Tall Ships trade with Chinook Tribe (view this story)

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Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan Oct. 10, 2012, 5:42 p.m. permalink

Hello Eric, 

I know you submitted this a while ago. Sorry it has taken so long to be reviewed. I was recently along the Columbia River with my wife. Your state is beautiful.

I watched your story a couple of times. I walked away with a few questions. I just didn't understand what was going on with the boat. People live on it? Why? To what end? The captain said that it was extremely rewarding. Why is it rewarding? The deck hand says it is one of the hardest things she has done in her life. Why, what's so hard? How does a person end up on an old boat? Love of history? They needed a job? I just didn't understand who they are.  I really wanted to find out more about the people. One of the biggest ingredients for a good video is a compelling character. The captain seemed like he has that spark that might make him a compelling character. The deck hand seems like an interesting lady as well. Take us deeper.

I like how you started it off. You had some nice sound and sequences that got us on the boat and on the river. I thought your sound was clean. It might have been nice to sprinkle more of those nat sounds throughout the piece to break up interviews. Natural sounds are like punctuation marks. They can act like a comma and break up an interview quote or be like an exclamation point and reenforce what the speaker is saying. I watched your civil war reenactment piece on your site and it looked like you used more natural sounds. 

I think you needed more of a clear story line. Is it a story about these cool old boats that will be in the area? Is it an intimate look at a group of people living and working on an old boat? Is it a story about living history on the Columbia River? Is it the story of that particular boat and what it might have done way back when? Is it about a lady who was laid off from another job and found a new path being a deck hand? What is the viewer supposed to take away from it? 

If you get a chance, Ira Glass from This American Life has an amazing series of videos on Youtube about storytelling. I promise that it's well worth the time and energy to listen to them. He's an amazing storyteller and has great advice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loxJ3FtCJJA

I hope my comments are of some help. 


Rep: 0
Eric Keto Oct. 11, 2012, 10:13 a.m. permalink

Thanks for the review, Pat. I definitely struggled finding the through-line in this piece. I was hoping for something more character driven and ended up getting lots of general event coverage. More focused interviews and editing would have helped.

Your comments on natural sound are well taken.

Great interview series there from Ira Glass - I've watched before and will likely watch many more times.

Thanks again, really appreciate the feedback.

- Eric

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