I found the “For More Pianos, Last Note is Thud in the Dump” multimedia package about as effective as a story about this particular issue could have been. While the overall story was a bit dull, I still believe all three components (text, video, slideshow) complimented one another quite nicely.
The package centered on a family owned, fourth generation business, the O’Mara Meehan Piano Movers, that has seen more pianos been actually dumped and disposed of, rather than moved to another owner.
The main reason why the video complimented the narrative so well was because it did not serve the same purpose. It was a much shorter, cleaner feature of the narrative, essentially serving as a quick summary to the overall story.
The editor of the video did a great job specifically with the introduction, where a nice visual of old pianos being thrown off the back of a company moving truck into a pile of rubble nearly drowned out the piano music being played in the background. I thought it represented a form of symbolism, as it sort of defined the demise of the old fashion piano.
Another part of the video I found worthy of note was the use of b-roll towards the beginning, when vice president Bryan O’Mara was driving from one site to another, while effectively summing up the gist of the story in the text. He talked about the family history of his company, while also linking today’s economy to the fact that nobody wants to buy used pianos anymore, lamenting that more often than not, the pianos are going to end up in a dump somewhere.
This use of b-roll was contrasted with the non-existence b-roll at the end of the video, as a black screen is used as transition from claw machinery breaking up a piano to O’Mara back in his car. I like the thought of the editor, but I think taking out the music as the scene shifts back to O’Mara might have made more sense. The fourth generation vice president ends the video by acknowledging that people taking things for granted have really started to bother him (of course lamenting the fact that his company often throws out pianos that mean a lot more to the original owner than the people doing the dumping). I just think O’Mara’s voice, alone, would have served that last scene more effectively.
As for the slideshow, I thought it was successful in picking out the best quotes from the article and attaching a visual to enhance the quote. One slide if found particularly interesting was the one that read, “wood and intricate machinery capable of channeling Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven,” accompanied with a picture of demolished pianos. It was great piece of irony.
One thing I took away from the package was how old fashion pianos are in same position as newspapers are today. Both have in a way run its course, having in the mean time given way to a better, more accessible alternative. Newspapers have been all but been replaced with e-papers while pianos, of course, have been exchange for keyboards; both of which are far less expensive than their predecessors.