Next week’s class will include a short mid-term exam. Multiple choice and short answer, based on the first 5 lectures.
In Week 5, we reviewed the Whitney Houston Obit writing assignment from the previous week, the OC/VO with a SOT. Overall, most writers identified the lead of the story correctly. Common problems otherwise included:
Failure to use the most current video first. The video of the coroner’s van and the scene at the rear of the hotel were the most current, most news-relevant pictures. They should be placed first, right after a one sentence lead ON CAMERA.
Using other pictures first, such as file footage of Houston, pushes the “today news” farther down in the story. This is what we call “burying the lead”, or, in this case, burying facts that should have directly followed the lead. Several writers immediately launched into a series of background facts, such as hit songs, awards, drug problems and her troubled marriage. Whether placed first in the story or later, many writers also did not include enough information about the “today” news.
The SOTs available for telling this story were fairly weak. The Clive Davis sound bite was the best one to use, although using others in addition to it could work. Writers who chose other SOTs instead of the Davis bite did not tell as strong a story.
Here are some examples of well-written Houston Obit scripts: Whitney Houston Obit examples
Here are the notes on the Week 5 lecture:
Week 5 notes JMSC 6092, 0051
This week’s writing assignment: A two-minute package – Floods in the Philippines. Use the Reuters video feed here:
and refer to the shot sheet for video and story info here:
Write a 15 – 20 second intro to be read by an anchor. Then, write a package that is roughly two minutes long, including the SOTs you choose. Use the standard two column format we’ve been using, putting shots from the shot sheet on the left side and your script on the right.
Deadline 23:59 Friday night. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org