Brian girded me for the first review. Nearly a half-dozen staff from the Council on Foreign Relations(CFR), who are really-smart-people, came in to look at what I’d made. I’d built in mood, tension, suicide bombing, explosive music, rioting, ambivalence, war, and finished with hope; I’d followed the script they’d given me and produced a nine minute overview piece that rose and fell with the story. I paced it out to give it room to breath and to captivate the viewer.
It would be an overstatement to say I was crushed by the review. They really liked it. But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard. They wanted to cut some dramatic, painful moments I felt honored the fortitude and vision of the photojournalists who were there (and the people who died). But my creativity had to yield to the political implications. I was quickly learning the world of foreign policy, I thought, where a summary of history and current events may influence the decision makers shaping our policy. Something as simple as lingering on an image too long could be seen as a political statement, leading to ramifications I had yet to understand.
Sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s what I thought about New York in general while I was at MediaStorm. I met a lot of people, in a casual sense, who disseminate information and hold sway on a large scale. As a photojournalist I’ve been a part of this before–being there as events unfolded before me–but I hadn’t been in the room with editors and other decision makers, in a city that is an epicenter for news production.
In fact, this was the first time I was acting as a photo and video researcher, an editor, and a producer–and having this level of peer review. I had full access to all the wire services and boutique agencies; I was culling work from the best of the best, deciding which images would further the story, a story being deliberated upon by experts in their fields. Creatively it was empowering…but it did leave me itching to be in the field making those images.
I just finished watching the final version of the Overview for the Crisis Guide to Pakistan, for the Council on Foreign Relations. I wasn’t there for the final edit. The gifted Eric Maierson became co-producer after I left. I’m impressed. Not just by the overview, which I’m happy to see maintains a lot of my style, pacing, music and edits; I’m impressed by the entire interactive package. Especially when the CFR editor says he thinks it’s their strongest Crisis Guide to date.
This is a true multimedia, team-produced project. It is interactive, filled with graphics, and lives in the new player MediaStorm coded. While MediaStorm built it, the Council on Foreign Relations was scripting, interviewing, reviewing, researching. It was intensive and extremely well thought out. I’m proud to have been a part of the production.
Put aside 20-30 minutes to understand why Pakistan matters to our war effort in Afghanistan, to nuclear proliferation, and to interfacing with the Islamic world in general.
Watch it. Here:
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