Story Behind The Story

Oysters Disappearing From Menus While Businesses File Claims With BP

Today we were able to finish a story we began shooting yesterday. (before we were pulled off that story to work on one about recent violence in Columbus. Read the prior entry in my blog, you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

Yesterday, we set up and shot an interview with an owner of a local fish and seafood supplier.  The company supplies some 350 restaurants and stores in central Ohio, so you can imagine they’ve been impacted by the oil spill. In fact, the owner told us the spill is costing them between $10,000 and $15,000 a week.  He says one of the main reasons is that a lot of restaurants they serve have been pulling items off their menu either because they’re getting to cost too much or their quality isn’t good enough. He says he even filed a claim with BP recently for lost revenue.

For this story, we shot the interview with the owner in the company’s seafood cooler. (It’s essentially a big fridge… and yes, we checked to make sure you could open the door from the inside) This made for a different back drop for the interview, something different than standing behind the counter or in a warehouse. After five minutes, the interview was shot and my photographer, Mark and I smelled like fish, oysters, you name it. (You should have seen my beautiful wife’s face when I got home )

Anyways, we shot our teases as well as plenty of video and we were well on our way to putting together a good story. This is where we had to stop shooting yesterday and it’s exactly where we had to pick up from today.

One perspective I wanted to include to this story was that of a restaurant who has had to make changes to their menu because of the spill in the gulf. I asked the owner of the seafood supplier if he could give a list of his client restaurants.  He did and I began making calls. Fortunately, one of the first restaurants I called told me they had taken oysters off their menu because of the high cost and low quality. They said they usually get them from the Chesapeake Bay, but because there is more demand for those, the quality has diminished and the price has skyrocketed.

They owner agreed to do a brief interview with us, so off we were to West Jefferson. This time I was with another photog, Greg and our intern (in which you’ve read about before) Nishant.

Once we arrived, we shot the interview and got some good video of the staff working around the restaurant (all while trying to stay out of their way as they prepared for a busy Friday night!)

And that’s that.

Though I admit it was a pain being taken off the story yesterday, it actually benefited us in that it gave us more time to put the story together. Had I not been pulled off the story, it likely would have been a lot more difficult to find a restaurant to interview, considering how late in the day it was getting to be.

In the end, we shot plenty of footage and got plenty of perspective for the story. I think we clearly showed that while the oil spill may have happened all the way in the gulf, it has far-reaching consequences.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/23 at 07:47 PM



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