Rumors of Elvis seen in Detroit are true! (view this story)

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Rep: 20
Will Yurman July 20, 2010, 12:35 p.m. permalink

Hey Eric,
The video was visually fun to watch with a couple of cute moments - that first elvis dancer in the red was great and the diaper wipe especially!
I thought overall though it just felt a little predictable - more of an overview of an event than a story with an arc. When you have Elvis as your subject I think you have an obligation to really wow or surprise people :)
For me these kinds of short-form daily stories usually come down to finding one character to hang the story on. Rather than hear lots about the event itself I'd rather have dug deeper into one of the elvis's or into the fans if there was one with a story to tell.
I've never covered Elvis, but when I do daily stuff like this I try to narrow my focus as much as possible - find one small slice of life and explore it as much as I can.
I don't storyboard on paper, but I do keep a running track in my head of how I might open the piece, where the story is leading, how I'll end it.
We all know this, but you need to grab our attention right away and then find a way to show us something in a way we haven't seen before.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals July 20, 2010, 7:29 p.m. permalink

Thanks Will, totally agree with you 100% on this and felt I fell flat on my face with this :-(

I should of walked into this assignment with the mindset of looking for a cool or interesting character to tell the story and make it fun and surprising for the viewer.

It was a quick turn around (2 hour shoot) and felt rushed about the whole thing which equals to a bad piece. 

It was also one of the first times I can remember in a long time having to shoot this for the paper with stills as well so my mind was all over the place. 

Hard balancing stills and video. Definitely need to get better with that or at least hope doing stills and video on a assignment doesn't happen again for another year or so.

Thanks for the constructive criticism on the Elvis piece, gives me something to think about and approach differently on the next quick turn around piece I do. 


Rep: 20
Will Yurman July 21, 2010, 1:46 p.m. permalink

Hey Eric,
Don't beat yourself up too much! You do lots of good stuff.
Just curious, could you have chosen to do an audio slidehsow? how do your bosses deal with that?  Sometimes when we need stills and multimedia I go that route - saves on the double shooting. You still need audio, a story, etc. of course.
Generally as long as it can play in our video player my bosses don't seem to care if it moves at 29.97 frames a second or much slower...

Rep: 444
Eric Seals July 21, 2010, 3:13 p.m. permalink

:-)  I'm okay Will. my wife talked me down from a bridge over the Detroit River yesterday. LOL!!

No it's all good man, just a lesson to be learned with Elvis and quick turnarounds plus I'm hard on myself anyway to just get better. I don't get much feedback at the paper from others here so FtF is my school of hard knocks but always love and appreciate the feeback.

As far as audio slideshow no that wouldn't work here because every video piece I do also runs on the CBS morning show so it has to be video.


Rep: 21
Chuck Fadely July 22, 2010, 8:47 a.m. permalink

Eric - Stay off the bridge...  this was pretty good for event coverage.

One trick I use when doing event coverage is to use one subject as a unifying element, and keep coming back to them through the piece.   I think you had everything you needed to do this.

In the edit, you could have opened with Kavan the Elvis guy getting ready, cut to the crowd and the kids and the tattoos, come back to Kavan going on stage, cut to mom talking and the costumes and sunglasses, back to Kavan on stage, cut to other audience and performers, and end with Kavan again.    That way he unifies the whole piece instead of being a separate chapter.   Sometimes it works really well - sometimes not.  But by doing that, the story becomes character-driven instead of just an event overview.


Rep: 444
Eric Seals July 22, 2010, 2:14 p.m. permalink

I like your thinking Chuck of using one subject as a unifying element for next time and also the edit you mentioned with the opening and the other things you mentioned.  Thanks man!


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