Diary of a Dancer (view this story)

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Rep: 87
Michael Fagans May 12, 2010, 11:05 a.m. permalink


Kudos for getting the access to tell this story.

The first thing that caught my eye, bad pun - my apologies, was that I could not tell about focus. Most images looked like they had a place you wanted me to look first, but a number of them seemed soft. Not sure if this is a function of low light or a function of how they were imported into Premiere. I know with Final Cut Pro I have to size and sharpen images differently than why I use Soundslides. My 2-D art professor always argued for attention to detail, especially when you are going out on an artistic limb like you have.

Your subject matter gets to one of the conceptions, perceptions and questions we as a society seem to have difficulty thinking or talking about (in the U.S.) namely sex. What is nice is that you focus in on one slice of the pie, burlesque. I am not sure where or how or if this fits in to a larger project, but your description of the story on FtF almost could have been in the piece, from my perspective.

I know burlesque is becoming more mainstream/making a comeback, but how is it defined, how do the performers define it, what is it, what did it use to be traditionally? Your piece asks a lot of questions for me that as a journalist I would like to see answered.

I also know that the subject matter and the frank portrayal will make some people uncomfortable. You might be the first person to get nudity into FtF, congrats. Their discomfort may be for legitimate reasons or it may just be you are presenting something that is uncomfortable for them to consider.

To the nuts and bolts of the storytelling. I like the curtain as your open and almost close. Formulamatic perhaps, but it works for the entire piece and the subject matter. I would argue for the curtain to be your closer, even with her voice saying something at the end. For me, the one stage shot was too early, it felt out of place. Perhaps you were going for a tease, but it felt out of sequence.

Your subject’s portrait with her coffee cup looked uncomfortable. Not sure if that was when she was talking about her, but it sticks out for me, which can be a good thing. The piece as a whole felt “upbeat” to me, which is why I think that image sticks out, but there is also a sort of melancholy too underneath. These are the things we really need to think about as multimedia journalists, what kind of mood, message or “feel” are we trying to convey with our projects, and do the parts work to support or undermine what we are trying to do or say.

I was glad to see that you credited the music, as I have noted earlier on this site with someone else, I hope you have permission to use it. I am not assuming one way or another, I just know that we want people to compensate us for our efforts as visual artists and so I encourage folks to do the same for our fellow artists. There are a number of great sites and services and Colin and I have talked about later providing links to resources, especially audio, because it is so powerful.

So, I thank you for submitting your piece, I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Rep: 2
Michael P. King May 19, 2010, 4:45 p.m. permalink

I thought this was really nice, strong photography and a good human interest story. The audio scheme is good and draws me into the story, but technically the interview audio suffers from some inconsistency in the levels and lack of fades (I can hear the gain hiss and hard cuts). They're little things, but (in my opinion) can make a big difference in terms of viewer experience. You want the viewer to hear every word and not be jarred by abrupt audio changes.

Rep: 0
Emily Anne Epstein May 25, 2010, 11:29 a.m. permalink

Hey Micheal Fagan,

Thanks for your comments! I will try to respond to your questions individually-

1. Softness- I noticed this too, but since I was using Premiere, no matter how large I imported the images, they were resized. I'm not sure how to fix it besides reconstructing it entirely in another program.

2. Questions- This is something I struggled with too, and as it is a big subject, I felt I really had to pare it down, to a portrait, and let the questions linger for the audience. I also had to consider where I could get the piece published, and as a feature, I felt I couldn't delve too much- I'd have to leave that up to whatever accompanying story would make sense.

3. The cup portrait- This is paired with when she talks about her mother, so I felt it showed how even she had concerns about her profession. It's there to amplify the nuances of her tone of voice.

4. Music- I consider this a demo, so I've not purchased the music yet. It is a song she performs too on occasion, so that's why i selected it.

Hey Micheal King,

I am totally new to this world- where did you hear the audio cracks and hisses? I will try to fix them! Thanks for pointing that out!

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