Sunday July 27th, 2014

Learn to Build Powerful Videos at Workshop in Washington, DC

KIGALI, Rwanda, 26 July 2014 — Rwandans engaged in community work projects help build a school in this sprawling capital. These projects are one component of the Rwandan government’s efforts to build a sense of community and healing in a country that just two decades ago was the scene of one of the worst genocides in history.

I’m visiting Rwanda at the invitation of an interpreter with whom I worked in 1996 while shooting a story for ABC’s Nightline with Ted Koppel. I use stories like the one I shot for Nightline as teaching tools during my Video Workshops, in which students learn to build powerful videos.

My next event is scheduled for October 2-5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Registration now is open.

For more information, click HERE

Best regards,

Bill Gentile

Friday July 25th, 2014

“Symbolic” vs. “Literal” Images at Video Workshop

WASHINGTON, DC, 25 July 2014 – Sometimes the most literal images are the least explanatory. The least informative. I made this image while shooting a documentary about a yoga camp in Greece. I wanted to depict the grace and the magic of yoga, something that I believe this image, which is a reflection in a window at the yoga hall, accurately conveys.

The picture is not “literal.” Rather, it is symbolic.

This is just one example of the kinds of things we study at my Video Workshops, the next one scheduled for October 2-5, 2014, in Washington, DC. Registration now is open but seats are limited. For more information, see:


Thursday July 24th, 2014

Parting Shot From Bangkok Video Workshop

BANGKOK, Thailand – 20 June 2014 — This is the group of journalists with whom I had the great pleasure of conducting a Video Workshop in their vibrant, beautiful Thailand.

It was such an enormous pleasure to work with colleagues eager to learn about the craft, to join the international dialogue that we call “journalism,” and to make positive change.

At the end of the event, one of the participants told me that, during 25 years of practicing the craft, he was most proud of the story he produced during our four-day event. I was deeply gratified by this.

Thursday July 24th, 2014

“Through Their Eyes” to COMMFFEST Film Festival

WASHINGTON, DC, 23 July 2014 — My wife, Esther, and I are pleased to announce that our film, “Through Their Eyes,” has been accepted to compete in the 8th Annual COMMFFEST Global Community Film Festival. Our one-hour documentary follows six American University students in the AU Abroad program studying in Cuba in Fall 2011.


According to, the COMMFFEST Global Community Film Festival leverages “the power of great films and filmmaking to promote exciting dialogues about global social issues. As a unique platform for filmmakers of all ages and experience levels, COMMFFEST brings together medical professionals and government representatives with visionary filmmakers and engages them with local and global communities to motivate positive change. More than simply a film festival, COMMFFEST is a mechanism through which art and stories truly can make a difference.?Each year, COMMFFEST’s prestigious Making a Difference Awards (MADA) are bestowed upon those filmmakers who best demonstrate a capacity for positively altering the social status quo.”


Monday July 14th, 2014

“How to Make Powerful Videos” Workshop October 2-5, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, 14 July 2014 — Registration now is open for Bill Gentile’s Video Workshop in Washington, DC, on 2-5 October 2014.

Learn how to make powerful, character-driven videos for professional, personal and home use, and get a FREE copy of Bill Gentile’s Essential Video Journalism Field Manual.

For more information please click HERE.

Wednesday July 9th, 2014

Registration Opens for DC Video Workshop 2-5 October 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, 9 July 2014 — Registration now is open for Bill Gentile’s Video Workshop in Washington, DC, on 2-5 October 2014.

Learn how to make compelling videos for professional, personal and home use, and get a FREE copy of Bill Gentile’s Essential Video Journalism Field Manual.

For more information please click HERE.

Seats are limited and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.




Tuesday July 8th, 2014

Kansas Video Workshop Covers “The Works”

OLATHE NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL, Kansas, 8 July 2014 — Two of my students from Olathe Northwest High School work on their documentary at a local music store. I’m spending the week here with more than a dozen high school students, a number of whom are freshmen with little or no previous training. What they do have, however, is a powerful desire to learn the craft. So we’re covering it all, from composition to controlling idea to shooting and interviewing, to character and dramatic arc. In other words: The Works.
(Photo by Bill Gentile)

Saturday July 5th, 2014

Video Storytelling and How It Defines Us

FT. MEADE, Md, 2 July 2014 — Marine Corps Sgt. Brandon Owen addresses graduates of his Video Production and Documentation course at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Ft. Meade, Md. It was Sgt. Owen who invited me to deliver the commencement address at the ceremony.

For about 10 minutes I spoke about how the practice of our craft defines who we are, which applies to both military and civilian journalists. Here is part of what I said:

“Never, ever, ever, give up on the pursuit of truth. Unlike accolades from friends and colleagues, unlike fame and fortune, the truth will never let you down. Even though that truth may be hard, cold and ugly, having told it, will comfort you.

You can hear the address HERE.

Also pictured are graduates and attendees at the ceremony at Ft. Meade. Also pictured is the Certificate of Achievement presented to me at the event.

I am deeply humbled by, and proud of, the fact that I was able to address these new visual communicators at DINFOS, which prepares journalists working for our U.S. Armed Forces. And I thank them for the opportunity.

(Photos by Bill Gentile)

Sunday June 29th, 2014

Video Workshop to Olathe Northwest High in Kansas

WASHINGTON, DC, 29 June 2014 — I head out a week from today to conduct a five-day workshop at the Olathe Northwest High School in Kansas. I’m looking forward to meeting the new generation of visual communicators.

I’m amazed at how young the incoming practitioners of our craft are today. An increasing number of high schools around the country are teaching visual communication, so by the time students arrive at university, they already have the foundation of the craft.

I’ll be posting about the experience here, on this blog, as well as on my Video Workshop Facebook page. Click HERE to see it.



Sunday June 1st, 2014

Georgian Journalists Use Cell Phones for Videos That Rock


TBILISI, Georgia, 30 May 2014 – A reporter for Media House Palitra uses a cell phone to video a demonstration by members an NGO devoted to the protection of human rights. The protestors alleged that employees of Georgia’s Interior Ministry routinely conduct secret surveillance on perceived political opponents, activists and common Georgian citizens. The Interior Ministry, and some of its uniformed employees, are seen in the background.

This young reporter uses his cell phone to video the event. Minutes later, he called the story in to his desk at the Media House Palitra headquarters, before heading back to the office where he wrote narration and oversaw the editing of his video story for the Internet.

I was surprised to see journalists using cell phones as primary reporting tools – something that many US media organizations have yet to figure out. As this young reporter and some of his colleagues pointed out, they don’t need to carry around big, heavy, intrusive, expensive camera gear to do their job. Nor do they have the means to purchase that kind of gear.

Having said that, I spent quite a bit of my two-week visit to Georgia instructing on how to make visual stories more powerful. Georgians take great pride in the fact that their alphabet is one of only 14 alphabets on the planet. But I introduced them to a 15th alphabet – the visual alphabet – and demonstrated how to speak the visual language more effectively. I covered the alphabet, the Clip-to-Story progression and the Six-Shot System. We screened a number of the videos that I routinely use during my Backpack Journalism Workshops.

I spent my last two days in Georgia at the Media House Palitra, a family owned business that includes hard copy and web newspapers, magazines and books, television and radio. It was really exciting to see this journalistic endeavor succeed.

I was in Georgia at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi to give a series of workshops, presentations and discussions with professional journalists, journalism students and the general public interested in raising their voices with powerful visual storytelling. The idea is that a free press and free exchange of information are essential components of any free, democratic society.

It’s a tense time in Georgia, which borders Russia to the north. With violence rising in nearby Ukraine, many Georgians are deeply concerned about their country’s stability. And many of them recognize and understand the need for the free exchange of unbiased information. And that’s exactly what these new tools and the Internet allow all of us to do: To participate in the international dialogue that we call journalism. To raise our voices. To make videos that rock.

And by the way, I used my own iPhone 5S to make these pictures.

(Photos by Bill Gentile)