Philip Bloom and Khalid Mohtaseb discuss Cinematic journalism at NAB

This video is of a conversation that took place on the show floor at NAB 2010 between the infamous video guru Philip Bloom and DSLR video shooter Khalid Mohtaseb. Just in case anyone missed it there has been a vigorous debate here on this very site about the rights and wrongs of a montage of footage the Khalid showcased – the debate even made it all the way to the Huffington post.

In this video Mohtaseb canvasses the views of Bloom, who spent 17 years as a news cameraman, about the issues around the use of cinematic techniques for news shooting.

Khalid Mohtaseb and Philip Bloom discuss Cinematic journalism and DSLR video from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Below – the video that started this whole debate has now had over 75,000 views on Vimeo -

Haiti Earthquake Aftermath Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.

Thanks to Den Lennie and Scott Karlins of in shooting the conversation.

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Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by Dan Chung | Category: Journalism |

12 responses to "Philip Bloom and Khalid Mohtaseb discuss Cinematic journalism at NAB"

  1. Mark Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Dan, i don’t know but maybe it would have helped if you’d interviewed some people who’d actually followed the discussion at least a little bit closely?

    Aside from not understanding some of the nuances of the conversation it seems they also missed some points that had been addressed specifically.

    And when did anyone say they wanted to see poor visuals and low production values? Where did this ‘journalism can’t look good’ line come from? When did anyone say that? Its pretty hard to take people seriously when thats the kind of understanding they take from the discussion.

  2. Dan Chung Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Mark, as the post states this was not a formal interview by me but a conversation led by Khalid trying to get Phil’s point of view on the subject in general. I’d be very happy to post other comments either in video or blog post.

  3. dunner000 Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I can tell Khalid isn’t the most comfortable in front of the camera, but that’s OK, cause what he does on the other side of the camera is important. He has beautiful, worthwhile work, and I for one, love it.
    I also can’t help but think, what a nice compliment to him, from Phillip Bloom, to comment the way he did on Khalid’s work. Good on him.
    Keep it coming Khalid, your work is gorgeous, and I appreciate it. I also appreciate this site and what you guys are doing. Thanks,

  4. Tim Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t get it. I’ve been shooting news and current affairs television for 25 years. With current affairs or feature length stories between 5 and 45 minutes, we’ve always used cinematic techniques within the codes of journalistic ethics. What’s so new here apart from a narrower depth of field? Of course with daily news this approach is not achievable due to deadlines. Due to it’s design, the DSLR is a non starter with daily news anyway. Take a look at the quality current affairs programs aired around the world. Panorama in the UK, 4 Corners in Australia and many quality productions in the U.S.
    All programs use cinematic techniques and they just happen to employ DOP’s that understand the film language. For Khalid to put up a copy of his Egypt/Lebanon montage and expect the world to believe that it’s “showcasing how modern technology can revolutionize journalism and the way news coverage is shot” especially on his first day out “with a journalistic mindset” is complete nonsense.
    I don’t think Phil Bloom appears across the specifics of the argument at all. Vincent Laforet however seems to have a clue. I hope Khalid listened to him closely.

  5. Says:
    April 26th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I’m been a TV news edit for three years now (not so long), and we just got our first package in shot on the 5D!

    First I should say I am fully behind the DSLR movement – I own one myself! I think the images a breath taking, the cameras themselves are great to use, and I’m totally a fan of the work on this website.

    I was really exited to work with this the 5D footage, however, having edited a news package with it now, I am not yet convinced of its suitablility.

    With the piece I worked on recently, the cameraman didnt white balance or adjust the colour on the camera very well, which is a little difficult to do quickly on the camera. In post, we dont always have time to grade footage, and in this particular case, I had to turn over the footage as it was (which looked dissappointing).

    In general, unless its a truly an historic event,
    I feel progressive footage of this nature actually takes away from the immediacy of the footage, and makes it less “real”. It’s presicely what makes it so cool, that also detracts slightly from the realism. Also the shallow depth of field seemed a bit like overkill on some group shots!

    I should point out, that later I edited a interview shot on a standard broadcast camera, no grading, and overall it looked much much better.(Though all the non technical staff were more wow’ed by the 5D and were drooling over the footage).

    After all is said, and aside from the moire and aliasing that was evident at one point, the footage was definitely still impressive. As I said before, I’m all for DSLR’s and think that they will have a place in ENG, however I am worried that their proliferation (due to the wow factor) will mean that ALL broadcast mediums will be in danger of being flooded by superfluous film moded/SDF footage.

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