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February 1st, 2013

Sinclair, Dimmock Win World Press Multimedia Contest

Too-Young-to-Wed

A still from “Too Young to Wed,” by Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock, both of VII Photo.

Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock won first place in the Online Feature category of the 2013 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest for “Too Young to Wed.” The documentary multimedia project was produced for the Web and featured Sinclair’s images with motion work by Dimmock. It explores the cultural practice of allowing older men to marry girls under the age of 18 in countries like Ethiopia, Yemen and Afghanistan.

The World Press Photo organization announced its multimedia awards in three categories today in Amsterdam. All first-place winners for the 2013 Multimedia Contest will receive a cash award of 1,500 euros. Second and third place winners will receive a Golden Eye Award and a diploma.

The Too Young to Wed website is a partnership between the United Nations Population Fund and VII Photo. Other winners in the Online Feature category were Liz O. Baylen of the Los Angeles Times for “Dying for Relief: Bitter Pills,” which focuses on overcoming addiction to prescription pills; and Yang Enze of Southern Metropolis Daily for “Dreams on Freewheels” about seven members of China’s Disabled Track Cycling Team, who competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

World Press Photo awarded Pep Bonet of Noor Images first place in the Online Short category for “Into the Shadows.” The online film focuses on the struggles of immigrants living in Johannesburg. Second place in this category went to Arkasha Stevenson of the Los Angeles Times for “Living with a Secret,” which explores gender identity in children. Jérôme Sessini of Magnum Photos won third place for his online short “Aleppo Battleground” about members of the Free Syria Army.

The third category of the World Press Photo Multimedia Contest was Interactive Documentary, which recognizes interactive online projects that feature a “combination of photography and/or film, with animation, graphics, illustrations, sound or text.” First place was awarded to Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère for “Alma, a Tale of Violence” about gang violence in Guatemala. Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison won second place for “Bear 71” about a female grizzly bear; and Claire O’Neill, photo editor at National Public Radio (NPR) won third place for “Lost and Found: Discover a Black-and-White Era in Full Color” about a photo historian who found a collection of photos taken in the 1930s in the trash. An honorable mention in this category went to Jake Price for “UnknownSpring,” which chronicles a Japanese community recovering from the tsunami.

The jury members for this year’s World Press Photo Multimedia Contest were Keith W. Jenkins of NPR, photojournalists Samuel Bollendorff and Susan Meiselas, Kang Kyung-ran of Frontline News Service, writer and poet Patrick Mudekereza, Bjarke Myrthu of Storyplanet.com, Caspar Sonnen of IDFA DocLab and Alan Stoga of Zemi Communications.

This is the third year that World Press Photo, a non-profit which supports visual journalism through educational programs, grants and awards, has honored multimedia storytelling. Michiel Munneke, managing director of World Press Photo, noted that “with the multimedia competition we are trying to do justice to what we see happening in the field. Our ambition is to inspire photographers to move forward and explore new territories.”

To see a complete list of winners and to view the winning projects, visit www.worldpressphoto.org.

Related Articles:

Samuel Aranda Wins 2012 World Press Photo of the Year

World Press Photo Multimedia Winners Announced

October 30th, 2012

PPE 2012: Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur on Cross-Platform Storytelling

For the PhotoPlus seminar “How to Evolve Projects Across Media Platforms,” partners and spouses Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur took the audience through some of the multimedia projects they’ve worked on together. Kashi, a photojournalist with VII, and Winokur, a writer and filmmaker, first collaborated on magazine articles. But as they noted numerous times throughout the discussion, it’s important to think about all of the different outlets where you can show your work, and focusing just on print is not sustainable because commissions from magazines are dwindling. They added that being a single skillset photographer is an idea that is starting to fade away.

Winokur began the seminar by taking us through “Bring It To The Table,” her current project. This personal documentary video follows Winokur around the country as she asks people to literally “sit at her table” to discuss politics. She started the project by raising $30,000 on Kickstarter, which Winokur said helped build an audience of about 280 people who are now invested in its success. She has since recorded a number of conversations between herself and different people on the political spectrum. She is now at the point where she’s trying to find distribution for the Web-based series. Social media has played a crucial role in getting the word out: Winokur has been posting short clips of footage on Facebook and Twitter in order to draw people back to the site bringit2thetable.org. Her strategy is to repurpose the material and post it where people are already interacting with content. The challenges remaining are figuring how to get people to see the series and how to monetize it. Winokur noted that “Bring It To The Table” has received a lot of “earned media” with many publications writing about the project itself, but no media outlets have been willing to show the final Web series in its entirety.

So how did Winokur evolve from a print journalist to a filmmaker? We discovered the answer when she and Kashi took us through their first multimedia project, “Aging in America.” The series, which they began around 17 years ago, was initially conceived as a book and exhibition. They financed the first four years of the project themselves, and later got assignments and commissions for the work; they also licensed some of the images and received grants. About halfway through the seven-year project, they met Brian Storm, who was then working at MSNBC. He offered to do a multimedia piece about the series, which consisted of stills and audio. This sparked the idea of recording Winokur’s interviews with their subjects on video. This resulted in over 100 hours of footage, which also included some b-roll. They turned all of the material into a one-hour documentary, which aired on PBS and is still used at universities across the country as a teaching tool in programs like nursing, medicine and psychology.

The Sandwich Generation,” which focused on Winokur’s father, who was suffering from dementia, was a natural next step for the duo. They partnered with Storm again, who by this time had formed MediaStorm. It would be the first time that Kashi and Winokur turned the camera on themselves as they documented caring for the elderly man. It was also the first time Kashi would shoot still and moving imagery with a cross-platform project in mind. The final result was a multimedia work consisting of still photos, video and audio.

Other projects discussed during the seminar were “Curse of the Black Gold,” a stills and audio project about oil in the Niger Delta; “India’s Fast Lane to the Future,” a stills, video and audio project done as a five-part series while on assignment for National Geographic; “The Leaves Keep Falling,” a project about the effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam that consists of stills, video and audio, and was done on commission for an NGO; and “Three” and “Photojournalisms,” which are multimedia extensions for two books that Kashi published.

Some of the tips given by Kashi and Winokur about multimedia work were:

• Always think about the end goal when shooting stills and moving imagery for multimedia work. They recommend being aware of the narrative you’re trying to tell when capturing both.
• As print resources continue to shrink, consider partnering with NGOs and other organizations as a way to disseminate work you are passionate about.
• Consider how publications want to extend printed articles via their websites and tablet editions when pitching ideas.
• Conduct your audio interviews first in order to get to know your subjects and establish the narrative that the multimedia component will follow. It’s also the fastest way to get educated about the topic.
• Don’t try to shoot all of the video and still imagery yourself. Kashi noted, for example, that on the National Geographic assignment he focused on the still images while his fixer recorded the video footage.

Related Article:

Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur on the Work-Home Balance

October 8th, 2012

Call for Applications: €20,000 Tim Hetherington Grant

World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch have announced the call for applications for the second annual Tim Hetherington Grant, named for the photojournalist who was killed by a rocket attack in Libya in April, 2011. The €20,000 ($26,000) grant supports photographers who are working to complete a human rights-themed photographic project.

The grant not only bears Hetherington’s name, it also utilizes as its criteria the ideas and characteristics that defined the late photographer’s work: “Work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.”

The inaugural Tim Hetherington Grant was awarded to Stephen Ferry for his project “’Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict,” which focuses on the history and current dynamics of the war in Colombia, while exposing the role of the distinct parties in the conflict.

The selection committee for the 2012 grant includes:

Marcus Bleasdale, documentary photographer VII Photo Agency; Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations Human Rights Watch; James Brabazon, journalist and documentary filmmaker; Whitney C. Johnson, director of photography The New Yorker; and Michiel Munneke, managing director World Press Photo. Adriaan Monshouwer, the founder of Picture Inside, will serve as the selection committee secretary.

The deadline for applications is November 15. The recipient will be announced in early December.

For more information and to apply visit: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/2012-tim-hetherington-grant

September 27th, 2012

Video Pick: A Partnership to Fight the Stigma of Incarceration

During a panel discussion at ASMP’s “Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists” symposium, Stephen Mayes, managing director of the VII Photo Agency warned photographers not to think of themselves strictly as service providers. He suggested looking not for clients, but for “partnerships.” He said VII has successfully formed several such partnerships, in which the entity paying for the photos isn’t necessarily the same company that’s using the photos. One such partnership is the VII Photo Agency’s recent work creating videos and photo essays for Think Outside the Cell, a non-profit organization that works with the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and their families to help end the stigma of incarceration

The campaign was funded by the Ford Foundation, and VII acted as Think Outside the Cell’s “exclusive visual communications partner,” according to the press release from VII. The photographs and video that VII photographers created for the Think Outside the Cell web site show the ordinary lives of people who were formerly incarcerated in order to raise awareness about the stigma and challenges they face upon release from prison— problems that go far beyond discrimination when applying for jobs. The stories the photographers tell also explore “the local, state and federal laws that prevent formerly incarcerated persons from accessing the resources necessary to establish a stable and productive life.”

The first of the videos, ten minutes long, debuted on the Think Outside the Cell web site this week. It’s a collaboration between Ed Kashi, Jessica Dimmock, Ashley Gilbertson and Ron Haviv; the videos are edited by Francisco Fagan.

Here’s a short trailer:

The Prison Photography blog has begun a five-part series on the Think Outside the Cell campaign, and will be running weekly interviews with each of the photographers. Part One of the series was posted this week. In it, writer Pete Brook talks to Sheila Rule and Joseph Robinson, co-founders of Think Outside The Cell, and one of the subjects featured in the video. They explain how the organization is addressing the problems of the formerly incarcerated, how the campaign was planned, and why the partnership with VII was, in Rule’s words, “a natural fit.” Says Rule, “We are both driven by storytelling. Stories change hearts and minds.”

September 14th, 2012

PDN Video Pick: Chasing The Light (With the New Nikon D600)

Wildlife photographer Florian Schulz, who we profiled in the August 2012 issue of PDN, was asked by Nikon to put the recently released D600 through its paces. Schulz was the first photographer to test the camera in the field. He and his brother, filmmaker Salomon Schulz, produced this short film, titled “Chasing the Light.”

NIKON – CHASING THE LIGHT from Florian Schulz on Vimeo.

Related: Photokina 2012: Nikon Debuts Smaller, 24.3MP Full-Frame D600 DSLR for Photo Enthusiasts

August 1st, 2012

Auto de Fe Offers $5,000 in Prizes for Inquisitive Photography

Auto de Fe, the iPad app-based journal of long-form photojournalism, has announced the Inquisitive Photography Prize fund, offering four prizes, totaling $5000, to photographers submitting proposals to the magazine. The winners will be announced in the summer of 2013, according to Jack Laurenson, Executive Editor of Auto de Fe.

To be considered for one of the prizes, photographers must submit a proposal for a story or project. If accepted for publication in Auto de Fe, the project is automatically shortlisted for the Inquisitive Photography Prize (IPP). Two finalists will be chosen from each issue until there are 16 finalists. The editors will then choose the winners of a Gold Prize of $3,000; a Silver prize of $1250; and a Bronze Prize of $750.

The submissions page of the magazine’s web site says that the magazine seeks images with text, and supports multiplatform reporting on “neglected, misrepresented or under-reported issue[s].” The two photographers selected as finalists for the IPP from Auto de Fe‘s first issue are Lisa Wiltse, for her work on the Charcoal Kids of
Ulingan and Carole Alfarah, who photographed inside Syria.

Auto de Fe announced the prize yesterday, the day before it released its second issue, available for $.99 on the Apple iTunes store.

Laurenson explains that the IPP fund is one of the ways Auto de Fe pays contributors. “The first is we give them a 50 percent slice of any revenue we generate from sales.” Auto de Fe also plans to begin hosting online print sales “in the very near future,” he says, and will split sales with photographers.

More information on the IPP can be found on the Auto de Fe web site.
For information on submissions, visit autodefemag.com/submissions-2/

June 25th, 2012

Pulitzer Center Publishes First iBook with Photographer Greg Constantine

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that provides key support to photographers and writers working on long-term investigative journalism projects, made its first foray into digital book publishing late last week with the release of “In Search of Home,” an iBook about statelessness, featuring the photography of Greg Constantine and essays by Stephanie Hanes.

The interactive, 49-page book, grew out Hanes and Constantine’s long-term reporting project on “stateless” people, who are denied the basic rights of citizenship in the countries in which they live, often for religious and ethnic reasons. The iBook focuses on three populations who have no nationality: the Rohingya from Burma, the Nubians of Kenya, and people of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic. It features four slideshows of Constantine’s images, an audio slideshow that provides an overview on the problems faced by people who live in legal limbo without national identity, as well as other features, like an interactive map and timeline.

“In Search of Home” is the first in a series of iBooks that will be produced by the Pulitzer Center. The project, according to a post by Jon Sawyer, director of the Pulitzer Center,  on the organization’s blog, “is part of a broader Pulitzer Center initiative, seeking out new platforms and partners to extend the work of journalists we support and to make use of the extraordinary presentation of multimedia material now possible on tablets and other mobile devices.”

Proceeds from “In Search of Home,” which is being sold for $4.99 in the iTunes store and can be viewed using the iBook 2 app for iPad and iPhone, will go to Constantine and Hanes, minus the 30 percent Apple charges to carry the book on iTunes.

“We hope to make these books the capstone for the best of our projects, giving readers an immersive, narratively rich way of engaging the issues they cover,” Sawyer said. “We believe these presentations will appeal to all audiences, and especially to the university and secondary-school students that have become a major focus of the Pulitzer Center’s work.”

Related: Q&A: Getting Funding from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Picturing Non-Profit Journalism
Picture Story: An Emmy-Winning AIDS Documentary in Poetry and Pictures
Field Studies: Exploring the Complexities of War-Torn Congo

June 12th, 2012

MediaStorm Now Charging to View Its Stories

Multimedia production company MediaStorm says it will start charging viewers $1.99 for access to each of its stories under a new system it calls Pay Per Story. “We have decided it is time to try a new model that transfers a minimal cost to the viewer,” company founder and executive producer Brian Storm said in a prepared announcement. “We believe that our industry is in need of a sustainable business model that will allow us to continue to report and produce compelling stories.”

Until now, MediaStorm has produced and distributed stories for free, relying on revenue from workshops and corporate clients to sustain the company. But Storm said in his announcement, “[T]he reality is, no company or industry can sustain itself for long without producing a product for which people are willing to pay.” He told PDN that production costs for MediaStorm stories vary, but can be as high as $100,000 for the largest stories.

MediaStorm is initiating Pay Per Story with the launch of two new stories about old-age dementia: “A Shadow Remains” by Philip Toledano, and “Rite of Passage” by Maggie Steber. Both stories are about the decline of the photographers’ parents, and their struggles with the responsibility of being their parents’ caregivers.

“We’ve earned the right to do this,” Storm told PDN of his decision to charge viewers. “We’ve put a lot of [stories] out there for a long time, and built a great audience.”

Most of the more than 30 stories the company has produced since 2005 have had a million or more views, Storm says. Many are issue-driven stories, which draw large audiences outside the photo industry, he says. The stories are also what he calls “non-perishable” so views accumulate over several years. “We’ll make our money back over a long period of time” under the Pay Per Story system, he says.

The big question is whether viewers will be willing to pay for the company’s long-form stories, which cover serious topics and have run times of 12 to 20 minutes. In other words, the stories aren’t light entertainment, and require time commitment on the part of viewers.

Storm is confident viewers will pay in significant numbers, however. Asked what pay-per-view content models he was taking cues from, Storm said, “iTunes–30 billion apps downloaded.” He also says MediaStorm “could have easily” charged more than $1.99, “but that would have resulted in less sales and we wanted a price point that was low enough where people wouldn’t think twice about the cost.”

At the same time, though, he said he doesn’t expect the $1.99 fee to fully cover the costs of production. “That would be amazing if it did,” he said. For that to happen, the most expensive stories would have to attract 100,000 viewers–or up to 10 percent of the current non-paying audiences–who are willing to pay (MediaStorm is splitting the download revenues 50-50 with the photographers who provide the story content).

Storm told PDN that MediaStorm has not made projections about viewership under the Pay Per Story model, however. Asked whether MediaStorm might stop producing stories if it turns out that not enough viewers are willing to pay, Storm said, “No, we will continue to do what we do no matter what happens as this is only one of the various ways that we generate revenue.”

MediaStorm has made a deal to embed its proprietary Pay Per Story player on MSNBC’s web site. It claims 50 million unique visitors per month. They will be able to watch trailers for the MediaStorm stories for free. Storm is optimistic that exposure will contribute significantly to MediaStorm’s paying audience.

Storm said in the Pay Per Story announcement that MediaStorm plans to license its Pay Per Story player to other companies in the future “so they can also leverage the business model and functionality that we have developed.”

Related Articles:
PDN Photo of the Day: A Shadow Remains

Picture Story: Untangling the Afghanistan Tragedy

June 8th, 2012

Everynone’s “Symmetry” Takes Top Prize at Vimeo Video Awards

Wil Hoffman (l.) and Julius Metoyer of Everynone accept the Grand Prize at last night's Vimeo Awards.

“Symmetry,” a visual tour de force of split screen juxtaposition, took the Grand Prize at last night’s Vimeo Video Awards in New York City. The short video was created by the directing collective Everynone, which includes Daniel Mercadante, Will Hoffman, and Julius Metoyer

In accepting the award, one of Symmetry’s creators described the on-the-fly, do-it-yourself aesthetic that was essential to making the prize-winning video.

“We often approached people on the street and asked that they do things that they might think are crazy (for the video),” Hoffman said. “I only hope that they see the work so they know how much they were a part of it.”

Symmetry, shown at the bottom of this story, also won the Lyrical Category in the Vimeo Awards. For winning the Grand Prize, the Everynone collective will receive $25,000 in addition to $5,000 for the Lyrical award.

“I hope Everynone is ready to be busy, because winning this award is going to change their lives,” said Eliot Rausch, who won the Vimeo Awards Grand Prize in 2010 for his movie, Last Minutes with Oden.

Rausch, who presented the Grand Prize to Everynone, said that he’s generated major video work from the attention he received after winning the 2012 Grand Prize award and is currently directing his first feature film.

Here’s a full breakdown of 2012 Vimeo Awards category winners with links to the videos:

1.    Action Sports: Dark Side of the Lens
2.    Advertising: K-Swiss Kenny Powers – MFCEO
3.    Animation: Umbra
4.    Captured: Sweatshoppe Video Painting Europe
5.    Documentary: Amar (All Great Achievements Require Time)
6.    Experimental: Prie Dieu
7.    Fashion: Skirt
8.    Lyrical: Symmetry
9.    Motion Graphics: A History of the Title Sequence
10.    Music Video: Manchester Orchestra: Simple Math
11.    Narrative: BLINKY™
12.    Series: Often Awesome The Series
13.    Remix: Rear Window Timelapse

Reggie Watts (l.) and Beardyman entertained the crowd at the Vimeo Awards with a live musical mashup.

Vimeo Awards judges included actor and director James Franco; Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari; 2012 Oscar Nominee Lucy Walker; Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood; Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director Edgar Wright; snowboarding star Travis Rice; Thierry Mugler and UNIQLO creative director Nicola Formichetti; Shelley Page of DreamWorks Animation; Barbara London of The Museum of Modern Art; advertising legend David Droga; and others.

Reggie Watts and Beardyman were the featured live performers at the awards, mashing up comedy, music, and spirited silliness.

March 15th, 2012

PDN Video Picks: Jim Lo Scalzo’s Award-Winning Look at Salton Sea

Photographer Jim Lo Scalzo’s funny/sad video “America’s Dead Sea” won third place in the World Press Photo Multimedia contest, announced this morning. Lo Scalzo manages to find a fresh perspective on the much photographed Salton Sea in the southern California desert. Intercutting his still photos and video footage with archival promotional films, Lo Scalzo’s three-and-a-half minute video traces the area’s decline from a major tourist attraction to a lifeless toxic dump, contaminated by salinity and farm chemical runoff. The video is touching, and there’s ukelele music on the soundtrack.

You can see “America’s Dead Sea” and Lo Scalzo’s other videos on Vimeo.

Related Article

World Press Photo Multimedia Contest Winners Announced