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Create Jobs for USA is a collaboration between Starbucks and the Opportunity Finance Network to help create and sustain jobs in America. This program provides capital grants to underserved community businesses with the goal of bringing people and communities together to create and sustain jobs throughout America.

Through this program Starbucks found the American Mug & Stein pottery in East Liverpool, Ohio. American Mug & Stein was one of only two potteries left in a town that was once the epicenter of ceramics manufacturing in America and even the world. A thriving industry and a bustling town had been reduced to empty streets and closed businesses due to the importing of ceramics from overseas.

Starbucks commissioned MediaStorm to tell the story of this program at work through the American Mug & Stein pottery in East Liverpool, Ohio, and the creation of the limited edition Indivisible mug which will be sold in select stores around the country.

This piece tells the story of East Liverpool, Ohio, a town unique in so many ways yet undeniably universal to the struggle many American manufacturing towns find themselves in, and how the creation of the "Indivisible" mug changed the face of a company on the brink of closing its doors.

Client: Starbucks
Published: June 11, 2012
The Challenge
The greatest challenge with this project, as is with many, was time.

With only three days in the field and a very short window for post production, we knew going into this that intimacy with our subjects and breadth of coverage would be our greatest hurdles.

To complicate this matter further there were four characters that we wanted to involve to tell this story. One character would have been a challenge in this time frame, let alone four. We knew we would have to be vigilant about our schedule and make really good decisions about how we spent our time in the field and who we focused that time on.

This project was shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark III and with that comes many challenges. The biggest for us on this project being the amount of time it takes to transcode the files in preparation for editing in Final Cut Pro and the syncing of our multiple camera interviews.

Post production also proved a great challenge with four separate interviews to transcribe and cut into one solid narrative and hours upon hours of broll to be organized and cut into strong, storytelling scenes.

Resetting the Table

Resetting the Table

Resetting the Table

The Solution
In the end, the solution to our biggest hurdle of time was teamwork and collaboration.

To tackle coverage of this story, MediaStorm enlisted the efforts of Director of Photography Rick Gershon and Professional in Residence Rob Finch. With a two person team we were able to divide and conquer in the field which allowed us to effectively double our efforts in coverage.

Also, in order to deal with the tight turn around we transcoded the files in the field while we were out shooting or at night while sleeping, and we also exported AIF files of the interviews and sent them back to the office to be transcribed. This saved us valuable time in and allowed us to be more creative when we returned from the field.

In post production back at the MediaStorm studio is really where collaboration made this project possible in such a short period of time. We used four different producers to edit this project. We kept one focused purely on cutting and organizing the broll, two to focus purely on cutting the narrative, and another to finally put all the pieces together into one piece.

This team effort allowed us to cover more ground in less time and made the piece stronger through discussion and collaboration.

The Results
The result is a short documentary that intimately tells the story of a town and an industry on the brink, through four character’s different, yet collective experiences. It is a universal story that could be translated to hundreds of towns across America.

About the Client
Founded in 1971 in Seattle, Starbucks has become the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries. They participate in a number of community support activities, including their Shared Planet initiative, (Starbucks)RED, the Starbucks Foundation, and the Ethos(R) Water Fund.

Resetting the Table

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