Border Collies + Canada geese = No geese poop! (view this story)

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Rep: 5
Miranda Mulligan June 14, 2010, 6:24 a.m. permalink

I love the way you open this story. The "Marley" calls and the flinging bird poop are perfect. You have a true talent for drawing someone into your story. Great sense of humor, timing and pacing in the first half. However, the second half drops off a bit.

And I agree, someone from parks and rec would have been nice right around the part: "clean-up can be costly for cities."

Nice insight into the border collies.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 14, 2010, 6:34 a.m. permalink

Cool, thanks for watching and reviewing it Miranda,

What made it drop off in the second half to you? Did it get bogged down or drag out with the sheep and Wendy?

It ran on TV this morning a few times and at 1:30, it felt and moved along better than the 3:00 this one was for the web.

I really wish I could have spent more time with the dogs as they herd and chase away the but they do their job so well there weren't many geese for them to go after LOL!

And still shaking my head with the "city officials."
I'm sending the link to this video to 3 guys who never called me back or blew me off as a nice way of saying, "Yeah, you and your city parks could have been a part of this" :-)


Rep: 5
Miranda Mulligan June 14, 2010, 7:05 a.m. permalink

You will definitely have the last laugh there, hunh?

What did you cut out to shorten to 1:30?

I guess I felt some of the humor left the building but probably because that woman was a little drab. AND You did bring it back in the last 15 seconds, but it get s a little slow in the middle.

Those border collies were pretty cool and you are right... I would have liked to have seen more of them herding the geese since that was what the story was about.

Great story though! Really enjoyed it.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 14, 2010, 7:36 a.m. permalink

You're right, she was kind of deadpan.

For TV I cut out most of her except 25 seconds her talking about it taking many years of experience to train the border collie on sheep and how the dogs are working partners.

Funny you mention having the last laugh...a few minutes ago I got an email from one of the city officials I was trying to interview and had just watched the video I sent he really wants to post the geese video on his city website!! Go figure huh?? LOL!!!

Thanks again :-)


Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 14, 2010, 7:50 a.m. permalink

I know this is a video review/critique site but a friend sent me a link on my facebook page that can really help us all learn and grow more.

9 ways we can get more people to watch our videos and improve our storytelling....

1. Create a strong sense of place
2. Steal
3. Create some drama
4. Stop burying your lede
5. Be bold
6. What the hell?
7. Bait the hook
8. Add a dash of mystery
9. Keep them guessing


Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi June 14, 2010, 1:09 p.m. permalink

I agree, a little slow in the middle. I would have done without the sheep herding. After all, we all know dogs herd sheep. It's the geese we want to see.

Did you really show me a tight shot of a honking goose without letting me hear it? MORE NATS PLEASE! I want to hear that honking goose!

Since you mentioned Koci's post about openings... your opening was great. We had a great sense of place and a few what the hell moments.

The storytelling was also very solid. I had a few questions arise while I was watching: what happens when the dogs leave? how do they not hurt the geese or other animals? and the subjects answered them, I just wish we had gotten to those answers a little quicker.

I don't think you needed the city official. It sort of goes without saying that parks are better without poop. What's interesting is the method. The wedding guy flinging the poop was far better than any city official would have been.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 14, 2010, 6:10 p.m. permalink

Thanks Peter for checking it out and the feedback :-)

Yeah watching the piece again it is slower with Wendy in it as much as she is, toning it back would have really focused it more and moved it on. I was saying to Miranda earlier toda that the 1:30 version on TV this morning felt much better with the tighter edit.

As far as the sheep herding it was important for me to have it in there (but maybe not as long) for two reasons.

1. Telling a complete story
2. Knowing your audience

I think it helps tell a more complete story of the these dogs and owners work habits. When they are not out herding geese they spend their time herding sheep for practice at the farm, for exercise and just something these dogs have the instinct to do.

It also is a case of knowing who your audience is. Our videos (like I'm sure your videos do) reach a wide range of various people with different social economic statuses from the inner city to the burbs and rural places. Some people who saw it on TV this morning a few times and/or on the web or in schools might not have seen sheep herding and it helps put the story in context for them.

I wanted more geese and dogs in action as well but I was at the mercy of what happens in a day. There were only two times the dogs herded or chased the geese during my 4 hours with them.

I just had to make the most of what was going on in front of me. Plus herding is this time of year is the "slow" season for geese herding. March to April and September to November are the busy times for the dogs and the business, just my luck that the reporter decides to do the story during the "slow" season. Isn't that typical of reporters?" (yeah I'm stereotyping a bit) :-)

That honk you wanted to hear was actually a hiss. Canada geese hiss not honk, when they feel threatened (by me being close to them)
I love and believe in good nat sound but my Sennheiser shotgun couldn't pick it up well. I even tried copying the one audio track wiht the hiss on it and doubled it on the timeline.
Any other suggestions on how to rescue sound like that?? I'm betting my audio level on my Panasonic wasn't at the best setting.

Thanks again Peter.


Rep: 87
Michael Fagans June 15, 2010, 10:16 p.m. permalink

Thanks for having a good give and take in public. These are the kinds of conversations that help all of us grow in our storytelling.

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