Directors Notes:

My thought process in making this video revolved around creating something that would incite a viewer to possibly want to explore the topic further. So with that in mind I chose to discuss an issue that is currently occurring in my state as well as much of the Midwest, the Emerald Ash Borer. I felt even if individuals were not exposed to this insect that is decimating trees in this area, they may have an interest in the environment as being “Green” is something of a hot button issue right now. With this in mind I set about coming up with a way to present this point in such a way that would hopefully gain some type of emotional response from the viewer. This was my reasoning for choosing to use a script that revolved around a personal story. I felt that this would help to make the message more easily felt and heard by the audience, as it represents an actual person stating how the damage has occurred and effected them directly. Instead of a “canned” speech about the damage figures and the insect itself. My hope was that presented with a personal story the viewer would pay more attention to the information being presented.

When looking at this short video from the perspective of content and imagery I decided to use still photography with simple transitions. I felt the quality of the images I attained through the use of my Nikon camera were superior to the actual video I captured with my Sony camcorder. I tried to select images that would help to convey my message. I felt using the stump that was left from one of the trees that were carnaged by this insect would be a good method of capturing attention right of the bat. I then used images of both the certificate and the property sign to add credibility to my concept as it proved my statements in the film that the family had indeed been on the property since 1879. Once I established this concept I chose to include one of the largest Ash specimens still standing that has been ravaged by this insect, as it represents an example of a tree that probably began life almost 100 years ago. I felt this would have a greater impact than displaying many of the younger trees that have shared a common fate as it adds to the seriousness of this atrocity. Eventually I come full circle and display the initial image again. I felt this would help to signify the end of the video as well as drive home that particular image as the viewer has witnessed it twice.

Looking further into the content itself, lets now look at the transitions. A viewer will notice that many of the transitions between images are simple fades. I felt this would help to limit distractions from the voice over. My hope was that it would give the viewer the idea that the message being spoken was more important than a cross screen wipe or other visual trickery. Throughout this process I also incorporated the use of zooming in and out of portions of the images that I felt would help convey my message. One such example would be on the certificate that zooms out from the 1879 date as I am mentioning it in the script of the video. Once the viewer sees this date and then is exposed to the rest of the certificate, I feel they will gather that I am focusing on the date rather than the overall document. Another way in which I use this same type of pan and zoom is on the large tree that has been destroyed again my hope was that this would help to convey its overall size. Now lets step back and look at the opening title portion of the video. Here a viewer will notice that I have placed it low and to the center of the image. I did this in the hopes that while it will catch a viewers eye that it would not distract them from the overall all imagery of that gnarled root system of a fallen tree.

So with all of that in mind it is my hope that this composition of notes and video will help to create a compelling experience. As this is one of the first times I have really edited video in a very long time I hope that it manages to at least interest viewers enough to possible do a little searching of their own on this topic. Feedback would be very welcome. Thank you