Before I started any work on this project, I developed an outline that would guide the whole process.
Once that was done, I wrote up another plan for myself. I brainstormed the footage I wanted to get for the video. Then, I came up with all the interview questions I wanted to ask. I reordered the questions, structuring them into different parts of the narrative I imagined.
I interviewed my subject, Mike. I recorded the entire interview, and I ended up with almost an hour of footage. I cut down all that footage into a rough 2-minute introduction to Mike and his story. My hope was that it would serve as a “promo” to the rest of the narrative.
Then, I selected highlights from the rest of the audio footage. I ordered them according to the new narrative that I felt taking shape, but I left only Mike’s audio in the first cut of the podcast.
My first draft of the written piece was too much. I wrote every detail of the story that I could remember. It almost felt like a full-length biography rather than a single narrative.
Now that all three pieces were finished, I tried to figure out the best way to make it a cohesive story where all three pieces added to each other without feeling repetitive.
I started with editing the podcast. I turned it into a documentary-style piece, adding in all the details I wanted to keep in the story but remove from the written narrative. Here is the final product, which can also be found on the piece’s website:
After that was finished, I was able to cut out all the pieces from the written narrative that felt unnecessary or redundant. I anchored the story around the quotes, which serve as headings for the piece. I also changed all the names for the sake of the subjects’ privacy. These changes are reflected in the final written piece on the website.
Finally, I edited the video. For this, I only cleared up the audio and smoothed out the transitions. The video still served as a great launching point for the deeper dive that followed.