Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Here’s a piece of crap for ya

March 10, 2008

Remember how I was writing about something new: Covering a news thingie by webcam? Well, we tried it again, and honestly, it sucked. It was atrocious, embarrassing and even though it appeared on the website for about three minutes, I made sure it was removed.

What it was about? Prince Harry returned from Afghanistan. His plane landed on British soil, and I talked about the ‘historical moment’, looking into the webcam of my MacBook, with the tv in the background, capturing the breaking news event.

Pathetic. That’s the word. Never to be aired, never to be shown. Except on this website, as an example how quality must always be the number one priority, as far as I’m concerned. Click on the pic to see for yourself, then forget about it, and please, don’t tell anyone.


Breaking News from London Headquarters

February 22, 2008

We tried something new. Breaking News via the webcam. And it has to be said, I was quicker online than on the radio.

See for yourself and let me know whether this is a commendable attempt to be really quick, to the point and begs for more, or totally stupid and should be banned.

Breaking News via the webcam

Click on the pic for the story and the webcam-video

Show me that bag, Mister Maniac

February 18, 2008

May I introduce… The complete NOS London Bureau.

On my back. Your tax euros at work…

Patience my son, patience

January 15, 2008

Working hard to understand the iMac. Working hard to understand Final Cut Express. Working hard with the next generation, who is also working hard. Enjoy yourself for now while I am being tutored patiently by a ten year old.

Multimedia math: E = mc2

December 2, 2007

The formula finally dawned on me. The essential dilemma: How do you maximize as a multimedia journalist, and how do you maintain strict loyalty to every single medium?

My recent two day trip to Wales made it clear. Finally.

Two days with the sheep

Click on the picture for the complete production.

And here’s the formula, which might sound familiar: E = mc2

E = the whole package

m = video and still images

c = audio and voice track

2 = mixing it up for all three media


Story line: Sheep farmers in Wales are suffering big time.

The loot:

(click on the links to watch, listen and read)

Television gets a story (2 minutes) in which I follow a sheep farmer in the hills and visit the Winter Fair.

Radio gets a story (4 minutes) from elsewhere in Wales with a different farmer, who happens to be Dutch.

Internet gets a separate photo slide (44 pictures, 2 minutes), consisting of one frame shots that I distill from my video footage. I also use audio as background and tape a voice track.

There is also an online article (500 words), about the Dutch farmer and his daily struggle as an illustration for the wider problems in Wales. Includes a picture portrait taken with a digital photo camera.

All four pieces are unique and authentic in their own right, and also supplement each other. They are gathered on the same page. On radio and television the presenter refers to more background on the NOS site. That’s the crossmedia aspect to it.

I guess that’s it. No brain surgery, really. After all, the formula also stipulates that it’s all relative.

Smelling a good story

November 25, 2007

You sometimes only smell a good story once you hit upon it. In this case, six months ago and I still smell it. Literally. Traveling in Scotland on election eve I stopped in Arbroath, to shoot at Brian Swankie’s smoking shop.

Half a year later, my camera bag still reeks of those (delicious) Arbroath Smokies. Just can’t get that smell out of the way. Or maybe I imagine it.

Weird early Monday morning it was. Had to change into other clothes to do a piece to camera on the street, and felt the peeking eyes of the locals behind their curtains in the harbor.

And the accidental (‘why not, I’m here anyway’) shots I took of a fishing boat going out to sea ended up as a symbolic image of Scotland setting out its own course.

All smelling aside, this trip was a good example of how you can operate on a multimedia platform. Spreading out over three days (excluding travel time) I ended up doing 1 tv feature, three radio pieces and two internet productions.

Most importantly, all were stories in their own right with authentic audio and pictures. You may check some of it out on this page on the NOS website.

Bending the truth

November 17, 2007

Television means creating a new reality. Those words left me dumbfounded when I first heard them coming from the respected teacher who was going to teach me the basic principles of making television. What he meant: Bending the visual truth is allowed when it strengthens the (f)actual story.

The BBC got slammed for exactly that this week, and it was not the first time. As described in The Guardian: In a story about quintuplets the editor or reporter added the sound of crying babies, so was suggested.

Wrong! Unethical! Untrustworthy! Give us back that license fee!

Is that so, I wonder. Techniques make it possible to make the story more captivating. And babies cry, don’t they? Just not when the camera is on.

Check the following piece I filmed on an overnight trip to East Anglia. In it I bend the truth in one particular shot. See if you notice. First line of (Dutch) text: The United Kingdom is no longer the empire where the sun never sets…

In the comments below my journalistic lie is exposed. (My conscience is clear, by the way, so sue me!) Let me know if you noticed and, more importantly, whether you cared.

Sharing on YouTube

November 5, 2007

I am still more or less a virgin at YouTube. Okay, I have uploaded two clips so I could put them on this blog (there’s probably another, easier way but I have no idea). But for now the semantics remain vague. Although, I got this email the other day that shed a ray of light.

It was from a woman who had seen my tv story on film maker Anton Corbijn (director of Control) on YouTube. She had watched it on the Dutch News months ago, and didn’t understand at the time why NOS Journaal had aired this particular piece. (Neither did I, it was just a slow news period.)

But she had changed her mind after watching it again on YouTube. Somebody had taken the trouble to add English subtitles. Several people had rated and commented on the piece, and more importantly started this dialogue on Corbijn and his work.

In other words, my little video had come to life on another platform. There were credits at the beginning and at the end, so what was there to complain? Nothing. Actually, it was a bit flattering, I guess. Somebody decided to share my little something in the extended public domain that YouTube has become.

So, does YouTube give our journalistic work renewed depth? Or is it just a cheap rip-off? Let me know.

I’m cool with it, that’s for sure. It saved me some time uploading, so you can watch it here. Thank you, whoever did this.

In and out, or out and in?

November 4, 2007

Last time I checked (this morning), the wigs were still there. So my story eighteen months ago was either a tad premature or evidence of brilliant journalistic prophecy. Wigs were gonna disappear from civil courts (but stay in criminal courts, or was it the other way around. It’s so long ago).

Anyway, it was (and still is) great television. British tradition, silly looking barristers and a pretty tricky piece to camera. It was one of my first forays in taping my own ‘stand-uppers’. Wanted to do something out of the ordinary (Off their heads with them ordinaries!). It worked, I guess, after lots of puzzling, calls to colleagues and catching up with shifting shadows…

See for yourself.

The Slide Show

October 31, 2007

The call came early in the morning. Can you go to Tate Modern and go down the slide? Sure, never too old for that. So there I went, backpacking on the train, the tube and then a ten minute walk down to the Thames. Tate Modern had just opened a new exhibit, Test Site by Carsten H”oller.

Deadlines were looming. Radio wanted a piece, television needed a short package. I have experienced that time pressure can be the best way to get things right, right away. No time to think, no room for trying things out. First take has to be on the spot.

And that’s what happened. Within two hours I had taped the ‘slide show’ and also recorded it for radio. Went down three times (it’s a dirty job, I know, and I am that someone). Edited my radio stuff in the coffee shop and sent it thanks to mobile internet ten minutes before air time.

Colleagues who saw me that evening making a fool of myself, didn’t think this kind of participatory journalism would be helpful for my image as a serious foreign correspondent. Ha ha. To hell with them.