MediaStorm's challenge was twofold:
First, Walter Astrada's reportagé covered vast terrains of Indian culture: from the abuse of ultrasound testing for illegal sex determination, to families' abandonment of elderly widows who, in turn, are forced to live as beggars. His coverage was extensive. From the beginning, the MediaStorm team faced questions about how best to encapsulate so much information into a brief 10-15 minute production.
Second, while Astrada made more than six thousand images, he returned with only a small amount of video. It quickly became evident that more material, including interviews, would be necessary to fully realize the project.
MediaStorm's desire for a clear and simple narrative continued throughout the four-month production cycle. The team engaged in a recursive process of eliminating unnecessary elements while constantly restructuring the project for maximum clarity. Text slides were employed to provide statistical and background information that were otherwise time prohibitive when discussed in the course of an interview.
Additionally, MediaStorm produced an accompanying epilogue with Astrada. Here, the photographer was able to describe his personal journey, detailing his reactions and experiences about his stay. This supplementary piece affords the viewer additional, more personal insight into the subject matter while also covering less top-tier, but equally important, topics.
Finally, Undesired includes additional resources: an interactive map highlighting sex ratios as well as the supplementary text, Mother’s of a Hundred Sons: India’s Dying Daughters
. This essay further expands upon many of the issues raised in Undesired, ones that are best addressed in a print format.
To address the need for additional video, MediaStorm sent associate producer Shreeya Sinha to India with the goal of finding subjects that best typified the photographer’s work. Sinha spent two months there, recording more than two dozen interviews. The best of these were incorporated into Undesired. The interviews added both context and Indian voices to Astrada’s imagery.