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Rep: 87
Michael Fagans May 15, 2012, 4:35 p.m. permalink


Thanks for sharing, there are some very interesting images in your piece.

Overall, I liked the piece in a slice of life sense of storytelling. What I could have used was some sense of the history, either with a VO or type, to help underscore the poignancy of some of the image from lives disrupted. You give us the soldier's perspective, and I understand that may be all you would have had access to, but I would have loved to have gotten a Cypriot perspective or at the very least when the UN moved in and why.

From a technical perspective: What software did you use to assemble this? The fade out/fade in technique with stills, works in that it creates a natural 'blink,' but I must admit it makes me tired quickly. I think partially because each images seemed displayed for the same amount of time. That tends to give everything the same visual 'weight.' I would have loved to see you mix up cross fades, hard cuts and fade to blacks just to mix things up visually. On the sharpness front, the images did not seem to be maximized for the Vimeo player, which as a photographer by trade, I want to see tack sharp images. Both questions go back to the software question which might have limited your choices in both areas.

On the plus side, your sound capture was clean. I wouldn't have minded longer cross fades on the Nat(ural) sound flowing underneath the interview. And don't be afraid of silence or pauses in interviews.

In the end, there are some great images here and solid sound, both go a long way in storytelling. If you have questions or want clarifications on these comments please don't hesitate to ask.

I look forward to seeing your next piece.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 15, 2012, 6:25 p.m. permalink

Good review by Michael.

I agree with him on having other people in this piece. The voice of another villager if that was possible during your "embed" would have helped not only in bringing that flavor of being in a foreign country on patrol but would have also would of helped greatly in making this seem just like a tour of a place in a country that it started to feel like.

It was long at 4 :10 and I think having a theme and a better focus it could have been shorter and kept my interest more.
For example I wanted to feel connected to Corporal Roberts and while I heard him a lot I didn't see him. Would have been great to have seen him on patrol more, etc.

Good point raised about software.  The transitions between the stills made it feel like a slide show and the rhythmic transition or "blink' as Michael said made me tired quickly as well.  Not sure what you used to produce this and sometimes you just use what you have and that might be the case with you.  I'd encourage you for pieces like this with lots of stills to have a good dissolve to black fade on/fade out kind of thing. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere are good for that kind of stuff and so much more.   Another thing to think about for the future is putting slow movement on your slides, having them come in and come out. That movement with a tighter edit of the stills would have more impact I feel.

Visually it all seemed to feel the same. More variety from tighter details, better overalls for a sense of place in country, transitional pictures to take us from one place to another, etc.

I did like how you had some natural sound breaks in between Corporal Roberts interviews which did help break up what was starting to feel like a constant barrage of him talking. 

Hope this helps and others chime in on this review as well for other perspectives.


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