Mike Lusmore Visit

Today Mike Lusmore visited us from Duck Rabbit who is a photographer and producer of transformative storytelling and photofilms. He has been making photofilms since 2008, and whilst he still values print media he thinks transmedia in becoming increasingly important because it can generate interest in you as a photographer also. He quoted David Hurn when emphasising how we as photographers must become comfortable with change “we must embrace what’s here and now and be aware of our tendency to look to the past for explanations”. In these changing times for photography we have four different tools to present our work;

  • Multimedia
  • Photofilms
  • Transformative storytelling
  • Transmedia

For multimedia he discussed how the Bombay Bicycle Club recently attended a photostory conference and points out that in his opinion multimedia must be presented in a way that compliments the material for example if presenting a song with photo’s the song should be in some way related to the theme otherwise it will distract the audience from the photography.

An example of a photofilm was shown that followed carol singers around a village on Christmas Eve. The key elements of the photofilm were photos, ambient sound, and narrative. The benefits of a photofilm are that they can tell a complex story in a simple way, it can be intimate and gives your subject a voice. Working with audio also informs your photography and vice versa.

Transformative storytelling tells a story using content that was not originally produced for the purpose of the story. Multiple sources of media can be combined to make a story in this way. The example Mike showed us was a re-imagined sequence of events from two fictional film characters; Edward the vampire and Buffy the vampire slayer that showed Jonathan McIntosh’s version of the story.

Transmedia is a hub where we can use multimedia together with social networking as a platform to share material. We looked at some examples of these including a website called ‘Bottoming Out’ which created a support network for gambling addicts, and a website ‘Base Track’ which connected friends and family who had loved ones at war. I liked both of these as I liked the way these people were able to communicate online who otherwise wouldn’t know each other.

Mike discussed that good storytelling requires a balance of good photography and a good story. He says we must engage our audience in a way that will satisfy them by building up layers of media that will give the audience the best representation of the story.

He then gave us a task to make the audio clips and photographs that we had gathered last week into a photofilm. Below is the photofilm that Craig and I made together.

I enjoyed making the photofilm, it was the first one I’d ever made and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The key to making a good one is making sure you have lots of images and sounds to choose from, the more the better, and always remember ambient sound.


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