Marine to Rancher (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 1, 2014, 6:31 p.m. permalink

Hi Brandon,

I liked the way you opened this and the title sequence was nice as were the visual from the slider movement to the cows, etc.

Overall it's a nice short profile piece about Garrett that really only touches the surface of his transition from Marine to farmer. I was hoping to see more of the the sweat and hard work he puts in, more moments of he and his dad working together, talking and also hear him talk about the guys he was in the hole with in Iraq and does he miss that camaraderie? Because out on a farm or ranch it is often just you and your thoughts.

The music was nice, sometimes overwhelming and competed with my ears for attention to what he was saying at times. The 2:02 mark comes to mind as do a few other spots.
Music however did work perfect during nat sound and visual breaks but I would of brought it down to a whisper at other times. 

In terms of visual variety it was nice but also watching this piece a few times was all work. Would have been nice in terms of the flow of the day to have had stuff of father and son during a break or even at breakfast, lunch or dinner at the table or in the barn just talking to each other.
Could have also been a good opportunity to pop in a question or two about what dad thinks about his son slowly taking over, etc.

The 1st slider shot was my favorite with the dead wood tree in the foreground. Nice!!

I liked the nat sound and visual transitions between when Garrett was speaking.

In terms of Garrett on camera face time here you showed him 6 times. You established who he is and what he looks like a couple times in the beginning and that was all you needed except maybe one more time towards the end. After those first two times I'd would have let him go and replaced it with some of your nice b-roll instead.

Question...The ranch has been in the Dwyer name for over 118 years? Any visuals? Especially old weathered black and white pictures from many years ago? Obviously not 118 years ago but something to show age, past and present kind of thing? Something that would have made a good transition to 2013?
Along those same lines..."Three generations living on this ranch at one time" he says. Were there any family pictures showing those three generations? 
The old saying "If you say it, show it" is so true with video storytelling. Sometimes it just doesn't exist and you gotta roll with what you have in front of you and that may be the case here I don't know, I'm just pointing out what I was hoping to see at times while I was watching this.

I know it's about him taking over the ranch but how come we didn't hear from his father and his thoughts about the ranch going into his son's hands? 
At the 1:39 mark when Garrett is getting into the tracker and he says talking about dad "He's letting loose the reins a little bit" would of been the perfect segue into his father.
Was it possible to hear from one of the guys who served with him in Ramadi? There might have been some fun dialogue there depending how you asked the questions about Garrett being a rancher now. 

Personally I'm not a big fan of text on video unless it's powerful and really needs to be there. Some of the things on text are things he said (like at the 2:23 mark about drought) He talks about it right after that text goes away. 
The way you had the text appeared all jumbled and revealed itself seconds later, I'd have rather seen a slow fade in and fade out if you had to use text.

Like I mentioned earlier the music was good. My favorite spot you used it nicely was at the 1:41 mark. A nice breather with good visuals. Loved how you timed the beat to when we see the tracker coming out of the bail of hay. 

Did you give any thought to mounting a camera into the tracker when Garrett climbed in? A GoPro set to medium FOV or another Nikon D700 on a magic arm or clamp?

At the 1:54 mark why include that of him talking? It was way out of place in terms of the look of the piece and it was soft. I noticed a few other places your focus was off like at the 3:18 mark with the tracker. The focus was on the wooden post in the foreground and just didn't play right.

That opening title with the arrow going left to right, was that done in After Effects or in Premiere? I'm still on FCP 7 but we have been moving to Premiere Pro I just haven't had the time to learn it yet.

Hope that helps. Thanks! :-)


Rep: 5
Brandon Ross March 2, 2014, 8 a.m. permalink

Thanks for those thoughts, Eric. Very helpful and insightful.

I love your idea of finding some old photos to include.
The GoPro idea is also great. I don't have a GoPro but here is another reason to invest in one. 
The opening title was done in Premiere. I created it as an animated logo so we could use it in several other videos in this series. 
Thanks again for all the feedback. Definitely things I will consider on my next shoot.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 2, 2014, 9:21 a.m. permalink


If you get a GoPro you'll soon discover that is can be another great tool to have in your camera bag. I have 5 of them and use them in various video stories where it's needed. 

If you're looking at getting one soon, get the GoPro Hero 3 Black. If you can wait the GoPro Hero 4 is suppose to come out in the 3rd quarter this year according to strong rumors if you believe that kind of thing.

I can't wait to get into learning Premiere.

Rep: 0
Jason Macqueen June 30, 2014, 10:57 p.m. permalink

I really liked this Brandon!

Great use of natural sound especially early in the piece.  The rusty gate and the tractor being hitched really stood out for me.

Loved the opening animation.  I was wondering how you were able to mask the flag so well.  I use Premere and AE as well but have not done much masking.  I thought you might have been able to mask using the colors but the sky and flag would have been too similar i am guessing.


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