After working with the Volunteer Action Center a few times, I believe I have some new ideas to use in order to make a cleaner presentation with a bit more depth, as well as a more pronounced call for action.
I will be using both the Zoom FX digital recorder as well as my phone as a backup. The soundtrack will be coupled with a consistent nat soundtrack in an attempt to create a more dynamic aural atmosphere. I am currently working with a plan on using some quiet acoustic guitar, but there are also some interesting ambient artists who KXUA has featured recently that could work well. I am still not entirely certain if I will be narrating or if I will use the interviews to illustrate the program.
Shots will be comprised of multiple angles, simulated movement and different aspect ratios in what I hope will be a pleasing manner. I also plan on making extensive use of my 8mm lens along with my oft-ignored 50mm. I've figured out an easy way to "de-fisheye" shots from the ultra-wide, so they will not look distorted and "off" in the presentation.
My full plan is to actually try to get people to volunteer, not just to become aware of the program. I have an idea about asking the people I interview to each say the same phrase - something along the lines of "the volunteer action center needs YOU" and then put them one after another, along with text on the screen spelling out what they are saying.
By now I should have learned to give myself a bit more flexibility with regards to the intended project, as the best bits of the interview many times end up being a bit different than the info I initially wanted to convey. Luckily, I got some great audio and my interviewee was quite comfortable and knowledgeable. I recorded with two devices for redundancy, and luckily did not have any technical difficulties in that department. The shots were collected from various locations at various different times in order to keep it interesting. I used images that I had already taken for the literacy program, as well as many new ones.
I decided to use a nice mellow instrumental track from the band Bonobo as the background, and after much consideration, decided to eschew NAT sounds for a cleaner presentation. I am constantly amazed by the sound quality of that Zoom recorder! Absolutely perfect, and it records in four channels! In the past I believe my audio was a bit sloppy, and I am confident and pleased with the results of this project.
Since Soundslides resizes images, the odd shots with specks from a dirty sensor were nowhere near the problem I thought they were going to be. There is nothing as disheartening as getting your images off the card and seeing that dreaded splotch from errant dust! I believe the use of different lenses (and even a shot from my phone!) helped keep it interesting, though there are a few somewhat abrupt changes from portrait to landscape. These were very minor, so I decided to keep them.
All in all, everything went smoothly and I feel confident calling myself a Soundslides professional level user. My storytelling needs to be developed a bit more, but in this case I believe it worked well.