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Video communication without intermediaries

Since I am savaged still by the handicap of feeling perennially crook, I am taking the opportunity to watch online video with as much abandon as sharing a download limit with a teenager will allow. I'm also utilising Miro to access movies I haven't seen in yonks.

(Psst: Torrents is the way...to go)

And in this state of existence I've come across two video streams that are media gems.
  • Shadow World by David S. Kessler is a collection of documentary vignettes no more than 4 minutes long which celebrates the everyday of every one of us. And these short segments taken from people's lives and outlook are achingly beautiful. Kessler describes the project this way:
    The process is fairly straightforward. I walk the streets under the El tracks, cameimg_15617_coverstill_1.jpgra and tripod in hand, mostly concentrating on the play and power that the El structure has on the buildings and streets below. I stop at points where I feel that its impact is the strongest, allowing the trains and the tracks to be the one reoccurring character that forces itself into each moment. The people I talk to are all strangers. I try to let them steer the conversation. There isn’t much (if any) prying to get them to tell me their stories. The intent is to appreciate that moment of interaction - whether something is revealed to me, a stranger, or not.
    The moments I capture are boiled down to three to four minute episodes. The straight cuts and removal ofimg_15617_coverstill_3.jpg my own presence, all manufactured to create as close to a real-time depiction of that moment as possible, aiming to put the audience in my shoes as much as I can – challenging the audience to leave judgment behind and connect with these strangers as I have tried to, to appreciate the beauty and poetry in the shadows of everyday life.
  • Albatv: is as far as I can make out a Latin American TV service distributed online as part of a broader news feed.Based in Venezuela it is part of the new push to democratize media in that country now in the throws of building 21st Century Socialism. As the AlbaTV web site informs us (and here we rely on Google for a translation):
    Alba TV plans to construct a different communication model, antagonistic to the dominant model of social communication, a task that can not be delegated but must be undertaken directly by the workers, peasants, indigenous people, the oppressed, because in this model of communication there can be no intermediaries.
    Such a mission may seem right on the money or the mark (or marx) but what struck me as I watched the short , punchy videos produced by Alba is that this is indeed "a different communication model." I've covered protests and campaigns with microphone and recording device; and I've begun to explore video as a communication medium -- so I've spent some real time in the context on which Alba works -- but Alba has created a form of video reportage that warrants study and emulation.
    The clips may seem rough cuts devoid of decoration and seeming carelessly edited. But when you watch one than another you begin to realize that it is video without pretense focused on communication without intermediaries. So, if you watch Alba -- as I urge you to, despite what may be your lack of Spanish -- the camera is in among the protests; the camera is talking with the people who struggle; the camera is not distant at all nor mediating the exchange through the manipulations of journalese. It has merged with the mass -- so to speak -- as a player in the struggle being represented. No intermediaries. If only this were the rule of law on YouTube! Or the way we lefty videographers always shoot our demoes and protests.
    So I'm saying that if you are wanting a crash course in making a campaign video -- AlbaTv is your Video Making 101.

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