Critique No. 5: PNC Park blood-drive video is good, not great

This photo taken from the website of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

To find some Pittsburgh Post-Gazette multimedia work to critique for this week’s post, I logged onto the paper’s website and went straight to the Video tab. There I found an interesting package under the headline, “Pirates and Central Blood Bank team up for a blood drive.” Upon viewing it, I thought, this will do.

The video lasts a little less than three minutes. It starts off with a generic Pittsburgh Post-Gazette introduction, a nice unifying element to the paper’s different videos — or, it would be if it were in fact placed at the onset of every one. It’s not. Next there is some scene-setting text to assist the viewer’s understanding of the video, which I thought was fitting, except that I also thought it ought to come after the title of the video. Unfortunately, that little detail never actually appears in the package itself.

There was a lot to like about this video, though. Producer Doug Oster incorporated interviews with three individuals, two donors and someone working the event. I thought each person provided helpful insight. Throughout the duration of the video, viewers were treated to plenty of appropriate B-roll, as well.

However, there is more to criticize. Oster cut between different shots using a couple types of transitions. I’m not sure how generally acceptable that technique is, but the effect was not necessarily jarring to the viewer, although I definitely did notice it. For some odd reason, Oster also decided to insert a closing slide, with his name on it, with 30 seconds left in the production. I’m not sure why he did that; it almost seems accidental. In its place, he could have inserted more sentences to further the narrative, especially because the final 30 seconds make for a total, unexplained shift in what is revealed to the audience.

Overall, the video was cleanly shot and edited, and the producer Oster did a nice job of telling the story of the blood drive, although he probably could have gone out of his way to inject more facts and details. His video isn’t perfect, but by no means is it a bad example of multimedia by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


About Mark Emery

Mark Emery is a recent Ohio University alum who covers baseball prospects for in New York City. You can email him at
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