How many times have you heard this advice? Make sure your story has a beginning, middle and end. Even the great Lewis Carroll shared a version of the standard counsel in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, very gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’” Sounds simple, right? But CNN’s Candy Crowley has a variation: “Every story needs a beginning, middle and end,” she says, “not necessarily in that order.”
Can you really tell a story out of order? Absolutely, as long as you know what you’re doing. KING-TV’s John Sharify definitely does know what he’s doing and proves it with this story:
It’s a risk to tell a story backwards, but Sharify and photojournalist Doug Burgess (the 2013 NPPA TV Photographer of the Year) crafted a piece that pulls the viewer in. Close-ups introduce characters. The narration and three quick insert shots suggest there’s more to the life cycle of a PB&J than you think at first: “If Anthony only knew…the rest of the story.”
The story is packed with surprises, each one unveiled as it unfolds. But instead of revealing what happens next, Sharify and Burgess show what happened before each critical moment in the piece. It takes a lot of skill, planning and teamwork to make this structure work so well. It also takes courage and heart. Bravo, Burgess and Sharify.