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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The value of a writer; aka - other ways of earning a living

I just finished editing two videos as paid gigs. The one above is for the annual Speechwriters' Guild Conference. It features 16 great pieces of advice from some of the World's best speech writers. Included are the speechwriter for Reagan, for Kofi Annan and the Chairman of BA - all imparting their wisdom. As an aside - I wonder if there is a scriptwriting equivalent video. And if not, surely that's the kind of thing that should come out of festivals and writing workshops.

As you will see, a theme running through all this advice is the power of storytelling, of understanding the audience, of having a structure. All the same great ideas we use.

As scriptwriters (or any form of storyteller) we need to remember that our skills are really useful out there in the 'real world'. They are useful to people who run entire countries and massive corporations. They have a currency IF we choose to spend it.

Nerd stuff:
Edited in Final Cut Pro 7
Graphics done in Motion
The Motion template was adapted from a free download available here.


Paul Draper said...

That's a lot of very well spoken people.

Anonymous said...

testing my OpenID

Anonymous said...

Nice speaking advice. Good bunch of tips. But I wasn't fond of the overall piece. Here's what I thought could have been better roughly in order.

1. Too long by half. 6:31 is long for the Internet. Better to have two separate three minute pieces.

2. Maybe it's just me but that particular mottled green background made me think of being seasick.

3. Background music through the whole piece was distracting. I find this all the time on tutorials or demos posted on the Internet. Better to use music in the intro, end and maybe as some punctuation in the middle.

4. Monotonous repetition of the same motions got boring quickly. The only variation was the entry side and the angle they stopped at. It seemed to call too much attention to the technique instead of helping to focus the watcher on the speaker.

5. And as one of the speakers pointed out, bring in some humor or stories.

I know, everybody's a critic. Take it with a grain of salt. Get some other input. Learn. It's just my opinion and who am I?

But you got paid so that's a definite endorsement right there.



Tim Clague said...

Thanks for the feedback Rob. Personally, I always appreciate it if someone has taken the time to think it through and type it up.

I agree with most of what you say. The aim of the video was to do something more reflective and useful than standard web vids. But perhaps your splitting in 2 could have worked - one more on business and one more on politics.

The design elements were, in fact, meant to be slightly repetitive so as not to be distracting, yet bind it together.

The green background did suffer a bit in compression. I believed the new compression being used by youtube would have helped more than it did. The music covers up various off-camera sounds.

In the end of course the target audience is drawn into it by the people featured and the good advice. And that counts for 80-90% of the appeal.