For the second year in a row, Patriot Ledger photojournalist Amelia Kunhardt has been nominated for a New England Emmy award.
In the words of her proud boss, Executive Editor Chazy Dowaliby: "This year she has two nominations, both in Health/Science program category.
"The first is a remarkable documentary video/slideshow (with print story and photos) on a breast cancer survivor undergoing a second diagnosis and treatment for a different cancer, done as part of our PINK edition coverage.
"The second is a daily/Ledgerland story/photo and video package on a Hull 'walker.'
"In both reports, Amelia sourced, wrote, photographed and filmed the entire presentation.
"The only other non-broadcast news organizations represented in various categories are The Day, New London, The Providence Journal and The Boston Globe."
Below are five questions with Kunhardt on the two nominated videos, what she looks for in a story that would make a good video, and some advice for budding videographers.
The awards ceremony is June 2.
|What appealed to you about the subjects you chose in terms of their video potential?||
Both of these are character-driven narratives. Video allows Wally and Mary Anne to speak directly to the viewer, without interference from me as a narrator. Literally hearing their voices lends emotion and immediacy to their stories. Wally and Mary Anne both wanted to share a message, and I was just lucky to capture their stories. I met Wally while photographing a Hull basketball game. I met Mary Anne two years ago, when I interviewed her for an audio slideshow during breast cancer awareness month.
|In general, what do you keep in mind when looking at any story and considering whether to shoot a video?||
Is there motion? Is there sound? Sounds lead me to pictures, and pictures lead me to sounds. Video is great for showing action and giving viewers a sense of place. In contrast, still photos force viewers to pause, dwell on a moment in time, and reflect. (Getting meaningful still photos actually takes a lot longer than shooting video.) Combining the two in a single story engages viewers on different levels, generating an evocative whole greater than the sum of its visual and auditory parts.
|What was your favorite video you’ve shot and why?||
It’s hard to say because each time I do a video, I learn so much, and when I finish one, I want my next one to be better.
|When did you first pick up a video camera?||
I first used a video camera on an in-depth project in 2010, when I reported and produced a three-part series on women, alcohol and drunk driving. (This was during my Kiplinger Fellowship in Ohio. The project was also nominated for an Emmy.) It was a digital camcorder. I now prefer to use an HDSLR.
|If there was one piece of advice you could give to budding videographers, what would it be?||
You might want to start by learning how to gather and edit audio first, then make a few audio slideshows. There’s a lot of moving parts to video and it can get complicated fast. Do a little advanced planning and think about the elements you need to tell the story. There’s a lot of technical steps and editing software to learn, but the most important thing of all is the story. Focus on the story. Use techniques appropriate to telling that story. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. (But you do need some very good equipment, software, a laptop with a decent amount of RAM, and some external hard drives.) Less is more.