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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Learn from video Jedi

by Amani Channel

Use a tripod. Shoot wide, medium and tight shots, and record for at least 10 to 15 seconds.

Those are just some of the rules I follow when I’m shooting video.

How did I learn? From professional news photographers.

If you want a lesson from some of the best in the business, I would highly suggest you check out the Poynter Institute’s Video Storytelling Webinar.

This is your opportunity to learn from veteran journalists who are successful at handling new technology and adapting to new reporting practices, all while staying creative.

This class isn’t for rookies, but I think that anyone interested in production will walk away with some practical advice that will improve your skills.


Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Telly Award Winning Project #video

by Amani Channel
from Visual Eye Media


2009 is all but a wrap, but one of my production highlights was a project that Visual Eye Media completed for Oglethorpe University.

The university wanted to create a series of videos to brand the Evening Degree Program which is designed to help working adults complete their undergrad degrees.

Most students in the program have completed some college coursework, have families and are already working. Oglethorpe’s program is designed to allow them to complete their education at an accelerated rate on a traditional college campus setting (the campus which is located just up the road from Lenox Mall is gorgeous BTW).

Although the client knew they wanted an 8-10 minute video, they didn’t know how to tell the story. There were several criteria: The video needed to represent Oglethorpe’s diverse student body; testimonials were required, and it needed to give a historical perspective.

After considering all of the requirements, I proposed that we produce a narrated intro segment followed by three short student testimonial videos and an outro video as a conclusion. They also wanted a thirty second commercial for broadcast.

After some careful planning, we spent two days on campus shooting footage, and conducting interviews. I had a general script written before we started shooting and completed it once all of the video elements were captured. After the client approved the script, we went into post and that’s where the magic happened.

I later found out that Oglethorpe was going to go with another company, but decided to trust us with their project. Turns out, the video series won a 2009 Telly Award. I truly appreciated to opportunity to put our creative talents to the test, and thank my production team for all of the hard work.

If you want to watch the entire video series, visit this link.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


from New Leaders Council

Mark your calendars for Wednesday October 14th, and join the New Leaders Council Atlanta chapter, business leaders, and special guests to celebrate the launch of its N. Georgia Institute.

The mission of the New Leaders Council (NLC) is to train and support the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs – those who are leading industries, setting trends, and building institutions that support robust civic and political life in a global America.

The program puts these highly selective college seniors and young professionals through a rigorous 5-month training program that focuses on campaign work, advocacy, and leadership training to mold what NLC has termed progressive “political entrepreneurs.”

Air America Founder and NLC Chairman Mark Walsh will deliver the keynote speech at the event. Walsh will be joined Atlanta City Councilperson C.T. Martin, and other special invited guests.

Where: Manuel’s Tavern
When: Wed. Oct. 14
Time: 7-9pm
$25 general
$10 students


Saturday, August 8th, 2009


by A.man.I
Photo Courtesy Mario Page

Amani Channel NABJ Panel

The 2009 NABJ Conference
in Tampa, Florida is a wrap for me. It was a busy week of networking, catching up with old friends, making new ones, and sharing some knowledge.

On Wednesday, I participated in a daylong discussion about freelancing. The day included panel discussions, and break out sessions for the participants. We covered everything from how to structure your business, to sharing tips, and the mistakes we’ve made.

Thursday morning, I returned to WTVT-TV to visit my former station. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since I worked in Tampa, and though the station has changed a bit, some things haven’t. The highlight of the day was running into veteran cameraman Marc Zewalk (WTVT-TV) at the conference. He interviewed me about my thoughts on the state of the media.

That afternoon I participated on another panel discussion organized by fellow Atlanta journalist Faith Murphy Knight entitled, “Lost Your Beat. Land on Your Feet.” The discussion focused on helping journalists figure out how to rebound after a job loss, or transition into another profession.

Here are a few observations:
The job fair was sparse: NBC wasn’t even even here this year, and normally that is the must visit company. It’s an indication of the state of the industry. Few are hiring, though one talent agent I spoke to said that people are being placed. It has to be extremely competitive.

Journalists seem to be behind the curve when it comes to digital and social media
: Many of the break out sessions focused on digital media, social media, or career transitioning. In general I believe that many traditional journalists will be replaced by a new generation of media makers who understand how to navigate social networks, report, write, and produce multi-media.

As a broadcast journalist, it is obvious that the one-man-band reporting jobs will soon dominate the industry. Most big market TV stations across the country are hiring video journalists, and one CBS news manager told me that he tells all veteran reporters to at least know how to edit, and all students to know how to do it all.

On top of that, jobs are being phased out to cut costs. My former station is finally getting robotic cameras which will put camera operators out of work. A new graphics system is now in place and the producers now create their own over the shoulder graphics, and like many shops, there have been layoffs.

I have to give a special thanks to the City of Tampa, WTVT-TV, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, NABJ, AABJ, FMK, Chad Soriano (thanks for the phots), Mario Page, Xavier with Rent-A-Center, Marc Zewalk, Daphne and Devin Channel, and all you storytellers who are trying to survive.


NABJ09 Flickr Photos

NABJ09 LeBron James event (live blog)

If you find any other good links share them, and I’ll post.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009


from ePress Release

Atlanta, Georgia — “Sisters of Today & Tomorrow” (SOT) will host its 2nd Annual “Sisters of Tomorrow” Conference (SOTC), Wednesday, July 29, 2009, 9am-5pm (doors open at 8am), at Big Bethel Village, 500 Richard Allen Blvd., in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia (Off of Fairburn Rd & Benjamin E. Mays).

The all girls conference will cover issues on self esteem/self image, health & fitness, education and careers/entrepreneurship, with confirmed guests:

BET’s Tiny & Toya;
Licensed Therapist Fatina Holloway;
Ga. State Rep. Alisha Thomas-Morgan;
Film Director Avril Z. Speaks of Azuspeak Productions;
Author/Writer Ronda Racha Penrice; Celebrity Photographer Donna Permell of Prime Phocus;
Author of “Drama High”, L. Divine;
Actress/Radio Personality Tangie Larkin of “Meet the Browns & V103”, Rodney Williams, Mentor to the Stars and a host of great women in Atlanta.

Suggested donation is $25, lunch is included.

The conference is open to the general public.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009


from Visual Eye Media

Is your organization or institution interested in learning how to best leverage social media and online video? Video on the Web has transformed the way we watch and share content, and social communities make it easier than ever to distribute news and information.

Producing and distributing media is no longer reserved for organizations with big advertising budgets, expensive equipment, and celebrity endorsements. Now all you need is a Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube account, and a Flip video camera, iPhone, or camcorder. That being said, engaging in social media, and video production requires experience and expertise.

Read full article

Participants talk about what they learned below.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009


by A.man.I


Congrats to my cousin Alma Lomax. She’s the 2009 Teacher of the Year at Clayton County’s Roberta T. Smith Elementary School in Rex, Georgia.

Clayton County has had its challenges, but things seem to be on the right track (the school district was recently reaccredited).

There are teachers on both sides of my family, and I’m sure she’s one of the best.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008


by A.man.I

WAGA-TV anchor/reporter Art Franklin has released an inspirational book for young black males. My Urban Report received the following press release about an upcoming book signing at “Called to Conquer Bookstore,” at Sonecrest Mall.

I couldn’t find the date and time of the event on the release though.

from Chit Chat Communications press release:

The Birmingham Post-Herald called Art Franklin a “Prime Time Pioneer” as he became the first African-American Male to anchor a Prime Time Newscast in the once deeply segregated city of Birmingham, Alabama. While working in Birmingham, Art was named as one of the city’s next generation leaders and tapped as a candidate for Mayor when he left the news anchor desk. Art decided to pursue other interests and eventually ended up in Atlanta, GA.

Art Franklin has authored his first book titled, “Give It All You Got: A Message to My Young Brothers.” It is an inspirational book for young black males, published by WriteStyle Publishing. ‘I am very excited to have the opportunity to put my experiences, and lessons learned from others, on paper and into the hands of young brothers, said Art Franklin. “I sincerely believe that this book will help them find success in their lives.” Give It All You Got: A Message to My Young Brothers is very dear to Art because it was written after the murder of his nephew. It is an effort to ensure that his nephew’s death was not in vain. Through the messages in the book, Art reaches out to young men to share with them ways of how they can turn negative situations into positive ones.
Art Franklin’s book is the fulfillment of a promise to do whatever is within his power to help rescue troubled young men. It is the continuation of Art’s conviction to give back to a community that he understands from personal experience. Art’s career has been filled with unselfish dedicated community service such as (organizing): tutorial programs, mentoring programs, gang lock-ins, serving as the chairman of a citizen’s advisory commission on youth programs, and (creating ) a program in a juvenile detention center that (assisted juvenile offenders in turning their lives around).

Art Franklin has been a journalist covering stories domestically and abroad for more than 25 years. He has won numerous awards, including two Emmy Awards, and was most recently the Weekend Anchor/Reporter for Atlanta’s FOX 5 WAGA-TV.

For more information please visit www.artfranklin.com or call 404.909.8752.

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