Courtroom Sketch Artist (view this story)

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Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi Feb. 5, 2011, 6 a.m. permalink

To me this video suffers from a lack of focus. The subject matter is very interesting, but it's really hard to keep the viewers attention through four minutes of a single subject speaking without much b-roll. The thing that we'd like to see, of course, is her in action, which I assume you can't get because cameras are not allowed in court.
I think the movement on the stills is fine, it's a trick that's used to keep the eye's attention on a static subject. Personally, I prefer to have pictures fill the frame, but that can be tough with the 16x9 format.
We often hear about the need for a beginning, middle and end to move the story along, and this piece doesn't really have it.

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Feb. 5, 2011, 9:09 p.m. permalink

Hi Tim,

Here are a couple of rules of thumb I use when doing motion on photos. You seem to start a photo static, then 2 or 3 seconds later you start your move. You also end by stopping the movement and holding on the image for a time before transitioning to the next. It feels a bit clunky too me to do it that way. I try to start with movement and end with motion transitioning to the next photo. Also, don't feel you have to do movement on every photo in a sequence. It can make the viewer seasick after a while. I thought toward the end where you were not doing any movement at all was more effective than all that zooming in and out and tracking stuff. 

Your movements seemed too fast to me on many images.  You also pull way out when you did not need to. It felt like I was traveling in a tunnel.

When I use movement on an audio slideshow, I try and keep it as unobtrusive as I can. Very slow movement can be just as effective as a fast one. 

Finally if you are going do a tracking movement within a photo, make sure you are doing it for a reason. Stretching time because you don't have enough material is not good reason.

Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi Feb. 6, 2011, 4:39 a.m. permalink

I would also consider using a different lower third template. This is a serious story, and the sketchy animated text seems too light-hearted.

Rep: 1
Tim Hacker Feb. 7, 2011, 9:58 a.m. permalink

Thank you for the feedback.
I would have like to use some nat sound to start it and break it up a little, maybe a pencil scratching the paper as she works, but though it would have been unethical to have her draw something up just for me. 
I thought about using other sketches from other cases she has been a part of but did not want to confuse the viewer. 
Thank you again.

Rep: 8
Alexandra Bahou Feb. 7, 2011, 7:28 p.m. permalink

I really like the topic here--it's just tough when you can't get them in their element. I agree with the feedback above--a more straightforward lower third, tighter focus. Also, I found the background of the interview frame a bit distracting. I know you probably didn't have many  other options in her house, but maybe just something to think about in the future.


I liked the way you dissolved from his old picture to what he actually looked like when he came in the courtroom. I also really like her quote about how it's a tough business. Might have been cool to lead with that image/her quote and then get into the Loughner details?


Cool topic/story idea.


Thanks for sharing! :o)



Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Feb. 7, 2011, 8 p.m. permalink

Welcome to Finding the Frame Alexandra. Thanks for adding you voice to the mix.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Feb. 7, 2011, 9:08 p.m. permalink

Welcome to FtF Alex!!  Glad another Freepster has joined and contributing, keep it coming :-)


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