Open Reporting on CHS


I'm trying something new over on CHS.  I'm currently working on a story for them about the closure of Bailey Coy and the future of Bookstores in general in Capitol Hill and beyond.  Instead of just collecting all the interviews and b-roll and then editing it down to a 5-10 minute feature to show publicly... I'm going to be putting almost all of the content on CHS as I shoot it.  I put up my interview with owner Michael Wells a couple weeks ago, and I just put up some interviews and footage I shot at the wake last night.  I have some more interviews and shoots to go, which I'll also be posting, then eventually I'll be editing it together into a traditional longer form piece.

Why am I doing this?  Well for one, putting together a video feature takes a lot a long time, but the blog format of CHS favors fast turnaround, short and to the point content.  Lately I've been kind of struggling to answer the question... Am I documentary director, or a video journalist?  I guess if I'm asking the question I must be somewhere in between.  So doing this kind of 'open reporting' allows me to be a part of the real-time journalistic conversation, but also lets me make the longer form, higher production value documentary shorts that I really love doing.  Also, with documentaries, there ends up being a ton of content that doesn't make the cut and is usually never seen.  This is a way of getting all that content out there for those that really want to get deeper into the subject.

Posting the content like this will give viewers the chance to follow along with the story as I'm developing it, and I'm hoping that'll allow them to contribute ideas that can make it into the final documentary.   I'm hoping that viewers might suggest additional interviews to conduct, questions to ask, or even new ideas that could take the story in a whole new direction.