Veterans Bond Behind Bars (view this story)

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Rep: 87
Michael Fagans July 25, 2012, 9:03 p.m. permalink


Thanks for sharing your piece. There is some really solid b-roll in this piece.

I should admit that the intro with the jump cuts was a bit disconcerting for me. I am assuming that this was intentional, but it was visually jarring. Did you consider wipes or fades?

The b-roll really works in this piece: the slider in the hallway and the door closing with the tray door open were really nice.

I am left with a number of questions at the end of the piece... Are these guys a group? Is someone or is the group documenting their stories? How have they formed these bonds? What level security is the prison they are in? in the words of one of my teachers, this is a good start but I have more questions than answers at this point.

Your video also raises an on-going question in our community: should videos contain titles and information within the video? Curious to hear people's opinions including yours.

I am hoping that you are able to build on this, either to continue with these men or take what you learned and apply it to your next piece. Looking forward to your next project. Thanks.

Rep: 2
Anthony Umrani July 26, 2012, 10:32 a.m. permalink


The intro was done that way primarily for three reasons. I needed a way to briefly give the military background of several inmates. Also, my broll opportunities were extremely limited shooting in the prison facility. There were many privacy restrictions that left me with very few options to cover the piece with video. Lastly, I had about a 2 minute limitation on my story length.
That said, it was ultimately my preference to use jump cuts as a technique. I liked the result but your point is well taken.
I agree with you that the story left many questions. That was probably my biggest frustration. Again, my limit on time and broll did not allow me to go more in depth. There was supposed to be a text article to give more background and answer all of the questions you raised but for some reason there was a mixup and the article was never posted. Yet another frustration.
I would love to follow up with these men but to be honest, it's doubtful. They had very interesting stories and are willing to talk but the prison restrictions are just too plentiful. Maybe if I had a staff that could work on the proper people to give me access. As a solo effort, it's more than I want to tackle.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "titles and information" but if that refers to names and titles I don't have an option working for a news organization. It's standard policy. If you're referring to full screen text that gives background information, I'm not a big fan generally speaking but I've seen this method used effectively.
Ideally, a well done video story should speak for itself through sound and pictures but I'm not an absolutist. One should use whatever technique that tells the story best.
I appreciate your good feedback. It is indeed a learning process. I hope to post another story in the near future.
Thanks again for your comments.

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