A family is determined to give their disabled son a whole and vital life. In the midst of a great burden, one small child – with a seemingly endless supply of love – is the blessing that holds a family together. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/training/a-thousand-more
A Thousand More is a video I first watched in my multimedia class sophomore year, and as I was browsing through an awesome website called Media Storm I saw the link to the video again. Having forgotten what exactly the story was about, I clicked it again. Let me tell you, this video is worth all 13 minutes of your time. A good multimedia piece should inspire you and squeeze your heart, and that's exactly what this pieces does. Since I've seen the video a few times now, I decided to break it down into the components of what I think makes it such a successful piece.
When putting the piece together, they weren't afraid to leave in pauses. Silence is okay! The entire story is told through soundbites, which is part of what makes it so powerful. I never realized until now how intrusive having an anchor voice reading in the background can be to a piece. It really puts up a barrier to the direct line of emotion the viewer feels. The power of just having the main characters tell the story is incredible. When one of the parents started choking up, they wouldn't cut the camera right away and go to the next shot. They would let the camera sit, and let the viewer feel the emotion and pain with the parents. The pauses in the piece really allow you to become emotionally invested in their life. A key to a good multimedia piece is letting your viewers feel the emotion, and the best way to do that is through the actual character's voices and direct emotions.
Another reason I think this video is so strong is how they developed the main character, Philly Mayer. He is the first person we are introduced to visually and audibly. They pieced together a simple string of bites about what he wants to be when he grows up, and let that give the viewer an insight to who this little boy really is. I love that they chose this way to introduce Philly. They didn't let his disease define him. They let the story naturally unfold in a way that didn't feel rushed or out of order. After the initial introduction, they don't stop developing his character and just focus on his disease, they continue to show his every day life to let the viewer get even closer to him and experience life as if they are with the family.
I think this goes hand and hand with character development, but you can really tell the depth the journalists went into to tell this boy's story. All the video isn't from one day, it's from multiple different visits and important events in the family's life. The still shots, pictures and videos from when Philly was younger also help tell the full story. This depth makes the viewer feel like the story is complete and there aren't pieces missing or questions unanswered.
This video is a great example of excellent journalism. I'm really interested in doing more long-term pieces like this where I am able to tell more of an in-depth story rather than short, hard-hitting news. This video is such a great example of the power of journalism when you take the time and effort to tell a meaningful story in a powerful way.