I was just chatting with Phil Carpenter who is on here and works in Montreal. We were talking about the NPPA Advance Storytelling Workshop and he wondered if I'd been, he did it four years ago.
Thanks for taking the time in writing this for us to read Ben.
Hey guys,Ben I'm really happy for you that you went, and Eric, YES you should go!It is expensive. When I did it four years ago there was a moratorium on travel at my paper, so I made a vacation out of it. I made a deal with the paper - I'd take care of the plane fare and expenses; they agreed to pay the tuition. When I returned i got a nice surprise. They wanted all my receipts for my expenses and offered to re-imburse me!As for the course. Yes, Ben, the biggest lesson I learned was the focus statement. Read Aim For the Heart by Al Tomkins from Poynter. The focus statement is the hardest part of a story - 3 to 4 words that tells what the story is about. The other thing I learned which was valuable, was story structure - the importance of "sprinkling surprises throughout and finishing with a big one.The workshop was started by, and for TV journalists. But most of it can be applied to what we do at newspapers - especially the one-man-band stuff. It was on that workshop that I learned to voice my pieces, and it was Boyd and Bev who pushed me to start doing it. I think voicing is a very valuable skill and it takes work to do it right. GOOD writing for voicing is a helluva skill that can really juice up a story. That's not to say nat sound pieces aren't good, when they are done well. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't shy away from it. It's a lot of work though.Working as a one-man-band is what we, well what I do mostly at my paper, and what I learned from John Goheen at the workshop is helping me to this day. I am still looking for the coily XLR cable for my shotgun and I can't find one anywhere! But it is valuable tool for gathering sound. He also uses a wireless mic A LOT for the same thing too. Here's his website: http://www.terranovapictures.com/Lastly, yes, Boyd and Jonathan make a helluva team! The Land of 10,000 stories http://www.kare11.com/news/investigative/extras/stories.aspx is a wicked way to learn good storytelling, how to use sound and good editing. I try to model my feature pieces off them. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/stories/index.html As you can see, I have a loooong way to go.This workshop will change the way you work, for the better. I can assure you. What they need, though, is a newspaper shooter on their faculty. I think Darren Durlach from the Boston Globe might be the man, but who knows.Go for it, Eric!!
Not sure I'd go Phil. There are so many other amazing workshops to choose from and partly it's case of a lot of time to do a workshop but not a lot of money.
Thanks, Eric.Do you, or anyone know someone who's done the one with Mediastorm?I know it's super expensive but I haven't heard what it's like.