Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Take me home with you!

How many times have you been sent to cover a school/city council meeting or maybe a rally or protest? Most of them fall under the category of "boring, but important." How do you make the story interesting enough for your viewer to sit through? I say- go home with someone! Find someone interesting in the crowd and pin the story on them.

The top of a school meeting pkg could look like this:
Nats of Suzie in the kitchen baking cookies with her kids.
"Suzie Q. worries about her children. She has three of them. She's upset they may have to walk an extra mile if the school district changes the bus route.
SOT-'My youngest is just 6. She can't walk that far!'
Nats school meeting.
"That's why Suzie Q. and dozens of other parents showed up here..."

Here's another, real life example. We went to a rally where folks were upset about people's heat being turned off. Important story, but there were only ten people there holding candles and saying prayers. It was the middle of winter. There was this one guy at the rally who had actually had his heat turned off. We asked to go home with him. The temperature inside his home was only about ten degrees higher than what it was outside. You could see your breath inside his house. And he was living like this. He had a months to go before Spring. It was moving, both for me personally and in the story we ended up writing.

There are always real people who are impacted by the stories you cover. The trick is to find someone directly connected and tell their story. Viewers can then connect through that one person.

And really, this works for just about any story. If you find one good person, one character who can really tell their story, your story will practically tell itself.

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