Time, Dresses and Parents: A Behind the Scenes Look at Project Four

I’d like to start off the post by saying that my group has definitely had the hardest time getting sources or stories to come through fruition this quarter.

We had originally wanted to do a story on the TimesUp movement at Cal Poly, focusing on the new group that had been formed as a result of the #metoo campaign through social media.  The group was hosting a town hall style seminar that focused on what the university was doing to address the problem of sexual assault on campus and we thought that would be a great event to cover as a supplement to the larger focus of the group.

Unfortunately the issue with that was the group is made up of many survivors of sexual assault and they didn’t want to expose, inadvertently or not, the identities of those people in the group to the press.  It is also a newer group that is still getting started and they didnt want to mis-speak about the group to any reporters at the time.  That was Wednesday morning I was told this, so we were forced to find a new topic.

So we pitched ideas the following day, Thursday to Brendan and Brady and settled on a local prom dress drive run by a Cal Poly student.  We decided this because it seemed like it would be easier to get b-roll and make interactive elements than some of the other ideas we were pitching.  In addition, we thought it was a good story on its own.  A college student gathering dresses from other college students and the community, and donating them to local high schools for their upcoming proms.

Unfortunately the issue with that was the girl never got back to Rachel.  She said she was extremely busy but would be willing to meet with us “in the future” but then never responded after that so over the weekend, when we would otherwise be shooting video and getting interviews, we were sitting around awaiting a time to meet up with her.

So on Sunday we decided to go with our third and final option kind of propagated by Brendan of doing a little bit of an expose piece on a prominent member of the CP SLO Mustang Parents Facebook page.  I was kind of worried for this assignment, and I didn’t have to worry about creating any tangible material from the topic.  It still was another week in this class where something happens and we have to adapt to another story, quickly.

Luckily, the next week we were able to petition him to give us an extension.  He told us we would just restart and now this Monday was the start of the project and the due date is Friday, finals week.

We have adapted quite well, I think, despite my reluctance to do any form of correspondence with potential sources due to my social awkwardness.  To my group members, I apologize.  We have scheduled as couple more sources from different backgrounds and associations with the FB page and who give our story a bit more meat than just a report on one person.

I think I have to point out that my role this week was pretty void.  I may have extreme senioritis, but by the time we had decided to switch topics, we already had a good idea of the people we should have been interviewing.  Additionally, a story about a facebook page, moreover, a specific person linked to that page, it seemed kind of weird to ask around how people thought or wanted to know more about on Traci.  I contacted some people, but the social media report seemed out of place for this story.

We got there in the end.  Besides some issues with premiere and getting the video together I think the crew has completed their tasks to the best of their ability.   I hope I wasn’t “that guy” in the group this project and I’m glad we were able to make lemonade from nothing.

Some quotes from my group members:

“Traci might very well be a saint and it was fun to hear others genuinely give such warm praises about her.” -Divya Thirunagari

“We tried.” -Rachel Foote

“I hate technology.” -Shelby Dewberry

“Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! I will climb to the tallest roof and scream her praises!” -Julie Farotte Irwin on Traci Libby