Turtle Release (view this story)

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Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan April 24, 2011, 11:19 a.m. permalink

Hello Terry,

What an interesting story to be a part of. I bet that was fun to shoot.

In your feedback request, you asked about organization. I think your story could be tightened up. At one point she repeats herself and later talks about things not totally relevant to the actual release. At around :30 she says that their metabolism is related to the "water temperature around them". I'd cut it there because she then repeats herself shortly after that. Maybe pick up again where she says "They are left floating at the surface..." I like the quote around :55 where she says "If left high and dry..." It explains that they are saving the turtles' lives.

You could probably cut most of the quote where she talks about the things they did to the turtles at the aquarium. You don't have any video of it and it's not that relevant to the actual release. Maybe leave in the little quote where she mentions that they were swimming in 70 degree water.

A nice closer is the clip at 1:28 where the lady cheers after releasing the turtle. It's a really nice moment. Maybe pair that up with the quote at 1:48 where she says "These animals will return to St. Joseph's Bay when the weather's warmer." That quote makes the story come full circle. They were rescued from St. Joseph's Bay and they will return there.

It looks to me like you have plenty of nice natural sound here, from the waves, the turtles, and the volunteers. Pick the best and use it to break up the interview, like you did at :55. The best advice I've been told is that natural sound pops are the commas and semi-colins of video. I watched your Passion Play video, and it looks like you used a lot of nat sound in that one and it made for a more interesting package. 

It also looks like your video needs to be deinterlaced. It's a box you click when you export from your video editing software. I believe that will get rid of the lines.

Several times, when I loaded a video on your site it started the video at the same time that it played the ad. The first 15 seconds of the story was muffled by the ad. It might be something in your Brightcove settings.

I hope these comments are of some help.
Pat Shannahan

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany April 24, 2011, 10:51 p.m. permalink

Adding to what  Pat said Terry, you need to de-interlace  your video for the Web. It hurt my eyes watching it. You have some nice visuals that fall apart with any movement in the video. This is a simple fix. If you are unsure of what interlacing is, just Google it. If I knew how you are compressing your video, I could maybe help you with settings. Your video also seemed like it was compressed at a low frame rate--it wasn't playing motion as smooth as it should.

I like how you started your story with quick clips.  I also would have liked to have heard more natural sound breaks weaved in to the main interview. The biologist drones on and on. After a while I stopped listening to her. 

There were a lot of other people working with the turtles and I wanted hear from them. I know it is hard when you are asked to shoot stills and video on the same story and turn it all in a day.  

Watching video stories like this frustrate me because without  some voice over, I have to rely on the subject, in this case the biologist, to tell me what is important in the story. What happens then is the narrative becomes one dimensional. Too many newspaper video journalists are using this quick hit/one interview approach, when, with just a few tweaks, their stories can be a lot more compelling. Natural sound should be your friend here, Listen for it. Shoot it. Edit it into your story. Experiment on writing a script. This is a news story, treat it like one. Tell the viewer what  is important (objective narrative), then let other voices fill in the subjective narrative. 

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