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We need reviewers to step up!

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 30, 2011, 7:16 p.m. permalink

Finding the Frame is currently in a huge lull right now with lots of videos (31 so far) but not a lot of reviewing going on....

We all have lives, families, etc outside of our newspapers or wherever we work, I totally get that. I know it's hard to balance everything let alone reviewing two or three videos a week on Finding the Frame but this site needs you to step it up and review!

Finding the Frame is the only website out there for US, it is so valuable (or it should be if you want to learn and grow) but it won't last long, it won't have people (from all skill levels) thirsting for your input, knowledge or constructive criticism of their work unless you review.

If each reviewer (and some have never even reviewed once) would commit to at least one video a week that would be awesome!  You know the drill, give it an honest assessment, watch the piece two or three times and break it down and take folks to school.

I've been telling people just starting into video storytelling with HDSLR or traditional video cameras what a great site this is to learn and grow from and I see four or five of them have submitted work to be reviewed and they are waiting. 

Video storytelling is a huge learning process for us all so lets shift things into high gear please. 
If you believe in the whole Reach One, Teach One philosophy this is a great place to start that. What you add or say will help lots of others in the same boat as me and others having the thirst and passion to learn, grow and tell great stories!!  



Rep: 23
Brian Immel May 31, 2011, 5:44 a.m. permalink

I think Finding the Frame is a good example of "you get what you give".

Eric, you've been there since day one on both sides of the table, submitting and reviewing. In my experience both perspectives come with invaluable learning experiences. I think you'll agree.

But it's about time we spread that love around.

We've got a ton of tallent in this community and on the site. Some of the reviewers have been very passive so far, but now is the time to speak up. This community is a two way street and we can definitely learn more from each other.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 31, 2011, 6:06 a.m. permalink

Yeah man that's why I felt the need to post about reviewers stepping up to the plate. 

The more diverse views, critiques and opinions on video storytelling on here makes it all better. Everyone brings something different to the table.  If I have great reasons why a cross dissolve doesn't work some other reviewer might have a great reason why it does work and that's great for the person having their piece reviewed or others watching the piece and reading the comments. 

Wherever I go to speak or judge I'm always talking up the site to college and newspaper photojournalists looking at or already getting their feet wet in the awesome world of video storytelling.


Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany May 31, 2011, 7:59 a.m. permalink

Thanks Eric for all your hard work.

Now for a proposal to the FtF community. When we first started this website, the idea was to ask the best in the industry to join a reviewer pool that would critique submitted videos and audio slideshows from members. While great in theory, the reality is many selected reviewers never critiqued a single story. Others' jumped in and burned bright for a time then dropped off. I understand completely about the time commitment to be a reviewer on FtF. For the reviewers that have given their time and expertise, a heartfelt thanks! 

But Eric, Brian and myself are concerned that as the story pool grows with videos needing critiques, that there is just not enough action from the reviewer pool to keep the content and conversation on the site fresh and engaging. Our proposal to the FtF members is to do away with formal reviewers and open up the Story Pool to all members. That means any member can critique a story and bring it out front.

With hundreds of registered members, I think there would  be a lot more activity on the site. What I have come to realize over this last year is that this community is full of talented storytellers. Each person has expertise to give, and in that spirit, I think opening up the Story Pool to all members could reinvigorate Finding the Frame and help move it forward. 

Let's start the conversation right now. Members, do you think this is a good idea? Suggestions?

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 31, 2011, 8:52 a.m. permalink

Great idea Colin and Brian!

It's just a shame that some talented video storytellers that agreed to be reviewers on here never stepped up. Opening Finding the Frame up to everyone will really help bring new perspectives and insight to the site.

It will be great to have different or new sets of eyes looking and commenting on pieces no matter what the persons skill level is at video storytelling. Everyone has ideas, comments or views that should be respected on here and I hope that those new people that will soon start reviewing and commenting on work submitted will remember one thing....

It's all about making everyone better!

For the new reviewers just make sure you give the piece you're watching your undivided attention. 
Watch it once or twice all the way through (even if it's a long piece) before breaking it apart for the story structure, the visuals, audio, technical things etc.  Then you can have at it on what you liked, what didn't work for you, what was missing that could of taken the piece from an 8 to a 10 or how you loved it. If you're not sure on something just don't assume, ask questions. This is a give and take site and having dialogue is awesome!

This new opportunity for others to review should not be seen, taken or done in an attacking fashion.  Constructive criticism can be a good thing when done right and taken right  :-)

Really looking forward to seeing more reviews!


Rep: 19
David Brooks May 31, 2011, 5:34 p.m. permalink

Thanks for the push! You are all correct and I'm sorry for not be more pro-active. This is an opportunity for all of us to grow and every one of us has a chance to contribute to the positive growth of our community, so we might as well take advantage of it. Thanks.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 31, 2011, 5:41 p.m. permalink

No man, it's not you David, you're on here reviewing and posting it's mainly directed at others who have never done jack on here.

Colin and Brian on are the right track with opening this up to all to review not just a select group.  

Can't wait to see where this site goes from here and looking forward to watching more work, reading some good reviews and continuing the learning process :-)


Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi June 10, 2011, 11:44 a.m. permalink

I too apologize for some recent lack of participation. I'm all for opening up the discussion to anyone that would like to participate.

Rep: 8
James Cuff June 11, 2011, 4:35 a.m. permalink

Apologies for my lack of contributions since being made a reviewer.

Ironically, I have been waiting for my submitted piece to be reviewed as I didn't want to come on here giving
feedback/criticism as a reviewer without having anything to back it up (my current employer is behind a paywall).

I have been posting on here, without response at times, myself but will endeavour to help out in the review side of things.

This is a fantastic website/community that can be a benefit to many people, myself included. We can only help ourselves by helping each other.

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