Okay...this probably will come off as harsh but let's use this as a learning critique to grow. First, I saw this was an investigation...are you normally an investigative photog? Or are you a GA photog who got to shot an investigation? I ask because if you're an investigative photog this is very poor showing (critique to come) but if you're a GA photog then I can tell you're trying but you have a long way to go (critique to come). Big differance. And its a big differance in how each of those photogs see the story/world. The intro was weird, for a lack of a better word. You used unnecessary video effects and you should have stuck with one thing...wether its a nat intro of prayer, or singing, or whatever. When you start to combine the elements it gets weird and muddled. Much more effective to use one element to draw in the viewer and set the tone for the story. Less is more in these kinds of cases. You needed more video....you needed better video for this thing. More because you really needed to focus on getting everything...inside shots, outside shots, better interveiw and more diverse interview composition. You need to change it up...variety in interviews is crucial and knowing how to move inside/outside in a case like this is critical because it literally is taking place inside/outside. You needed better video because you needed more religious suggestive b-roll. Find the christian writing, coloring book, bibles, whatever anywhere and everywhere and get video of it. You say you had two weeks to shot the video so I am guessing you had plenty of time to gather. Very important key shots were also missing...kids getting on and off the bus, close and far exterior shots of the bus, bus arriving and parking...those kinds of things will make a huge difference in helping move the story along because they may all come with nat pops to use and sprinkle throughout the piece. Closing shot was again kinda like the intro...weird. Its a slow-mo shot of a bus making a turn??? Nice idea, poor execution. If that's what you're going for then stand behind the bus and either on a tripod or putting your camera on the floor, let the bus drive away for you. Same idea, better execution. Look for ways to shot from outside the bus to inside and vice versa because those creative shots will help keep it interesting visually. Good topic but video and execution made this kinda blah but you can easily work on some things and tweek it so next time it will be much better.
So I guess to start I'm not an investigative photog...I'm GA/Sports. This was not supposed to be an "investigation" it was labeled such by our promo department (don't ask why). Don't worry about being brutal that's how we learn. Also by "two weeks" of shoot time I had three days each day being a bus. So technically I only had three days to shoot...thanks for the critique though. I was beginning to think that I was a leper
No problem Ryan...there's a definitely a difference when you think about approach and what you normally do and then try and do something different. I have been an investigative photog for about 7 years now. I am no master myself but I have developed an approach that most GA types won't have or don't have. Why is that? Because a lot of the times I have to be proactive with my shooting...I have to think in terms of concepts...or get creative with how to mix video and graphics, etc. If you don't think like that then sometimes long-from stories can be a challenge...and honestly, entertainment factor needs to be hidden in there which is why variety and creativity are very important skills to have in the investigative world. We should and do learn from our mistakes. I'll be honest and admit that I have and still do make mistakes at times and I always learn form them. Harsh critiques come with the turf of growing and getting better. Most won't allow themselves to be critiqued so kudos for having the guts to post. I hope to see more from you.
Thanks man, I do wish to learn the craft of investigative photography. I went back and watched your piece on the man that was hit and killed by the guy on pills. I was picking up on the subtleties that make up the style, BUT I never really thought about it being labeled an investigative piece. We never really set out to make it one our promo director made it that way witch bugs me. Yeah thanks for the critique though. I posted another one today about a memorial day concert.
If you consistently shoot above average video you'll won't mind when they label anything "investigative" after the fact (and I hate that too). Its all about having skills to handle any scenario and being able to deliver good/high-quality video daily and consistently. Its news afterall and managers like to sensationalize things. So be prepared and you'll be able to handle whatever they throw your way.
Latin Lens made very good points. Out of news, but since your piece ran about 5 minutes, that is a tip off that it's not your average GA story. Three day to work on a story...That pretty long.
This is one story that you can overshoot and not worry about it. Lack of b-roll. What makes items make this a religious classroom? Details...Details. Also think out of the box. You could have gone to a church and grabbed some b-roll. Opening the story with that and gone to the classroom. Also the lack of parents' comments. No shot looking from the school yard to the buses. Even some classroom footage.
What I learned and still do it on any project.....
"Tell me a story" "Make me care"
The other item I use if you see something that catches your eye, it will catch the viewers' eye.
Your goal is to be the best shooter you can be, and be ready for any story that comes you way.