Pitch: Video Portrait

For my video portrait, I plan to do a combination of documentary-style reporting and archival research to present insight into the changes that have occurred in McKeesport overtime. I believe that the documentary-style reporting of an individual will allow for a human interest component that has not presented itself in my development of the city’s history. I hope to gain access to archival footage or images of McKeesport of the past to weave within the narrative to not only create movement in the piece, but to also visually represent issues that have only been referenced in my other plans or work.

I will focus my video and reporting on Johanna Bell. Johanna is currently the clerk of the community development office, and has lived in McKeesport her entire life. As such, she has seen the changes over the last couple of decades and can reflect and relay information relating to the McKeesport of the 1950s, when it was thriving. I believe that Johanna will be an open and knowledgeable source.

I believe that my portrait will raise questions regarding McKeesport’s willingness or unwillingness to change its focus overtime. This will relate to research that I am conducting in regard the city’s five-year plan for future Government Community Development Block Grant Funds. Johanna’s voice in the piece will provided a much needed “insider’s perspective,” that my research has been lacking.

The overall portrait will speak to my broader theme: What was McKeesport? And, where is it headed? What is the level of community engagement in McKeesport? And, due to a lack of participation, how is the government working to transition the city?

I intend to let Johanna speak freely about her experiences and memories of the town and then ask more pointed questions about its current state and development. Then, I will choose the best soundbites and clips to form into a more cohesive narrative.

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