7 TOW: Story Revision

TOW Story Assignment: Revision

  1. Make changes based on group input.
  2. Write narration (if needed).
  3. If these is a narrated piece, record your narration and mix into revised piece.
  4. Post your revision (with narration, if any) for input at our TOW Group. If you have a lot of narration, consider also posting your script.
  5. If you have a specific refinement that will improve another group member’s work, add a comment.


Mentor Notes

If you’re really pretty sick and tired of your story at this point it’s perfectly normal. The thing to do is push yourself to get it done so you can move on. Stories are never as good as we would like them to be. This is something you get used to, because it’s more important to keep going, try something new, and maybe next time it will be better. Or at least that’s how I think of it. But in order to keep going you got to get this one done.

Probably the hardest part of producing a documentary type story comes at the point where you have gathered all your tape or documents and now have to figure out which pieces to use and how to put them together, how to use what you’ve gathered to tell a story. I usually freak out a bit, or a lot, until I get an idea, and then sometimes that idea doesn’t work so I freak out again, etc. Everybody has a different process. I hope it goes smoothly for you, but it often doesn’t, so I want to let you know you’re not alone if you don’t know what to do.

Here is a process that has been helpful for me.

  1. Find your best tape or video or photos, your best elements. Your documentary story should be based on the real documents you’ve gathered, so figure out which is the best stuff.
  2. Figure out the order these things should appear in your story.
  3. Write narration to introduce and context the elements you’ve chosen.

I try to follow this pattern, but I sometimes find myself trying to write narration right at the beginning, before I’ve even edited the tape. This is almost always a waste of time for me. I believe the story should be told as much as possible by the actual real stuff, and narration should just be a way to set it up, so I don’t really know what to write until I have the pieces edited down and lined up in the proper order.

So my main advice right now, take it if it’s useful, is to concentrate on editing your elements, and wait to do the writing as the last thing.

I hope you’ve had some fun and learned some new things about yourself, the equipment and the software.

— Scott Carrier, Mentor, TOW Basics: Multimedia Storytelling