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Brian Storm: 10 quick tips on editing multimedia

April 22, 2011

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This still photo from the above multimedia project, "Take Care," illustrates the power of stills and of detail, MediaStorm founder Brian Storm said.
Virginia Gandee’s brilliant red hair and dozen tattoos belie the reality of this 22-year-old’s life. Inside her family’s Staten Island trailer her caregiving goes far beyond the love she has for her daughter. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/training/take-care

For a guy who’s built a business off producing highly visual multimedia packages, Brian Storm also understands the power of the word.

The founder of the New York multimedia-production house, MediaStorm, proved to be one quotable “dude,” as he would say, during a class in multimedia editing April 20 for faculty at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Here are some of his pithy comments:

About the power of stills over video: “I love the frozen moment. It’s a much more contemplative moment.”

  • But on the other hand: “Video is here because body language is 80 percent of communication.”
  • Why he prefers brief text to voiceover: “You’re able to read it in your own voice in your own way and internalize it.”
  • “Edit in way that’s character driven. That’s what we all care about – other people.”
  • About re-photographing people’s old photos to illustrate the past: “People’s lives are on their fridge….When people look at pictures, they really start telling stories.”
  • “You need a tight, clean portrait of every character you interact with. You can say any narrative over that.”
  • “The difference between stills and video is the difference between hunting and fishing.” Still photographers move about, shooting to capture different moments. With video, you have to “set up the shot and are fishing.”
  • “Every interview we shoot, we shoot with two cameras – one wide and one tight. …We want the wide for body language…. [The tight is] powerful because we’re closer than we’re allowed to get in the real world.”
  • If approaching a group of unknown people to interview: “I like to ask, ‘Who’s the loud mouth here?’ That’s the guy I want to talk to. He’s gregarious. Then, his friends will warm up to you.”
  • “Audio is more important than video. You can have great visuals and bad sound, and people will turn it off in a second.”
  • Brian Storm, MediaStorm
    Brian Storm

    And on the ubiquity of cameras: “That doesn’t make someone a storyteller just because they have the tools. Here’s a pencil; does that make you Mark Twain?”

    MediaStorm has won many awards, including four Webby Awards, three Emmy awards and the first duPont Award for Web-based production. Here’s more from Storm, who did a live chat with BusinessJournalism.org audience members earlier this year.

    Storm received his master’s degree in photojournalism in 1995 from the University of Missouri.


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