Around the Hill: More Than Just A Game (view this story)

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Rep: 15
Kathy Strauss July 1, 2010, 10:29 a.m. permalink

Seems like I've seen a million stories about barbershops but this one has the interesting added twist of checkers.  I like it and yes, I think you've achieved a nice slice of life feel.

A few comments:
I'm not so interested in the history of the neighborhood, I'd rather the story's focus stay on the checkers games.

You've written a good script but by the middle of the piece I want to hear more nat sound and subjects talking, and less voiceover. I'd also like to hear way more "trash talking" and the game players interacting.

I'm don't think you need the subtitles to go with the interview of the co-owner. In fact I wonder if you need that interview at all. He doesn't do much to move the story along. I wonder if there was another character there who could tell it in a more interesting way.

Nice job. Keep 'em coming!

Rep: 6
Andrew Satter July 1, 2010, 12:03 p.m. permalink

Thanks for the review Kathy, and for making the effort to dive into yet another barbershop piece (so overdone, but man do they make for an awesome video environment). I agree that it could use more of their banter and that was something I struggled with, how to keep the story moving and still get that in there. And everyone I showed this piece to agreed about the subtitles - I had to listen to him a couple of times so I didn't want that to distract the viewer from experiencing the piece on the first go around. But in retrospect I think their presence ended up being unncessary and distracting.

Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi July 1, 2010, 2:23 p.m. permalink

It did have a nice slide of life feel, and I actually liked the historical context. Viewing this as an outsider, I think it gives me a little better understanding. I agree with Kathy's suggestion to get a little more trash talk, but you did a nice job capturing the rest of the natural sound.

You did a very nice job with the scripting and the VO. If I'm going to nitpipck, I'd cut out the the part from "the shop's two checkerboards" to "flick pieces around the board." It's a good bit o writing for a radio or print piece, but you can show me this stuff in a video, you don't have to tell me. It's a minor point, as the rest of the narration flows nicely with everything else. I especially like the ending. The delivery was nice, too. It was relaxed and conversational.

It might just be my personal preference, but I'm not sure about the mix of stills with this piece. The stills were all well shot, but I don't see a reason to use them instead of video. If you had shot all the exact same moments with a video camera, there would have been plenty of nice motion and sound. But like I said, that my stylistic preference more than anything else.

Overall a very nice job. I look forward to checking out more "Around the Hill" pieces.

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