Wait—Where the Hell Did the Story Go?
Seems the project I’ve been working on that I mentioned in the previous blog post has spiraled a little out of control in the editing process. I had a similar problem while working on my first micro documentary—when it came time to edit the material, I got lost trying to decide which thread of the story to follow.
But I will have to apply that same process-of-elimination method to the project about Deborah now.
Things I’m trying to keep in mind as I wind down the final hours of this madness:
-What is the specific theme/storyline I’m trying to tell? Life is complicated. No one’s story is easily compact into a precise little box. There are multiple themes and supporting characters that interweave. It’s my job to select which I find most worth sharing (for the time being).
-Think about your audience. Would I want to sit through a still-and-audio slideshow for over 6 minutes? Doubtful, unless it’s really goddamn compelling. Something else to note here is something told to me by David Redmond, who visited Mizzou a few months ago and offered insight to that micro doc: “Allow your audience to grow with the character.” Proper pacing should help with this.
-Ring the bell. Both my roommate and professor emphasized that, often for photographers, stories aren’t “done.” But at some point, you have to take a step back, fold up your sleeves and make the most of what you have for the sake of honoring deadlines and moving on. This new “chapter” in Deb’s life fell into her lap recently and so, it fell into mine. But with so little time to manuever such a delicate addition, I found myself overwhelmed and frustrated. I want to do the story—and Deborah—justice. But I will have to stick with my instincts in that I’m unable to fully implement that into the present story. Not right now, at least, and not in as much detail as I’d have liked. I don’t have enough of the visuals to support the audio telling about the new child’s arrival and, due to his status as a foster child, I’m restricted in what I can photograph. I tried getting unidentifiable photos of him but he was always surrounded by so many other children—Deborah took six kids to church on Sunday since she also watches kids as a source of income—so the photos get cluttered and he gets lost.
So, time to finish. For now. I hope to maybe pick this story back up if/when Deborah goes through the adoption process. But, for today, I need to ring the bell.