In the morning producer T. Sean Herbert showed colleagues a rough cut of his feature about Preston Plevretes, a college football player whose career was cut short in 2005 by Second Impact Syndrome – brain damage from a second concussion that occurs before a first one has healed.
The E:60 staff wanted more details on the game, the surgery, context on similar injuries, and involvement of team trainer and physician. It wanted more of Plevretes after the injury and fewer ‘specialty’ shots.
Someone suggested a “reveal” – an editing technique in which crucial information is withheld until the middle or end for a surprise.
A reveal was used in the E:60 investigation of retired wide receiver Marvin Harrison, and his alleged role in the shooting death of Dwight Dixon. E:60 built its piece on a 2009 interview with Dixon, and then revealed that Dixon later was gunned down in North Philadelphia.
Herbert used a reveal in his 2008 feature on MMA fighter Lee Murray, which held back that Murray was the mastermind of a bank heist in England and had fled to Morocco. In his piece on sprinter Oscar Pistorius the reveal was that Pistorius was a double amputee.
“It’s a tool to keep the viewers interested because the story is being told in an unpredictable fashion,” Herbert said.
In the afternoon Herbert huddled with editor Andre “Dre” Ninchritz over the suggested changes. Herbert also consulted with reporter Tom Farrey.
They decided to go with a reveal. Ninchritz began the search for pictures and sound to fill the front of the piece vacated by the information to be withheld until later.
Herbert’s ‘reveal’ won’t be revealed here – you have to watch May 4. That’s my reveal.
Posted by Steve Marantz, April 26, 2010