Smokin' (view this story)

3 comments - Login to comment

Rep: 1
Arnold MIller May 13, 2010, 5:28 a.m. permalink

Lynda sure is an amazing character.

I would trim up the 2 minute nat sound intro, after about a minute and a half I found myself wondering when we were going to get into the story. I like the blend of stills and video, but you need to vary the motion on the stills more. It seemed to me that most of the stills received a zoom in, which felt repetitive after a while. Also, there were one or two dissolves with tremendous motion at the end that I found jarring at around 2:10 and 2:20...most of the time your choice of dissolves with motion worked...these two really stood out to me.

I really liked the simultaneous use of stills and video around 3:20...seeing her frozen face...hearing her rattling voice, and watching someone lean out of their car to take a pic was a nice blend.

I do think that you need some more closeups of Lynda. Perhaps her lips as she purses to inhale, or her fingers holding a cigarette, lighting up, etc.

Overall, a well done look into someone's life.

Rep: 2
Michael P. King May 19, 2010, 10:19 a.m. permalink

Hi Chip,

Many of the series of stills (like at 0:40, 1:20, 4:20) don't work for me. I think it's because they're too similar to each other. Sometimes tight sequencing really has impact but each photograph needs to build on the previous in some way. Too often in this piece it feels like flipping through a photographer's raw take trying to find the right frame rather than a progression of stills.

There's also a lot of personal/political rhetoric front-loaded into this piece. It's not until 2:00 that we're formally introduced to Lynda. We also don't see much interaction at all between her and other people.

I don't know about other people but I *love* the footage after the credits – the van driving off, and her saying they'll take her chocolate and steak out of her cold dead hands – and I'm wondering why it never made its way into the storyline. I think that quote was the most unfiltered (excuse the pun) thing she said in the whole piece and a great flash into her beliefs. And the only time we see the van moving is that clip at the end.

When all's said and done, I feel like you've given her 6 minutes here to explain and re-explain (and re-re-explain). Why not give her 2 (maybe 3) and really cut it down to her strongest statements for impact?

Rep: 33
Adam Wisneski May 20, 2010, 3:49 p.m. permalink

I agree with Michael about the footage at the end. I actually didn't see it b/c i stopped the film before the credits rolled through, and went back and watched.

The quotes at the beginning really got me. I think you did a nice job of introducing her. At 00:30, you had me hooked, the music came in well, the pace was moving, and I was ready to see some shots of her face, see some video of her making these comments or arguing with someone on the street, or just her interact with her environment in some way.

But I was let down by more stills and repetitive quotes. Even a question from the interviewer that spawned some back and forth could have been nice.

Great job on finding a real character. And really nice set-up. But I felt like the piece didn't deliver on it's promise. I think seeing some interaction between her and the world or some effects of her strong beliefs/value system would have done it for me.

For example, what do other people think about her and her beliefs? Do they think she's crazy? Is she right? Is she on to something?

Nice work.

Login to comment


You must be logged in to like this story