Shakespeare’s Pizza was more than a restaurant. It was a drinking buddy to some. A college hangout for others. An escape from the bland and mass produced workflows that so many other restaurants adopt.
It was quirky. The architecture, the people, and the little touches, like the towel-like napkins, imbued it with personality.
Emotions ran high when a clawed, yellow excavator tore into the brick walls on June 17, 2015.
At the Columbia Missourian, we told this story through still images, a gallery, ample print product space, an aggregation of reactions on social media, and, perhaps the most ambitious undertaking, a time-lapse of the nine-hour demolition.
In our weekly staff critique, we looked at how different media outlets covered the demolition and compared it to our coverage. We typically have only one photographer on shift at a time, but we brainstormed what we would do differently next time if resources weren’t a concern.
Here’s what the staff came up with:
- Incorporate multiple vantage points into the time-lapse. A general rule of thumb, videos shouldn’t show the same scene for more than five seconds, staffer Cody Lohse said. Multiple angles would provide visual variety, scope, and additional context to the piece.
- Use slow motion to highlight the peak action, such as the crumbling of the final wall. The first eight or so hours of the construction dragged on in a calculated, predictable, and mostly uneventful manner. The felling of the final wall seemed to happen in a flash and with an unexpected twist as bricks cascaded onto adjacent Ninth Street. Highlighting and extending this scene would enable the audience to analyze and savor the historic building’s final moments.
- Integrate historical images into the video to show how the space and its surrounding environment has changed over time. Most everyone is familiar with the current downtown Columbia skyline, but the city’s significant transient population might be surprised with the skyline of 5, 15, or 25 years ago.
In all things, we challenge our staffers to show something unique that viewers can’t see for themselves. Whether we achieve this through access, equipment, or dedication, we owe it to ourselves and our audience to deliver the highest quality with the resources we have.