Edit: Operation Sweethearts: The Survivor’s Story

This was an project that dropped out of the blue, when ARC’s regular editor and my friend Brian was unable to do it. Initially shot by a videographer they had never worked with before, they found they had a lot of footage of major rescue that couldn’t be cohesively edited together. In attempt to save the project, they wanted to use the footage as archival footage and tell the story from the prospective of the dogs that were rescued.

The day after talking to them, I was off to shoot interviews with the caretakers and broll of the recovering dogs while the footage was being shipped to me. I had no idea what was on the drive and so I had no idea if I was getting from the interviews anything that was going to tie it together. When I got the footage, I realized that the story I was expecting to tell wasn’t in the footage, so the edit became a 100% post capture creative challenge.

There was lots of terrible images of sick, injured and dead dogs, but I didn’t want to bog the story down with the terribleness of the animals, but wanted to make sure that the value of the rescue was underlined. Despite the nature of the rescue, I wanted the video to be hopeful, engendering the feeling of appreciation more than that of anger or resentment to the abuser.

After all, ARC is a great organization doing valuable, but expensive things and I felt it was time for them to be focused on as heroes and not give the villains much screen time. I think I succeeded with the edit and to-date, it is their most watched video on YouTube.