I had the opportunity to work on a story with my good friend Steve (see this blog post for background on why Steve is such a good friend and great visual storyteller. ) We shot this for The Washington Post Sunday evening, edited, and uploaded it to them Monday morning.
Watch the video here
How we did it. (For those visual journalists out there)
When we heard about the story (from Steve’s Mother) we both knew the story would be awesome visually, unique, and be newsworthy since it was the 12th and final day of Christmas. Steve suggested we shoot it together which was a neat opportunity for us both. He is one of my best friends with whom I went to school. As we have grown as visual storytellers and in our careers since school we had never had the opportunity to work together. The whole distance thing really puts a damper on it. Detroit is not as close as you might–or might not think.
I did some research on the History of the Feast of Epiphany, burning of the greens nationwide, and with the Reverend and the church. I then pitched it to the Post and they bought it.
We decided that Steve would shoot the video, and I would shoot the stills. Steve did most of the interviews. I was able to help with Reverend John Ohmer’s interview built on my existing contact and interview with him over the phone days prior to Sunday. We both bounced ideas off of each other throughout the shoot and had a lot of fun. We started capturing the footage on my laptop while in transit back to his parents home in West Virginia. We then brainstormed some ideas for the direction of the piece. I edited my stills and he went through and started laying down some of the story. We found that we have much different styles when it comes to editing a piece and the expression “too many cooks in the kitchen” comes to mind. He went on to work most of the editing. In the wee hours of the morning I came back and helped piece together more of the storyline and place the stills as B-roll. Late morning after some sleep I polished the audio and some transitions, exported and compressed it, FTP’d it to the Post, chose a lead frame-pull, and wrote a caption. Then we were done.
That is probably more than you ever wanted to know about the process. But there it is. I’m quite proud of the piece and it was really a treat to work with my good friend on a beautiful story about God sending his light into the world through Jesus.