Your video needs to hit somebody between the eyes and make the viewer feel something. That ‘something’ could be happiness, sadness, fear or anger. Any of those emotional reactions will pique the viewer’s interest. In any case, whatever emotion comes to the fore, you need to ‘lay it on in spades’. There really is no point underplaying this. Clearly, you don’t want your video to get lost among the millions of others exactly the same.
I never thought I’d go to Iraq; it just isn’t who I am. I guess I knew it was always a possibility, given the nature of my job: then – in 2007 – I was the China-based camera operator for Channel 4 News, UK, and that took me all over China and into neighbouring countries like Kazakhstan; even as far afield as South Africa. I was covering news stories, and Iraq was definitely news, so Iraq was always possible. So … one day you find yourself saying ‘Yes’ to your boss on the phone, agreeing to travel into a war zone, to be embedded with US troops. The next thing you know, you’re writing your will and working out your blood type so that it can be added to your ID. This blog is about one particular incident that happened in Mosul, Iraq, but first I’d like to take a moment to talk about arriving in that war-torn country.