Working with way too little b-roll

In Arrow Rock, officials, advocates and tourists discuss the park’s unique position and the problems facing it in the wake of the backlog and budget cuts.

After re-listening to my second story with Maggie Berglund on Missouri state parks’ budget shortfall and financial problems, I’m surprised it turned out as well as it did. The strengths of the video sidebar, my favorite part of the story, were all Maggie’s; the weaknesses were all mine. I shot most of the b-roll for the sidebar, which dealt with Arrow Rock, one state site unique for containing a historical site within a campable state park. Maggie, meanwhile, did most of the editing. It took a certain degree of brilliance to manage to carve a longer story out of my meager b-roll.

Our finished product was a KBIA audio piece which focused heavily on the big picture and the aforementioned sidebar. The story was probably too dry for a KBIA audience. Although Maggie found some excellent nat. sound for the intro, the main bar focused heavily on numbers. I felt like it was a professionally well-done piece, although my narration was, in retrospect, pretty weak. By the way,

  • A note on narration

This was my first narration in the class, and I had no idea what I was doing. I’ve talked with Maureen McCollum at KBIA about voicing, something I’m trying to crash-course myself in. Voicing is difficult for me, since I’ve had a host of speech impediments throughout my life. I’m used to public speaking but something changes in my voice when I get in a booth. I become a little more self-conscious than usual, obsessing over the waveform shapes and every vocal tic, probably to the detriment of the entire package.

To really integrate a convergence attitude into public radio, I’ll have to get narration down. I’m convinced it’s something I have the ability to be great at, and any hindrances I’ve faced so far are psychological. Most recently, my narration for my Fulton smoking ban piece sounded a lot more natural to me than this early attempt.


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