Friday, June 22, 2012

Two very opposite sides of the mojo

Here are two ways that technology can help you report.

1. The structured yet intimate way.

I set up an appointment with piano superstar Peter Kater (who helped spearhead the genre of New Age music). In his house. I chatted with him while he cooked his son noodles for lunch. Then he played for me (OK, for the greater public, but I was the only person in the room) in his living room. The experience was about as intimate as it gets as an entertainment reporter.

Here is the video that came out of our meet-up. The story is on

And here is a quote that came out of our interview that I think is also inspiring for journalists trying to forge a new face for this field:

"My theory is creative ideas come down from the universe like raindrops, and people get hit with them at the same time, and whoever responds to it first in a creative, substantial way, they usually reap the rewards. We don't get creative ideas because they're ours. We get creative ideas because it's time." 
- Peter Kater, multi-platinum selling pianist/composer, who I interviewed this morning.

After I left his house, I wandered around University Hill. Two men sitting outside a bar stopped me by calling, "I like your fabrics." That was new. So I pulled up a chair to see who they were.
They were tea bartenders. Which brings us to the second way that technology can assist your reporting:

2. The random-stories-that-fall-from-the-sky-when-you're-not-in-the-cubicle way. 
Turns out, these tea bartenders go to college keg parties and teach the students how to infuse tea into their beers, to make it taste better, be healthier and open more minds to drinking tea, while directly supporting mom-and-pop tea shops around the world and raising money for more noble causes than just getting iced on a Friday night. The ultimate goal: a sober (or more sober) conscious lifestyle.

I decided to try to report this story entirely on video. So far, I have less than two minutes of video, a sort of nutgraph to build on. Reporting like this is a different mentality -- more broadcasty.

Here's the "story" so far.

The catch is this: I only had about 10 minutes to put into filming and editing this small clip.

What now: I am going to try to go to one of these "tea parties" and film it in action, as well as include a clip on how to infuse your own beer with tea at home. Once I collect that footage, I am going to try to beef up this video to create a legitimate video-only product.

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