DJ Clark won the World Press Photo Interactive award in April 2020 with an extraordinary immersive film, Battleground PolyU, from the peak of the Hong Kong protests of November 2019. We are delighted to welcome him to a Zoom discussion for Redeye.
The film is just under 9 minutes long and shot with a 360 degree camera at the height of the confrontation, alongside ambisonic audio and a spoken commentary. The film drops the viewer into the middle of the protests, alongside protestors, police and press - as DJ says: “The biggest thing about this movie for me is the opportunity for future audiences to immerse themselves in the experience and understand what it was like to be there.”
The film seems to strip away a layer of subjectivity when compared to the normal visual reporting of historic events. The viewer is free to look where she or he likes; there is no “in front of” the camera and DJ himself is an ever-present figure, seen from above holding the camera aloft. He has been careful to give the piece a strong narrative structure; his calm and scrupulously factual commentary making sense of the chaotic scenes he captures.
At a time when we are all having to distance ourselves from events, the responsibility on visual journalists to report accurately has never been greater. Could this kind of reporting represent a step towards the transparency that is increasingly sought in the way we are given information? At this event DJ will go through his working methods and reflect on the changing face of journalism and visual storytelling.
We strongly recommend viewing the film before attending the event. Ideally, watch the film with a virtual reality headset and headphones. That is not as complicated as it sounds. “Google Cardboard” is a box with two simple lenses that transforms a smartphone into a VR headset, and costs about £10 from Amazon. Look for the film on YouTube, set a high quality, and click on the goggles icon to switch to VR view. You then simply slot your phone into the front of the box.
If not, then watch the film on a smartphone or tablet that will enable you to pan around to see in all directions just by moving the device and if possible wear headphones to experience the ambisonic audio.
The Battleground PolyU film is here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOooP6pbn50
DJ Clark is a multimedia journalist with over 30 years experience working globally as a video producer, photojournalist, presenter, writer, trainer and multimedia consultant. He is currently Multimedia Director at China Daily Asia Pacific, host and producer of the adventure travel show Drone & Phone, and course leader for the University of Bolton MA in Visual Journalism. He also acts as video advisor to the Asia News Network and is a regular contributor to The Economist, BBC radio and National Geographic. In 2006 he moved to China as a base for covering Asia where he continues to live with his growing family.
Who is it for?
This event is free and open to all. Recommended for photographers, videographers, journalists, storytellers and anyone with an interest in the news and the reporting of events.
Wednesday 29th April, 12:30 - 1:30pm.
Online! Booking will close on Wednesday the 29th at 10am and we will then be in touch with everyone who has registered with the meeting code and password. You will need an internet connection and a computer, smartphone or tablet. This event will take place over Zoom, you don't need an account to join in but if you have an older browser you might find that the desktop app runs more smoothly.
Please register for free by 10am on Wednesday 29th April to receive your invitation to the meeting.
Still from PolyU © DJ Clark.