Huell Howser gets a dose of CitJ

I’ve told more than one newspaper reporter who is or will shoot video: If you want to know how to shoot video for the Web, watch Huell Howser.

Huell is is on California PBS stations with a couple of shows — the most famous is probably California’s Gold. His style is anything but slick. Howser looks like a construction worker wrangled by a film crew to stand in for the real host. His interview style lacks any subtlety and he’s often goofy. Yet, he has legions of fans. Howser knows how to tell a story and capture the ambiance of a location. He brings people and history to life in ways commercial TV misses. His informal style is perfect for the Web and fits well with a print journalist’s gift for detail. You can have far worse tutors than Huell Howser.

Which is why this post on LAObserved grabbed my attention.

Jacob Soboroff just got a new HD video camera and went over to the Cornfield state park downtown yesterday to try it out. Walking the grounds he saw Huell Howser, “my idol in all things television,” filming a segment for KCET. Jacob headed over, camera running.

Here’s the YouTube post.

There’s more Huell on YouTube, too.

In Soboroff’s video, Huell talks about this sort of thing being how things are now. I wish Huell would get with the times on his Web site and at least make his current episodes downloadable for free (and shareable), and iTunes-like sale of old episodes for download. I haven’t been able to regularly watch Huell since moving to Bakersfield because as a DirecTV customer, we can’t get the local PBS station (the only local station we don’t get — PBS blames DTV, DTV blames PBS).

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