On the Road, Still (view this story)

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Tony Overman Aug. 10, 2010, 5:59 a.m. permalink

It's hard to believe that someone with my short attention span sat through an 18-minute story, but I did. There are these wonderful reveals throughout the story that keep engaging me: musical dreams, living in the car, mental issues, communicating through the internet. And then I found myself anticipating the party...anxiously waiting for it.
Right from the start, the audio is excellent. The music, the interview, the conversations, the natural sounds...all very engaging. It draws me into the story.
You capture Rob's storytelling style beautifully "...if one person is paying attention, that's enough. You play enough rooms with 200 people and no one is paying attention..."
The performance still photography at the beginning is probably the weakest part of the whole piece (although I love the natural sound and the interview). I kept thinking there were too many photos, and I was distracted by the technical flaws. It didn't totally lose me, but I was thinking about the flaws, not the story.
I actually checked the time when I got bored (8 1/2 minutes...right at the end of his talking about the medications)....but I was quickly engaged again with the internet as his sole communication.
I like how the story moved from piece to piece, just as my attention was ready to move along. That kept it from seeming like an 18-minute story, and more like a bunch of smaller stories.
I love the photos of him in his car, especially when he's on his laptop.
At 9:25 you have video of him looking at blog statistics as he says something, and I can not figure out what it is. It's obvious you've included the audio for a reason, but if I can't tell what he says, then I know I'm missing something.
I was a bit confused when we first see the ladies talking on video chat. It took me a bit to put it together. Even their old yearbook photos didn't help, but more confused me.
But the subject of their conversation..."how could it possibly be someone who grew up with me?...we came from the same place"...was perfect! It's what was going through my mind as I watched the piece. And it worked wonderfully as the transition to the party planning.
I liked the natural conversation of the party planning, but is seemed to go on a bit long. That's about the only place in the story dragged.
The transition to the photo of the hula kids, the music and the "Aloha!" was wonderful.
The party comes off as very positive. But I noticed from the photos that there wasn't a big turnout, and there were a lot of kids (not the band's usual audience). Maybe I'm reading too much into it (and if so, ignore what I'm saying here), but I felt like there might have been a bit more somber, realistic response to the small turnout to the party. Did the party change things for Rob and his band?
Rob's final solo is nice. It takes me into his head even more, and I guess it does give me that somber, realistic look at his life, still.
"The struggle is fruitless. Just might as well let it go."

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Dean Gyorgy Aug. 18, 2010, 5:19 p.m. permalink

Thanks so much for the feedback, Tony. I really appreciate the time you took for such a thorough review. As this was a final project for school, and I was facing a hard deadline, the piece does just sort of end without a real resolution. I have been considering additional material (he's planning now to move to Florida) but given your review, and the perpetuity that I tried to convey, perhaps the story is as "complete" as it needs to be. Thanks again.

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