New Uses and Opportunities for Video and Audio Producers

New uses of video on the web seem to occur daily and MediaStorm is a prime example of video's viral march into other art forms. MediaStorm, founded by Brian Storm formerly of Corbis and MSNBC, uses photojournalism, audio, and video to document social realities across the world in streaming multimedia pieces. Each story moves through a 10-20 minute montage of photographs, video clips and narration to describe a particular human experience.

The most noted of MediaStorm's project is "Iraqi Kurdistan" which uses a "flipbook-style" presentation of over 7,000 photographs by photojournalist Ed Kashi along a video timeline. By flipping through a myriad of still photographs the video editors achieved a striking sense of disjointed yet somehow fluid motion. Another piece documented by French photojournalist Olivier Jobard, "Kingsley's Crossing," describes one young man's harrowing journey from Cameroon to Europe to escape poverty. Another, entitled "BLOODLINE: AIDS and Family" includes emotionally charged photos by Kristen Ashburn and presents the terrible reality of AIDs in sub-Saharan Africa. One of the more recent videos, "Black Market," with narration and photos by Patrick Brown, seeks to uncover the massive scope and ignorance behind the illegal wildlife trade in Asia. Since these pieces are delivered as online video, the ability of photographers and photojournalists to present their work is vastly increased. The use of video and audio allows a richer presentation of each particular story than simply photographs, and since these pieces are delivered online, the reach is global.

This article points to new opportunities for video and audio producers. The point here, of MediaStorm's work, from an opportunity perspective is that photographers now become possible clients for video and audio producers. A web video which includes samples of a photographers work, an interview, and other video tidbits to enhance a particular story or series would be a fantastic calling card and/or promotional item for a photographer's website. Furthermore, the human interests stories can be sold to online news agencies. MediaStorm, in fact, held a private auction for the exclusive rights to "Iraqi Kurdistan" which ultimately went to for an undisclosed amount. Clearly, an online market exists for new and innovative human interest stories in short multi- media format. For a videographer looking to expand their work and income, a jaunt into this world could, and in MediaStorm's case apparently does, pay off big. For all the audio folks out there, just follow the video folks wherever they go, give them excellent sound and great music, and you should be just fine.