West Farms residents say the postal service’s threatened closure of their post office is an unfair attack on their community.
The post office is one of 17 in the Bronx — more than in New York’s four other boroughs combined — on the U.S. Postal Service’s list of some 3,200 possible post office closures nationwide as it tries to close a $9 billion budget shortfall. The postal service blames increased competition from e-mail and private shipping companies.
But residents say the post office is vital to their community. They argued that they wouldn’t have an alternative within walking distance. The next closest post offices are both across major highways.
The residents also said the area is experiencing an economic renaissance, which would be threatened by the post office’s closure. The area is already home to the Bronx Zoo and the Bronx River Art Center, which is undergoing a $7 million renovation.
At a recent town hall meeting, residents and local leaders made their frustrations known to postal officials.
I really like the intro shot, and I don’t think you need the lower third for it; rather, I’d like to know where the post office actually is. I’d rather go from that to the guy talking, then the lower third. There’s also a little jump at 0:08 that was probably caused by a really tiny gap between the clips.
I think you could invert Albert Alvarez’s talking with the first title card, and then carry over the clapping over the two title cards. Cutting him off and then silence between him and Lawrence Dow is a little jarring.
A little ambi between tracks would also help, since you jump from location a lot and you use title cards between them and a crossfade would probably make total sense. Probably.
Otherwise, good pacing, helpful title cards and solid shots/sound.
Good story: this seems like a real issue in the community, and something that deserves attention and public scrutiny. The video quality is overall good, especially outside (though a few shots would have been improved with a tripod). Inside, there are some shots that are a bit dark — proper inside lighting with the JVCs seems to be a challenge for many of us. The audio is also good overall, although Rivera’s voice has a far-away quality to it.
You present the issue clearly, with a combination of video and title cards. It’s more of an issues story than a character-driven piece, but it could still probably be improved with more focus on a stronger central character.
Consider starting with Alvarez instead of Rivera — his comments, especially along with his visuals, are more concrete than Rivera’s disembodied voice. I also like the comment of the woman in the green jacket outside the post office — it’s a well-shot woman-on-the-street lip; both the audio and video feel professional, and what she says is to the point, especially at the beginning. Consider moving her towards the beginning of the piece, and moving Rivera’s audio plus B-roll to somewhere later on.
Both the overall length of the piece and the clip lengths seem good. A few audio transitions felt too fast; consider adding a beat of breathing space in between certain speakers, e.g. after Lawrence Dow finishes and before Howard Sample begins. In contrast, the pacing slows down a lot when we read the lengthier title cards without much audio behind them. Is is possible to have audio carry us through these, or maybe part-way through them?
I like the shot of the post-office straight on at the beginning, and the shot of the petition in the meeting, which follows nicely from when you introduce the petition idea in a title card. As John mentioned in class, might be nice to add some super close-ups for more visual interest — e.g. of the postal van, or some mail, or that petition.
And finally: Lawrence Dow’s subtitle looks like it has an error: he says zipcode “10011” but the subtitle reads “10021.” You owe me a beer for catching that crucial typo.