Yeah, Ernie Kovacs was doing it 50 years ago. But still, great tricks.
Ross, it’s Interesting you invoke Kovacs. I’ve long been a huge fan of his, but lately have been reappraising what he was doing in light of discussion in Ken’s class. Philo Farnsworth may have invented the technology of TV, but it was Kovacs who invented, or intuited, the use of the medium.
Around the same time, the CBS News team was inventing talking head journalism and the TV anchor news set, which was based more on limitations of technology than on possibilities of media. When current news operations try to do something groundbreaking, it’s usually more about technology than the medium itself, as in CNN’s cool-but-silly “holograms” on election night. Impressive, but not engaging the viewers on a storytelling level.
In these Joe Little clips, he does just that. He’s using the medium to connect with the viewer in an emotionally engaging way. He is a TV reporter, not just a reporter on TV.
It looks to me like he’s doing it all himself, talent, camera, editing, compositing. That’s another parallel with Kovacs, or even with Orson Welles on “Citizen Kane” when he treated the hierarchy of the movie set as though it were an ensemble theater stage. When technologies are accessible enough to become second-nature extensions to storytellers, interesting things happen.
Did he do it all himself? I am impressed. Freelancers could mimic the process without being an actual TV reporter, just as they have been doing freelance print/online articles. If you can compose compelling news stories for the screen then shoot and edit them yourself, that’s huge! I am inspired to go experiment with my flip and new tripod.
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