Well…it’s been a while. But come on…it’s always “been a while” when it comes to these postings here on my blog. What can I say? I’ve been busy, but not with work. Still coming off of 2.5 years of caretaking. Still bouncing back from mom’s death and dad’s dementia onset. The disappearing of my parents is still an emerging reality. One thing to come out of those years and the losses of just about everything that was nailed down in my life, is the ending of the needless separation between my “work” life and my “personal” life. I think a lot about how social media allows us to create a personal brand…which is absurd, and quite sad. At least in my opinion. Just be who you are all the time. I definitely get how life is far too short to spend time being someone you are not. And our “work persona” is usually far removed from what we do in the rest of our lives. I am very much into being just one person these days. Not divided.
I got into video, in order to be true to my values. How is it related? I could see, starting around 2009 that video was going to emerge as the number one way to inform and educate a huge number of people simultaneously about the most important issues. I began tinkering with a Flipcam in 2009. Edited some of my first videos back then. Just messing around, you know?
Then I finally got serious about doing video work around 2015 and have been working slowly since then.
Anyway, I have just started back to work after my long hiatus. I have been working on a most unexpected task…a fundraiser video for…get this…a green burial conservation cemetery. I mean…right? Yeah. Crazy stuff. That’s the kind of place mom wanted to be buried. And now my first paid gig in forever is that exact topic. I got to film on location in NC and am now editing in my new digs in Warren VT.
This client found out about me because of a film I made, Bolin Creek Unpaved. Google it! A really rewarding project I did with a non profit group to save a forest, ended up also resulting in paid work that connects to the death of my mom. It’s like I am making the video as a tribute to what she wanted.
Then I got a text from a friend yesterday. Another project I worked on with a non profit group had become a centerpiece of the strategy to save a forest from being turned into a stone quarry. This topic has been tied up in litigation since 2019, the year my film came out. The text announced that the state has rejected the mining permit application! Victory dances will be had. My whole crew of dedicated volunteers and activists down there are all getting together to celebrate. Sure, there will be appeals. The quarry will try again. But now the state AG office has a legal responsibility to defend the nearby state park against the quarry operator…I see no way that the quarry operator wins this fight. It’s just a huge huge outcome. The main person leading the charge told me tonight how much my film helped make this all possible. And it did. And also..the film only took what was already there, and turned the effort into a single source. A one stop shop for all the hard work so many had been doing. A video, a film…can change the world, create real outcomes. But only if it is capturing the hard work already being done. The film doesn’t do the work, it turns the work being done into a format that an audience can connect with. And that’s what drives me, to find that story so that the work others do can have an impact.
I am just overwhelmed with happiness that I followed my instincts to get into video and create films. I am not cinematic. I am not big budget. I don’t have the newest equipment. But so far it gets the job done. Tis a very satisfying feeling.
Speaking of satisfying, I am now in Warren VT. Dad is now actually very happily living in a retirement home in VA and I headed north to where winter still exists. I knew I wanted to live somewhere in VT, but I didn’t know that my first stop would be my stopping point. Look no further. Warren and the Mad River Valley got ahold of me by day three. Now I have a bunch of housesitting gigs lined up as I try to navigate getting paid work flowing in again. Eventually I will buy or rent a place of my own, but for now housesitting is a great way to manage expenses and outflow and a great way to meet the people that live around here.
I will soon be putting out the feelers for more freelance video work in the local area. I am genuinely looking forward to working a lot on new projects, seeing what is out there, seeing what people have to say.
One other thing to report…I am beginning a brand new video series. All volunteer to start. My experience with living with parents with dementia taught me much. Mostly what it taught me is that caretakers caring for family members with dementia are often caught in a nightmare with very little support and in near total isolation. I want to give them a platform to be heard. In mid March I will be heading to NYC to interview a powerful young woman who is committed to raising awareness about the Frontotemporal Dementia that her mother was diagnosed with. I will be bringing along my GH4 and mics and lights…I think it will be a great first chapter to what I hope becomes a whole series.
And finally I can’t wait to get back to my work on the Salmonfolk project. Sheesh! So long overdue. Episode 7 of that podcast has got to get done soon!
More to come. A lot more.