Monday, August 13, 2007

The truth is in the viewfinder

Every once in a while an editor will say something like, "Can't you jazz that up a little?"

Of course it's about 7:30 p.m. when that question crops up. Separated by a cubicle wall, they can't see the roll of my eyes as I desperately search my mind for the hint of color I missed the first time I wrote the lede.

Often they are right. It needs something and we work hard together to find the true note that will help it soar.

Today I've learned that its also easy to lose accuracy in video when reporters try to give more "oomph" to their pieces.

Coming from print, I had imagined sprucing up shots with cool music and fun transitions-- you know, something to give my images and subjects more atmosphere. But as Al Tompkins of The Poynter Institute pointed out, while the story could be considered true, you could lose context and worst of all: accuracy.

With Tompkin's coaching, I learned to ask myself an important question when I get started in the video editing realm: "Is this what I saw through the viewfinder?"

-Kelly Cuculiansky
The Daytona Beach News-Journal

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