Adopt a Multimedia Journalist

Bill Gentile

 

Multimedia Examples:

 

1. http://www.billgentile.com/films/yoga2.html

Underground Yoga

This video covers a very interesting topic. I like the different angles taken. There are several detail shots, but also wide shots. My favorite angle was over the yoga instructor’s shoulders so you can view the whole class performing yoga.

I do not like the breaks between every section. You can hear where the audio cuts off and starts again. There needs to be better transitions between scenes. I was also a little confused of the purpose of the boat and goat scenes.

However, I do like the use of all the natural sounds of things such as birds. I also love the closing scene of the door shutting on the studio, it creates a sense of closure and you know that it is finished.

 

2. http://www.billgentile.com/films/harley.html

Cuba’s (Rocky) Love Affair with the Harley-Davidson

The first thing I noticed in this video that was absent in the first video was the lower-thirds nameplate. This video does a better job of identifying who is speaking. Gentile also uses great composition by using the rule of thirds for his interviewees. Composition is also used nicely with frame within a frame when the motorcyclist opens the garage door, and he stand within the open doorframe.

It also did a good job of answering all of the viewer’s questions. There were no parts I would omit or add. The transitions were much better in this video, and it flowed very well.

I also enjoyed the humor at the end of the video because this was a bit lighter news video.

 

3. http://www.billgentile.com/films/hicks.html

Tyler Hicks in Afghanistan

This video had a title slide unlike the other videos. The introduction was intriguing with the radio voiceover in the background. However, I think the fonts for the titles were boring and unattractive. There was no hierarchy of importance with the type because it was all the same font and size.

The overall story is extremely interesting, but I wish there would have been more coverage of other things. The location never changed. The background was very busy and I was distracted by the soldiers in the background.

Overall, I think this was a very interesting video. However, I wish there was a little more to it. I would have enjoyed seeing Gentile record Hicks in action actually photographing. This would have been great b-roll over his audio.

 

4. http://www.billgentile.com/films/swat_atlanta1.html

Secret OPS

This was my favorite video. I liked that the footage changed every couple seconds because it kept me interested and on my toes. I loved all of the detail shots of the guns and the men’s faces. It was also suspenseful and it made the viewer keep watching. I loved the ken burns effects when the shot would go from wide to tight. He used great composition with the rule of thirds as well.

The only thing I would add is a title slide or something that informed me of when, where, or what was happening in this scene. Other than that, this was very interesting and the video footage was great because it told a story without one long boring view.

 

5. http://www.billgentile.com/films/echoes1.html

Echoes of War

The first scene is a great example of frame within a frame. It also immediately identifies who the subject is with a lower-thirds nameplate. I also enjoyed the design of these fonts, which included the title slide. The first sequence does a great job of switching angles, even though it is the same person and location. It starts with a view in the mirror, then rule of thirds of his profile, then lower from the stick shift, then wide, medium, and close-up. It was the perfect example of the five shot rule.

I loved the script as well. When documenting the past, you cannot go back in time to record the time spent in the war. So Gentile did a great job of relating the script to pictures he had. I once again liked the ken burns effects on the photos.

The overall story was interesting and very newsworthy.

 

6.

Photo by Bill Gentile

This photo was taken in Iraq when Gentile went to shoot a film on the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. This was my favorite photograph from this series because of the lighting and depth of field. Gentile must have used a low f/stop in order to capture this depth of field. I also like how the light is illuminating only the front of his face and eyes. It draws attention to the most important part of the subject.

This does a great job with the rule of thirds as well. It creates a great moment, and I feel emotionally connected to the photograph.

 

7.

Photo by Bill Gentile

This photo was taken in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It creates such an interesting juxtaposition. The background is technologically advanced, big and modern. Whereas, the men in the foreground represent the simple man with a boat and a stick. It represents the new and the old in their society. It tells a nice story of how the world has evolved.

I also like how the men are somewhat silhouetted because their faces are not the important part of the photo, the juxtaposition is.

It also incorporates the rule of thirds nicely. Gentile did a good job keeping his horizons straight.

 

8.

Gentile3

This photo is a prisoner under disease quarantine in Abidjan. I like this photo because it embodies the vision of photojournalism. It reports how others are living and important things that are happening in the world, good or bad.

The photo does have frame within a frame with the netting around the subject.

I like how the light is coming in through the window. It’s as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the prisoner. However, the light makes the picture tone a little orange. There is also a bright reflection on the right wall that could have been burned a little bit because it is distracting.

 

9.

Gentile4

 

Here, Gentile photographed a refugee with a child in Afghanistan right after 9/11. I love the faces and sharpness of this photograph.

Gentile did a good job of using a low f/stop to create a shallow depth of field. All attention is on the refugee and child. I would have cropped in a little tighter to remove the unneeded parts of other people on the left and right of the photo.

I love this photo because of its mystery. I know there is a strong emotion, but I am unsure what it is. I do not know if the man is angry, upset, happy or supportive of the events from 9/11. The caption does not give enough information about where they were or what they were doing.

 

10.

Gentile5

 

 

An American soldier scours Saudi Arabian deserts through his binoculars. I like how tightly this photo is cropped. It is also very straight and symmetrical.

I do not think Gentile did a good job with this caption though. He should have identified who the soldier was.

This is a great portrait, but I do not think it’s newsworthy.

It is missing a strong focus point. Maybe if his eyes were visible or if there was a reflection in the binoculars, my eyes would be drawn to something specifically.

On the plus side, the background is extremely clean and there are no distractions from the subject.

 

Gentile’s overall work reviewed:

Bill Gentile is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has covered various kinds of mass communication, with a special focus in visual communication and storytelling. He coined the term “backpack journalism.” I mainly chose Gentile because of his vast amount of work in visual journalism.

To begin with, I think Gentile has good news judgment. All of his photos and videos that I have chosen are all important and interesting. I was never bored with any of his work.

I noticed that Gentile has worked for several different publications and organizations. Especially in his videos, there are inconsistencies with title slides and the lower-thirds nameplate, which is not bad. It is just different for every organization.

In his videos, he always does a great job of getting interesting angles. He incorporates wide, medium and close-ups in his footage. There are always great detail shots, especially in the Secret OPS video. This video also did the best job of switching scenes every two or three seconds to keep the viewer interested. The Tyler Hicks documentary did the worst of only shooting from one angle in the same location the entire 13 minutes.

Gentile does a good job of incorporating natural sounds and music in spaces to help ease transitions. The Underground Yoga video had the roughest transitions, but it did have birds singing and music playing during the scenes. My favorite natural sound can be seen in the Tyler Hicks video. At the very beginning, the soldier’s radio is heard in the background. It puts you into the moment and makes you feel like you were there listening to the radio.

In regards to Gentile’s photojournalism career, I think he is always in the right place at the right time. Some of his shots captured a great moment like the juxtaposition of the men paddling a boat in front of the buildings.

One odd thing I noticed while looking through all of Gentile’s work was his use of black and white. A majority of his portfolio was printed in black and white instead of color. I do not know his reason behind this, or if it was his camera, but black and white is good in moderation. There needs to be a purpose for lack of color. I do like the refugee and child picture from Afghanistan in black and white because of the crispness and sharpness. It adds more mood to the photo.

Also looking through his portfolio, I had the opportunity to read through his captions. Most of them were lacking in important information like who and when. This information is vital in photojournalism.

Despite these two things, Gentile is a phenomenal photographer. He does a great job with composition rules like juxtaposition, rule of thirds and frame within a frame. He also pays attention to his depth of field, and he guides the viewer’s eye to what is most important in the photograph. Best of all, he uses his photographs to tell stories.

All in all, Gentile is a great multimedia journalist. He covers anything from photojournalism to “backpack journalism.” As a visual journalist, I love his work. I mostly admire his ability to be calm and be a great journalist when he is surrounded by war and chaos.

 

Written by Gina Volk

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