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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.

NARRATIVE STORIES

LESSON #4  |   #WHO SAYS I CAN'T (ESPN E60)

NOTE:   AFTER WE SPEND SOME CLASS TIME "DECONSTRUCTING" THIS STORY, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS GOOGLE FORM LINK AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EACH OF THE DISCUSSION TOPICS BELOW.

1.  WHO SAYS I CAN'T  (trt: 14:54)

BEGIN BY WATCHING THE ENTIRE STORY

CLASS DISCUSSION

LET'SDECONSTRUCT

2. NARRATIVE STORIES.  YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THIS STORY DOES NOT HAVE A REPORTER VOICEOVER "TRACK."  THE STORY IS DRIVEN ENTIRELY BY INTERVIEWEE SOUND BITES (LOTS OF THEM).   IN MANY WAYS, STORIES WITH REPORTER VOICEOVERS ARE EASIER TO PRODUCE BECAUSE WE CAN ALWAYS ADVANCE THE STORY WITH OUR WORDS.  IN A NARRATIVE STORY WE DO NOT HAVE THIS LUXURY.  WHAT DID THIS STORY HAVE THAT MADE IT WORK AS A NARRATIVE PIECE?

3.  THE FIRST GOLDEN NUGGET.  RATHER THAN STARTING THE STORY WITH A SHOT OF ROB MENDEZ IN A WHEELCHAIR, THE REVEAL HAPPENS A FEW MOMENTS INTO THE STORY.  THIS IS AN EFFECTIVE STORYTELLING TECHNIQUE AND ITS A VALUABLE TECHNIQUE FOR TELLING COMPELLING STORIES.   WATCH FROM THE BEGINNING AND NOTE THE TIMECODE WHEN YOU FIRST REALIZE THAT MENDEZ HAS A DISABILITY.  (VIEW UNTIL THE REVEAL)

WAIT FOR IT-   THE GOLDEN NUGGETS

4.   ACTION, REACTION.   ANY TIME YOU CAN SHOOT AND EDIT ACTION/REACTION SEQUENCES, YOU HAVE JUST ELEVATED YOUR STORY.  IN A NARRATIVE PIECE LIKE THIS, THESE ACTION/REACTION SEGMENTS ARE ESSENTIAL.   TAKE A LOOK AT THIS SEQUENCE AND CONSIDER WHY THEY ARE ESSENTIAL? (VIEW UNTIL 6:40)

ACTION/REACTION-  WHAT DOES THIS SEQUENCE ESTABLISH RIGHT FROM THE START OF THE STORY?

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5.  WHAT EMOTION DID THIS FIRST ACTION/REACTION SEQUENCE ESTABLISH ABOUT THE JV TEAM AND THEIR INITIAL PERCEPTION OF THEIR NEW COACH?
 

6.  CREATING EMOTION. THIS SEQUENCE IS POWERFUL.  IT'S THE SECOND "GOLDEN NUGGET" SURPRISE AND IT DEMONSTRATES, VISUALLY, THE EVERYDAY STRUGGLES ROB MENDEZ FACES.  AND THE B-ROLL, NATURAL SOUND, AND "MUSIC" HELP TO MAKE THE SEQUENCE POIGNANT.
 

POWERFUL SEQUENCE

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FURTHER DISCUSSION?

LIGHTLIKE
APRO

1.   LIGHTING:  IF YOU WANT TO RAMP UP THE VISUAL APPEAL OF YOUR STORIES, THERE ARE SOME SIMPLE LIGHTING TRICKS THAT PROFESSIONAL PHOTOJOURNALISTS USE.  ONE IS CALLED "CAMERA SIDE SHADOW".  TAKE A LOOK AT THESE FOUR SCREENSHOTS FROM THIS STORY.

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NOTE THAT, IN EACH CASE, THE INTERVIEW LIGHTING IS DARKER ON THE SIDE OF THE INTERVIEWEE'S FACE CLOSEST TO THE CAMERA.  THE LIGHTING IS INTENTIONALLY UNEVEN WITH THE SUBJECT'S FACE SLIGHTLY SHADOWED ON ONE SPECIFIC SIDE- THE SIDE CLOSEST TO THE CAMERA.  

HERE'S A QUICK WAY TO REMEMBER THIS TRICK.   IT'S CALLED A REPORTER SANDWICH.   SIMPLY PLACE YOUR LIGHT ON ONE SIDE OF YOUR REPORTER AND THE CAMERA/TRIPOD ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE.   YOUR REPORTER IS NOW "SANDWICHED" BETWEEN THE CAMERA AND YOUR MAIN LIGHT SOURCE.

THE
REPORTER
SANDWICH

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For more info on interview lighting, watch this clip for 60 seconds or so.

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WRAP-UP

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS GOOGLE FORM LINK AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EACH OF THE DISCUSSION TOPICS ABOVE.