March 24th, 2014

World Press Photo Multimedia 2014 Honors New York Times, National Film Board of Canada, Marco Casino

HighriseThe National Film Board of Canada and The New York Times share first prize for Interactive Documentary in the World Press Photo 2014 Multimedia contest for their collaborative multimedia piece, “A Short History of the Highrise.” The World Press Multimedia awards, now in their fourth year, honor documentary work in three categories: interactive documentaries, short and long features. The winners were announced this morning in Amsterdam.

“A Short History of the Highrise” tells the story of vertical living and the construction of skyscrapers through four short films, photos, text and microgames.

First prize for best short feature was awarded to “Staff Rider,” a video about kids in South Africa who “surf” atop trains. Photographer Marco Casino recorded photos, video and sound for the story. First prize for long feature went to “Witnessing Gezi,” directed by photojournalist Emin Ozmen and Baris Koca, who documented the protests against the development of Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park and civil resistance in Turkey.

The first place winner in each category will be awarded a cash award of 1,500 euros.

The full list of winners, and credits for editing, sound design and more, can be found at www.worldpressphoto.org/2014-multimedia-contest/winners-list.

The winners were selected from 373 entrants. The chair of the jury, Jassim Ahmad, global head of multimedia innovation at Reuters, said in a statement, “Interactive teams are employing a variety of visual tools and techniques. We looked for examples that are designed for the medium to explain more and bring you closer.” He also noted, “We agreed innovation could not be at the expense of clarity. Communication is the essence of journalism.”

Other jury members were Gabriel Dance, interactive editor, Guardian US; Liza Faktor, co-founder of Screen; photographer Ed Kashi of the VII Photo Agency; Marianne Lévy-Leblond, head of web productions and transmedia projects at Arte France; Grant Scott, senior lecturer on photography at the University of Gloucestershire and founder and editor Unitednationsofphotography.com; and photographer Luis Weinstein. Alan Stoga, president of Zemi Communications, was the jury secretary.

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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