Triathlete returns to race five years after stroke (view this story)

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Colin Mulvany Sept. 18, 2011, 10:18 p.m. permalink

Peter, solid story all around. That blurry fade to black as he talked about having the stroke was very effective and really pulled me into the story. Your narration did not get in the way and moved the story along where it needed time to be condensed.  The wife interview kept the story focused and defined. I like how you used different focal lengths for the interview shots. 

I think you did an excellent job of taking the viewer back five years and transitioning back to the present. I like how you ended it too. In a way, I don't think you need to know whether he succeeds in Hawaii again. His journey to get there is what the story is really about. Dirk is a courageous man.
 
One thing I might have changed, and it is small, is the fade to black jump cut transitions during the interviews. I'm wondering if a quick flash to white transition would looked better. I rarely see the dip to black used this way. I've also have started getting away from using a lot of cross-dissolves between photos. At first I fought it, but now when I go back and see my early work, I cringe at all the dissolving I did.  I know it is personal style thing, and I'm not saying they don't work here, but try sometimes to not use them and see if the story move along better. I alway remind myself to try and only use a transition for a change of place or time--or as a last resort-- to cover a jump cut. Hope he does well in his big race. Will you do a follow up after he returns?

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Peter Huoppi Sept. 19, 2011, 6:01 a.m. permalink

Very good point about transitions.  I sort of wish I had shot the interview with two cameras, but that would have meant mixed formats on the timeline and a lot more processing due to the length of the interview (almost two hours). Maybe a white flashframe transition would have worked better.
I've seen more and more people making the point about avoiding dissolves in between stills, enough so that I may have been talked out of it for the next thing where I incorporate photos on a video timeline. I've always had a personal preference for dissolves when using a still image, but I'll have to re-examine that.
Dirk finished the race successfully, and we did a follow-up story: http://www.theday.com/article/20110606/NWS01/306069939 but it was a while after the race before he returned to CT, and there wasn't a lot visual to add, so we didn't do a follow up video.

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