WASHINGTON, DC, 6 June 2013 — This is a film conceived, shot, written, narrated and edited by Diego Silva, one of the participants in my recent Video Journalism Workshop for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
A story about a classical radio station and its employees in Guatemala City, the title means, “The Sound of the Time.” You can watch the piece HERE.
What a pleasure it was to work with these Guatemalan storytellers. It reminded me, once again, of the proper use of the tools that too many of us take for granted.
WASHINGTON, DC, 5 June 2013 — This is a film conceived, shot, written, narrated and edited by Eslly Melgarejo, one of the participants in my recent Video Journalism Workshop for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The story of a blind child’s refusal to accept defeat despite his handicap, the title means, “A Glow in the Darkness.” You can see the film HERE.
What a pleasure it was to work with these Guatemalan storytellers. It reminded me, once again, of the proper use of the tools that too many of us take for granted. Too often.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 29 May 2013 — Reporters, photographers and editors gather for my presentation on backpack video journalism. I was pleasantly surprised at the receptiveness at Prensa Libre, one of the largest circulation papers in the country. Many of the employees here seemed open to the idea of working the craft.
I’ve been in Guatemala conducting video journalism workshops for the Thomson Reuters Foundation and for Nancy McGirr’s Fotokids.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 27 May 2013 — Jessica, one of nine Fotokids participating in my video journalism workshop, watches films being made during the five-day event. As we transit from the “pre-production” stage into the “production” stage of the workshop, I’m deeply impressed by the tenacity of these young people. By their thirst for knowledge and their grace in pursuing it.
They seem to remember everything I’m teaching them. Concepts with which they probably have very little familiarity. The Controlling Idea. Dramatic Arc. Formal and Informal Interviews. The Six-Shot System. Interview techniques. Video portrait. They get it.
Founded in 1991 Nancy McGirr’s non-profit aims to break the cycle of poverty through training in visual arts and technology.
This is the second workshop I’m conducting here. The first was funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Fotokids. It included about a dozen professional journalists working here in Guatemala.
(Photos by Bill Gentile.)
Above, Fotokids watch their fruit of their labor.
Above, Nancy McGirr oversees the workshop.
Above, Fotokids working together.
Above, Gaby consults with Nancy.
Above, Nancy at her desk.
GUATEMALA CITY , Guatemala, 26 May 2013 — I meet on the first day of my five-day video journalism workshop with kids belonging to Nancy McGirr’s non-profit organization, Fotokids. Founded in 1991, Fotokids is designed to break the cycle of poverty through training in visual arts and technology.
( Photo by Nancy McGirr.)
ANTIGUA, Guatemala, 26 May 2013 — One of the sites I came across yesterday as Nancy McGirr and I toured Antigua, just an hour’s drive from Guatemala City, where I’m conducting two video journalism workshops. The first event was funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Nancy McGirr’s Fotokids. The second workshop begins today and is being conducted exclusively for Nancy’s Fotokids.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 24 May 2013 — My video journalism workshop in Guatemala City ended with a group dinner of the professional journalists who participated in the event. They all produced terrific pieces, some of which I’ll be posting here, on my Facebook page, and on my YouTube and Vimeo channels. The workshop was sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Nancy McGirr’s Fotokids.
What an honor to work with, and to help empower, these young journalists, and to pass onto them some of the knowledge and skills that I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire over the years.
I begin another workshop here on Sunday, this time with Nancy’s Fotokids.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 22 May 2013 — She drives around Guatemala City, moving from story to story in a purple, unidentifiable car that she calls “Bubble.” She humps a camera, an over-sized tripod and whatever else she needs, to pump out an average of three stories a day. She is camerawoman, sound woman, correspondent, producer, writer and editor.
On a hot afternoon and despite the fact that Bubble is not equipped with an air-conditioning unit, she asks me politely as we ride through this crime-ridden capital, “Would you roll up the window for a moment, please?” She has spotted a handful of motorcyclists in her rear-view mirror and is concerned they might be some of the armed thieves who cruise the streets here looking for prey.
She’s the only journalist at her station who claims to be what I call a “backpack journalist” or “backpack video journalist.” She is Eslly Melgarejo, who works at Guatevision. And she loves what she does.
(Photos by Bill Gentile.)
Above, the not-so-kind streets of Guatemala City.
Above, Eslly plows into her coverage of a sporting event for handicapped children. She has selected to portray one child, who is blind, for her project in my backpack video journalism workshop. The workshop is funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Nancy McGirr’s Fotokids.
Above, Eslly is accompanied by her Guatevision colleague Diego Silva.
Above, she shoots a sequence of the marching band.
Above, kids warm up for the competition.
Above, Eslly focuses in.
Above, Eslly shoots a sequence of her character, Miguel.
Above, runnin’ and gunnin’ — with heart and soul.
Above, a short break.
Above, Elssy, a local celebrity, hands out some of the prizes to kids who won competition.
Above, Eslly, Diego and Bubble head out to another story.
Here’s a review posted recently on Amazon.com by Ellen Clegg regarding my Essential Video Journalism Field Manual. Ellen is Executive Director of Communication at the Boston Globe.
“Bill Gentile, a renowned still photographer for UPI, Newsweek, and other outlets, is also a pioneer in video journalism. This field guide distills the lessons from his intense, hand-on workshops in Washington, D.C. The book covers the basics of his character-driven, intimate style of video journalism — it’s run and gun with heart and soul. Gentile covers everything from his six-shot system to ethics in the field to building a social media profile. His direct, energetic teaching style comes through, and he shares a few pertinent war stories along the way. He also provides numerous examples of scripts, treatments, and pitches, and introduces the reader to the basics of handling sound and narration. All in the interest of story, of course. In an era of too much content that skimps on storytelling, Gentile’s work, and his teaching, are refreshingly compelling.”
You can see this, and other reviews HERE.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 21 May 2013 — Here are some shots from the video journalism workshop today, the second of our five-day event. Today is the first day of Production. Students headed out this morning to begin constructing the visual foundations of their 3-5 minute documentaries.
Yesterday we covered the visual alphabet, the Six-Shot System, character and informal interviews. When the students returned from the field today, we critiqued their work, then dove into formal interviews, dramatic story arc and script, among many others.
The workshop is funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Nancy McGirr and her Fotokids.
Above and below, students review their own work.