Yo, Where is Charlie?

Right now I am listening to Hwa Sa “TWIT”. If you don’t currently watch Kpop, and the way that they edit and light videos in South Korea, you are really missing out. This week I was also blown away by an intro for Season 1 Episode 8, “The Widow” on Amazon. The music featured a song by Cage The Elephant. Even if you don’t watch the episode, just watch the intro until the music starts. What I appreciate about it, is that without a single word of narration, the visuals and the music show the true cost of where the materials inside of our cell phones come from. It’s ugly. It’s true. It’s powerful. It’s beautiful. It’s a good use of video.

Right now I am working and temporarily still bouncing around houses in Warren, VT. But (drumroll!) I have finally acquired housing in Plattsburgh, NY. Why? Why Plattsburgh? I admit, it’s not exactly a place people are flocking to live. It’s got an odd post industrial vibe for sure and needs a lot of work. But the rents there are so much lower than in Burlington. And Burly is where I will be mainly working on my non video stuff. From June til November I will be working at the University of Vermont full time on a very fun project. I will still be doing video work, consulting and non profit stuff. But I am very excited about finally having a place to put my feet up for a while. It also gets me closer to Saranac Lake and Mirror Lake. Two fantastic winter destinations that I adore.

The best part about living in Plattsburgh is the commute to work. I have to take a ferry to cross Lake Champlain. I like ferries almost as much as I like skiing.

Anyway, I have been busy working on making connections for my Caretaking: The Untold Story . I had a great convo today with a woman who has been working on the topic of dementia for decades.

I have also been starting to slowly envision where I want Old School Stone: A Climber Looks Back to go. I have a deadline…the Carrboro Film Festival is accepting submissions until August 1. My old mentor Bradley Bethel is the organizer. He helped me get my start in making a living by making short films and video editing. I don’t expect any special favors though lol..he’s a tough critic! But this is yet another film that has been on the backburner for far too long. John, the subject of the film, lives in Carrboro. If I can finish the film, and it gets accepted into the festival…and he can go and sit in that audience and watch it, that will be totally amazing. To be blunt, John is over 80 years old. I want to get this thing locked in while he can still totally enjoy it.

Finally I am working locally on a gig where I am helping someone do a major overhaul of all of their digital assets. They have roughly 50K images in their iCloud Photos. Yep. A lot. And they have images on various older phones and laptops and SD cards and so forth. What the mission is, is to take all of these images and organize them by year and then park them on a new 18TB NAS drive. NAS stands for “Network Attached Storage”. I have had to do so much with file storage and management during my time editing videos and photos, that I have developed a real knack for this kind of thing. I understand drives, all storage media formats, and can switch back and forth easily between Mac and Windows. It may sound like boring work, but I like it. And honestly tons of people are in my new client’s situation right? Who hasn’t lost control of where all their photos and videos are located?

Another highlight from this week was when I was interviewed for a podcast. Pic below…

Howard’s podcast is called Plant Yourself. We had a really great conversation. The interview isn’t live yet, but it’s coming! I will definitely post it here once it is ready. I think it may also be included in video format as well. He asked me a lot about process. About how and why I got into being a documentarian. It was really rad.

Soon I leave my housesitting gig here in Warren. Then I head south in early May to visit my dad. Then I will be in NC for nearly a month, visiting friends, my daughter. I will also be doing a bit of additional filming for Old School Stone.

I will also be taking a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course with Landmark Learning. I am so so so psyched to be taking this class. The reason most of my work is centered around the outside world is because I spend so much time there. Just check out my Instagram for the proof of that. Being a WFR (again) has been a long time dream of mine. With the WFR I can be on ski patrol, lead outdoor trips, volunteer at medical relief shelters and be well informed for all my own trips, which are often in wilderness areas.

It’s hard to describe the relief of knowing that I will l finally have housing for 4 months. Yeah I am excited about having a place for only 4 months. That’s what happens to you when you are out here in this housing crisis madness…even 4 months in one apartment seems really exciting and miraculous.

20 Minutes to Write This…

March 11th, 2022

11:21 AM-Brooklyn Kolache

“Boots” the wonder cat, checking out one of my tripods.

Snacking on kolaches in Bedstuy Brooklyn at the moment. Reading articles about Ukraine. Still pondering going over there to volunteer along the Polish border at one of the warming and food centers where they welcome refugees. In the meantime, rebuilding my own life here in the USA still…

New York. What a strange place eh? But the kolaches are to die for. My son lives just around the corner. My blue outdated Android phone’s timer is set for me to leave here soon and go get my son’s stuff out of the dryer at the laundromat. He is back in his 3rd story walk up apartment, that we painted together last night, taking a shower to be ready for work today.

Soon we will leave in an Uber and head across the Williamsburgh Bridge and into Manhattan. He works right along the view into the Rockafeller Plaza. I will be heading on into another Manhattan location though. An office building with bright windows and colored couches and my first interview of another person since before I began caretaking for my parents in August of 2019. The last time I had my cameras and mics out to interview someone was likely for my movie 400 Feet Down. I went from making a movie that sold out three local screenings in a row…to barely even turning on my cameras for 2.5 years. I had to turn down work in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario…I gave up invitations to work on material in Norway. But all that is behind me currently. And today I finally get to get back to what I worked so hard to build. I am pretty damn excited about it.

This is an all volunteer project I dreamed up. The topic is dementia. I want to create a docuseries, sharing the deeply personal experiences of those who are caregivers of family members with dementia. Then I will give dementia related organizations the rights to open source share the content on their platforms. I think it will have an impact.

I have my Panasonic GH4, my Zoom H6, Rode Pro, two tripods, a backup GoPro, tons of extra batteries, my question list, my glasses…I have gone through my gear list over and over, rather obsessively, since I am so out of practice. It used to be that a client could call me and my gear bag was literally always well stocked and ready for a shoot. Hopefully I will be getting back to that. It’s been a long wait. And more than that I didn’t even know if I would get back to this point. Glad to be here though.

After the interview here today I will head back to my son’s apartment and backup all the footage from the cameras and mics. Then I will scrub through it all to make sure it’s looking and sounding good. Then tomorrow I head back up North into Vermont. And apparently there is a big old snow bomb cyclone coming through. So yeah! Glad I still have my snowshoes and skis in the car. Sounds like fun to me.

I was able to finally secure a storage unit in Burlington VT. The housing market is so strained right now that even finding a storage unit is like searching for a rental. It’s crazy out here. On Tuesday I begin my next housesitting gig in Warren VT. I have three interviews lined up related to the my video work and social media expertise. Very excited about that! I also have some other interviews popping up to help me cover the bills that look exciting, though not video related. At this point, money needs to start coming in period. It’ll all work out.

And besides all that. I have about 2.5 weeks of gap in my housesitting time…and I might go over to Ukraine to volunteer if things line up.

Meanwhile…8 months later

Not that I even have many readers here…I mean, does anyone even read blogs any longer?

In case they do, imma gonna write something.  I’ve been BUSY!!!  OMG!!!

There, that’s the update.  I’ve been busy.  I’d love to write more but I’m too darn sleepy.  So I’ll just post some links to some of the most recent fun stuff I’ve done or am currently working on.

Managing Instagram for the Historic Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro, NC

Managing Instagram for The Fragrance Shop

Managing Instagram and Facebook for Townsend Bertram and Company

Organizing monthly screenings for  the Adventure Film Series for Townsend Bertram and Company (sponsored by Osprey Backpacks)

I screened my film to a nearly full local theatre and screened the film 7 other times besides…and now have it online for anyone to watch.

The Promo Reel for Oh Crappy Day finally went public…

My Your Bottle Means Jobs Campaign Video hit over 29,000 views on Youtube…

And a local TV Station liked it enough to make reedit for their own uses…

Then I crafted this first attempt at a series I am calling “Vital Signs”

I also decided to help out a local Fluoride activist group by making these short and simple vids.

I also finished some bigger private projects.  A wedding video…a short fiction film for entry in to the NASA Cinespace Contest.

I am slowly working on a documentary about the history and consequences of Fluoridation.  I am about to release a new series called PTSD: Mission Recovery.

Finally I just wrapped a second project for the Your Bottle Means Jobs campaign. Mums the word…it’ll be coming out soon!

Jesus…no wonder I am tired.  And video isn’t even my day job…yet.

 

Oh Crappy Day (Feature Film)/Promo Reel

First of all, this is a story about a top-notch guy…Bradley Bethel.   I don’t see him all the time.  We don’t hang out on the regular.  But you know what it’s like to run into someone who is just a fair dealer…no hidden agenda, no guile?  That’s Brad.  When you get into video editing, try to work for people like that.  Brad gave me my start by enlisting me to help out on some projects that were tricky and mind expanding for me at the time.  The first project pretty much had me filming in a medium security prison…that was the deep end for sure.

Next on the list was an assignment to help create a promotional short for some really fantastic guys named Lance Bacon and Steve Neilson.  They live a short drive away and run a company called Dagtype Films.  These guys are film aficionados through and through.  They also created a short film called Oh Crappy Day…a film that I really enjoy.  It has done exceedingly well on the festival circuit.  Steve and Lance are now revealing their plans to get full funding to take their short and expand the ideas and story into a full length feature film.  My task was to help with the interview filming and to help create and edit other existing footage into a promotional short for the overall project.

For this promo Brad and I dropped in for an afternoon on a very hot and muggy summer day to hang out with the Dagtype directors.  I grabbed my camera…we interviewed and did what film people always do…recorded every nuanced thing that we thought might prove valuable later on.  Lance and Steve are a riot to hang out with.  Be prepared to laugh…

Later on, back at home on my desktop a fellow named Ned Phillips dropped in and we worked together on the promo.  Ned is super talented and I got to learn a lot from him.  Especially in how he likes to blend music and audio between scenes to cover the clip change…lovely technique that I wasn’t using yet.

This promo was just a lot of fun to work on…the collaboration was worthwhile and I am just pleased that it is time to unlock it and share it with the world.  Please go and support these hard-working indy filmmakers and actors as they proceed to create Oh Crappy Day.

Press Release for YBMJ Video!

You may have read about this on my blog already…if not, here is the TALE.


But…something extra fun happened too…a super thorough press release.  How cool is that…right?  A crazy long press release about a video I made.  Makes me happy for sure.  Here is the copy below.

NEW VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS JOB CREATION THROUGH PLASIC BOTTLE RECYCLING

Organizations Join Forces to Encourage More Plastics Recycling in Support of Carolina Jobs

December 5, 2016 – The Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council (CPRC) and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) announced today the release of a jointly produced “Your Bottles Means Jobs (YBMJ)” video. The focused, two-minute video tallies the 3,500 jobs in plastics recycling and related fields in the Carolinas, including plastic bottle sorting, recycled material processing, and manufacturing of recycled-content products such as polyester fiber made from recycled PET bottles.

“We are pleased to promote recycled plastics processing and manufacturing jobs in South and North Carolina, and to see recent investment by industries that facilitate or use recycled plastic material feedstock to create and sustain jobs,” said Chantal Fryer, Director, Recycling Market Development for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. “The ‘YBMJ’ video shows us how these jobs add up, and is part of an ongoing YBMJ campaign to encourage everyone to recycle just two more bottles each week in support of local jobs. Although our video is Carolinas-focused, our message of local collection supporting local economies, job creation and infrastructure is relevant across the U.S.”

To produce the video, CPRC partnered with NAPCOR, the trade association for the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging industry. “The video walks us through a straightforward explanation of how PET recycling works, and shows where jobs are created in the process,” says NAPCOR Executive Director Rick Moore. “We hope people will share it broadly and spread the word that recycling plastic bottles creates domestic jobs, generates tax revenues, supports ‘green’ manufacturing, and creates other economic benefits.”

The avoidance of other costs can be one of these benefits. “In addition to job creation and strengthening our domestic economy through increasing plastic bottle recycling, local governments and taxpayers also win through reduction in waste disposal costs of those bottles,” said Blair Pollock, Orange County North Carolina Solid Waste Planner.

The Your Bottle Means Jobs campaign is a project of the Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council whose mission includes promoting plastic recycling companies operating within the Carolinas. Recent investments in new or upgraded plastics recycling-related facilities in the Carolinas include plastics recycling technology provider American Starlinger-Sahm’s new headquarters location in Fountain Inn, South Carolina; Sun Fibers’ recycled polyester fiber production facilities in Chester and Chesterfield counties, South Carolina; and Unifi’s PET bottle processing plant in Reidsville, North Carolina.

“Unifi’s new REPREVE Bottle Processing Plant in Reidsville is a major investment in the company’s successful, sustainable product line and it will create more than 80 new jobs here,” said Jan Critz, Director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism. “This is an important project for our community. ‘Green’ products—such as REPREVE, which is made from recycled plastic bottles—will only continue to grow and we are proud that Reidsville and Rockingham County are a part of that.”

The new video is the latest addition to the ongoing CPRC campaign to increase plastic bottle recycling in the two states. “The next time you’re holding that bottle, be sure to throw it in the recycling bin, not the trash,” said Fryer.

View the video at https://vimeo.com/190005789 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-KCZHAc6lE

———————————————————
Established in 2011, the Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council works to raise awareness around the importance of recycling plastic bottles and to promote plastic recycling companies operating within the two states. In recent years, the CPRC launched the Your Bottle Means Jobs campaign, which aims to get more of the three billion plastic bottles discarded each year in the Carolinas back into the production cycle. Visit http://yourbottlemeansjobs.com

Founded in 1987, the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) is the trade association for the PET plastic packaging industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico. NAPCOR is dedicated to promoting the PET package; to overcoming hurdles to the successful recycling of PET; and to communicating the attributes of the PET container as a sustainable package. More at www.napcor.com

Music Video: Adele’s “Hello” in ASL

I am finally getting into some projects that have been backburning for some time. This video is a collaboration between myself and my daughter’s ASL teacher, Judie Birchfield.  Judie runs a group called Signsations.  They perform for primarily hearing audiences here where we live in the triangle region on NC.  They sign in interpretive ASL to contemporary music.  That way the audience can learn a bit of ASL (by hearing the music and seeing the signs), as well as see the beauty and artistry inherent in ASL.

My daughter first met Judie at a Christmas parade that was passing through downtown Chapel Hill.  Judie was on a Christmas Parade float with about 8 kids and they were all signing Christmas Carols.  At the time Zoe was only 6 but she was really captured by what she saw…and 8 years later she is still a part of Judie’s group.

Recently Judie, Zoe and I have been knocking around the notion of creating some ASL style videos.  This was my first crack at making a “music” video.  And I can attest that making a music video is a whole lot different that making any other kind.  Trying to synchronize the movement and cuts with the music is tough!

Anyway…I hope you enjoy it.  Oh..BTW…when you hover over the HD logo choose 1080 for the best viewing resolution as Vimeo defaults to a lower res setting.

Bolin Creek Update: The Flyover

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To catch up on what the Bolin Creek Project is read HERE.

I have been into Bolin Creek Forest more times than I can count.  It’s how I know it should be preserved from even a single square foot of pavement.  Yep…been in there a lot.  But something I never thought I would do is to see it from above.  One day, a few weeks ago though, I was sitting there wishing I could show people how special it is from a whole new perspective.  Just how small is it, or large, when seen from above?  Just how green is this oasis?  How closely is the city already encroaching? How gorgeous IS Bolin Creek Forest as seen from above?

Last week I got to find out.  A very cool local pilot took me up so I could find out.  I will save the best parts of that experience for a video episode of the project.  But I do want to share some images of his absolutely beautiful aircraft.  It’s a 1946 Piper Cub.  An original WWII Navy Trainer.  Going up in this small craft was something that changed me in a lot of ways.  Seeing Bolin Creek treetops whisk by did indeed change my perspective on how fortunate we are to have this place so close at hand. And flying in a plane that unique and rare, with such a fascinating pilot with local knowledge was a game changer as well.  I don’t know how I keep getting so lucky when it comes to finding great projects to be a part of….but the trend continues.

If you haven’t been in a plane as small as a Piper Cub, I’ll tell ya that it’s about as small as it gets.  It is more like having a jacket on as you fly through the air, than being in an airplane that keeps you from feeling that essential closeness.  I had no idea flying could feel that way.  As the pilot said, “bigger planes slice through the air…but in this plane you are a part of sky.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Anyway, after the flight I grabbed my trusty Nikon and fixed 50mm f/1.8 and had some fun.  Enjoy the pics and remember that you can click to make any pic larger.

 

 

If you like what I am up to and want to support me so I can just do more good things like this then look for me on Patreon.

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Early September Update!

What I have cooking right now…

  1. A long awaited short doc that highlights the non profit work of Ears, Eyes, Nose and Paws (EENP).  This group teams inmate trainers at a medium security prison with puppies…and what happens then?  You’ll have to watch to find out.  Coming soon!  Audio and original soundtrack nearly complete.
  2. Live Your Dream Challenge Grant.  A climber receives the Live Your Dream grant from the American Alpine Club and heads off into the Bugaboos.  This short movie is about the AAC’s grant, the climber’s aspirations before the climb…and then what happens when dreams meet with the mountains.
  3. Your Bottle Means Jobs Campaign ad.  I am still in process with various groups to finalize a short commercial showing the process of what happens when you recycle a PET bottle here in NC, how many jobs it creates, and what is created from those bottles as well…where they go…the whole thing!

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Small World!

So…today I am editing some photos for a client’s website.  Like this one…

DSC_0047

 

He needs some new headshots and when we made the video below…he asked me to snap a few shots.

He has just put his new site together and after I emailed him to confirm that they were waiting for him there in the Dropbox folder…I think “hey, I should drop by his site and take a look around.”

So I drop by to take a look.  Here…you take a look too.

http://www.risksandreligion.org/

Then I read to the bottom of the home page (as you may have just done as well) and saw the following:

“In a past life, Phil was a musician for Baobab and Crowdsource. One song ended up on a GoPro commercial (here).”

I click on the link to watch the following video:

First of all…what a fricking gorgeous video.  Secondly…my buddy Phil made the awesome music and though I knew he did more than talk about the end of the world…I didn’t realize that he was on that kind of level as a musician.  Well done Phil!  What a (humble) guy.  When I ask him about his musical past he only says “I used to play music”.

The reason my posting here is titled “Small World” is because in my other, non- video, life I have a part time job in an outdoor retail shop where we sell GoPro cameras.  We have a kiosk for GoPro with a screen that plays GoPro vids on a loop.  The video I have been watching now for over 2 years has this pelican in it!  All this time I have been watching a video that Phil helped make and I never even knew it.

That’s a small world!