We can become accomplished storytellers by learning from some of the best journalists in film and television. In each lesson we will view a remarkable story and then figure out why, and how, it works so well.
LESSON #3 | EMMETT AND ERLING
(BOYD HUPPERT - KARE)
NOTE: AFTER WE SPEND SOME CLASS TIME "DECONSTRUCTING" THIS STORY, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS GOOGLE FORM LINK OR DOWNLOAD THIS PDF AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EACH OF THE DISCUSSION TOPICS BELOW.
1. EMMETT AND ERLING (PART ONE) (trt: 3:50)
BEGIN BY WATCHING THE ENTIRE STORY
2. THIS STORY WENT VIRAL SHORTLY AFTER IT FIRST AIRED LOCALLY IN MINNEAPOLIS AND IT ULTIMATELY BECAME A 4-PART SERIES. WHY DID VIEWERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD LOVE THE STORY OF EMMETT AND ERLING SO MUCH? WHAT DO YOU THINK RESONATED SO STRONGLY WITH SO MANY VIEWERS? AT THE END OF THIS LESSON BOYD WILL SHARE WHY HE THINKS THE STORY CONNECTED WITH SO MANY PEOPLE.
3. FROM AN EDITING STANDPOINT, AS THE STORY IS DEVELOPING, BOYD INSERTS MULTIPLE INSTANCES OF PARALLEL PARKING (Inserting brief natural sound breaks, or short interviewee dialog clips between voiceovers). WATCH THE FIRST 60 SECONDS AND COUNT HOW MANY "PARALLEL PARKS" THEIR ARE. (VIEW UNTIL 1:00)
WATCH FIRST 60 SECONDS
4. ONCE AGAIN, WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. USING THE POWER OF NATURAL SOUND AND PARALLEL PARKING, WE HAVE QUICKLY BECOME FOND OF BOTH EMMETT AND ERLING. WE SEE THE BOND THEY HAVE FORMED AND WE BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THAT ERLING IS DEALING WITH THE CHALLENGES OF GETTING OLDER. AND THEN AT 2:20 THE FIRST GOLDEN NUGGET IS DROPPED. (VIEW UNTIL 3:00)
5. SOUND AND MOMENTS OF QUIET. THIS STORY IS FILLED WITH MOMENTS OF NATURAL SOUND, OFTEN LETTING US LISTEN TO EMMETT AND ERLING IN CONVERSATION. BOYD DOES NOT DOMINATE THE STORY WITH HIS VOICEOVER. HIS WRITING HELPS TO ADVANCE THE STORY, BUT THE STORY ITSELF PLAYS OUT IN THE DIALOG BETWEEN EMMETT AND ERLING. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN CAPTURE THESE "AUDIO MOMENTS IN TIME" IN YOUR OWN STORIES. CAN YOU MIC THE SUBJECTS OF YOUR STORIES? PLEASE SKIM THROUGH THIS STORY AND FIND AN "AUDIO MOMENT" IN EMMETT AND ERLING THAT HELPED YOU CONNECT WITH ONE OR BOTH OF THEM. NOTE THE TIMECODE OF THAT "MOMENT."
IN LESS THAN THREE MINUTES, BOYD HAS HELPED US UNDERSTAND THAT ERLING IS AGING AND VULNERABLE. WE CARE ABOUT HIM AND THEN THE STORY TAKES A TURN. (VIEW UNTIL 3:00)
SKIM THROUGH THE STORY AND FIND A "MOMENT OF AUDIO" FROM EITHER EMMETT OR ERLING THAT HELPED YOU CONNECT WITH ONE OR BOTH OF THEM. NOTE THE TIMECODE. YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SHARE WHY THAT MOMENT WAS SO POWERFUL.
1. THE WRITING WE ARE BEGINNING TO SEE A PATTERN AS WE STUDY THE WORK OF SOME OF THE BEST STORYTELLERS IN TELEVISION. THEIR WRITING FOLLOWS A FORMAT THAT PUTS THEM IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. BOYD HUPPERT WRITES FOR THE EAR. EACH VOICEOVER SEGMENT IS TYPICALLY A SINGLE SENTENCE, RECORDED IN A CONVERSATIONAL TONE. IF HE HAS A MULTI-SENTENCE VOICEOVER SEGMENT, HE BREAKS IT UP WITH SOME PARALLEL-PARKED SOUND. FOR EXAMPLE: BOYD WILL BREAK UP THIS PARAGRAPH IN THE STORY. "Brian Richner says that their growing family simply needs more space and change is coming for Erling, too. Soon he'll be 90, his wife is ill, and just days ago Erling's kids finally convinced him it's time to trade his house and yard for a senior apartment. (VIEW UNTIL 3:02))
try breaking up
SO HOW DOES THE STORY OF EMMETT AND ERLING END?