Search This site

29 February, 2016

MOJO is the cover story this magazine

MOJO (Mobile Journalism) is the cover story of APPLICANDO Magazine (Italy)

Back in November I was interviewed about smartphone mobile journalism by Silvia Malnati, a reporter for WIRED Magazine.

She actually did two separate interviews with me, the other one was for an Italian magazine called Applicando.

Guess, what? MOJO is the cover story of APPLICANDO with several double-page spreads.

The opening spread has a photo of me filming at the Cliffs of Mohr. It was taken by my wife, J├Ârdis, during our 12-day #IrishEyes15 film expedition across Ireland in March, 2015.

They went all out with pages of the gear, apps and charts.

If you want to collect a souvenir edition (It is published in Italian) you can download the complete edition (Issue 354) from the Applicando app in the iTunes App store.

For English speakers, here are a few of my answers from the Q&A.

Q: If we want to interview someone with our iPhone, are there any specific rules to follow while we are shooting?

MONTGOMERY: Doing interviews with any camera is made easier by having the camera on a tripod. The reporter is able to maintain constant eye contact with the subject and they get much better film results.

A microphone (even a low-cost one) and a face lamp dramatically improve the production quality.  These items do not have to be large to be effective. My MOJO gear fits in my laptop case, for example.

Q: And instead, how do we have to behave if we want to film a public and dynamic event, for example, a big demonstration?

Safety is priority number one when working in a fluid new scene.
It is always best to not go into a hot zone alone, no matter what camera you have.

I have had demonstrators try to take my camera, people come up from behind me and push me.
It can be rough.

You have to know when to pick up the camera and when to keep it down.

You are there to bear witness and document history. Sometimes you will butt up against people who want to control or otherwise censor acts of journalism.

If that happens, as it recently did on a university campus in the USA, it is good to have your partner live streaming video of the confrontation.

Live streaming is easy with the Periscope app on a smartphone and if authorities or protestors confiscate or interfere with your camera, the live video of them doing it is now already on a Web server and is being viewed by a live audience connected to social media.

That’s a powerful example of how mobile journalism can complement the report.

Q: When you film with an iPhone, it could be less evident that you are a journalist. Do the people react in the same way as if you were filming them with a traditional camera?

MONTGOMERY: Most people are more relaxed, less intimidated. I have TV news reporters tell me they love using a smaller camera. Less hassle, more freedom of movement, lighter weight, get better interviews, etc.

Q: Why, and in which situations, do you think it is better to film with a smartphone instead of a traditional camera? 

A smartphone has distinct advantages over traditional cameras. They are small, low-cost and can be used in situations where a larger camera can’t or causes problems.

A smartphone is also connected to apps and social streams - giving it a huge advantage for getting video quickly where it needs to go.

Q: In which occasions do you think it is still better to use a traditional camera than an iPhone?

Traditional cameras are the next layer above the smartphone camera. DSLRs and C100s are special purpose cameras designed to do only one thing: Take amazing pictures.

For example: In situations where you need to film with a zoom lens, these are still best. Also if you are doing traditional video production, a high-end camera is best for getting consistently great quality in a video format people are already comfortable working in.

Q: Last but not least, if we want to get started with MoJo, what is the first thing to do?

MONTGOMERY: The smartphone you have in your pocket is an amazing video production machine.
But dazzling apps and gear will not help you with the fundamentals of storytelling.

That knowledge remains the largest gap and one that I am trying to fill by putting simple, but effective MOJO training courses on everyone’s smart phone.

I have 7,500 students in the Smart Film School who have this video training on their devices.

They can access any module for a quick refresher for how to film and edit.