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Small Story: Geocaching

This Small Story video is special to me because it was shot and edited by my 17 year-old son, Blake.

He took me up on my challenge to make an interesting Small Story video, and to do it without using music — which can be difficult even for seasoned video creators.

I think his Small Story turned out pretty well.

I coached him a little as he made the video, but this was definitely his project.

In my opinion, the biggest three strengths of this Small Story are:

1. Effective Narration

After Blake offloaded the clips from the camera card into the computer, he reviewed them and created a rough edit.

The rough edit was clearly lacking a solid story. There were little elements here and there that helped indicate what was going on (who, what, when, where, why) but the story wasn’t totally clear. It was more of a montage than a story.

The story needed something more, so we brainstormed a quick script and he recorded some voice-overs.

The narration, combined with the imagery and miniature interviews, clearly communicated the answers to the questions who, what, when, where, and why.

The narration solidified the story.

2. Visual Variety

When he pulled up the clips in Final Cut Pro X, it turned out he had recorded 64 video clips.

If you consider that the target Small Story length is under 120 seconds (two minutes) and the typical shot might be for 3 seconds, that means he would need roughly 40 clips.

He had 64 clips to choose from, so it wasn’t too difficult to support the narration with applicable B-roll clips.

He focused on variety while he was shooting the clips. He was getting low angles, high angles, close-ups, medium shots, establishing shots, and interviews.

This helped ensure he would have plenty of visual variety during the edit.

3. Natural Sound

Blake had a shotgun microphone on the video camera as well as a wireless lavaliere microphone on Trinity.

This allowed him to capture natural sound every time he hit record. The nat sound was super-useful in the edited video.

I like the way the audio moves between Blake’s voice-overs, the interviews, and the natural sound recorded with the separate video clips. It gives the audio variety to go along with the visual variety.

Conclusion

Usually Blake just makes videos to test special effects or to make skit videos for school projects.

This was the first time he tried to make a Small Story video, and I think it turned out pretty darn well, especially for a first attempt.

As it was coming together, he kept saying, “Man, I love doing this!”

And I could totally relate. :)

7 thoughts on “Small Story: Geocaching

  1. Enjoyed watching the video Izzy – congrats to Blake.

    One quick question re the 2 mics you mentioned – did Blake use a camera with 2 built in XLR inputs – one for the shotgun and one for the wireless lav? Guessing it wasn’t a DSLR with a Juicedlink Riggy or something similar?

    1. Jon, yes he used my Panasonic PX270. It has 2 XLR inputs.

      Thanks for the note. :)

  2. Well done to the young man! Keep going.

    1. Very kind of you to say that. I’ll pass it along to him. :)

  3. Well done, Blake! (And you sound just like your dad!)

  4. Great video, but I would have enjoyed seeing what the rough cut looked like, and what was added afterwards to really understand the process better.

  5. I’ve never heard of geocaching. Your video has actually sparked an interest for me to find out more about it. Thank you for sharing!

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