by Kaitlyn Mitchell
This week at Stringr, we’re borrowing inspiration from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a film about LIFE magazine, which folded in December 2012. This is the esteemed magazine’s motto:
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
As a Stringr, you’re enabling our customers to show their viewers things thousands of miles away, things they wouldn’t otherwise have any visual perception of. Consider when you’re listening to a story on NPR – it is often very well-told and emotionally hard-hitting, but without the visual element you’re left to imagine what the place looks like, and that can be difficult to do without any visual cues whatsoever.
In the news this week, there’s been tons of b-roll footage of the Oklahoma and Texas floods, which has caused nearly all of Houston to go underwater as well as killing two people, and leaving some missing. Brave Stringrs have been venturing forth since the moment the storms began to capture this b-roll, and the some of the resulting footage has been incredible.
Of course, we never want you to explicitly seek out a dangerous situation, but we fully trust you use your best personal judgment. However, if you do happen upon a risky situation, but firmly feel you are at a safe enough distance to film, then String away!
This week alone, Stringr Brenda Dreyer submitted gorgeous tornado footage from Oklahoma, and Stringr James Holland submitted footage of a submerged car near the overflowing Trinity River in Texas. Stringr Brett Marks gave us an excellent first-hand view of a professor’s Confederate flag-burning ceremony in Orlando, Florida. And our New York-based Stringrs like Stephen Balakitsis and Micahel Montez have given us terrific, steady footage of the Fleet Week festivities in Manhattan.
When responding to a footage request, we realize that it’s not always clear why you’re capturing that footage. For example, this week we had a couple of Stringrs in New York City capture footage at Public School 120 in Flushing, Queens. Turns out, there had been a school-wide carnival during school hours, but the children who didn’t pay the $10 fee had to sit in a dark cafeteria instead of attending the outdoor festivities with their classmates. Our customers needed b-roll footage of the exterior of the school to use while the anchors narrated the story.
Often, when Stringr’s curation team sends out seemingly mundane footage requests, it is usually the case that our customer needs b-roll footage to support a story where there wasn’t any footage available from the actual incident. Remember, there is always a member of the curation team on-staff 24/7, so never hesitate to ask any questions you may have about an incoming footage request. Also be sure to check out our awesome Stringr training videos created by James, our in-house video producer!
As a videographer, you are giving someone else the ability to glimpse your current reality. If this enables even a flicker of human empathy from the person who is watching that footage, then you’ve done your job, Stringr.