Emmy Award-winning videographer Bill Gentile is using Apple technology to make “iDocumentaries.”
Gentile is now executive producer of
iDocumentary Television and assistant professor of journalism at Kent State University. Gentile is using Macs and digital technology to create books, Web sites, and television documentaries that raise both the awareness and appreciation of fundamentals many of us take for granted, according to an
Apple Media Arts article.
Apple technology has been used in such iDocumentary series as “Goods of Life,” which looks at “agricultural commodities that have shaped history and the way we live today.”
“That’s the wonderful thing about these tools,” Gentile told Apple. “We have phenomenal tools at this university. There are scores of iMacs and other Apple gear at Kent right now, and I’ll be teaching my documentary class in a new, elite video studio with 20 wireless iBooks using AirPort technology and five complete Final Cut Pro editing stations. We have a unique confluence of a message and the technology with which to deliver it.”
While taking photos in the Dominican Republic, he downloaded photos from his Nikon digital camera directly into his PowerBook. This allowed Gentile to review his work on the spot and decide which pictures needed to be retaken, something not possible with conventional film and cameras.
At Kent State, Gentile works with students to convert the raw footage into QuickTime videos using Final Cut Pro on Power Macs. The students work with the Power Mac and Final Cut Pro for a couple of reasons, he added.
“First, I want these students to concentrate on the craft of videography and editing rather than on learning a very complicated program,” Gentile said. “Final Cut Pro allows students to move pieces of video and sound around as I have been doing for years with pieces of written copy. It’s that easy to use. Second, Final Cut Pro is the standard of the industry. Here at Kent State, we’re preparing these students to go out into the real world of work. So our task is to create conditions as close as possible to the real world. Teaching students on the industry standard prepares them when they do step out of this institution. Otherwise, we might as well teach them how to use manual typewriters.”
Gentile also teaches Videography Basics to students who’ve never touched video. For these students, Gentile prefers using iMovie because of its simplicity.
“With iMovie, I can send students out to start creating digital videos after half a day’s instruction. You just can’t do that with other programs.”
Gentile cautions that technology alone doesn’t produce compelling stories. “One of the things I tell my students is that all of these tools don’t mean anything unless you’ve got a vision behind them. If you don’t have the ideas about what you want to do with them, if you don’t have a message, the tools are for nothing. But if you have a clear vision of what you want your product to look like and sound like, the Mac and digital cameras allow you to make that a reality.”