Wish Upon A Zombie

It was a frigid Saturday morning: the type of day where every breath hangs suspended in the air.  The streets of Laramie were quiet — maybe too quiet — and the Albany County Civic Center’s broken windows and twisted trees did little to conceal the unnatural events occurring within.  The civic center had become infested with the walking dead.  Their sinister goal?  To grant wishes for children with serious medical conditions across the United States.

Chi Omega sorority, in cooperation with its national chapter and Make-A-Wish Foundation, hosted its 1st Annual Zombie Run throughout the streets of downtown Laramie.  Justin Trygg and I braved the hordes to make this report using a photography-with-interview media format called Soundslides.  This project combined all the tools I’ve studied this semester in my Online Journalism course: photographic devices, photojournalism, interviewing and audio-gathering, and audio editing.

Working with Justin was a breeze, and if there were another group assignment in the plans for this class, I’d be stoked to work with him again.  He was patient with me during the week leading up to the assignment since I’d been miserable with a head cold.  When we finally coordinated last Saturday, we really went for it.  He ran around snapping photos while I coerced event coordinators and participants into letting me hold a recorder in their face for interviews.  We embraced our roles for the project and worked well together.

I was also pretty impressed with the quality of people in Chi Omega and the other RSO’s that were involved with the event.  Everyone was eager to talk to us and appreciative of the exposure.  In fact, Rex Schull approached us for an interview to get the word out about the UW Ranger Challenge Corps.  Unfortunately we had to cut most of this interview to keep our focus on the Zombie Run.  Aubrey Bertram, the event coordinator, couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming, and it was her input that really helped our project come together.  Finally, Anna Rader schooled us about Chi Omega and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which really helped the piece.

The toughest part of this project was definitely the brief time-frame we had between the Zombie Run on Saturday and the Monday deadline.  We met late Sunday afternoon, got kicked out of a Coe study room, wandered for a while through the packed library, and finally found a spot near The Gardens in the Union.  After we set up a basic sequence for the story and laid down the audio, Justin worked the Soundslides without any major snags.

For my solo project, I don’t foresee any real difficulties as long as my Mac doesn’t declare war on Soundslides.


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