Multimedia – Beth Schlanker, First Place

Judge- Colin Mulvany, multimedia producer at The Spokesman Review

1st Place
Beth Schlanker/Ogden Standard Examiner

here to watch the project

This one, out of all the entries, hit on all cylinders. It had an interesting
story with excellent audio that weaved narrative and natural sound together.
The photos were great moments and the audio connected with the pictures
at the right time. The photographer went with black and white, but I
think this group of photos would have been better in color. The audio
editing is well done–good layering of audio to create a soundscape that
moves the story along. One the things I’ve noticed with the other Soundslides
productions, is a weakness in audio editing. Multimedia rule
number one:
creating an audio narrative–never have dead gaps in your audio. You want
your audio to flow like liquid. Add a touch of nat sound to cover any gaps
or use an audio cross dissolve to blend two clips together. Don’t make
the viewer aware of your edits.


2nd Place
Beth Schlanker/Ogden Standard Examiner

Click here to watch the project
Like the first place winner, consistent, layered, quality audio helps
tell the story. This photographer (multimedia producer) crafted a story
narrative from her subjects that flowed with the music and photos. Good
pacing. This is a good example of the great little stories we can tell
with multimedia. These small community based stories resonate with our
readers and viewers because they showcase their lives, not
some politician, criminal, or lost soul.

  Music is another observation that I saw used inconsistently throughout
many of the entries. Some entries were just music slideshows, which is
fine. Too me, when you talk about quality multimedia, it’s really all
about storytelling. That is where the use of audio gathering and narration
really raises the bar. Also, if you plan to use any music, ask yourself:
is it really necessary? What type of reaction am I looking for by using
music? In the case of “Bunny Hop” slideshow it works because the music
was part of the story.

Remember you are not creating a Hollywood soundtrack for your stories.
Watch out for the melodrama factor with music. On the right piece it
can really help. In others, it will drive viewers away. Which brings
me to multimedia rule number two : record you subjects
in the quietist place possible, then add the natural sounds track under
the narration track. This way you can lower the levels of the nat sound
without over powering the narration. This is what I mean when I say layer
your audio. As for music, one of the things that drive me crazy is a
music track that is so loud that they overwhelm the narration track.
Keep the music track really low key. Duck you music, which means raise
and lower the levels where needed throughout your story.


3rd Place
Christopher Onstott/St. George Spectrum

Click here to watch the project

This video was advanced in its storytelling. There is reporter driven
objective narration that tells the viewer quickly what the story is about.
The video was shot and composed with a good mix of wide, medium and tight
shots. Editing was strong, but some of the shots could have lingered
less. It looks like the person that shot this video got proper training.
On most to the other videos entered, photographers struggled with the
basics of video production. Many had audio problems. Others struggled
with basic story structure.

The best video stories are ones that have a beginning, middle and an
end. They should include a variety of wide, medium, tight, and super
close ups. Steady, sequenced video without a lot of pans and zooms. Clean
audio, where the subject can be heard without a lot of background noise.
What any of the entered videos failed to give me was some sort of emotional
connection to the subjects.

  I understand this form of storytelling is new for all of us.
With training and experience, I expect vast improvements in storytelling
from photographers   (multimedia producers) in the future.


Honorable Mention
Robert Johnson/Ogden Standard Examiner

Click here to watch the project
This video was full of drama. The photographer showed what a school shooting
could be like (scary). It viewed like a reality show, with follow-the-action
shots. That said, the video could have been edited better. What was missing
was a mix of wide, medium and tight shots. The injured victims lying
on the floor would have made excellent close-ups to use as cutaways.
Also, what did victims have to say about what it was like to take part
in this exercise? Just asking them the question: when you heard the first
gunshot, how did you feel? I bet you would have gotten some pretty interesting
comments. Also an establishing shot of the school building would have