Cutting Out Good Content

It’s been fun this week looking back at our 2012 Telly Award-winning videos. We think every project provides some valuable insights for anyone producing a video, so we’ll give you one more from the METROsquash shoot.

The lesson isn’t about what you’ll find in the video, it’s about what you won’t find. We interviewed four adults and two kids. The boy and the girl we spoke with were great, and kids tend to be a hit or miss when it comes to on-camera interviews.

Now, if you’ve watched the video, you’re probably thinking to yourself… I don’t remember seeing the boy in the video. Well, that’s because his interview was cut out.

METROsquash leaders realized something after our shoot. They had selected two students to be interviewed who attend Chicago Public School military-style academies, and each was wearing their uniform for the interview.

They didn’t want to give the impression that all of the kids they service attend these academies. We could re-shoot the interviews with the kids wearing normal clothes, but the added shoot would have cost them more money.

Instead, we suggested dropping the boy’s interview from the project. The reason was that his uniform was pretty much front and center in the interview shot. You couldn’t miss it.

On the other hand, the uniform wasn’t as prominent in the girl’s interview shot. She looks like she might be wearing one, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it was a military-style uniform.

In the end, that’s what METROsquash leaders decided to do. They had the unenviable task of telling the boy he wouldn’t be in the video. I’m sure it wasn’t something they wanted to do, but it was the right choice for the project.

It’s a bummer. His interview was really good and would have been a nice addition to the video, but sometimes you have to leave good material on the cutting room floor.

–Tony Gnau