SORREL DOWNER

Journalist, film producer, and media consultant, mixing it up for TV, online, newspapers and magazines. I cover travel & tourism, lifestyle, and design. Mainly. This is the HQ for previous work, and an introduction to current projects. I work all over the world and live on a farm in Cadiz which I write about at www.somewheresville.org.

Online Content

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Subtitle: The ‘Content Package’.

Ah yes, when I started out, journalism was about writing stuff. Photographers took care of the pictures, and somewhere in the building there was an advertising department where men in suits practised the dark arts. Film was what you went to see when you got paid.

Now we have the chance to provide content packages. There are few journalists who don’t appreciate all the new tools and platforms available to them for 360 storytelling, it’s just that we end up doing more, for less, and the openings for content where advertising isn’t at least a shadow of a factor, are few. This gripe aside, from a purely creative point of view, it’s all very satisfying. Oh yes. (I need the work).

I’ve been working on a series of road trip travel pieces (words + pictures + film) for somewheresville. For authentic blog immediacy – and to prove it was possible, I suppose, I took pictures, wrote the pieces, and filmed, edited (roughly) and uploaded short videos on the day from various motel rooms around the USA. Now returned, I’m in the process of reworking the material, exploring the ways in which the film element, like the photos, can add a whole new dimension, rather than merely replicating – or illustrating – what’s said in the text.

In some of these content packages, the different elements work like companion pieces covering different angles of the story, and sometimes it’s a set of photos, or the film, rather than the article that takes the lead. In others, photos, film and feature cover the same ground, but like layers of filters, give the subject a fresh and a more nuanced, lively look.

Speaking as someone who has spent many years staring at a computer screen desperate for adequate words to describe a spectacular or foul travel destination, access to a brace of media is all very liberating. The challenge is to make every element add value, and for the whole thing to add up to more than the sum of its parts. Bad photos + bad video + bad journalism is, after all, just bad.

Images above taken from a content package about Tiny Texas Houses for somewheresville.

This is the HQ for archive features, and an introduction to current projects. See also somewheresville, the travel blog; Vimeo for videos, LinkedIn for skills and contact details, and Joy Soup for multimedia content news, reviews and services offered.

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