The Class of 2000 (view this story)

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Rep: 20
Will Yurman Aug. 13, 2010, 8:23 p.m. permalink

Great idea for a story. I'm jealous. I wish I had started something like this ten years ago. We so rarely follow our subjects to see what happens to them. There are those great 'Seven Up' movies that have done that so brilliantly.

I liked how you set up the story with the interview with the reporter - it really drew me into what was going to happen.

Though personally I would have started the whole video with the kid reacting to your question about growing up and turning 30 - wonderful video.

But after a while it all lost steam for me. The three people were nice, decent, ok interviews, but it all felt sort of pointless. Their stories didn't take me anywhere. I had no context for how their lives compared to the rest of the class - what kind of school was it - economically, academically.

Should I assume their stories were typical? I wanted to know about everyone else and why you couldn't find them. I wanted to be led somewhere interesting.

The great Ira Glass talks about stories needing reflection and a reason to be told. He explains it better than that of course (you've probably seen the Youtube interviews with him where he talks about story).  At the end I didn't feel that nice, oh, this is why I watched for seven minutes feeling.

I would have preferred a structure that bounced back to the writer - maybe hear from the grown students and then have her reflect on the story rather than separating them.

While I'm not a numbers guy in video by any means I also think this story needed more context - what makes this school story worthy.

You asked if we wondered what the point was of the story...i sort of do i guess. And I wonder what YOU thought the point was? What were you trying to say here?

Rep: 33
Adam Wisneski Aug. 14, 2010, 7:25 a.m. permalink


I completely agree with you. I just returned from a narrative workshop at poynter and after I submitted this video I re-watched it and thought, "What the hell was I trying to do with this?" 

I think what happened was I got off to what I thought was a good start and then the second half didn't follow through.

 And then, since the editors planned this big story, and since I spent all this time tracking down the people (in the end, only three were available and in Tulsa still. Skype was an option but participants were flaky) I felt like I needed to make a long video to justify the work. Mistake. And I'm realizing it now. After a week at poynter, I feel like I went through the an entire college course on storytelling. 

We got into the reporting, and the people just weren't getting into this idea that we had of them looking at old photos of themselves. But, I felt like I had sold this idea already, and needed to try to force it. I think that's how I ended up with a 7 minute video instead of a 3 minute video. 

I'm going to work on getting to the point faster. It's on my list. 

Thanks for the review. I freakin' love your A day A photo.


Rep: 444
Eric Seals Aug. 14, 2010, 11:05 a.m. permalink

Hey Adam, what was the name of the workshop that you did at Poynter? Was it more for writers but you still got something out of it or was it tailored to visual folks.  

If you have a link that would be great, that kind of workshop I'd love to attend.  Thanks


Rep: 33
Adam Wisneski Aug. 15, 2010, 6:22 a.m. permalink

It was called Narrative Writing on Deadline with Jacqui Banaszynski and Tom French and Butch Ward. 

I learned a ton about storytelling, even though it was geared toward writing. And I'm glad I did this instead of a multimedia workshop where they might have spent more time talking about technical stuff. 

I went because I got a scholarship, but was pleasantly surprised by how much of it applied to video. My writing got better, too. 

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Aug. 15, 2010, 7:18 a.m. permalink

Thanks for that info.

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