The Muleskinner Challenge III (view this story)

3 comments - Login to comment

Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 6, 2011, 7:36 p.m. permalink

Hi Daniel,

First thanks for posting and sorry it took forever to get to your piece.

Watching it a few times it felt like you were really trying to cram lots of information into this 2:14 piece. You took us from the challenge in the snow to other weather conditions and then a history lesson and back to the challenge again.  I think one of the first things I would of done before even starting to shoot this piece would be to ask myself "Ok, what's the focus or point here?" "What do I want to say and how am I going to say it and show it so people that watch so they FEEL it" "What's my goal" and then as your shooting this keep those questions in your mind and keep answering them then adjust or shift it you are getting of track to your purpose.

In your description you talk about how the 10th Sustainment Brigade "huffed, puffed and motivated each other." I want to hear it in your audio and make it rich and I want to see it and make it stand out.

For example at the 1:30 mark you say "the brigade takes it's training seriously" then you cut to a guy doing sit ups.  This would of been great man for a natural sound break of the noises he made when doing the sit ups before you moved on.  Also work that sit up much more visually. Explore it.  You showed one scene from that at a distance but you should put us right in there, get it close with your gear and show the strain on his face which would match well with the ambient audio of him doing the sit ups.

Think about a great way to start this piece off with great sound and visuals as well instead of you coming in right from the start.
Hook me in right from the start with powerful visuals and some compelling audio.  Seems like much of the stills were done with the same lens and the whole thing felt distance in several ways from that focal length to the emotion of an exhausting challenge.  I know there were some great opportunities for some really nice details, scene setters giving us a better sense of place. Tight stuff of faces, the anguish of the challenge, that camaraderie or motivation you talking about in the description of the story.   

Many times using Soundslides and doing a slide show with audio it's SO important to let the audio really help tell the story in addition to strong visuals and good sequencing. Good natural sounds of the snowshoes, the training, the sounds of the soliders talking, ambient sound etc.  Follow that up with good visuals telling a story.  Seems like many of your stills were done as if you were thinking video but still sequences of guys moving down a hill just didn't work.  I'd much rather of had you focus on the best moments from the challenge and make it as if when I'm done watching your piece I felt like I was right there with them.

It says you used Final Cut Express but it sure had the Soundslides player. I was going to say it would of been nice to of had some slow movement in and out on various stills.

I'd encourage you Daniel to look at some of the stories on Finding the Frame to see how some people on here work with sound, natural break (be it with audio or good still/video transitions)  There are some audio slide shows with Soundslides on here, check them out.

Also check out
there are many other sites that perhaps others who comment might recommend.

I don't want you to get discouraged this is so fun and challenging to do and the direction you are heading in is a good direction just keep pushing yourself man.  Seek out really good storytelling be it video and stills with audio and study it hard.  Be sure to explore with your camera more to man.  Be more curious, get in tighter and more intimate then start to explore more with sound.  Some of the best storytellers use sound so well and there is an art to it all that we are trying to learn.  

Good luck and I hope I helped and I look forward to what you will do next.

Take care


Rep: 1
Daniel Woolfolk June 6, 2011, 9:40 p.m. permalink

Thank you, Eric. I will make sure to try out the new tips next time.



Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 7, 2011, 8:27 a.m. permalink

Cool man, looking forward to seeing what you do next.  Be sure to post it on here so we can see your growth ;-)


Login to comment


You must be logged in to like this story