Midterm Story Draft JOEY HADDEN

**I’m getting multimedia footage tomorrow.  The owner of the store didn’t want me to get it the day I interviewed her because she didn’t have her hair spiked up**

A child spent her allowance money on fur collars at vintage stores in Austin.  Today, Austin native Elizabeth Anderson makes her allowance with her own attempted recreation of the vintage stores she grew up going to. 

“In starting this place I wanted it to look and feel as much like those stores as possible because I feel like a lot of the older aspects of austin we’ve lost over the past decade or so and so I wanted to bring back maybe an endangered part of Austin,” Anderson said. 

Anderson began selling vintage clothing on Etsy in 2009, and then opened her brick and mortar vintage clothing store Ermine Vintage on North Loop in 2010. 

“Its gotten a lot busier which is great,” Anderson said, “my rent has gone up which means I’ve had to rustle a little bit more to make ends meet, like . . . online sales . . . is kind of like a second job.”

Anderson runs the store with her husband Brian Horst.  Anderson is particularly grateful that her husband can reach high shelves and packs lunches for the two of them everyday. 

“He is wonderful and he is extremely helpful,” Anderson said.  “I definitely like the freedom of having another person here because for awhile I didn’t have that and so I was just here all the time by myself.”

Horst said his favorite part of working at the store is meeting people, especially during South by Southwest.

“I just met some people from Australia about 20 minutes ago,” Horst said.

North Loop has multiple vintage and antique stores.  While some might think of this as a disadvantage, Horst sees it as an advantage because customers typically go down the strip and shop in multiple stores.

“Th[is] the one business that they actually like to have all together because those people across the street just do like furniture, and then the lady down the street does nicknacks and stuff like that, and then the guy two doors up has really fancy, really super old antique stuff.  So its good to have all that together because you can go across the street and go next door,” Horst said.

Anderson’s day at Ermine Vintage begins at 11a.m. and ends a little after 7 p.m.  She begins her day by turning on the lights and straightening any items that may have been messed up the day before.  She then puts the cash drawer in place, and then irons or steams any new merchandise she may have. 

“I try to put out some new stuff everyday, although that varies, sometimes its just one or two things because I wash everything at my house,” Anderson said.

Anderson then tags her new merchandise.  When she’s not helping customers, Anderson spends the rest of her day checking her online sales and working on sewing projects. 

“I do put a lot of work into my merchandise and making sure its clean and well presented and that particular part is a labor of love for me and I get a lot of feedback on how well organized I am and how clean stuff is,” Anderson said.  “I had someone the other day say ‘did people in the past just not wear their clothes because everything looks new because I’ve cleaned everything up and stain treated it and sewn everything up and everything.”

Anderson’s favorite part of the job, however, is not something she does everyday— going directly to peoples’ houses to buy merchandise.

“Sometimes I’ll know somebody who knows somebody who has a relative who passed away or something and then they’ll have a whole estate to get rid of and recently I’ve gotten really lucky with that,” Anderson said.  My most recent couple of big buys have been estates, so that’s my favorite way to do it because then I can see the raw stuff in its native habitat that hasn’t been picked through by anybody else.”

Midterm Story Pitch JOEY HADDEN

Projects vs. tests: How do students feel about projects and tests?  What are the pros/cons of each?  Is one preferable over the other?  Does either help more with remembering material?  Does it depend on the subject matter?  These are the types of questions I will ask students at St. Edward’s.  I’ve heard people claim that they are “good test takers” or “bad test takers”– does anyone feel this way about projects? I’ll also get stills of someone working on a project and studying for a test for the article. Interesting idea, but I’m wondering how you are going to make this visually appealing? I’m interested to see!

Thought Exercise 4 JOEY HADDEN

  1. Direct quote:  “They give you to-go boxes if you ask for them, but we weren’t allowed to do that.” Indirect quote: Cardenas says it is strange being on Google’s campus, watching the regular employees drive around on company-supplied bikes and scooters and taking food home.
  2. Indirect quote: How does it feel to be on Google’s campus with employees that have more privileges than you?
  3. North Loop rent increase: Owner of Phara’s Mediterranean Cuisine
    1. How long have you guys been open at this location?
    2. How have business patterns changed since you opened?
    3. How have business patterns changed in the past year?
    4. Do you rent these buildings, or do you own them? (If rent: have rent increases been consistent with rises in business?)

Media Critique HADDEN

Some stories remain relevant as history repeats itself.  Such is so with the PBS and Washington Post’s “After the Storm”— a story about feeling through the lens of a natural disaster survivor.  Written, directed and photographed by Andrew Beck Grace, this interactive multimedia story takes the reader, viewer and listener through life before, during and after a series of tornados hit Alabama from the perspective of a man living in Tuscaloosa speaking to a “future disaster survivor.”  Writing to a future disaster survivor makes this piece conceptually timeless.

The story begins with a description of the weather leading up to the storm.  It then jumps to the day of the storm, sequentially describing the tornados around Alabama as they led toward Tuscaloosa.  The story then shows the man’s house without power, and proceeds to describe the sounds and smells of a tornado moving over one’s neighborhood after telling the story of the man’s first memory of a tornado hitting his town. Next, the story moves to the aftermath of the tornado, including footage and descriptions of specific drastic changes proving that tornados have the capacity to make what once seemed impossible occur. The story continues by describing the public reaction to the disaster in the days following.  Politicians and news casters came and spoke about what happened, all while the man telling the story communicates that nothing can prepare you for this kind of disaster.  The story then explains the data associated with the event— number of homes destroyed and people left homeless and injured, businesses destroyed and people killed.  The rest of the story is about how the storm continues to affect survivors as time passes. 

“After the Storm” provides its viewer with an intimate experience while embedding elements that offer a broader scope of what was going on.  The bones of the piece include a narrative structure that is organized clearly and represented creatively.  The writing is easy to understand and powerful.  There is a variety of media usage in this piece— photos, video, audio, graphics, maps, and the combinations of all five.  There is also a variety of ways in which these five types of media are presented.  Perhaps the strongest aspect of this piece is the interactive scroll element that allows the viewer to control the pace at which he or she is seeing things happen, because it helps the viewer feel empathy towards the storyteller by putting him or her as close as technologically possible to the storyteller’s point of view.  Two weak aspects of this piece have to do with execution, and one has to do with concept.  The first is that the piece doesn’t have a subtitle feature.  Because the piece includes a sound option and the audio is so crucial to understanding, it would make sense to include subtitles if the sound is turned off.  The other execution weakness is the piece’s inability to move backwards to previous slides without going all the way back to the beginning.  The conceptual weakness of this piece is the point of view.  Although the storyteller’s perspective and explanation of his own thought feels genuine and impactful, it is typically a journalist’s job to tell other people’s stories.  Instead, he could have told the story of someone else affected by the storm. 

The point of this story is to inform the future disaster survivor of what he or she will go through.  The epilogue of this story connects the loss of a town to other losses throughout life, which presents a broader scope of what events will mark and change a person.  It leaves the viewer with one piece of advice— pay attention.  It doesn’t really summarize the feeling, but it opens it up to other experiences. 

Thought Exercise 3 JOEY HADDEN

  1. One Billion Rising 2017– This is an annual global event against violence towards women that Austin will participate in on February 14th.  It would be interesting to see how this year’s rising will be different than past years because of the election of Trump. North Loop rent increase– It would be interesting to see how this is affecting different businesses in North Loop.  With so many vintage stores on one street, I’m sure some are doing better than others.
  2. In terms of timeliness, One Billion Rising 2017 is current in that it takes place a week from today.  It also takes place at the Capitol, which makes it relevant to not only people in Austin; also people throughout Texas.  This event is relevant to our time because many women feel that our new president is misogynistic.  This is also a human interest story because it is all about the emotions of individuals.
  3. Sources: Onebillionrising.org, V-DAY Austin Interviewees:  participants, people near the event not participating, try messaging V-DAY Austin to find out who’s in charge, any public figures in attendance
  4. Photos, video footage of the movement as well as video interviews, an interactive map that shows the march moving in real time (if they’re marching, I don’t know for sure), and a graph of attendance from past five years to now (I’m predicting an increase in attendance) would all be effective uses of media.
  5. The public would find this story relevant because it would show how the current political climate has affected a movement that has been around for a long time.  The predicted increase in participation might show the general public’s increase in activism since February 2016.

Thought Exercise 2 JOEY HADDEN

  1. Do the interactive media elements help you to understand the problem of predatory lending? Why or why not?  I think it helps a little because an illustration is typically easier to understand than written paragraphs when it comes to somewhat complex information.  However, I also think that a graphic video of the process would be even easier to understand because it would better represent the cycle of predatory lending as well as how it affects the borrower over time.
  2. Who might benefit from reading and engaging with this content?  Current and future potential borrowers would benefit from reading and engaging with this content.
  3. Why do you think there are such differences in the percentage change in childhood homelessness from state to state? Does the map help you to understand causes or reasons for the different increases?  The map doesn’t help me understand the causes of the increases from state to state.  I would imagine that the difference in state funded programs plays a huge part.  I happen to know that Oregon has a great number of social programs in place from a conversation with a family friend living in Portland; so that probably accounts for the decrease in that state.  I also happen to know California has social programs that were able to help my aunt out of homelessness multiple times.  Because California has a 13% increase, I assume population and urbanization has something to do with it.   
  4. Name the two states with the highest percentage of homeless students as a “share of all students.” (Be careful, not looking for percentage change) California and Texas
  5. What creative techniques are used to attract your attention?  Frontline uses circles to represent certain positions, and the bigger the circles are, the more concussions have occurred.  Frontline also uses a simple color scheme of red and black to keep attention on the issue at hand, while using red for the total number on concussions per year to mark its urgency.