Going Long (view this story)

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Rep: 20
Will Yurman May 2, 2010, 2:31 p.m. permalink

Some really nice elements in this story. Great natural sound of the players and coach and the narration did a nice job of connecting the dots and explaining the background of the story in a succinct way.
I bet the team and town loved this story - and maybe that's enough. But I think we should be striving, when we can, to make these kinds of stories compelling to people with no vested interest in the subject and think here you fall a little short.
I actually thought your text intro was more compelling than the show itself. I loved hearing about your personal connection - he was your teacher and coach and someone you had followed over the years. Why not include that in the story itself? I don't mean to suggest that we should always be sticking ourselves into our stories, but this seemed like a great opportunity to think about different ways of storytelling.
I give you points for experimenting with photo movement and playing with the image sizes - but ultimately I was left asking why? All of those movements should be done for a reason - a storytelling reason - and they didn't feel useful to me. I mostly found them distracting.
I know he said he didn't want to talk about himself on game day. But you NEEDED that. You've got a little of it from his players, but you needed more. If I'm going to care about him, I need to hear what makes him more than just any other retiring coach - what's HIS story. If he didn't want to talk game day, could you have gone the day or week before and really sat down with him?
I wanted the richness that comes from particular details - an anecdote of a favorite player, game, year. A sense of why he taught and coached. He must have been reflecting on the past 37 years in his mind, you needed to get that out of him.
Visually I wanted more photos of him, and more of him with his students. I know you only had the one game, and maybe access to the sidelines was a problem - but I thought there were too many action photos and not enough of him.
I really liked some of the stuff at the end - the image of him hands raised, and then on the darkening field with what I assume is his wife? And I really liked the quote near the end when he says "in a week or two I'll realize I won't be on the sidelines anymore" They were your best moments, i thought, visually and in sound. I would have closed on them rather than simply fading out on the nat sound.
It's a sweet story. I think that we all have to really push ourselves to craft these stories in the most compelling ways to keep our fickle audience listening.

Rep: 14
Tony Overman May 3, 2010, 6:20 p.m. permalink

Wow! Great audio. It really keeps me engaged, which is a problem that I usually have with audio slideshows.
The mix of photos is nice, especially the creative use of the smaller shots against the black background. You found a way to make stronger shots dominant, and details details.
I don't know why, but motion pans across a horizontal photo always seem weird to me (the final shot of the coach and wife walking off the field). I love that shot, but the subtle pan distracted me, rather than engage me.
All in all, this is one of the better audio slideshows I've seen (and heard)....it's the great audio that made this work for me.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 3, 2010, 7:15 p.m. permalink

Really nice job!! Felt great to watch it and had to see if a couple more times after the first viewing. I could tell that you put your heart into this. Even loved the editors note and you words about the connection with him and the school.

I thought it was a good length, your pictures kept me hooked the whole time. Even at the end when the team was on the bus yelling, it sounded good and not over-modulated.

I have no idea if this event even happened but I wish I could of seen the coach with the team at the football pep rally or school assembly especially if this was to be his last game. I bet there was lots of emotion from him, players, teachers and students.

I wanted to hear from him about his walking away from what he's loved for the past three decades. How hard was it for him knowing the next spring practice he'd be at home and not on the practice field. What that moment or the first game next season would feel like for him. Some of your pictures had emotion to them and I wanted to hear that emotion or reflection from him as well.

My favorite image is the picture of him walking off the field with a cane and football in one hand and his wife with the other hand.

It was some of the best audio for a slideshow I've heard in awhile, so many people have nice images but their audio is all over the board and it makes it hard to enjoy. Not in your case.

I see this was done in May of 2009? Don't know if you are shooting video now but as I was watching this I kept thinking it would have been amazing with video as well.

Like I said I could tell you shot this with your heart!

Eric

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