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Old February 21st, 2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charleston, WV
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Ideas for Shots

I am putting together a video for my university of an alum and I had a question for you all.

The video is focused around his relationship with a specific teacher who changed his life. The teacher passed away 5 years ago and he's simply remembering her by telling a story about how they didn't get along at first. The video then transition into how the university is such a great place because they hire faculty like her. It's a piece that is targeting former alumni to give back by remembering the good times they had and to potential students to make the university look like a great place to attend college. The video looks like it's going to be about 2:30 - 3:00 minutes

My question is this....what should my b-roll be?

As depressing as this sounds, the first 30 seconds of this I'm going to have him at her graveyard with somber music as his voiceover talks about what a wonderful person she was. The video then switches to him saying that they didn't always get along and the music peps up a bit and then he tells the funny story of how he hated her at first and then how he loves the university and then the video ends.

I was thinking of bringing him to campus and show him walking around campus, watching a new generation walking the halls, sitting in an empty classroom looking off, looking at this teachers portrait that is on the wall to memorialize her. I just don't know if I could do that for 2-2.5 minutes without it getting boring.

Any suggestions would be awesome! Thanks
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2017, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Ideas for Shots

If you have access to some photos of the teacher, you could do a pan and scan (popularized by Ken Burns in his specials on PBS) across some of them while her former student is speaking. Photos of the student while during his student days would also work. Even photos of the school from back then.

If you have enough photos, you could start the series with your idea of him sitting in the empty classroom looking at her portrait on the wall and fade into the slide show. There may even be old video footage somewhere. Maybe her family has some old home videos they would loan you that might have a useful clip or two.
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2017, 11:48 AM   #3
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Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 350
Re: Ideas for Shots

All great ideas!

Perhaps I'll ask around and see if I can get some old photos of her. I know I have some old photos of campus that I can use. I'll ask my subject if he has some old college photos of himself as well.
Brock Burwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2017, 12:37 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Re: Ideas for Shots

1. Have the alumni tell his story through an interview with you. From his stories, extract the most visually appealing parts and do the following for b roll....

2. Re-enact the stories with actors that could resemble the teacher and student in the past.

3. Depending on the age of the story, you could edit the flashbacks in black and white, or add scratches, grain, and dust to the footage to make it look more vintage. The problem with using old photos is that unless the photo can match the story, it won't make a lot of sense to the viewer. With my method, it will be as if a camera was there to capture the event as it happened a long time ago.
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2017, 06:21 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,759
Re: Ideas for Shots

Roger beat me to it about the photos and ken burns effect. I'm sure if you approached the family they'd be happy to give access to photos.

You might also want to watch some cold case murder mystery shows and pbs documentaries to familiarize yourself with reenactment techniques.

Btw, I'm not too keen on that graveyard opening.
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