Randy Gibbs, a passenger of The Carnival Legend, shot this cell phone video on August 29, 2016 as his cruise ship listed to one side after an unexpected turn.
KARE 11 of Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota posted the full video of their interview combined with Gibbs’ cellphone clips while onboard on September 7, 2016. This cellphone video demonstrates how cellphones are the average person’s immediate choice to document sudden events.
If Gibbs had not said in the main interview that the footage was from his cell phone, I still would have known it was from a cellphone because the lights flare, the sound quality is uneven and all the video clips are grainy.
In this situation a cellphone was probably the main or only technology present to document the tipping ship. The sudden nature of the news story leaves the cellphone as the most appropriate form of coverage available to the passengers and employees of The Carnival Legend.
The cellphone coverage is not aesthetically pleasing, but beauty is not the goal of this clip. Gibbs documented the event as best he could without being thrown overboard.
KARE 11 presented the cellphone video within a longer video interview with Gibbs. The supplemental interview effectively tells the backstory of cellphone clips, but also provides the viewer with steady and simple breaks from the dramatic and quick-paced footage on the cruise ship. Since the cellphone coverage is a video, the only way viewers would see it off the television would be online. Gibbs’ video is the focus of this news story and is most effectively shared with the public online.
In summation, Gibbs’ cellphone video is a prime example of how personal documentation can become the key media in a news story. The unprofessionalism of the video pulls the viewer into the confusion and panic present onboard The Carnival Legend that day.