Progeria survivor. He is 24 years old. A Friday afternoon video *pause* in a day that leaves me reflective.
(Thanks to Boing Boing for their post leading me to this slideshow.)Comments