Young Lives Lost (view this story)

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Eric Seals May 25, 2010, 7:34 p.m. permalink

Hi John,
I really enjoyed this. It kept my interest the whole time, I was in tune with what Roy Legette was talking about. You found a good story teller of life on Newburgh's streets. He said so many wise and true things, especially the nothing good happens after 10 or 11 o'clock at night.

I usually believe music should be use sparing but didn't mind it throughout this piece, the only criticism about the music was that it was just a bit to loud for me and should come down some.

I liked some of the visuals and glad that you added movement on some of them but thought some of the movement stopped before transitioning to the next scene, you should keep it moving right into the next scene. The one that stuck out to me was at the 1:07 mark with the crime scene tape. Good slow movement for a few seconds and then it just stops dead before going back to Roy. Others may not agree but you have to always keep it moving I feel.

With Roy I like the framing of him and your audio was really good. Didn't care much for the times when you went black and white with Roy, I preferred the color instead. And didn't need to see Roy talking so much a few times throughout the piece is find but I'd much rather see good b-roll of life on the streets.

Didn't mind the length at all, I got lost in your piece (in a good way lost not bad way lost John)

Three things missing that would really, really help this piece are;

1. Natural, ambient sound. When your on the streets or showing police, a funeral, things like that, the sounds would have been nice then stay on those pictures more and even add more pictures while Roy is talking. Try to make me feel what I'm looking at while hearing Roy talk at the same time.

2. It's about young lives lost and I'd like to have seen more funeral, mourning, grief etc mixed in with everything else you had in this nice piece. Make me feel emotional or feel moved to care more about what is happening in Newburgh. It happens in Detroit as well but more frequently so I watch it with a sense of "been there done that here" but wanted to feel it in Newburgh at the same time. You kinda did it but need to go farther with it.

3. Narration (perhaps your voice) would have been nice to this. With good to the point scripting ahead of time it would introduce another voice adding different points of Newburgh deadly streets. For instance, when showing the police, crime scene tape etc you could of talked briefly about the number of people killed or wounded in Newburgh in 2009 and the amount so far in 2010 or other facts to drive home the point.

I liked the way you ended with Roy saying "these senseless killings take place, it's about everybody the whole community should wake up and be like, no way we've got to stop!" Then you show the mugs of some of the guys.

I'm assuming they were murdered but it would have been nice to have personalized each of their deaths by having a single mug in the middle of the frame with their name, date of birth and death, maybe for 3 or 4 seconds each then at the end of the mugs show them all in a contact like sheet look giving more weight to the number of people killed to drive home your point. Then you can roll your credits at the end with no music so we just stare at the screen quietly after watching this, contemplating what we just saw.

But overall I liked it. It didn't feel like to me you were an outsider coming in to tell this story.

Nice job John!!

Eric

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