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Ahead of the Game
Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:48 PM on 05.19.08
->> So one our multimedia experts (rob roberts) took some of my video and stills from a weekend assignment and put together a show. the production took about five man hours with both of us working. since he knows final cut so well and I pretty much had an idea of what I wanted it was a true collaboration. it was posted online this afternoon and here's the kicker...the story runs tomorrow in the paper. so the online presentation is actually promoting the paper. wow. take a look if you like:
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 10:57 PM on 05.19.08
->> Nice job Chuck and Rob. I guess the old saying isn't true, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:59 PM on 05.19.08
->> arf! arf!
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Jean Finley, Photo Editor, Photographer
Iowa City | IA | USA | Posted: 12:10 AM on 05.20.08
->> Chuck -

Can you talk a little more about the collaborative process? Why do you think it took so long? What will you do differently next time? Did you have a "shot sheet" to work from or did you have to run through and capture all the video? How much are we talking about?

I'm full of questions, as I've worked with college students on the workflow of these sorts of stories and I'm curious how you all are learning on the fly out there in the real world.


Jean :)
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 8:43 AM on 05.20.08
->> sure jean. first off we didn't use story boards. this was a quick turn around kind of thing. rob and I talked for a few minutes after the initial photo edit so he could get an idea of what I wanted it to look like. after looking at the stills we quickly went through the video clips and that's where we saw the story develop. having three really great people talking about the experience made the difference. it was just a matter of putting things in an order that was both logical and flowed smoothly. in actuality this didn't take long. five hours (about 2 1/2 each) is very fast. I hadn't used final cut yet and it would have taken me DAYS to put that together with my skill set. the fact of the matter is two heads are often better than one. the workflow was very smooth as we discussed the placement of each still photo and the transitions of each. rob knows final cut so well he was flying through the was making my head hurt seeing all those tracks stacked on top of each other. all of us are going to try and learn final cut so we can work on our own stuff but I really think this is the way of the future. collaboration, to me, is really the key. someone who uses the program everyday is going to be much faster and competent than a shooter who uses it once every two weeks....sure, for something simple I think most all of us could stagger through it and make a simple slide show and add video. but this was pretty complex show and to be honest another thing is rob is a "quick and to the point" internet kind of guy. he cuts out the stuff you don't need and can make a compelling project in the quick attention span length you seem to need for the net. I hope that answers your questions.
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Jim Bounds, Photographer
Raleigh | NC | usa | Posted: 9:50 AM on 05.20.08
->> Liddy,

nice job!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 05.20.08
->> It's nice.

Something missing from this (and most newspaper multimedia productions) is narration. Without it, they fall into a very predictable visual/bite/visual/bite pattern. Since the "storytelling" is totally dependent on random quotes from non-professionals, the pieces always seem to come up short of being a complete story because the bites don't answer all the questions.

For example, in this story we don't know who "Michael Watts" is (the guardsman the woman says she is there to see) - although we see photos of the woman smiling with him. Brother? Husband? Co-worker? Employee? Guy she met through the program? We don't know.

We also don't know hardly anything about the boss lift program - who is eligible, how often they do this, how much it costs, is it something all guard units do or just this one, etc. All of the basics...

A few well-written bits of narration would really round it out nicely and make the story self-contained, instead of something that forces you to read the print story (which should have been linked below the player).

A couple of other tweaks:
- There were several edits where there were hard cuts to/from live video to image pans. Hard cuts to an image pan in progress make things a bit jarring. Consider doing a dissolve - even a quick 5-frame dissolve can take out some of the jolt.

- I thought the opening sequence was weak. You have a woman you never see again walking in front of an airplane you never see again (aside from a doorway and a barely audible "welcome aboard"). Do they fly in the plane to get to the facility? It's implied - but with only two disconnected shots, we don't know. Without the plane engines starting/plane taking off/shots inside during the flight/plane landing sequence, the opening sequence is really disconnected from the rest of the piece. If you came up short on aircraft footage, you should have dropped that part and started out at the range. Since all of the remaining footage is of ground-based tanks, omitting the plane sequence would not have been a loss.

- The flash player you're using is a wide-aspect player, and your video is 4:3, which gives you those wonderful black bars. I'd bug the web guys and make them give you a different player for different aspect ratios.

Again good stuff - just wanted to give you a few things to think about because you don't learn much from page after page of "good job" :-).
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Thread Title: Ahead of the Game
Thread Started By: Chuck Liddy
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