Tech Check for the Premiere of Bolin Creek Unpaved

Yesterday I did a tech check at the Arts Center, the venue where Bolin Creek Unpaved is premiering on Sunday the 15th.  Glad that I did too!  I have never done a screening before of a doc that was one I created…been to film festivals where  a film that I helped bring to the screen was showing, but I was never responsible for things like projection or tech stuff.  I recalled that at a screening at a film festival that they couldn’t get the sound to work for the longest time.  So I headed over to the Center to do a tech check just in case.  Lo and behold, the audio wouldn’t work.

The tech guys there were awesome.  They jumped on it, grabbing wires and ladders and checking every connection.  It took about 20 minutes to find the culprit…a loose connection on the overhead projector, which was about 18 feet up in the air.  So I can’t recommend enough presuming something will need fixing and going in early to get that squared away.

When I went in, the stage was also containing a set piece for a local play that was showing.  So we couldn’t lower the screen.  I just had them project onto the set piece anyway…made for a few cool pics.

Then later in the day I sat down with Julie McClintock of the Friends of Bolin Creek.  We were being interviewed by a local online newspaper regarding the premiere and the Friends of Bolin Creek in general.

All in all a very full day and it wasn’t even 3.











Premiere of…Bolin Creek Unpaved: Saving Carrboro’s Last Forest

This beauty has been in the works for about 4 months.  Somehow I neglected to market it much here on  my on website.  But if you are a Facebook fan here is THAT.

Armed with a budget of zero and a guilty conscience I set forth to finally try to make something awful not happen.  The town where I live has a longstanding agenda to pave a 10′ wide path 1.7 miles long through a forest that looks like what you see in the picture below.  Me?  Not very into this plan at all….so I decided to find out all I could about it and I brought my camera with me so that I could bring the story of what’s really going on to anyone else interested.

I would say more but I stayed up til 7:30 AM working on the final edits, slept for 2.5 hours and then I worked at my “other” job all day.  Yep, pretty spent.  But it’s all worth it.



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.

Bugaboos Redemption Almost Done

Bugaboos Redemption is the first full length documentary film that I have worked on.
This movie is nonfiction and about 20 minutes long.  My plan is to submit it to film festivals…particularly outdoor film festivals.

Well…I have worked “on” other films and short documentaries but I have never been able to say “I made this…just me!”  So with this one I created the vision for how it could be done, set things in motion creatively speaking…and then did all the editing, color correction, audio correction…everything.  It was and is super satisfying.  But in order to make it out of my echo chamber, in order to make it truly great…I can’t stop there.

Tonight I emailed about 20 people with the password to the video where I have it housed online.  I am seeking opinions, feedback, harsh criticism if necessary.  Because after I got that “I made this” feeling I definitely smiled, but then had to admit that I can’t see what I am missing.  I have no objectivity when it comes to this project…how can I?  I have been looking over this stuff and living with it in my mind for nearly 5 months.

Here are some lessons learned so far while making “my” first documentary.

  • Everyone you interview, or film and everyone who helps you make the connections to those people-they are equals in your creation.  It won’t happen without them.
  • As a video editor I am not the storyteller.  By the time I see the finished footage from the camera the real story is already in the past.  I am taking a story of what happened and retelling it, trying to be true to it.  I creatively display the story so that people who were not there, can feel like they were…and learn from it the same way the individuals in the film did when it was actually happening.
  • With editing on a timeline you can misrepresent the truth so damn easily to accentuate crowd pleasing tendencies…don’t do it.  It’s not honest.  Leave that for your fiction projects.
  • Having great footage doesn’t matter.  True moments die during editing if you can’t read the story the way the viewer needs to see it.
  • Take 20 different video editors and ask them their opinion and shoot for the median response.  To a point, no one can say “it’s better this way”…or at least it won’t be true.
  • Leave the audience out of it.  Sometimes you just need to write with the pictures and soundtrack for your own edification.
  • Like all art, video crafting is an art.  There are video editors who just take blocks on a timeline and schlep them together…and then there are people who create movement and emotion because of how they edit and how they care about the potential impact the visual story can have.
  • It’s going to take more months than you think to finish that documentary.  Think of your project and come up with how many months you think it will take. Multiply it by at least 3.  Then again by 2 more.  You are getting closer…
  • Working with musicians who come to your house and compose on the fly while watching the footage is a damn fine thing.
  • Work your connections and ask for favors.
  • Need a song?  Try to skip free online music you have no connection with.  Don’t use copyrighted material that you’ll invariably have to switch out if your film goes into a festival.  Ask a band you like.  Pick one that wants the props for being in a soundtrack.  Win win.
  • Talk to people who know more than you do.
  • Watch videos or movies to see different documentary styles but trust that you have your own. It takes time to find out what your own is.
  • Don’t trust autosave.  Everytime you think “OMG I love where everything is at, right now”…hit the save button.
  • Everytime you want to get fancy and experiment DUPLICATE THE SEQUENCE and do the work on that sequence.
  • Color code all related footage…if it is in the same BIN give it the same color.  If you interviewed Mr. X then color all Mr. X footage Blue…and so on.  Makes timeline management so so much easier.
  • Organize those folders on the desktop!  All footage should be right where you think it should be and organized by subject or timeframe…
  • NAME all footage before you even open up your video editor so that all assets can be found by subject instead of long redundant numbers.  Changing the default camera numbered filenames can take a while but it saves you so much time later when you can tell what is what by just reading the name.

Well…there’s my two cents for now.  Anyway…here are a few screen grabs from my documentary.  I am not saying much more about it now…sssshhhhh.



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.


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 or

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

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

Atomic Veterans Speak- All Vids to Date!

Leading up to Veteran’s Day was quite busy for me.  I had the footage that Paul had recorded for me (for us!) for about a month or more and was wondering how best to use it.  When I realized that Veteran’s Day was just around the corner I knew it was time to use the footage….how could there be a better time than that?

If you are reading this and wondering what I am talking about then read THIS.

I came home bleary eyed from another long day of retail sales (my other job) on Wednesday November 9th and realized that to put out all 7 videos before the end of Friday November 11th was going to be quite the task.  I was working full retail days as well each of those days.  Oh…and don’t forget being a single parent to a teenager …that counts in the mix too.

Somehow I pulled it off though.  So here are all 7 videos.  I want to introduce these also as the FIRST 7 videos from Atomic Veterans Speak.  I am going forward with contacting other Atomic Veterans and finding others who would like to add their voice to this video project.  I hope to find hundreds and build a website just for this project…like a video archive of stories that should never be forgotten.  Please do watch these 7 videos.  None of them bore…, none too long…all of them have some hidden gem of information about nuclear testing that you have likely never heard.

And please do consider supporting the work that I am doing, so that I can do more of it, at my Patreon page by clicking the link below.