“The Shop” – Whitney

In the United States, barbershops and hair salons are historically segregated according to race and ethnicity. This is due to the fact that Caucasian and African-American hair, the two ends of the racial spectrum, require stylistically different forms of care and treatment. While this segregation is self-imposed, barbershops and hair salons seem to be the only racially segregated places left that are still found socially acceptable. But now, due to the recession and shifting trends in hair care and styles for both men and women, the last walls of separation seem to be breaking down.

This multimedia project entitled, “The Shop,” is the story of a racially integrated barbershop located in the downtown area of Morgantown, W.Va. The Shop opened in 2009 and remains one of the only barbershops in the area that welcomes all different races and ethnicities.

Creating this project was the first time I had to work with a group to produce a video package. Surprisingly, while trying to get five college students to meet together at the same times is a task in itself, working with a group wasn’t as bad as what I imagined it would be. My group contained four broadcast students, including myself, and one print student. We all worked well together and brought our own unique ideas to the story, yet still maintained a common vision and goal.

First week: Our group met on a Tuesday (2/22) to organize and plan a schedule to outline everyone’s duties. It was decided that Lauren, Matt, and Devon would visit The Shop that Thursday (2/24) to collect video footage, still photographs, and information for the print story. Originally, Brandon was scheduled to interview Bilal “Al” Adams, the owner of The Shop, that Saturday (2/26). But due to an emergency, the interview was cancelled for that day and postponed to the following week. This is where the group hit a small bump in the road, being that we were scheduled to present our interview clips in class the following Tuesday (3/1). However, Matt interviewed his roommate who was a frequent customer of The Shop on Monday (2/28) as a back-up.

Second week: Monday (2/28), I logged and captured all of the b-roll and interview footage into Final Cut Pro and our group met briefly to organize all of the materials that we had to present the next day. Tuesday (3/1), we presented a rough draft of our video, interview, print story, and photos in class and got some less than positive feedback from our professors. Wednesday (3/2), Brandon and Devon went back to The Shop to interview the owner and get more b-roll and photos. Thursday (3/3), I met up with the group to log and capture the interview and we began editing the video and created an outline for how we wanted to begin and end the story. Friday (3/4), Matt and I went to The Shop again to gather more b-roll and Devon gathered more information for his print story.

Third week: Monday (3/7), I devoted eight hours in the edit lab while the other group members stopped in between their classes until everyone met in the afternoon to finish editing together. I edited the video with the help and suggestions of the other group members and wrote the letter to the editors. Before class on Tuesday (3/8) I put the video, print story, photos, photo captions, and letter to the editors onto a DVD to present to the class. This time, our professors were much more pleased with our work, despite their worries about our video turning into a commercial for a business. We successfully got our message of integration and equality across without making it look like a commercial.

The group met the following Monday (3/14) afternoon to make some small editing changes to the video according to our professors’ suggestions. Then, we put the final project on DVDs, printed to all the bureau tapes, made copies of the letter to the editors, viewed the final print story and photo captions, and finally sealed the envelope to all the materials for this project.

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of this project especially considering it was the first multimedia project that I have done with a group and the original idea for the topic of this story was not my own.

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