Sunday, 30 May 2010

Media: David Dunkley Gyimah

Title: David Dunkley Gyimah: One-Man Hurricane  By: Nicola Godwin

He’s a man of many media — radio, television, video, imagery, design, podcasts, blogs. You name it, David Dunkley Gyimah will probably be using it in one of his inspiring documentaries, or on his Web site, or even in a ‘blec’ (a ‘web lecture’ for the uninitiated). Apple technology helps this “one-man hurricane” break down the boundaries between art and journalism, between production and post-production, and between the present and the future.

David Dunkley Gyimah doesn’t know when to stop. So he doesn’t stop. The man seems to be everywhere at once, and everything is interesting to him. He’s an original thinker fulfilling a range of professional roles, from freelance Channel 4 producer, to visionary videojournalist, to creator of award-winning online magazine, to senior lecturer in digital journalism at the University of Westminster.

Gyimah has worked in the media for 20 years, starting out in radio before becoming one of the first videojournalists in the UK. “Times have changed a great deal since then”, he explains. “When I started out at [videojournalism enterprise] Channel One, we had great big cameras and had to take everything back to the edit suite for cutting”.

“The YouTube generation are deconstructing television as we know it; thanks to companies like Apple, they’ve got access to the tools and are just getting on and doing things. They can see that if it’s good enough, people will watch it.”

Now Gyimah typically uses a flip-screen Sony DVCAM for shooting. He records direct to a 500GB LaCie portable hard drive, then downloads on the spot to his PowerBook G4 to begin the edit. He can add effects there and then or, for more serious processing, he runs footage through his desktop system, a Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 with five 500GB external LaCie drives.

“My Mac goes everywhere with me”, says Gyimah. “The fact that I have everything on it, from Final Cut Studio and After Effects to Photoshop and Dreamweaver, reflects the way I work. You never know what might work as a film, what might go online, or what might function as an image... for me there are no grey areas between them”.

This principle is key, not only to Gyimah’s working practice, but to his entire outlook. “People often think the established ways of telling stories are the best but I look at, for example, photo-journalists and filmmakers and at how they use composition or cinematography to enhance their work, and I think, ‘why not bring that to videojournalism?’”.

This blurring of boundaries between conventional journalism and something more creative (achieved to great effect in Gyimah’s recent film about a group of experienced newspaper journalists he turned into video journalists, which won him the International Jury (Independent) award at the Berlin Video Journalism Festival) is supported by the technology Gyimah uses. He says: “One of the chief reasons I’m attracted to the Mac is because it facilitates this aspect of my work — to either go for a straight cut or to get a bit more creative. The technology allows me to push and push and push”.  *For the rest of this article please visit:

[Credit: Nicola Godwin at:]

1 comment:

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