I want to place this story under what my good friend and former KARE 11 colleague Brett Akagi calls, “Know the rules, to break the rules.” Generally speaking, I’m against the following: using music, opening with talking heads or stand-ups, multiple stand-ups, and reporter involvement. This story essentially violates all of those personal reporting rules, but I don’t believe I’ve ever received more unsolicited compliments about a story. I simply call this story, “Father’s Day.” It is a long-form piece about living with the loss of your dad, especially around Father’s Day. This was produced several years ago when I had far less gray hair. Ultimately, this story shows the power of moments and personal connection with the audience. I think those two things allow the story to overcome the so-called rule violations. I must give credit where credit is due. I produced this story with J.R. Mahon, who was a videographer at the time. He loves to stretch the rules. I will close with this: One day I was leaving the station for another story, and J.R. was in the parking lot shooting clouds for this piece. In my typical hands-on fashion, I asked him, “What are you doing?” He replied, “Work with me on this!” I did, and this is the result. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. Don’t go crazy breaking rules until you know the rules.
(editor’s note: video that goes with this tip is at the Facebook link)