ASSIGNMENT: Pitches, Matches

The Alexia Foundation for Cultural Understanding and World Peace is something near and dear to my heart. It offers major scholarships to student winners (a semester of studying photojournalism in London through Syracuse University) and funds very important work. We shall use their proposal guidelines to craft our own.

I’ve collected three past winning proposals for you to take a look at. You’ll see some highlighting in there, pay attention to that – those are the things we’ll be looking for. For next Tuesday, read those proposals and look at the final stories, all on the Alexia site. Come in with 3-5 story ideas to pitch and then be prepared to write a draft for next Thursday, Jan. 16, using the Alexia format – a 25 word summation, 750 word pitch. That is due to me, by email, by 9 p.m. on Jan. 16.

The deadline for student entries is Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. – I’m not requiring you to enter, but you’ll have the bulk of the work done so why not?

Also, look for a matched-action sequence in an online news video and share a link and your description of it in the comments below. Your description should be where it is in the video, how many shots and whether you think it works or not.

You should be reading a little on the Journalism 2.0 PDF every day – plan on having that completed by Thursday, Jan. 23.


10 Responses to ASSIGNMENT: Pitches, Matches

  1. Brenna Beech says:

    1:18-1:23 There are three shots here of setting up candles that I think flow really well. The shots together work and the background sound is nice, though I wish they would have been about opening up the glow sticks instead of candles. The video had glow sticks in the title and it kind of centered around the glow stick story, so I think they would have made more sense for this kind of shot.

  2. hkprocki says:
    The matched action happens around 1:37. There are two shots; one is tighter than the other. It works, but I’m not really sure why it was used. I think it could have been one continual shot.

  3. allieblinder says:

    :40-1:10 has a lot of nice matched action sequences. There are a lot of clean movements to showcase Alvarez’s workouts and the smoothness of his exercises. The camera motion is all fluid and it could have been shot in more than one take since I’m betting he does more than one repetition of each exercise.

  4. Christina Cannon says:

    The matched action happens around 0:10. The flow doesn’t bother me but I’m nit sure why they didn’t just stay on the second shot. The first shot does seem to offer much.

  5. Kaitlin Kent says:

    The matched action is at 1:13 when he’s doing push ups. It works because it shows a different angle. I think it was just used to give visual variety.

  6. Jane Ellyn says:

    It’s at the very start of the video, at least 5 different shots (I think, my goldfish memory is kicking in…), but I think it works very well because as the children are singing and clapping, by moving us around the room it immerses us into the setting and makes us feel like we’re just as much a part of it as the children are.

  7. Lauren Maldonado says:

    There are a lot of matched action pieces here. The whole time she is putting together the bouquet, we see a different angle. I think it works and helps us see all of the little details with the flowers and different things she is putting into her craft. There were 32 shots during that clip!! Around :35-:37 she opens the door and I don’t think they could have caught her opening the door and getting the bell to ring that quickly. That’s my only concern.

  8. Jeanette Kazmierczak says:

    The camera cuts between the movement of the dancer’s feet several times (0:05, 1:44) and the overall motion of their bodies very well. There’s also some shots (1:37) cutting between a full shot of ? and when he’s using the tiny exercise ball to stretch out his feet.

  9. Laura Thompson says:

    Around 2:05-2:10, there is some matched-action of the rescue team hiking up the mountain. It is not a particularly necessary use of matched-action, probably because the action isn’t that exciting. This usage of matched-action really just integrates long and medium shots, with a slight change in angle.


    The first matched action sequence occurs at 0:23. It’s a total of four shots showing the older brother writing while the younger brother, standing next to him, opens a book on the desk.

    -This sequence works because the audio here is saying how the little brother is unable to share the same rights of the older brother. Showing them together, while the younger brother looks on at the older brother’s work really shows relationship.

    The second sequence occurs at 0:36. It’s a total of three shots showing the family eating together at the table. The first two shots (both medium) show the mother eating from two separate angles and the last shot (close) shows the son eating.

    -I think this sequence works as a heartwarming, family moment that shows they care equally about both sons but nothing critical is actually occurring at this moment.

    The third sequence occurs at 0:48 and is a total of three shots (two close, one medium) showing a father listening to a recorded conversation on his cell phone.

    -This sequence works especially well for the medium to establish his posture when reviewing the audio, and the two close shots show the seriousness of the matter by reflecting his face in the computer screen so we can see his eyes.

    The fourth sequence occurs at 1:45 with a widow, Liu Fei and her second son. It’s a total of three shots (one close-medium, one medium, one long) that shows her maneuvering her way across the street on her scooter.

    -This sequence showing the difficulty in her crossing the street kind of matches the audio stating the difficulty she is facing in her lone struggle against the government.

    The fifth sequence occurs at 2:02 where Liu Fei and her son are at the table in her living room. It’s a total of two shots, one medium and one close.

    -This sequence reflects the love and attention she has for her son, but may be able to be taken out and still have the story work.

    The last sequence occurs at 2:20 where her son is playing on the floor with his toy cars. There appear to be a couple different sequences within the longer one, as he is playing with a couple different cars, but in general there are about four close shots and one medium-longish shot.

    -This sequence is meant to show that he is just a normal little boy despite his status as a second son and the stigma that carries in China. It works because of the juxtaposition of such an important decision being made about the mother’s suing of the government, yet his simple desire to play with toy cars and be a kid.

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