Photographer: John Fasulo (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 24, 2010, 9:54 a.m. permalink

Hi Gary,

To be honest it was hard getting through this 8:33 piece. But I wanted to in order to give to a good and honest critique which is why this website is great, it's a learning tool for you, me and others. I've picked up lots of ideas from watching other videos and reading comments from reviewers.

I think this bio on John lacks some focus, the visuals don't help move the piece along, the audio is weak, at 8:33 is way to long.

I do like how you have themes The Camera, Inspiration, Twenty Blinks, etc just focus in on those and tell us in a shorter way about those themes using his voice, his pictures and a better variety of him.

Focus;
He seems to ramble a bit and we are not finding out why he is someone we should care about or want to know.

Visuals;
Not a lot of variety with John in this 8:33 piece. At one point we spend from :27 sec to 3:43 on the same shot of John. Give us a good variety of him from tight, wide, details, him working and of course showing us his work.

Audio;
I noticed you are using a Olympus digital recorder. I don't know where it was place but it seemed distance and even with the volume turned up on my Mac it was still hard to hear. You want to place it about 2 feet from him and double check the volume control that it is at the midway point and not turned down all the way. I don't know if you Olympus has levels on it but if it does you want to keep the needle or mark between -12 and -6.

Length of the piece;
Keep it short and simple. Most people aren't going to want to invest that amount of time listening to John talk about his career. One way to keep the viewers interested in this story is by known ahead of time what kind of story you want to tell about John and what kind of questions you want to ask. You are in charge of the interview and if he starts going off topic or rambling, push him back to the right way.
Some things to think about;
1. Why should we care about him?
2. What did he learn in his 23 years as a network cameraman that has helped him with his photography now?
3. Have him show a few of his favorite pictures he's taken recently and talk about them.
4. Hang out with him as he's out shooting and working.

I think you should of shown a lot more of John's work but done so in a interesting way like add some in and out movement to the pictures

Eric

Rep: 2
Submitter
Gary Miller May 24, 2010, 10:37 a.m. permalink

Eric:

Thank you and I know you are correct on every point.
This is an idea that went bad or at least awry.

With a little extra time these days I volunteer at “Fovea Exhibitions” http://www.foveaexhibitions.org/ and many of the photographers are known world-wide and have been interviewed extensively. I was hoping to create an audio-archive for the “Fovea” website.

I was intrigued by Lens Culture http://www.lensculture.com/ballen.html and the pure audio with a single portrait.

The idea was to ask three questions and try to keep the shows to three minutes.
1. The Camera: How and why did you choose the camera as your voice?
2. Inspiration: Who or what was your has been your inspiration in building your
artistic foundation?
3. Twenty Blinks: What specific about your work do you not want the viewer to miss? (twenty blinks comes from someone visiting the gallery and noted they may have missed an image if they had blinked.)

The interviews may have to be done while the photographers are at the gallery openings. My hope is to get them earlier in the day prior.

Audio: It’s an Olympus DC-30 digital recorder with a mini-directional microphone and was sitting on the table about three feet away from him speaking. I purchased a clip-on microphone this past week which may help.

Do you think it is possible to make these interviews compelling in three minutes?
Is a stronger interview format enough without good ambient sound?

It’s a bit different being on this side of the edit desk and an exciting personal process.

I appreciate your help and time in reviewing the work.

Gary

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 24, 2010, 12:11 p.m. permalink

I like the 3 questions and trying to keep the show to 3 minutes but that's a big challenge given what you have to work with (unless there are more pictures you didn't put in)

First I'd say get to the key of the answers to the questions
Second have more pictures, tight, wide, details etc and then put some movement to them so it can flow better and be easier on the eyes

I'm also coming at it from a newspaper background where for web or TV it's best to keep it under 2 minutes. That said as long as the story is compelling, surprising, visually interesting, stays on focus and keeps my interest you're good to go. It's just very hard to do that.

With the Olympus, I'd make sure you do the interviews in a real quiet room and have that mic or clip on 2 feet away. You had it at 3 feet you say which should be fine, perhaps the pickup volume was to low for the recording.

Good Ambient sound would be a plus.

Rep: 2
Submitter
Gary Miller May 24, 2010, 12:24 p.m. permalink

Eric:

Thank you, I'll work with another subject in the next week with those goals in mind.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals May 24, 2010, 12:35 p.m. permalink

Cool man
If you have 1 minute per question with really good audio and a nice variety of visuals you're set.

And give some thought to your questions and even find out what he or she is doing related to photography, perhaps they are going out shooting and you can hang out with them and get some nice stuff to go over their audio.

Have fun! :-)

Eric

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