Nisa's Golden Gloves (view this story)

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Rep: 21
Peg Achterman May 4, 2010, 2:32 p.m. permalink

Nice work. Might have considered dropping the first fight since the big deal is the championship and it tells the story well to simply have her there.
In general there were a few too many medium shots for my taste - where I wanted to be closer -- in the beginning where her coach is at her...nice and tight on his mouth and face. Just vary those shots a little more.
Nice nice work though on having her tell her own story - it's hard to do and takes time.

Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius May 5, 2010, 5:16 a.m. permalink

This piece has the components of a story in the classical sense: a sympathetic character taking action to resolve a complication or challenge. By having the key question -- does Nisa win her comeback bouts? -- hanging over the piece, viewers are more likely to stick with it until the end, when the question is answered. It's pretty difficult to find a situation with those key ingredients for visual projects. For written or audio narratives, the key characters can retell what happened in the past, but you can't make compelling images of the past. For a visual story, you have to find the situation actually unfolding, and then you run the risk that things may or may not work out in a way that makes for a compelling piece. So definitely big kudos for finding an interesting situation and devoting the time to being present as it unfolds.

I also liked that we see Nisa at home, and not just in the boxing gym or at tournaments. This is, after all, not a sport video of boxing action, it's a story about an individual with their own aspirations, challenges and motivations. Seeing and hearing Nisa talk about and interact with her son is really important.

In terms of the production, I like how you start with lots of natural sound and scenes of her neighborhood. This quickly puts me in the place of the story. But then there's a lot of time showing the trainer and hearing Nisa talk about the importance of hard work when boxing; it takes almost a full minute before we even see a hint of a baby. I think this is too much time to complete the introduction to the main character. And the main challenge is not presented until about 2:10. In other words, it takes over two minutes for a viewer to learn what it is they're going to be shown.

Consider getting to the key point quicker. Maybe instead of the extended training footage, start with Nisa saying "I wouldn't want to fight me in my prime, no way." Then her brief overview of her boxing career, the arrival of her son, and her vow to come back "twice as strong." That would get a viewer into the story a lot quicker.

Also, look at your interview footage again. Nisa jumps into explaining her comeback as something to make herself proud and prove people wrong, but we don't actually hear the context of this. We could use a little more background on what being away from boxing has been like, why she misses her, exactly who has been telling her she can't come back ... etc.

Once the comeback train is rolling, you do a nice job building suspense. It's a bit tough to build that suspense twice, however (once for the semifinal fight, then again for the finals). If you have the footage, you might give the "suspense treatment" for the final bout, and give the semifinal round less time.

Finally, the ending might be polished up a bit. I like the idea of Nisa running back to the dressing room to hug her baby, but right now the ending feels a little abrupt. Have a look at your footage and see if there is a suitable closer sequence (Nisa leaving the arena with her family, placing her trophy up on the wall with her pre-motherhood ones ... etc.).

I don't want the discussion to detract from the fact that this was a really interesting situation that you found, and it was risky to devote time to following it not knowing how things might turn out (what if Nisa just got sick and couldn't fight?) With a tighter edit, it could really sing.


Rep: 4
Julia Xanthos May 10, 2010, 8:20 p.m. permalink

Thats some thorough feedback! Its been a great learning experience to post up a video and get genuine responses from people I have not even met before. Trying to learn with each multimedia step I take so as far as criticism goes... it's very much appreciated and I Thank you.

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