Sadly we said goodbye (albeit temporarily) a few weeks ago to Alexandra Garcia. Alex is a driving creative force in our department, but she decided to take that talent elsewhere for a few months, namely to Harvard’s Nieman Fellowship.
But our video department is also fortunate to be growing here at WashingtonPost.com, and a few weeks ago we added multimedia journalist Brad Horn to our videojournalist staff. Right off the bat Brad has been pushing the envelope with video, and below, he talks about two of his favorite he’s done so far:
Modern zoos balance ecological conservation and fun
For this story I was sent to illustrate an article for the Washington Post Magazine - a sprawling piece on the competing forces at modern zoos. Since the topic was kind of cerebral and I knew I would be interviewing an articulate zookeeper who spoke with precision, I decided I needed to lighten things up a bit. So I asked a precocious six-year-old named Mario to give me a tour of the zoo, and he actually wound up illustrating many of the points the zookeeper was making (namely that there’s a constant tension between animal welfare and zoo-goer satisfaction).
Now this next one was a little ridiculous, I admit it. If we ever have a beer together I’ll tell you the whole sordid tale. Getting this story involved getting pretty much booted out of National’s Park and having my press pass revoked. My lawyers have advised me not to comment further on the matter at this time.
Nationals make ‘The Rough Rider’ a hapless loser
But oh campy day! I can tell you a little about the song - “Teddy Roosevelt (The Ballad of)" by The Black Irish Band - and some of the thinking behind how it was used. I knew the piece would be lighthearted since it’s a pretty silly topic, and I wanted to use music to play off that idea. But I didn’t want to use official music (yes, the Nationals’ “President’s Race” has an official theme song) or canned music, since both options seemed predictable and therefore awful. So I found this campy and awesome and altogether perfect song on YouTube and wrote the band to ask for permission. The songwriter literally lived on top of a mountain in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains but through the evil miracle of smartphones he was able to get my email asking for permission to use the song and he agreed. The “song lyric on a card” thing was inspired by a Dylan video for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues and it obviously wasn’t 100% effective because I couldn’t find thick cardstock like Dylan used, and instead had to use flimsy paper.