Arts Desk

Washington Post‘s “Scene In” Series: News-Site Video that Isn’t Crappy

The Post's "Scene In" street-fashion video series is perpetually cheery, as if a handful of thoughtful fashionistas can make a rainbow in any neighborhood. We know better, of course: Spend 15 minutes on K Street at the end of a July workday, and style will appear to be a faint afterthought in the melted minds of everybody. I'd love to see a vid about people who are just tryin' to hold it together long enough to get home without sobbing.

But let's not be too grumpy about this: The "Scene In" pieces are pretty darn good, even if the human subjects are sometimes a little nutty or annoying or narcissistic. The clips, which average about 3 minutes a pop, are like the next stage of evolution for Bill Cunningham's page in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times: The clothes are what counts, and the imagery has a certain verve to it. "Scene In" just happens to give the viewer a little extra information about the person's apparel-editing process. If you care.

For me, though, it's all about the total visual package. I like what Alexandra Garcia—the series' producer, director, or whatever you wanna call her—does with the neighborhoods themselves: Unlike your average news-knucklehead with a Flip camera, she's got a documentarian's eye for what sets the scene. (I mean, yeah, she's obviously got a decent camera, too. And an Emmy.)

Check out this image from the "H Street" shoot—she could've edited out that railing made of pressure-treated lumber, but she didn't, and it drives home the point that it's Not Georgetown:


In the "B-roll" department, I kinda like the nasty green beans in the "Eastern Market" episode:


And this shot from the "U Street" edition serves as a reminder that in D.C., for every fashionista, there are a least three dudes in cargo shorts or cargo pants:


Anyway, it's unclear whether the "Scene In" series is finished ("H Street" is labeled "16 of 16"), but here's my wish list for a few more:

1. Eden Center in Arlington
2. something with a heavy Latino angle
3. movie theater in the exurbs on a Friday night
4. Fort Reno concert
5. Capitol Skyline Hotel pool party

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  • Steven King

    I appreciate your critical look at Scene In. Alex does a great job on this project and spends countless hours editing to make sure the true scene is shown.

    To answer your question as to the show being finished... I can assure you it is not finished and Alex will continue to produce this project! I think Scene is an interesting show with a large following and we will continue to produce this project as well as see how we can evolve it onto other shows.

    Steven King
    Editor of Video
    The Washington Post

  • Joe Warminsky

    Yo man, don't come back here until you've got something new to show us.

    Seriously, though, thanks for taking the time to comment. And allow me to reiterate: I'd love to see what Alex would do with Eden Center.