Friday, March 26th, 2010

Digital Media Master’s Project: The Last American Grand

The Last American Grand screen shot

The Last American Grand screen shot

“The Last American Grand” is a journalistic, multimedia project, produced by team mate Paula Neudorf and me, digital media students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The result of seven months’ worth of research and reporting, this Web site was submitted as our master’s project in March 2010.

We shared the responsibility of filming versus interviewing, and found that it made us a better team. We switched off who controlled the camera while the other interviewed a subject. We also took turns shooting B-roll, calling our sources, etc. We each had “our” sources, so that each source dealt mostly with one person, though we’d often switch off who contacted who, so that we hope our sources came to think of us as a single journalistic unit. Splitting things fifty-fifty helps both pragmatically and emotionally.

When it came to assembling our final project, each of us played to our strengths: Paula focused on the text piece and lent her editorial judgment to the Web site, while I focused on the visuals and the site’s construction. We each edited two of our four main videos, with me editing “The Restorer” and “The Polisher” videos, and Paula, the trailer, “The Tone Regulator” and “Pianists on Pianos.” Outside of the videos, Paula wrote the text piece, assembling information we had both gathered from our reporting, while I assembled the text and videos for the timeline. I also constructed and designed the website from scratch.

For more information, email

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Multimedia: Midtown Pedicab Boss Rides On Leaky Tires

For my course, Digital Media Newsroom, a team mate and I had to profile a small-business owner in New York for a semester. Gregg Zukowski, owner of Revolution Rickshaws, was our profiled character. In the course of reporting, we produced a text piece, audio slideshows, Google Maps, Flash and videos for the story, some of which can be found on the website, “The Big Hurt.”

The published work consists a text piece (of which I was the main writer), an audio slideshow (which I took photos for and produced) and a video. As a classroom assignment that did not end up published, I also took photos for, and produced another audio slideshow that involved another pedicab-rental business owner.

The story is part of “The Big Hurt” website, and can be found here.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Sam Ash Music Store, Times Square, New York City

Click here to see my audio slideshow on Sam Ash Music Store.

During a one-week pre-orientation boot camp I attended at the Journalism School, Columbia University, classmate Sam Fellman and I teamed up to create an audio slideshow. We headed down to the guitar section of the Sam Ash Music Store on Times Square and basically reported on, and assembled this slideshow over the weekend.

I was mainly in charge of taking photos for the slideshow. Guitars in each room at the store were all laid out in a similar fashion. Seeking to break free of the visual monotony, I wracked my brain to come out with as many creative angles as possible, and was quite satisfied with the final product. Sam’s audio editing was excellent, too, and when put together, the audio and the pictures turned out mighty fine.

Not too bad for our first attempts at creating an audio slideshow.

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Worldwide Scoop on Ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra

May 2008, while interning at the Associated Press Television Network (Beijing), I was asked to follow a Sports News Television cameraman Nicky Zhu for a story. SNTV is an APTN (Beijing) affiliate. SNTV had received a tip-off that day that ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was in Beijing for a night to attend the opening ceremony of a golf course in the outskirts of the city.

Thaksin was owner of soccer team Manchester City, and news was rife at that time that he was about to fire soccer coach Sven-Goran Ericksson but Thaksin made no public notice of it. The video I co-produced marked the first public comment Thaksin made on this latest development, and SNTV scored a worldwide scoop with it.

Nicky, the cameraman, and I staked out this golf course for the whole day to wait for Thaksin to appear at the event. The event began at about 8pm, and Nicky and I went in together with all the other reporters, who were there to cover the opening ceremony, to wait for Thaksin to arrive. He walked down the red carpet to initial on a board organizers put up for guests to sign on. Once he turned around to head towards the dining hall, I stepped up and pointed the microphone towards him and just fired off the questions that Nicky and I had prepared earlier on in the day. Silence fell on the crowd instantly as they were caught unawares by the questions we were asking. They soon caught on our lead though, and tried to catch what was the tail-end of the interview. Once my brief five-minute interaction with him was over, Nicky and I headed back to APTN’s office at top speed, and the video was beamed to London, where SNTV’s headquarters was located, by 9.30pm.

The video can be found here on BBC’s website, together with the related article.

all content © copyright 2017 by soon weilun.
subscribe to rss feed – posts or just comments.

powered by wordpress
designed by soon weilun, based on "workaholic" theme by graph paper press.