Harvard-Yale rowing: a long tradition on the Thames (view this story)

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Rep: 5
Brandon Ross June 7, 2010, 2:34 p.m. permalink

some really nice shots with great outdoor lighting at 2:33 and 3:43.
there's a good saying i learned when i was in tv news: "here's my script. if you had given me longer to write it, the script would have been shorter."
i think you could have shortened this piece to under 2 minutes and made it tighter and more compelling.

you need a hook to pull me in. the sot at 0:26 was MUCH more compelling than opening with reporter narration.

i'm a big fan of tight shots. tight interview shots show much more emotion. i want to be able to see inside someone's eyeball.

i admire the idea behind the half fade at 3:53, but i don't think it works.

i would suggest narrowing your focus. there are a couple of interesting stories inside this video - the names on the door, the colors they paint...

if you narrowed your focus and cut this piece down, you could choose your better shots (cut out the street signs), use less of the reporter's narration, and give the viewer a reason to be interested.

for your posted questions, i don't think the race day is absolutely necessary. if it's a preview piece, it's cool. i'm not sure i would keep any footage from the camps... it was confusing to see the rowers in that setting. just my opinion, though.

hope that helps. keep up the work, and keep shooting!

Rep: 5
Miranda Mulligan June 10, 2010, 1:16 p.m. permalink

Peter - I love the feeling evoked by light on the water. Such a classic shot choice for an opening on a story about rowing.

I agree with much of Brandon's comments above. And would like to add that I don't think the VO at the beginning was necessary. This event is exciting right? Rivalry. Sporting event. Competition. The video doesn't really bring that across... It doesn't feel exciting. Opening with some of the calls, water sounds and and scenes that evoke the excitement of a race and a rivalry would pull the viewer in without needing the VO. I think the adage: 'Show me, Don't tell me' applies here.

It looks like you did a lot of good reporting here. I bet this would have made an interesting interactive narrative so the burden to tell the whole story in one video would have been relieved.

Cheers!
Miranda

Rep: 91
Submitter
Peter Huoppi June 11, 2010, 3:10 p.m. permalink

Thanks for the feedback guys. Many of the points you brought up were ones I struggled with while putting this together. There were a lot of story lines that I wanted to weave together.

Brandon: It's interesting that you weren't interested in the shots from the camps. What drew us to this story in the first place, and what makes it unique, in my opinion, is that these are the only teams in the country who have their own off-campus training camps, and they use them once each year for this one event. It didn't make sense to me to show only rowing action while the coaches and athletes talked about life off the water.

I agree with both of you about the opening. My first thought when I saw the video after it published was I needed some better sound to start it instead of my voice.

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