Author Archives: B Roll

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Background Music.

According to Ira Glass, “Music is the frame around the picture.” It makes a piece “more real than real” if that makes sense. Music gives the viewer time to take in what’s been said and what they are seeing. It shouldn’t overpower…

Sometimes music is used to mark a start in a piece where action begins or builds. It adds drama… and it has to be removed to present a big idea. So, it stands out. Stopping the music focuses on the what’s being said or seen!


Suckers for Docs.

I was telling my neighbour about working with Paul on documentaries. He was all over that. He named a few documentaries I must see, like The Cove. He also had few he wanted to see including Super Size Me. This isn’t that rare. Lots of people love docs and my neighbour is no exception.

He sent me a link to a BBC One preview of Human Planet. Amazing footage, edited really well. Check it out…

Barriers to Solution.

My brother and I are kicking around how to get a machine to edit on. My laptop isn’t going to cut it and his seems okay but shared by the family so not so accessible… These are barriers but we’ll be persistence.

Seth Godin on his blog states, “Genuine success is scarce, and the scarcity comes from the barriers that keep everyone from having it. If it weren’t for the scarcity, it wouldn’t be valuable, after all.” We value the importance of overcoming barriers. I loved climbing with my brother in the Gunks in the early 90’s. It was an amazing experience. The barrier of getting to the top was genuine and although success wasn’t particularly scarce, it was valuable.

I created the script for Reid Narration using a lot of elipses. Anyone that knows me knows this is not new… It’s coming in handy though – especially for writing narration. I’ve listened to over 80 of TAL and like training, I can sense the improvement. It’s already helping me in my narration.

From Radio: An Illustrated Guide it talks about elipses or in the guides taxonomy; dot-dot-dot. Specifically they suggest, “Write the way you talk. If there’s any phrase in your script that you wouldn’t actually say to a person in a real conversation at dinner, rewrite. These dot-dot-dot sentence constructions are normal in radio scripts, but would never cut it in newspaper.”

The question that always works.

I’m reading throughRadio: An Illustrated Guide by Jessica Abel & Ira Glass. Talking about refection they suggest one question that will always reveal a great answer. “What did you think this going to be like before you started and then what was it really like?” Two stories come out of this and it illustrates a lesson.

They (Jessica & Ira) seem to learn a lot from Noah Adams. We can learn from him too… Maybe after TAL I’ll get to All Things Considered.


It would be fun to do something like this. More of a mockumentary. I love it though.

I really like the use of the Ken Burns effect. Talk about fun with photoshop. Nice…

I did an actually documentary with just images from Dieppe set to music in 2nd Yr Film School. I’m afraid I didn’t think of doing any zooms or pans which would have been better. As well, my flashes should have been 1 frame not 6 and it looked stupid. The editing was cool but always wished I could do it over again the right way. It was done on Super 8 with audio tape with sync.

Holding Pattern.

Seems my bro and I are in a bit of a holding pattern here. My laptop isn’t cutting it for editing and we’re switching software. Thinking about Macs and PCs… We’ll figure it out but it’s a bit of a pain. The illustration below kinda sums it up.

I want us to enter the TVO contest. There’s still time… thinking of doing a couple of shorts on deep water running and beet juice! Think both could be humorous and informative. Need to arrange the shoots and keep moving!!!