When Vandalism Strikes
by Kate, Adina, and Grace
Our team decided to produce a story on vandalism. We've heard many students express their frustration with the fact that bathrooms have been closed due to vandalism. We had also heard that some students had had their personal property vandalized and damaged. The goal of our story is to bring about awareness to the severity vandalism, as well as the costly and time-consuming effects that vandalism has on students, as well as the custodial staff.
We knew that we definitely wanted to interview Dave Wells. He is one of the janitors at WHS. Everyone loves Dave's warm, inviting personality. We knew that he (as well as other janitors) have been affected by students damaging property. While interviewing him, we knew that vandalism made his job harder, but we didn’t realize all of the different forms of vandalism that take place, as well as how he has to shuffle around his whole daily schedule to deal with it.
We also interviewed a few students who were affected by the bathrooms being closed due to vandalism. They were clearly annoyed by it. Additionally, we interviewed a student who had her personal property damaged. She had a story to share as well.
Logging the footage, and then writing the script went smoothly because all of the students, as well as Dave, gave great interviews. We had an idea of how we wanted the story to flow, so picking out the soundbites was pretty easy. The only thing that we had trouble with was cutting the interviews down. Many of the interviews were so lengthy, so cutting out certain parts was difficult. Our story was way too long, so we had our adviser come in and help us cut it down to a better length for our viewers. It's never our goal to lose our viewers because a story drags on too long.
For b-roll, we had to get pretty creative with the different shots. Because two members of the team were new to the staff, they learned a lot on how to film b-roll on their own. A big lesson learned was to be quiet while filming b-roll so we can use as much natural sound as possible. Some of the different shots that we used were walking into the bathrooms, finding toilet paper on the floor, locating gum under desks and chairs, and words scratched into lockers or desks.
This story helped us discover that vandalism doesn’t just annoy or inconvenience students, but puts a lot of extra work on the custodians who already work hard for us. In the end, we realized how it can affect our entire school. Hopefully our viewers can see this impact as well. If we are lucky, maybe it will make some students think twice and change their ways. Vandalism hurts everyone.