What I did:
This week I contacted another shelter, SOS, located in Ypsilanti. Erica told me about SOS a few weeks ago, so I reached out to the President of SOS, Denise Tanguay. She is also a professor at Eastern University. I spent 30 minutes talking to her on the phone. She gave me many contacts within the shelter. She reinforced how this problem is a crisis. Here is a clip from today's NYTimes about how homelessness has reached an all-time high.
I also spent two hours really studying multiple multi-media stories from that website I mentioned in my last weekly post. After watching these stories, I realize there are many ways I can go about portraying someone’s life/story.
This made me think about the questions I want to ask the interviewees, so I spent one hour writing down possible questions I could ask the families I interview.
Another hour was spent on researching computer programs to use for my project, namely Final Cut Express. I also spent another two hours reading my book, “Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual.” My goal is to create a powerful website to post all of these stories. Only problem is I am not aware of website software. Bought this book on Amazon and my goal is to do a chapter every week. Picture of the 1,000 page book from my phone:
Spent another hour revising my project proposal and rewording some things.
There was also a homeless protest going on in downtown Ann Arbor today, so I ran home during studio time and got my camera and was so eager to photograph, but they were gone by the time I got to Central Campus.
What I achieved/accomplished/learned:
I really moved forward in making additional contacts. It is important I reached out to Denise because it will provide more opportunities; having access to multiple shelters increases my chances of families willing to tell their story. The phone call went very well; she is very eager to work with me and see the work I create. I have a meeting on Monday with the Executive Director and Development Director of SOS.
I asked Denise how the economic climate has affected the shelter. She went on to say there has been a 100% increase in attendance at the shelter, especially the food kitchen. She used the term “couch surfing” to describe homeless families, because often they stay at their relative's houses for periods at a time.
I also learned about how excited I am to start making! On my way to the homeless protest today, I was so excited to photograph and meet people (even though nobody was there by the time I got there).
I also feel more confident about my project. I feel that the proposal was exactly what I needed: a one-page document articulating my objective. This allows the opportunity to look back and remind myself of my project intent. In addition, I really enjoyed meeting with other people in different sections on Tuesday; it forced me to come up with an elevator speech about my project. My dad recommends I type up my objective in one sentence in huge type and paste it in my studio haha.
What I want to do next:
Next week I have a meeting with the two directors of SOS. I am looking forward to discussing my project with them.
I am also going to investigate further the technical aspects of my project. I need to set up a meeting with Stephanie about types of microphones/software I should be investigating for the interviews.
I need to set up a meeting with Hannah to discuss the overall design theme of my project. I have already started thinking about various website mock-up layouts. I know I am thinking way ahead, but envisioning the final product, the website, really helps me to see a goal and try and aim to achieve that outcome.
In addition, I have purchased “Doing Documentary Work” by Robert Coles and just got it in the mail today. I am looking forward to reading this!
Lastly my Marketing/Advertising professor shared this quote with the class and I found it memorable:
"Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi