Documentary

What was it?

At the beginning of the new semester, we were assigned to make a documentary about anything we were interested in. I knew that I would be interested in making one about a local music store, so I started reaching out all over the place. I got into contact with a local violin shop called Heaney Violins through a couple of friends who work there. I finally settled on them, and I’m not regretting it. The world of orchestral string instrument retail is way more interesting than I originally thought. From this project, I’ve not only learned a lot about the world of instrument retail but through the process of creating my book, I’ve gained a lot of time management and graphic design skills. 

This project was unlike anything else we’ve done this year. Everything we had learned throughout the year lead up to this project. That was something I really liked. Having to use all these different programs that we’ve spent the past semester honing our skill on to create one project felt very rewarding. I also really appreciated the freedom we had in making this. Sure, my product had to be a book, but I wasn’t all that restricted in how I made that book. 

Research Paper

For our English class, we had to make a research paper based on what we were documenting. It had to be at least eight pages and it had to have at least three chapters. This was really one of my first times writing a long formal research paper and it was quite a way to start. We had about a month and a half to write this, and it was more stressful than I ever thought it could be. In the end, I’d say I’m proud of my finished product.

JeremyH-Documentary Paper

Design

In my design class, we had to make a documentary book for our final product. We took every program we had been learning how to use for the past year, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to create the elements for the book. We also learned how to use Adobe InDesign to put together the actual book. During the whole project, we were all very stressed, many sleepless nights were spent making our books perfect. In the end, it all paid off though and I’m happy with my finished product. Now I present,

Old Europe in a Silicon Valley.

Photogallery

Row of violins
Upright bass back in the lobby
Head repairman Benito Cortez
Retail manager Ben Richard
Diagram of chinrests
Row of violins
Dissected violin
Painting inside the lobby
Owner Patrick Heaney
Heaney rehairing a bow
Row of cellos
Row of violins
Row of violins
Row of violins
Store shelf
Heaney rehairing a bow

Interviewees

Owner Patrick Heaney
Patrick Heaney opened Heaney Violins in 2005 after noticing that there was a lack of violin specialty shops in the San Francisco Bay Area. He owns and runs the store.
Owning a violin specialty shop has been a lot harder than I ever could have imagined. I work more hours than I ever worked in any other job. However, it’s more satisfying than anything else I’ve ever done.”
Head repairman Benito Cortez

Benito Cortez is the head repairman at Heaney Violins. Before starting his job at Heaney, he worked a variety of audio and electrical engineering jobs. He is an accomplished Gypsy Jazz violinist and he has toured with such groups as Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.

“I’d like every kid to have that experience of wow this violin doesn’t look like a wreck,”
Retail manager Ben Richard

Ben Richard is the retail manager at the store. He graduated with a degree in Viola performance from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He works with the frontline to give the customer an amazing experience. He knows how to help the customer with almost anything they may need.

“I do music because I love it. I love being here because I love music and I love helping people find music. It’s very fulfilling.”