Three Million Dollar Baby (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals Sept. 28, 2012, 6:23 a.m. permalink

Hi Jason,

I read that this is an introduction to Joe and his family so perhaps (and I'm hoping) some of the things I'm writing in my review of your piece will come at a later time...

I just finished watching your video of Joe and it clearly shows this little guy carries on even with having Arthrogryposis and the parents love and care for him is there. 
What is missing for me in this piece is a emotional connection with the family and how they cope and deal with this (medical bills, finances etc) while still showing 100% love for him.

You write in your video description on Vimeo that...
"Recently BCBS has dropped coverage for his 24 hour care, leaving Medicaid demanding a $2,800 a month co-pay for a nurse. This is an amount that they are losing their battle against the insurance companies." 

I wanted to see their struggle wether it be their late night budget sessions trying to figure out where this money is coming from to pay this or that bill or shopping differently to save money here or there to help with the co-pay. Not only see it but here them talk about it as well.

In terms of story it all just started to feel like a collection of several visits to their house or the hospital strung together. 

I liked some of the moments you have in this like at the 2:08 mark when we see the reflection of someone waving to him in the car and when you are shooting and you're down on Joe's level like at 1:03.

Your use of a slider worked well in a couple of scenes but remember that it's always suppose to be fluid and seamless. Check the slider movement at 2:19, there is not and then suddenly it starts. That kind of sudden start or stop can be jarring visually wether you're transitioning from another scene or coming in from black like you did.

Besides refining and focusing the story the two big things that stuck out to me were 

The lack of natural sound
The music

Nat sound, I just didn't hear it. First time I played your video I just listened to it with the speakers on my Mac and then the second time I had headphone on. There were a couple of times I heard it but wanted much more.

As for the music, I really thought the piano piece got in the way of the whole video.  It got to the point for me where the music was competing for the attention of my ears over the story you were telling.  Music should only be used to help emphasis a point, drive home a emotional peak in a piece and even then raised and lowered on the timeline so it comes in and out like a wave, cresting at certain points.

Hope this helps,


Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Sept. 29, 2012, 12:39 p.m. permalink

I concur with Eric on the lack of natural sound and the use of music. It looked like you had lots of opportunities for nat sound, but you structured the storytelling mostly through the interview with the mom. Her narrative would have been more effective if you would have weaved her in and out of some natural sound breaks. 

The music itself was fine, but I would have ducked it (lowered) the volume when the mom was speaking. The music feels more like a crutch in that because you bailed using natural sound, you rely on the music to give you that boost in emotion. 
You did a great job of sequencing your video, which keeps the video moving along.
Jason, I think you have a really good story here, you just have to look at the edit a bit more closely. And remember: Natural sound rules! 

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