Better Locked Up (view this story)

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Rep: 87
Michael Fagans Sept. 1, 2010, 8:18 p.m. permalink


First off, great access and an interesting story.

I think B&W might have helped unify the whole piece. You were in some tough spots for color, still and video, and toning that way could really visually pull things together.

The first thing I struggled with is that I don't care about the guy on the first viewing. I appreciate his honesty, but I don't connect with him. The second time through at the 4:45 min mark I hear some things that I can connect with and then I am sort of rooting for him to get better. (I am hoping you are planning to follow up with him.)

As with all of our work, it could be shorter, not by much, and the music helps bring things along. I wish that you had run the audio overlap when you sped up him shooting up or with the quick montage, but that is my opinion. For me, the shooting up was starting to get repetitive.

The structure of your video was different, so in that sense it works for me. I like the fact that you ran him six months back vs. in jail, that was probably the most effective part of the video for me.

Once again, kudos on an eye-opening piece. You are on the right track.

Rep: 0
Djamila Grossman Sept. 1, 2010, 8:40 p.m. permalink

Thanks, Michael, interesting feedback. I really appreciate the detail and your comments definitely make sense. 

Rep: 87
Michael Fagans Sept. 1, 2010, 9:56 p.m. permalink

Glad I could offer some feedback.

One of the things I think most of us involved with site struggle with is finding our own "voice" in this medium. Most, if not all of us, have probably done so or are in the process of doing so with our still work.

So, I try to balance my opinion with feedback. Did you tell the story the way I would have, no; but it has a certain logic to it and there are some really successful sections. So I would rather give you the feedback I did and hopefully encourage you as you find your "video voice."

Colin and Richard Koci Hernandez both talk about front loading your best stuff in video, but there is nothing that jumps out at me to front load, so I resisted pretending to say that. You are on the right track and I look forward to seeing your next video.

Rep: 2
Emiel Elgersma Sept. 2, 2010, 12:01 a.m. permalink

Hi Djamila,

First of all I have to say you found a very interesting story! how much time did you spend with him? and how did you get access to this story?

Your video starts with a technical story about doing heroine and what it does to your vains. You might want to move that a bit further, and start with the more personal part, about that he's not geting high of it anymore.

The speed-up I like, but the one with pictures I prefer. Also the fast edit of the symptoms are good. I like the way he's just siting there, a bit out of focus.

I was wondering why you din't fill out the pictures, or cut of parts of the video. I don't like the black bars. 

As for color/bw, I like the choice of color, black and white might give it extra drama, but i think it is done too often and just to make things look more dramatic, while they are not. 

Rep: 8
Mike De Sisti Sept. 7, 2010, 10:53 p.m. permalink

Really nice job. No nit picking here. All I can say is I'm inspired. Love how you weaved the past with the present. I assume you are staying with him. Looking forward to seeing how he does when he's released. I couldn't help a glance at some of the other comments. Honestly, I can't remember switching from black and white photos to color. That's because I was totally engrossed in the story. However you did it, it worked and you should keep doing it.

Rep: 6
Andrew Satter Sept. 8, 2010, 11:13 a.m. permalink

Hey Djamila, glad to see you joined FtF! Looks like you got some good additonal feedback on your video. Hope to see you post more of your stuff on here.

Rep: 0
Djamila Grossman Dec. 13, 2010, 1:03 p.m. permalink

Thanks guys, just saw the additional comments, for some reason I didn't get an email when you posted them. I went back and might re-edit some parts of the piece a little bit, now that it's been a while. Anyway, all the comments are really appreciated. 

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