Sarah Booker

17/01/2010

Multimedia: Audio slide shows at News:Rewired

Multimedia journalist Adam Westbrook’s work blew me away at News:Rewired.

I have never really paid much attention to audio slide shows. Building slide shows is a regular part of my working week, but Adam’s interview with John Hirst is unlike anything I have thought possible.

Watch it here: Hirst v. UK from Adam Westbrook on Vimeo

Describing himself as “passionate about the audio slide show” Adam explained how this medium can often tell a story better than any video, with minimal equipment.

“Really rich audio mixed with strong photographs is potent,” he told us.

The story behind the John Hirst slide show started with a video which “wasn’t strong enough”. Good photographs and the audio from the interview was not only cheaper, it was also quicker.

What do you need according to Adam?

  • A great story/character. Work well with portraits.
  • Prospects for good photographs.
  • Potential for great audio with other great atmospheric  sounds such as water sounds or street sounds to give the slide show space to breath.
  • An audio recorder, Digital SLR and Soundslides to build it.

The New York Times One in 8 Million series was given as an example of excellence in the audio slide show.

Characters are found and pre-interviewed. An audio producer records the interview, only then does the photographer take photographs after listening to the audio.

Once everything is put together the images match the words.

It’s so simple and something I would like to use on the websites I am responsible for. However simple creating these things is, a limited number of reporters and hard-pressed photographers may make this difficult in practice.

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