Dr. David Baker (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals Sept. 30, 2012, 3:04 p.m. permalink

Hi Peter,

I love jazz so when I saw this in the story pool I wanted to review it not only to be treated to some music but learn about David Baker whom I've never heard of....however the story got bogged down from from the start.

These are some things I noticed after watching the video a few times that made it bog down for me;

1. Having a fine tuned focus on this story would of not only help narrow what you wanted to say but also with the time it takes to say it. 
At 5 minutes it was to long because it didn't have the energy either visually or with the story and pace. 

2. This guy is a living jazz legend but we spent almost 1 minute getting background about Attucks High School and his beginning of music. Whet our appetite with visuals and sounds from the start not a talking head. 
I say this because time in video storytelling is precious and the viewers are finicky if they are not entertained, moved or compelled to keep watching they will stop watching!
One way to deal with this is make the 1st ten to fifteen seconds of a video so that it grabs the viewer then use the rest of the time to hold their attention, keep them curious and learn something from it.

3. This video has you dealing with so much about his past so show us more of the past.  
I liked how you had some of the black and white images of bands but I was wondering did David Baker have any pictures of himself playing back in the day? Stuff like that would be perfect to show as music plays underneath them. 

4. Speaking of the stills used I think the movement on them was to quick, check it out at the :19 mark. Slow them down a lot, let them linger so we can study it while the A-roll plays underneath. 
Also don't start or stop it as you transition to the next still or video clip. Right after that quick still at :19 sec you cut right to the Attucks High School then to the sign of out front.  One of them is a total still with no movement and the other starts off still but then you apply movement to it. Let them all flow seamlessly going in and out of each other as you move to the next clip.  The abruptness isn't good to have.

5. It's awesome that you are using two cameras for an interview. Lots of people either don't do that because of the time element it takes to set up for that and the editing process or lack of equipment to do it. 
It can be helpful visually but in this case the back and forth between the two cameras became too much for me.  
I wanted less face time of him on camera and more b-roll (still or stuff of him conducting like you have at the end)

6. Having another character in the piece would have been awesome for the variety of subjects as well as giving our ears a break from hearing the same voice throughout the piece. It's good to have a supporting voice to back up what the main character is saying and even introduce something else that that he is not saying. 
Was there someone else who could either speak about why he's a legend or even a musician who plays for them??

7. Having good transitions would have really helped Does he still play? Show that so we can see the joy on his face
Any footage or still of him playing from back in the day?  I noticed lots of pictures on the way behind him at his desk.

8. Know when is the best time to bring in the jazz music.  For me that perfect time is right after he says...
"When I think music I don't think M U S I C I think sound of music." 

9. Some of the best video capturing his mood and feeling came at the very end as he is conducting.  I'd consider moving this up towards the front. I like the shooting from the side but I couldn't help thinking how nice it would have been to see this covered from many different angles. A nice overall of where he is playing, tight on his face showing his passion, smiles, etc. Stuff of the band playing and the crowd watching.

Your audio and exposure was top notch. I'm not too familiar with the Panasonic GH2 but I've read good things about that hdslr.  Does it only take Panasonic lenses or can you add Canon or Nikon lenses on it.

Thanks for posting on FtF!


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