Jeremy Neely- Life Of Spud

When our group was first put together we all sat down to brainstorm and try to figure out what exactly we were going to do our multimedia story on. We kicked around a few ideas such as interviewing a veteran or possibly a homeless person. One of our group members suggested KY’s Lounge.

KY’s Lounge is a bar in downtown Morgantown that has dedicated its business to raising money for charity. KY’s is run by two brothers who lost their sister in an accident where she was drug behind a moving car. The brothers started the  The Kyleigh Sousa Foundation. The foundation will provide financial support for families who have lost young adults or children to random acts of violence. This is what got our interest in this story. You don’t see many bars that donate a large portion of their profits to charity, let alone a charity that they started themselves. The only issue we had with following up on this story was that every time we tried to get ahold of the brothers at KY’s Lounge, we got no response. A week passed as we continued to try to contact KY’s and we eventually decided it was hopeless.  So, as a group we had to start e-mailing each other like crazy to try to find another story we could cover. Ashley suggested that we look into a woman she heard about named “Spud”.

Edith “Spud” Bilson is a 94-year-old woman who has been volunteering for over 61 years. This caught my attention immediately. Ashley also told us that Spud had recently been used in a story for WBOY because she had made the Morgantown top 100 most influential people list. With KY’s Lounge falling through, it seemed like this was absolutely the answer we had been looking for. A few members of the group visited the Christian Help Center where we found out she volunteers five days a week. We got a lot of good photos and a lengthy interview that first day. We learned a lot about Spud that day and began building a repourt with her. Before leaving that first day we set up another interview with Spud and asked that she bring some old photos of her and her family for us to look at the next time we visited.

After our first interview with Spud, we started to see what exactly where we wanted to take this story. We started making another list of questions to ask the next time we visited her at the Christian Help Center.

Our second visit to the help center was much like the first with Spud. We did however find one woman who volunteers with Spud who would give us a testimonial about her. She provided us with a great interview and was eventually used as the intro to our piece. We also gathered the pictures Spud brought to show us of her family. Before leaving the second meeting, we asked Spud if it would be okay if we came to her home to get our last interview. She said that would be fine and we set up our last interview at her home.

Spud lives with her daughter and step-son who take care of her for the most part. They opened their home to us and allowed us to get a very in-depth interview with Spud. We also got a lot of good B-Roll of her just doing things at her home. We left this interview knowing we would have everything we needed to start editing together a well thought out multimedia piece.

When we finally sat down to edit we were way ahead of the game. Brittany had been log and capturing all of our footage and separating the interviews into sections. This made the editing process way faster. I sat at the computer for about 4 hours putting together a rough draft of the story. Once the rough draft was put together everything began falling together nearly effortlessly. Each member of the video side spend nearly 12 hours or more editing and finalizing the project.

Below is a link to our final project.

Life Of Spud

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