Final Buzz on the summit, NPPA: Seeing the Light! FINALLY!!! Lessons from Leeson [podcast]

File under buzzed. Too much caffeine + poor grammar + incomplete thoughts + my opinions = buzzed.

I have been a member of NPPA my entire career. When I started going to events sponsored by the NPPA, they were doing it right. The right speakers, relevant topics, eight projector eye openers and most importantly inspiring. My personal opinion is that in recent years the organization lost some of it’s luster. But damn, did they get it right this week. Finally! Let me paint a picture:

Multimedia sessions so packed they had to move to a ballroom. And once in the ballroom, there were people sprawled on the floor.

Photojournalists packing the hallways, legs crossed, sharing their work and talking about multimedia with enthusiasm in their voice. I actually overheard a conversation between the president of NPPA and a student while they were taking about, space, time, layers and their use in multimedia. YES!

People saying, “damn I got my money’s worth!”

So many egos in a room, including mine, that I thought we’d all have the air sucked out of the room, BUT, the ego’s were actually in-check, sharing, talking, pulling the curtain down behind their ‘process.’ And above all approachable, open and nice. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a few grumpy ‘old white men’ but very few and I think their softening.

“There is nothing more exciting than seeing the best photojournalists’ in the business getting involved in multimedia.” -Brian Storm

Example: I was in awe to be standing in front of three of the LA Times’ best photojournalists, Carolyn Cole, Don Bartletti , and Francine Orr, and “I” was supposed to be teaching “them” something about multimedia………humbling………
Not to mention the inspiration i took from Don’s down-right persistence and commitment to learn. And Cole’s very first video story was good! Better than my first time.

A hands-on immersion program that included:

40 spank’n fast MacBook Pro laptops loaded with Final Cut, etc.

40 lightning fast Canon HD XH A1 video cameras.

Coaches and speakers that would make you drool.

In the end the immersion experience brought tears, literally, to event organizer Seth Gitner.

Let me finish my love-fest with a thank you to Tony Overman, Seth Ginter, William Sullivan,

Zach Wise for the ‘hack’

Joe Weiss for being my roomie and not smothering me with a pillow in the middle of the night, and congrats on your award, well deserved!

Tom Kennedy for getting my vote for the smartest and nicest guy in any room,

Andrew and judiTh for the ‘smokes’ and fine company.

Finally to all the coaches and students for teaching me tons.

Let me end with some ‘poetry’ from David Leeson, “The Frame Grab Guy” I finally heard the definitive argument on why photojournalist, need to get over themselves and embrace the tools of the future. A must listen. [NOTE: I will post a tutorial about his new HD Frame Grab process, soon.]

One comment

  1. Absolutely right! The conference was beyond expectation. I found the gathering a place where people who are innovating in multimedia were willing to boil ideas and techniques down to enthusiastically get the industry moving.
    Now that it is over – it is important for all who are ready to move ahead in multimedia to get off their duffs and do it.
    I am sure you and several others stated during the weekend, that regardless of your size, any department just needs to ‘start small, maybe one person, give them the tools, let them create and learn.’
    One thing that I know I may encounter is the aspect of spending too much time in a committee to decide the right direction.
    I liked what you said regarding that notion, that newspapers need to understand that ‘…bad video happens’ and that lessons are learned from experience, without experience, nothing good happens. Thanks again for contributing to an excellent gathering, and credit also goes to Seth and the NPPA crew!