Saturday, January 28, 2012

newspaper abuse

It was a sad, sad day for newspapers...

I was walking in Osborne Village yesterday and instead of hearing the familiar crunch of snow beneath my feet, I heard what sounded like paper. When I looked down, I saw Winnipeg's Metro newspaper in all it's buried and soggy glory.

Perhaps social media didn't make it clear...but newspapers are dying out. Looking down at this poor, beat-up newspaper brought back the thought of the imminent death of newspapers. It was almost too metaphorical. It's also ironic how the front page picture says "too slow, poorly posted"...

Anyway, here's the photo!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Divide- Interview with Actor and Writer

I'm in the works of creating a magazine for a school project. The topic that my group has picked is a magazine that spotlights local Winnipeg talent who've either "made it" in the film industry or who are on their rise to success. We believe that Winnipeg is an up and coming city for the film industry and has some perks that even other Canadian cities like Vancouver or Toronto can't compete with.

So obviously a huge part of magazines is content, so my group members and I are in crunch time to find subjects to interview. Things are turning out pretty successful so far and I had an opportunity of a lifetime this past Wednesday. I've met two of the Executive Producers of the movie The Divide which is a film that was entirely shot in Winnipeg.

The premiere was last night, Thursday, at Silver City Polo Park. The night included a red carpet, media coverage, and a crowd full of gawking Winnipegers. The movie follows eight people who are trapped in the basement of an apartment building after an apocalyptic attack on New York City. It's almost like a more intense version of Lord of the Flies as tensions arise due to food rationing, starving, and hostility. The movie is hard to watch sometimes and is described as a psychological thriller, but it was still awesome. The acting, directing, make-up and other production aspects were very well done.

Anyway, the producers were kind enough to arrange an interview with me and one of the main actors, Michael Eklund and the writer, Eron Sheean. I was told I had 15 minutes to conduct an interview and jumped at the chance, despite being INCREDIBLY nervous. However, one question led to another and Eklund was so friendly and so willing to share his experience on the movie that the interview ended up lasting an hour. It was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life and an opportunity that I'll probably never get again, so I'm very appreciative.

I was able to ask Eklund and Sheean about their experiences in Winnipeg, how they think the city is advantageous for the film industry, and other rather off-topic questions that were realated to their work that I was just plain curious about (go big or go home, right?).

Having the actual opportunity to talk to these two people in my starstruck state, I was able to experience a side of them that you don't usually get to see in TV or high end magazine interviews. I got a grasp of how they are as actual people. Not from an acting or film background, I made sure I asked them unconventional reporter questions that I think readers would genuinely find interesting. In a way, I feel like I bridged a gap between "actor" and "real person", and consequently, credible media outlets and myself.

I will be writing an article for my magazine based on this interview and will be posting it early this week. Feel free to read it and see what some people consider a new-bee at this reporting stuff (me) came up with!

Keep me posted!

 Michael Eklund is sitting in the foreground in this scene of The Divide. It's day one and at this point, the characters realize they're trapped in their apartment basement indefinitely.

Friday, January 13, 2012

If it bleeds, it leads.

When discussing news and the journalistic stories we see everyday, I keep hearing the same thing: if it bleeds, it leads. Basically what this means is that crime, gore, and violence sell in news and it's what's going to attract an audience.

As much as this fact disturbs me, I understand it. I love hearing that people are happy, that they are accomplishing goals, and that their acheivements are being recognized. But people accomplish goals everyday and that's nothing "new" and, therefore, it's not news.

Where I notice a shift from this type of news that print media seems to have a hay day with is in Facebook and Twitter. I don't hesitate to delete a Facebook "friend" if they continually post negative statuses and complain about how horrible their life is because they have to study, just got dumped, or whatever. There are way worse things going on in the world to complain about. Similarly, if someone I'm following on Twitter is a continuous Debbie Downer they're just an "unfollow" click away. And believe me, I click it.

I enjoying viewing Facebook profiles where people post humourous things and Twitter statuses that are funny, clever, and make me laugh.

News outlets are now desperate to spread their messages across all media platforms (print, radio, TV, Facebook, Twitter, you name it). But, depending on the message, I think media platforms can serve outlets differently. I follow the Winnipeg Free Press on Twitter, which regularly posts stories of crime and violence, but only because I like to keep up with the daily news.

So, what I'm trying to say in a nutshell is if you don't have something nice to say, you can stick it in print. But when it comes to other social media, if you have something negative to post, don't count on me keeping up with you.