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‘The Quest’ for iPad: the Team

My competences as a writer or an application developer are rather limited. I need some help to put the iApp for ‘The Quest’ together, both for writing the text that has to ‘go along’ the pictures providing a broader viewpoint, and for pulling the ropes in the navigation and coding that’ll give access in a rational way to the content contained in ‘The Quest’ for iPad.

It is one thing to write captions, it is another to write a long text which can stand on its own, provide the necessary information in a structured way, AND which is exciting to read. It’s not that I never try to do it… It’s just that I’m in pain doing it. I am not on this earth for self-inflicted pain.

It is one thing having an idea of how the content has to be organised, it is another to know how to translate that into bytes and code lines. That is something I somehow never managed to get my hands dirty in.

Also I’m not a team player. I work alone all year round. I have to find people I can get along with. It’s not like picking up the Yellow Pages…

One thing I learned about Cambodia from filmmaker Rithy Panh, when seeing him light a scene for his ‘S21’ movie (highly recommended to anyone interested in the Khmer Rouge and the mechanics of an interrogation center) with a neon light and bits and pieces of cardboard, is that it is not necessary to get the big guns out to achieve what you want. It is dedication that counts.

CAMBODIA. Phnom Penh. 21/05/2002: Rithy Panh, documentary film director shooting movie on Cambodian memory at Tuol Sleng prison with former Khmer Rouge guards, interrogators and drivers.

CAMBODIA. Phnom Penh. 21/05/2002: Rithy Panh, documentary film director shooting movie on Cambodian memory at Tuol Sleng prison with former Khmer Rouge guards, interrogators and drivers.

So… I need dedicated people I can get along with.

Robert Carmichael is a journalist, writer, asks the right questions and is dedicated to his craft (he even tweets here). Born in South Africa in 1969: how far away from Cambodia can you be born? But Robert knows Cambodia well, he was managing editor at the Phnom Penh Post from 2001 to 2003 (we met briefly then). He left Cambodia. Like so many of us he came back… This time to cover the trial of Duch. By asking him early september of this year to write the text for ‘The Quest’ for iPad, I kept him from working on his book. I hope that is OK… We talked about having some 10 or 12.000 words. Robert C. brought me a 21.000 words text… Dedication?

Robert Starkweather (yes another Robert) is a web designer. He is Texan. But doesn’t look like a Texan at all… I think he has more of San Francisco in him. He lived there for a while. He is solidly based in Phnom Penh since 2001 and set up a web design company called K4Media. That’s how I met him in 2004 (or was it earlier?): he designed my very first website. All in Adobe Flash. We wisely changed that to normal HTML a few years later… Robert S. always thinks about context and constantly refocuses, and he dabbles in writing and photography which helps. We started talking together about ‘The Quest’ for iPad back in early June 2011. Robert S. is not a developer as such. He is a web designer with enough curiosity and guts to tackle application development.

Next post on ‘The Quest’ for iPad: Organising the Content

PS: Rithy Panh surely is dedicated. He churns out one film after the other about Cambodia, (hopefully) releasing the pressure in his brain caused by the memory of the years of turmoil he endured. Just last night I saw the recently released ‘Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell’, a chilling skin-to-skin interview with the person responsible for torturing and killing some 15.000 people at S21.

PPS: This is my 1001st post on this blog… It has been a long way since this first one, initially intended to keep the Magnum staff informed of what is cooking in Phnom Penh… I hope they drop by once in a while…

2 Responses to “‘The Quest’ for iPad: the Team”

  1. [...] also: ‘The Quest’ for iPad: why?, ‘The Quest’ for iPad: the team, ‘The Quest’ for iPad: organising [...]

    © John Vink / Magnum Photos » ‘The Quest’ for iPad: about editing - March 5th, 2012 at 6:12 am

  2. [...] also: ‘The Quest’ for iPad: why?, ‘The Quest’ for iPad: the team, ‘The Quest’ for iPad: organising content, ‘The Quest’ for iPad: about editing, [...]

    © John Vink / Magnum Photos » ‘The Quest’ for iPad: navigation and interface - March 27th, 2012 at 4:08 am

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