In a world of live TV and round the clock coverage, Media Storm turns out some powerful pieces using only pictures, interviews and music.
The piece "The ninth floor" disturbed me on many levels.
"In 2004, anywhere from 20 to 30 young addicts lived on the ninth floor of an elegant narrow building overlooking Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The squatters had turned the sprawling apartment into a dark, desperate and chaotic place.Joe Smith first owned the apartment and sub-let one room to one person. This number just keeps on growing.
People hustled, scored, shot and smoked wherever they could. Friends conned each other for their next hit. They slept on piles of clothes on the floor. The power was shut off; the bathroom unusable; the kitchen filled with garbage. Anything of value was sold off.
For nearly three years, Jessica Dimmock followed this crew documenting what happened to them after eviction, how they fought to get clean, sank deeper into addiction, went to jail, started families and struggled to survive."
We are first introduced to Jessie. An addict.
"Sometimes it scary like i think I OD'd," she says. "There's many times that I've done … Ive shot and like 'this might be it.'"
There are then images of what seems to be drug-induced sex and the sun sliding down the horizon as the needle slides into her arm.
Jessie goes to prison, comes out, tries to get clean and is hospitalized. While in the hospital, she shoots up. These are disturbing images but I think they need to be shown to get the full feel of desperation addicts go through.
- Dionn & Rachel
"All I was thinking about was that 'i wanna get high, i wanna get high' you know I wanna get high," Dionn said. "I guess the junkie life was what I wanted. I had really no other aspirations."
The two of them are eventually evicted from the apartment and go into rehab.
What I found interesting was a sequence of pictures cut in time with the music where you could almost hear the expletives flowing from her mouth.
The slideshow had some disturbing images but I think its needed for us to see the grittiness and desperation that the drugs force on users.
And it gives context to some of the later images of redemption.
" I don't think anyone owes me anything," Dionn said after the birth of his daughter and weaning off of the drugs. "I know that everything I did I made my own choice about it. And thats what sucks real bad."
This piece taught me many things about journalism and shooting. The powerful images in the piece pull you into the slideshow. The composition was great as well and could easily translate into video.
So, if you get a chance and have the stomach, check out the slideshow because it really does seem set just one floor from hell.
HOW JESSICA GOT TO THE NINTH FLOOR
JESSICA DIMMOCK PHOTOGRAPHYALL PHOTOS (c) Jessica Dimmock
All photos link to Media Storm's slideshow