(Back to English – I somehow feel responsible for those colleagues/friends who have become loyal followers of this blog outside our small country here in the North Pole. The fight against the absurd “contracts” of Sanoma Magazines Finland et al. continues – regardless of language).
It’s been extremely busy couple of weeks and I want to draw together couple of things which sort of came together today. The example I am about to present now comes from a workshop of Brian Storm in London I attended about ten days ago. Those NOT familiar with Brian: he is the most important figure in multimedia storytelling by far in the world today.
I have to add: I am (hopefully) joining him and his team for an extended workshop on multimedia methodology in New York in December, but as I noticed he was giving a brief (8 hours) workshop in London I immediately jumped into a plane to attend it. And if you have never heard of him, it’s about the time. Check www.mediastorm.com
Briefly put: it was the best 8 hours of my professional career ever spent. Seriously. It was that good. I remember saying afterwards when we were sitting in a bar, having a drink: “It felt like this freight-train loaded with clear, intellectual vision of our future hit me right into my face.” I hope to share some more thoughts about this workshop later on in this blog.
Then: today I was part of a panel discussion in Helsinki, talking about media, publishing, copyright, these ridiculous “deals” our major publishers (Sanoma Magazines Finland leading the way now) are blackmailing us with, etc.
I presented this example there in public and I am not sure people really got it – and thus I really want to do it again.
I feel this is important. Every working photographer should really think about this. When you think about your professional future – when you think about our future in general.
Driftless – Stories from Iowa
Danny Wilcox Frazier documented the life of farmers and local people of Iowa for five years. He made a book about it. Hardcover, 128 pages, 80 photographs. 39.95 USD. Sold: 2000 copies.
Great. Photography book. 2000 copies sold. Any photographer should be happy, right? I mean, 2000 copies, that’s a lot, right? Two thousand people saw his vision, his message, his story.
Mediastorm and more specifically Brian managed to talk Danny into making it multimedia.
Now: watch one chapter of this which I recommend: Harry and Helen (length 5:25, the sixth from the top) before you continue. Seriously, do it. Put on your headphones and concentrate. Click the image below:
I don’t know what you felt (I truly hope you watched it), but my heart stopped beating when Harry says: “We are starving to death on a full stomach”.
How much information, life lived, wisdom, bitterness, concern for common good, love and longing you can put into 5 minutes of visual storytelling? What an amazing piece.
Now, the point Brian made and I want to repeat here is this: this multimedia was published four years ago. Today (yes, literally TODAY) it was watched by c. 4000-6000 people from 170 different countries. That is: daily 4000-6000 people watch this piece. 365 days a year.
Quick math: 4x365x(average) 5000= 7,3 million views during the past four years. Yes, the math is simplified, but it gives you a ballpark.
Demographically: 53% of these viewers are between 18-24 years old. And the majority of them watch it to the end.
Youngsters, who have attention spans “measured in seconds instead of minutes”? Young people who are “not interested in anything serious“?
Let me repeat that: 7,3 million views. As opposed to a book i.e. pages with “real paper”, which sells 2000 copies. Gathering dust on your shelf…?
If you are a photographer – living these times we are living now in Finland (ref. to my two previous posts) – ask yourself: do you really want to sign away all the rights to your own work? All the possibility to create something great in the future about the things you’ve shot in the past? Your stories, your visions, your life lived?
If you are a publisher: 39.95 euros or USD? Hardcover? Maybe reach an audience of 1ooo people in Finland? You still want to put your money on the printed paper?
Worth contemplating upon…