Shinsky Orphange Charity Ride (view this story)

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Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius May 15, 2010, 5:24 p.m. permalink

I think this is a good example of an interesting and inspiring event that doesn't result in a strong visual piece. You have several challenges here: first, Shinsky is an experienced speaker on behalf of his project, and consequently lacks the intimacy and engagement of hearing someone thinking about something in a fresh or new way. Compare Shinsky's interview with the MSU Bikes personnel, for example. We hear more genuine inspiration from Jon-Marc. You made a good decision starting off the piece with Jon-Marc. The second challenge is that there is virtually nothing *happening* during the piece. There's a lot of talking, and a bit of bike riding, but ultimately this is a piece about a 2,000 mile bike ride to support an orphanage, and we see neither the actual bike journey nor much of the orphanage and the people it is intended to benefit. If this were an audio-only piece, a listener would be perfectly capable of imagining what was shown. The viewer is not actually *shown* anything they couldn't already understand. There are also a few awkward areas, like the shadow of a gigantic bike seat behind Shinsky in the interview, and footage of Shinsky pedaling a bike at MSU Bikes while wearing a suit seems inauthentic.

The piece comes across as what it probably is: a reasonable PR piece that will be of interest to people who already know Shinsky or have an established interest in MSU news. For most other folks, though, this piece would probably not keep their interest for the full 6+ minutes.

A more interesting story might explore Shinsky's experience as an orphan (which is the basis for his connection to the work he is doing now), his experience during the 2,000 mile trip (surely there were emotional and literal ups and downs, and if you interview him soon after returning, he won't yet have settled into a canned script), the motivation behind the other riders and various supporters of the effort, or on the Mexican orphanage itself.

Finally, spelling matters ("orphanage" was mis-spelled in your entry here; though not in the YouTube piece). I tend to be less likely to spend time on something if it seems the author/producer himself/herself didn't spend time to sweat the details. That said, typos happen.


Rep: 1
Greg Kohuth May 17, 2010, 6:02 a.m. permalink

Thanks for the review Kevin. I agree with most of what you said. I wish I could have done the real story, their experiences during the ride. Believe me I tried. It just wasn't in our office's best interest or budget to do it. CBS Sports did do the story though at it aired during this years final four. They did a very good job. It's here, if anyone is interested.

Not to make excuses about the typo but I was trying to get this posted at the end of a long day. I just didn't double check the spelling like I should have.

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