Lara Logan’s 60 Minutes news style vs Tyler Stableford’s poetic style: What journalists can learn from a mountain climbing case-study in editing

There’s no denying the success of CBS’s 60 Minutes. It’s the quintessential news magazine show that many of us aspire to attain in our own video journalism work.

And when I first saw Lara Logan’s “The ascent of Alex Honnold” (13:19), a story about Alex’s insane free solo climbs, I was captivated. In Logan’s words: “He scales walls higher than the Empire State building, and he does it without any ropes or protection” (2 Oct. 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/02/60minutes/main20114487.shtml?tag=currentVideoInfo;videoMetaInfo)

Watch it here:

60 Minutes “The ascent of Alex Honnold” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR1jwwagtaQ)

However, when I saw Tyler Stableford’s “Shattered” (5:29), a story about Steve House who looks like he is climbing ice with no rope, I feel more connected to the work than with Logan’s 60 Minutes piece — despite the fact that Stableford’s piece is a “poetic” documentary. Video journalists can learn techniques from filmmakers in order to make their work more compelling. This post explains some of these techniques.

Yes, Stableford’s is poetic — the words are from Steve’s heart, but the filmmaking is staged and sponsored by Canon — but the nonfiction feel of it, the cinematic elements Stableford utilizes offers lessons of how video journalists can shoot more cinematically and engage a strong editing style.

The difference revolves around what makes film cinematic and what makes TV news style journalism what it is. Just watching the two we can see and feel the differences right away.

Watch Stableford’s work, here:

Stableford’s utilizes cinematic elements — visuals tell the story, we hear the subject’s voice as he wrestles with his inner purpose (Steve feels a sense of emptiness from his aspirations). Stableford maintains an intimate shooting style with Canon’s high end DSLR, the 1D-X, and other than his camera and his team’s cameras, we don’t see or the storyteller onscreen.

Read the rest of the Rticle on Focal Press’ Mastering Film blog: http://masteringfilm.com/lara-logan’s-60-minutes-news-style-vs-tyler-stableford’s-documentary-style-a-mountain-climbing-case-study-in-editing-3/

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Kurt Lancaster, PhD, is the author of DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video, Focal Press, 2011 and Video Journalism for the Web: A Practical Introduction to Documentary Storytelling, Routledge, 2012. He teaches digital filmmaking and multimedia journalism at Northern Arizona University’s School oSee the rest of the article on Focal Press’ Mastering Film blog: http://masteringfilm.com/lara-logan’s-60-minutes-news-style-vs-tyler-stableford’s-documentary-style-a-mountain-climbing-case-study-in-editing-3/

Read the See the rest of the article on Focal Press’ Mastering Film blog: http://masteringfilm.com/lara-logan’s-60-minutes-news-style-vs-tyler-stableford’s-documentary-style-a-mountain-climbing-case-study-in-editing-3/

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