Mr. Moose & Mr. Bear Hide Easter Eggs

IT’S EASTER SUNDAY and the egg hunt is about to begin! But can Mr. Moose hide the eggs well enough? Or will Mr. Bear finish before he eats all the chocolate? Join the animals of Pember Forest as they celebrate Easter.

Mr. Moose and Mr. Bear Hide Easter Eggs is a children’s story for ages 3-7, and written to be read aloud as a family.

Choose your preferred reading format below:

I hope you enjoy the story, and Happy Easter!

Thoughts on editing documentaries, by Steve Audette, ACE

Recently on The Rough Cut Podcast, Steve Audette, ACE shared his thoughts on cutting documentaries for Frontline. Frontline is an in-depth doc series from PBS and has been around since 1983.

The whole interview is fascinating, as Steve recounts his journey through editing and the process for the Frontline team. Along the way, he shared several thoughts about cutting documentaries that stood out to me.

“The mind cannot absorb what the butt cannot endure.”

Steve Audette, ACE

^^ This is my new favorite quote. While verite films (watching life happen, often in real time) are beautiful and moving, they also tend to be longer. This makes it harder for the viewer stay focused, especially in a world full of other options. Steve says they use narration to truncate time and information, and keep the story moving.

Documentaries are different from scripted films, in that you don’t have a set structure or plan. Thus, Steve describes how the editor must understand all of the assets available to him/her (footage, narration, photos, audio, etc.) and hold everything in their mind in an abstract way, and from there work to discern a cohesive structure.

I appreciate that thought especially, in holding all of the information in an abstract way. There isn’t a set structure for how the information should be ordered, so you have to see and understand all of the pieces, and then look for a structure that fits that best.

Lastly, Steve talks about how people usually watch documentaries only once. (When I think back over the docs I’ve watched, I can’t think of one I’ve watched more than once.)

With that in mind, Steve says they work hard to make sure the information is cohesive and understandable, so that the viewer gets everything they need to.

Hearing from someone who has been in the trenches of documentaries for so long was fascinating, both in how he worked and how he thought about storytelling in that medium.

The Key Question of Marketing

My role at work recently changed, so I’m playing catch-up in learning about marketing. For most of my career I’ve been responsible for making videos, not deciding the content or how they are distributed. Now, as Video Director, I’m actively developing content and involved in conversations about delivery, and more importantly strategy. 

To that end, I’ve been finding as many books on Marketing as I can find. First up was Growth Hacker Marketingby Ryan Holiday. The growth hacker mindset looks for ways beyond buying billboards to spread the word. (Case in point: when Hotmail launched they included a small tagline at the bottom of each email, “Sent by Hotmail”. This led to exponential growth. 

The book that has really stood out to me was This is Marketing, by Seth Godin. Seth approaches marketing was a serving instead of getting mindset. He asks three basic questions:

  1. What change are you trying to make? (Non-voters to voters, non-donors to donors)
  2. What promise are you making? (What will the result of the change give people?)
  3. Who are we trying to change?

It’s that last question that provides the glue of Seth’s approach to marketing. Often marketing attempts focus on reaching “everyone”. But that’s like adding food coloring to the ocean; there won’t be any noticeable effect. But if you add that food coloring to a small kiddy pool, then you’ll see change. 

So whatever you do (write books or music, create products, provide a service), ask questions until you can get very, very specific on the people you are trying to reach. Then ask yourself what change you want to bring them.

This is an excerpt from Word & Leaf,
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