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Hospice teen’s wish fulfilled by Fiero fans

December 9, 2009

A teenager, with his whole life in front of him, found out just after his 18th birthday that most of it was already behind him. But thanks to family, friends, and faith, he’s enjoying the time he has left, with 24 newfound friends who helped him fulfill one of his life’s dreams.

KARE-11’s Boyd Huppert brings us a powerful story about living life to the fullest, no matter what.  Click here to read the story or click the photo to go straight to the video:

Click here to view "Fiero Dreams Come True" by Boyd Huppert of KARE-11

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Boyd Huppert’s unique brand of storytelling is the way he weaves images, sounds, bits of interviews and tightly written copy into a story that grabs you and won’t let you go. You’ll laugh, cry, or just watch amazed as he clearly is, but you won’t forget the story. You’ll remember it, talk about it, maybe even dream about it, and still be thinking about it years later. Jonathan Malat’s images and videography have accompanied Huppert’s reporting for years: in Minnesota and around the nation they’re kind of legendary in the news business.

But what you need to take away is that what they’re doing is not “news”: it’s powerful writing, compelling filmmaking, memorable cinematography, documentary journalism, narrative nonfiction, whatever you want to call it. These are small, self-contained slices of life that will be just as interesting in five years from now as they were five hours ago when they first aired.

Somewhere between “human interest stories” and “documentary films” lie a unique art form and I’m not really sure what to call it. It’s finding the incredible stories that happen in real life all around us every day, telling them with respect and without sentimentality, but with a level of craft that allows the story to capture our imagination and surprise and reward us for paying attention.

It’s also an art form that is perfectly suited to the web video medium, and I want to see more of it. I want to make more of it. I want to help encourage others to make more stories like this, and help you learn the skills to do that, just like Boyd Huppert did, and Bob Dotson and Charles Kuralt before him. Huppert is a great character himself: a very humble family man, a good teacher, and a professional class act. He’s always open to answering questions from viewers and fellow writers, too.

As you watch this story, look for surprises: things he withholds and parcels out one at a time, making the story richer, drawing you in little by little, so that by the time it’s over, you feel like you’ve experienced something special. Because you have.

JMG

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