Posts Tagged ‘School of Communication’

I. The Gangs

(Photo by Prensa Libre)

WASHINGTON, DC, 15 August 2013 — This is the first of three short films I made on gangs and religion in Guatemala. Using the methodology that we refer to as “backpack video journalism,” I documented Robert Brenneman as he conducted follow-up research to his book, “Homies + Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.”
This first film is an overview of the gang-related violence that has wracked this Central American nation. To watch “The Gangs” on Vimeo, click https://vimeo.com/62125980.

Brenneman is an assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. His trip to Guatemala was sponsored by American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS.)

This was a tricky assignment, and proof once again how the technology we use today enables us to work effectively in difficult (read “dangerous”) situations. I took two cameras to shoot the three films. A Canon HDSLR and a Panasonic hand-held camcorder. For interviews and in areas where robbery (I hoped) was less of an issue, I used the larger, more intrusive camcorder. In more sketchy situations, I used the HDSLR. Even though its sound capabilities are far less than those of the camcorder with its two XLR inputs for directional and wireless mics, the Canon does fine if you know how to use it.

I hope you enjoy the films.

Bill Gentile


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