How they made Snow Fall

 

I had been waiting for this for some time now: the step by step explanation of the development of NY Times most successful and attention grabbing multimedia narrative Snow Fall.  I wrote about the resources that were applied to this (in Portuguese), and how they may seem excessive both in the number of people involved and production time, assets newsrooms don’t have.

Though I believe there is a risk this type of narratives will only happen sporadically, and created only in digital minded newsrooms with huge resources – smaller teams need to learn how to produce consistently multimedia interactive stories, using their own scarce resources (when they turn to this mindset, I mean) – this is  a great walk-through into Oz, i.e., the process of creating Snow Fall at the NY Times newsroom, from which we can draw our own conclusions about what modern news reporting is all about. Or should be.

Q. There’s a ton of audio and moving-image work in Snow Fall, and you used a lot of techniques from filmmaking, but within a very reading-centric experience. What kind of challenges did those elements present?

Catherine Spangler, Video Journalist: The challenges of crafting multimedia to complement a text-based story were the same challenges faced in any storytelling endeavor. We focused on the pacing, narrative tension and story arc—all while ensuring that each element gave the user a different experience of the story. The moving images provided a much-needed pause at critical moments in the text, adding a subtle atmospheric quality. The team often asked whether a video or piece of audio was adding value to the project, and we edited elements out that felt duplicative. Having a tight edit that slowly built the tension of the narrative was the overall goal.

How we made Snow Fall, Source

Worth checking this Storify page to get an insight on this project

 

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