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Keeping long TV packages interesting

Here is a story I just completed on the end of the Space Shuttle program at the Kennedy Space Center:

For this story you will see I shot several elements to keep the item moving along at a good pace. The package was to be approximately three to four minutes in duration. In TV news terms that is an eternity.

To get a piece of this length done effectively, you need multiple "nuggets". Take the three distinct segments in this story:

1) The NASA workers' protest
2) The restaurant sequence
3) The space summit

Each of these elements on its own doesn't make for an interesting visual story. But combined, they help keep the package fresh.

A very loose rule of thumb for me is to try to include a different element for each minute the story lasts. In this instance, three elements for a piece of between three and four minutes in length. Staying in one location for too long is not going to get it done, especially if what you're showing is people sitting/standing around.

Of course, because this is a story about the space shuttle, I needed to include pictures of the space shuttle and its potential successor. Space-related pictures are invariably  compelling, so I was helped here by having a naturally interesting subject in terms of visuals.

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