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Escaping from mercenaries: Or how to make 80 minutes of footage into a story

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I ask reporters at The Oklahoman to bring back footage from their interviews. Most of the time a simple 30-60 second sound bite will add decent context to the text version on NewsOK.com. Shooting b-roll or asking their subjects for any additional footage is icing on the cake.

And Fridays are typically busy here at OPUBCO. We wrap up the week’s work and prepare other videos to run over the weekend.

Steve Lackmeyer uploaded his video interview overnight Thursday for us to edit Friday for a Sunday publication. I think all Oklahomans expected bad weather, so that meant getting other work done and out of the way. Priorities, people. Usually that would mean picking out a few bites and calling it good enough due to time constraints.

But I had an idea for this video – to make it more documentary than a simple standup followed by soundbite video. I encoded Lackmeyer’s interview into DVC Pro-720p60 (rendering while editing takes too much time) and watched the 18 minute conversation. Then I learned he had an additional 60 minutes of provided clips from Michael Dillard’s journey in Indonesia.

Yikes.

I laid down the video Friday afternoon, picked out some music and had a decent idea of how the video should go. Then storms rolled into town and it was time to shelve the video.

Saturday morning, and along with three Nespressos (which are outstanding and totally addictive), I carved the video into 18 minutes of somewhat watchable storytelling. With a little more time and polish it could have been better, but we had some Saturday storms to deal with too.

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›

David Morris

Dave Morris serves as Director of Video at OPUBCO, where he's worked since 1996. Morris spent two years as a sports reporter for The Oklahoman before transitioning to online efforts. He has 15 years of digital management with Oklahoman.com and... Read more ›

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