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Old May 24th, 2018, 12:14 PM   #1
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Revamping awards ceremony for time

Figured I'd ask some 3rd parties for advice/input on something I'm having difficulty with. Maybe need some independent/non-vested parties to think it thru or give a suggestion. About 3 years ago, I did a bit of a volunteer/charitable shoot. It was for a family who went thru something very tragic, and the local paper did a followup article on the girl about to celebrate her quinceanerra, but financially, couldn't afford one at all. Its a sad case, and I had shot 1 quinceanerra before and although I'm just not a fan of sweet 16s, bar mitzvahs etc, I figured for a good cause, and since I kinda knew the scope of the day, I'd offer coverage for it. It truly was a tragedy what the family went thru (break in, death of young brother & more).

So, I shoot the day, etc etc and at the end of the church, met with the police commissioner briefly & spoke a bit. (It was a neighboring fairly large city, but not the Philadelphia commish). Thought not much of it. So about 6 months later out of the blue I get a call from the police department, asking if I could cover an awards ceremony they're having. TBH I thought they were just kinda throwing me a bone, like show up, we'll cut you a check, thanks again for what you did. To be fully honest, it a pretty poor & crime ridden city, so even though its 'Government work', I wasn't sure what price range they had, and I likely underbid a rate. But again, do it once, viola.

Well, it kinda went on as a quasi-Quarterly ceremony, and I say 'quasi' because they 'try' to have it each quarter, but usually some cancel or delay too long that they only have about 2 or 3 a year. Still, its a good name for a client & I'd like to hold onto them.

My problem is in the editing. They ask for a 'highlights' version, as well as the full ceremony. For the 'highlights' however, they get a bit particular in what they want in it. Too much in my opinion. The format live tends to be 1 1/2-2 hours with the Commisioners intro, a few politicians or company execs, then awards given to police most of whom handled a situation involving a gun (about 10-12 for them), then the Officer & Supervisor of the Quarter award, the the Commish gives about a 15 minute conclusion speech.

My problem is they always want the local politicians speaking and company execs involved, plus almost every officer who handled a gun situation in it. Which is understandable, however the presenter (typically a local newscaster) tends to give a bit of a lengthy recap of about 1-2 minutes. So it becomes "Officer SoAndSo pulled over a car, at which point the passenger got out and ran. The officer ran after the suspect and eventually caught the man, at which point it was determined he had a warrant for his arrest. Upon patting down the suspect it was determined he had a gun on him which was removed. For his persistance and for helping get a known suspect of the streets this officer is deserving of this award" -- or something like that, typically longer & again there's usually 10 or more of these. So add these up (10 minutes +, then add in the intro, and local pols & execs, it can easily go well over 25 minutes. Not exactly a 'highlight reel', however on the flip side I've had it come back to me saying 'I didn't include this officer, or what about the bank robbery etc.. yet, they've also come back & said 25 minutes seems long for highlights.


So my question is if I were to attempt revamping it altogether, anyone have any thoughts as to how I could go about this?

I want to use this past quarters & just re-edit it (on my own dime) to show how maybe I can do them going forward instead. I'm thinking maybe using a lower thirds type graphics highlighting the result ("Pulled a handgun from felon", "Captured bank robbery suspect" etc) with about 5-8 seconds of the officer receiving the award & shaking hands of the commsiioner, maybe shoot 60p so I can slow it down. Because when it comes to the audio portion of the speaker, its very time consuming to edit what he says down, yet still have it make sense to the listener. The other thing is they always want the 'highlights' done overnight, so its difficult to really do too much editing (of the audio) quickly.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Last edited by David Barnett; May 24th, 2018 at 12:45 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Revamping awards ceremony for time

Maybe you could pre-script each group of speakers, group meaning those who talk about a specific officer. Script them in a way that they all tell part of the story, then clip out a phrase or two from each speaker, a collage of thought so to speak.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Revamping awards ceremony for time

Hmmm, I should have added that I have little to no input into the planning scripting, and that I have little to no say in how the ceremony goes. It's all on their end, I show up & shoot it. I doubt I'd have much pull in requesting changes.

I have thought about what you said, clipping out 20-40 seconds of the 'bare essentials' of the crime, but that circles back to more editing with little time (the go about 4pm-6pm, so I can't get home & begin until 7 or 8 oclock), also, it gets tricky editing the audio into brief, abrupt snippets, I think after a few it would just come off as a bit jarring & non-sequitur.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Revamping awards ceremony for time

I’m not sure what you are asking but in general it’s ill advised to assume what a client would want especially a large organization. I give a hourly rate. They can sit down with me or I send them the full footage and they can email me the time codes of what should be included. There might be many parties involved along with politics. You seem too eager to show them how good of a highlight video you can produce but they might want a 1.5 highlight video or none at all. Clear communication is what is needed otherwise you’ll end up wasting a lot of time chasing your tail.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 06:21 PM   #5
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Re: Revamping awards ceremony for time

Hey David,

I think you answered your own question. The answer is graphics. The lower third or some cool graphic announcing the award situation. Even a bottom horizontal ticker scroll if you have to. This also means stay with continuity and cut out the news guy everytime. If he makes opening remarks about the evening in general leave those in. Then they cant say you did not show him at all. They will always fight to keep politicians in. They have to. That should cut out a lot of time. Make it a highlight reel, not a condensed version.

i would be willing to bet the highlight is all that ever gets viewed. They are archiving the long version for posterity.

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