When we began generating ideas about our story, I felt as though it may be pretty tough to make it a story about the segregation of barber shops instead of a “commercial” type of story for The Shop. But I felt as though we did a really good job in making the multimedia story work as a separate story besides a commercial for The Shop.
Morgantown doesn’t really offer a lot of barbershops that cater to all ethnicities, let alone African-American and Hispanic decent. The Shop offers haircuts to almost everyone, which makes it extremely interesting to do.
Our group member Brandon Ruta helped us quite a bit with getting the ball rolling on this story because of his relationship with Al, who happens to be one of the founders of The Shop and is a barber as well. Al was extremely helpful when it came to any type of video or audio that we needed for our story.
Lauren Crawley and I went into The Shop to shoot photos and an extensive amount of b-roll for our story. Devon Unger took a vast amount of photos as well on his own time and worked solely on the print story. Brandon Ruta’s interview with Al was perfect because of the fact that he got the perfect soundbites for the theme of our story, which was to display visually how The Shop welcomes people of all races for a haircut. And Whitney Wetzel held our group together by communicating through e-mail, phone calls and text messages about who would be doing what, as well as putting a majority of the project together on Final Cut in the edit labs.
Brandon Ruta was the one to pitch the idea of the story to us, and we all welcomed the idea of going ahead and doing it. It was fairly easy to walk in and get video and interviews with people in The Shop, although some of the customers inside could not be on camera because they were WVU athletes and are prohibited to be on camera by the University and the NCAA.
I enjoyed doing this project because of the high amount of gratitude and excitement Al had in telling his story and making sure we got the best available product. Being from Syracuse, NY, I know how barbershops can be segregated because the barbershop I go to at home to get my haircut has almost all caucasian customers. So this story was pretty cool to do because of the diversity and flavor of all cultures coming to one place to get their hair cut.