Backpack Journalist Visits Old-Time Barber Shop

WASHINGTON, DC, 15 March 2012 — James Eppard produced this video during our Backpack Journalism Workshop in Washington, DC, on March 8-11, 2012. It’s a place where he, James, went for haircuts as a young man. In his recent visit, he found that not much has changed. You can see the story on YouTube. It’s called “A Close Cut.” (Photo by James Eppard)

The workshops are are intensive, four-day immersions in the craft of “backpack journalism” defined as character-driven television/web productions with hand-held digital cameras by a single practitioner. The workshops cover the gamut of the visual storytelling craft from the genesis and shaping of story ideas, to shooting powerful images that drive the story, to the capture and use of sound, to script writing, narration, and editing with Macintosh computers and Final Cut Pro. These workshops are appropriate for beginners with some experience as well as existing practitioners who desire to sharpen their skills or acquire new ones. We welcome photojournalists, print and video journalists, aspiring documentary filmmakers and independent storytellers.

I teach the full range of skills required for effective visual storytelling—from Controlling Idea and Dramatic Arc to pitching, shooting, producing, scriptwriting, narrating and editing the final product. I bring in an Internet marketing expert so participants can learn to market their work, using the latest and most effective social media tools.

The era of the backpack video journalist has arrived. It is revolutionizing the worldwide exchange of information and ideas — and changing the way we live. I bring over 30 years of field experience to teach how to produce powerful TV and web productions. Information is power, and I aim to help you harness that power to document and to change the world.

– Bill Gentile