Monday, August 20, 2007
Facing The Camera
The most striking aspect of this vlog featuring Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart debating whether terrorists are soldiers or criminals has nothing to do with what either of them have to say about the issue. (The correct answer being that terrorists share characteristics of both soldiers and criminals, while being identical to neither.) No, what's most striking about it is Jonah Goldberg's vlogging technique. Simply put, the man's got skills.
The key is not just the wide angle shot, with the webcam at about a 25° angle from the screen. It's the way he positions himself facing the screen instead of the camera, so that when he does address the camera, he's slightly turning towards it. The effect, when he's speaking, is that of someone engaged in a conversation who naturally turns towards you, the viewer, to include you in it. And when he's listening, that of a normal human being -- something you rarely see in the vlogging format, where people usually look cramped and dumbstruck by the tight, claustrophobic and unnatural framing that characterizes 99% of webcam videos I've ever seen.
Vloggers take note. This is definitely the wave of the future.