Warm Hearts, Bald Heads (view this story)

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Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi May 3, 2011, 10:46 a.m. permalink

This is a nice daily news -type story. My first thought when I opened it up was that 3:07 was going to be way too long for a story like this. Because your subjects are engaging, my interest was held until the end.
That said, I think you could have tightened this up a bit. The quotes from 1:40-2:20 were expected and a bit redundant - there's camaraderie, the event is great, the foundation is great, Tulane is great - I don't need the subjects to tell me this, all of the smiling faces in this video show me this. You had a lot of nice visuals, but they started to get redundant. Here's another shot of people getting their heads shaved, here's a another shot of father and son watching fro the audience. If you're going to go this long, get more creative with your shooting. Shoot heads getting shaved from every conceivable angle. Get up close, show me just the clippers and the scalp, show me just the facial reaction. You did a nice job with the hair falling to the floor, give me more close-ups like this.
I'm ambivalent about your use of music. In general, I don't like using unrelated royalty-free music on news stories, especially when there's natural sound you could have used. If you're determined to use music, the piece you picked was a fine choice, matching the tone of the story and not adding emotion that wasn't there. I think it even helped pull me through areas where the natural sound was dull.
As for natural sound, you could have done better getting the mic up closer to the scissors and clippers. I see the scissors moving, but just hear general room ambiance. I know it's tough using a camera and a separate recorder, but you could try using a lav mic on the person getting the hair cut to capture cleaner sound.
Your opening could have been a lot better. The natural sound is good, but the static image of the clipper is pretty boring. Try to come up with something that will grab the viewer's attention a little better. The quote from Kayleen about here mother is the best one of the piece, but by leaving it toward the end, you risk people tuning out and never hearing it. Consider moving it up to the start.
I also would have like to hear from a patient and/or parent in the crowd. I'm sure the father and son that you showed would have had some good words of appreciation.
This looks like a lot of criticism, but overall you've done a very nice job. You've got a story that tells more than just what happened by focusing on the emotions of the people involved.

Rep: 1
Submitter
Ryan Rivet May 3, 2011, 12:34 p.m. permalink

Peter thanks for the feedback. I think you're right...I could have cut out some stuff and added other perspectives. I wanted to talk to the father holding the little boy, I shot them in the crowd, and when I turned around, they went disappeared into the hospital. Unfortunately, no cameras allowed up there. The nat sound was a bit weak, but the acoustics in the lobby of the hospital were brutal, and there was an emcee on a PA, making it that much more difficult...all excuses aside, you're correct in your critique. Thanks for taking the time to take a look at the piece, truly appreciated. 

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