Feline Dentistry (view this story)

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Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius June 29, 2010, 7:45 a.m. permalink

As is, the piece has interesting visuals (I had never seen a lion on a respirator, and the close-up of the dental instruments was great) and good clips from interesting people. I think the voiceover is helpful in setting up the main idea and explaining the process as it unfolds. But the start is dry, and kind of a turn-off.

We have to wait until 25 seconds into the piece to even know something is wrong with Zamba. In those 25 seconds we hear how he was an MGM lion, how it is "king" among the "fabulous felines" ... etc. All nice background, but not likely to be a sufficient enticement to watch the rest of the piece. (I personally have an aversion to cute phrases like 'fabulous felines,' just like I won't see a movie described as a 'rollicking good ride,' but that's my problem.)

The more interesting part of the piece is that some of this process is improvisational, and involves pulling in people from non-animal disciplines. The core question seems to be: how do you give a lion a root canal?

How's this for an alternative start that gets that question up front:

[hear a lion roar]
VO: for XX years, Zamba roared for MGM, but is now retired, and his age is taking its toll. Zamba has a problem, which means the staff at Cat Tales Zological Training Center has a problem: someone from out here, needs to go in there, and give Zamba a root canal.
[show clip of sign that says "don't run, you look like food"]

You can then go into Dr. Hunter explaining why it's necessary to address the issue, and who says it's beyond their expertise. Then bring in Tataryn, whose non-animal background is wonderfully shown by his not even knowing Zamba is a male, not a female. The rest rolls great as is.


Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany June 30, 2010, 9:38 a.m. permalink

Thanks for the feedback Kevin.
You're right, I broke my own rule of defining the story quickly. I guess I was trying to build in a surprise for the viewer, but if I lose them before I get to the gold coin, well.....

I'm with you on "fabulous felines." Cliches are bad in writing, even worse when you voice them in a script.

Thanks for all the other reviews Kevin. Your knowledge and insight are helping a lot of multimedia storytellers.

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