In There Own Words (view this story)

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Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan June 19, 2011, 9:01 a.m. permalink

Nicely done. I think your interviews are very engaging. It's been decades sine D-Day but you can still hear the emotion and urgency in their voices.  I like how you use music and radio broadcasts to let the interviews breathe. It's a good mix of stories as well. It's not just about the guys on the ground but also tells the stories of the nurses at D-Day and family back home. The still photography, both yours and the historic photos, are good and keep me visually interested. 

You might have buried the lede on Lucille Boggess' story. I think the real drama is at the point where she talks about the telegram. It might have been nice to start with the "It was right in the middle of July that we got the first telegram," quote. You even have a photo of the telegram. That might set the story up better. The way you have it now makes me think you are going to tell me a story about a town. All of the other stories jump right into it.

It might have been nice to see a photo of the young Evelyn Kowalchuk sooner in her story.

Nice job. I'd be curious to hear about how you went about finding the historic photos. Are these from the Library of Congress? 

Hope this is of some help,
Pat Shannahan

Rep: 1
Kim Raff June 19, 2011, 4:59 p.m. permalink


Thanks so much for reviewing my piece.  This was one of those projects that going into it, I wasn't that excited about it but once I started hearing their stories, I couldn't stop thinking about them.  It was one of those situations where we got lucky and found some really interesting people and feel really lucky to have been able to work a on a project like this. You know what I mean?


That is an interesting point about Lucille's story, I was in such a home front mindset with her story that I think you are right about the lede. It would have been better to start with the telegram. For some reason it really hadn't occurred to me to start with that even though it is what her story is about. Thanks! Also you are right about Evelyn's younger picture...I think I got so caught up with setting the scene I didn't realize a younger picture of here doesn't come in for a while.


As for the pictures.  Some of them are from the people who we interviewed. ex. Evelyn provided all the pictures of the flight nurses. What's great about doing a project on a historical even like D-Day is that a lot of the visual stuff is public domain since it happened so long ago.  Most of the historical photos came from the U.S. National Achieves.  Also because we have the D-Day memorial in our coverage area we also had a pretty large cache of D-Day photos to begin with, although I spent a lot of time looking for as many as I could fine. What I thought was really cool was that the old news reels were also public domain and I thought that they really added a lot to making the piece more dynamic (I used them in Lucille's piece.) Also Eisenhower's speech is also public domain. I also got the sound of the plane (which is actually the sound of the C-67 which is what Evelyn was in during WWII) from a guy who records plane sounds in the UK (he was nice enough to let us use it).  It would be an understatement that I got a little carried away and spent a lot of time researching on the net. I think at the end of the day the sounds and photos really enhanced the piece.


Thanks again for taking the time to review my.  It's nice to hear from another voice outside of my small circle.  



Rep: 4
Billy Calzada March 5, 2012, 10:08 a.m. permalink

Hi Kim,

Very powerful piece. Well done. The audio is engaging, even riveting. Good mix of voice, ambient battle sounds and moderate use of music. Have you heard Gen. Eisenhower's speech to his soldiers before they invaded in 1944? An excerpt from that speech might have been a good intro to the interview with this gentleman.

The portraits of the gentleman could be stronger. I'm thinking perhaps zooming back just a bit to capture his hands gesturing as he speaks. And then ending or beginning with a dramatically lit portrait of him engaging your camera.

This piece is very important, I think, because we are losing so many WWII vets every day.

I enjoyed your piece very much.

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