VIDEO: Crowdsourcing Appalachian imagery
NOTES: ‘Looking at Appalachia’ is a crowd-sourced project that aims to depict life in the 420-county Appalachian region through user-submitted photographs, in an attempt to counter the “visual narrative” imposed on the region by the War on Poverty and other sources.
LENGTH: 2 min 30 sec
SOUNDTRACK: “Against All Odds (ft. Zack Markham)” by Lucas the Flow
VIDEO: The Great Gitmo Cat Rescue
NOTES: When the Meades decided to retire from life as government contractors at the Guantanamo Naval Air Base — better known as ‘Gitmo’ — they had a problem. Well, 25 problems. What to do with their cats? An airlift ensued.
SOUNDTRACK: “Expressive PHNK VP” by Lucas the Flow
LENGTH: 2 min 58 sec
VIDEO: One of an occasional series of videos for The Meditation Circle of Charleston.
NOTES: Enough said.
VIDEO: Laotong Yoga Prison Project
NOTES: Still images can tell just as a vivid a story as video. This slideshow portrays the non-profit Laotong Yoga Prison Project (www.laotongyoga.org), which brings yoga and meditation to the adult incarcerated populations across West Virginia. I joined the Laotong Prison Project board in 2016 and produced the video for the group’s 2017 fundraiser, with images drawn from a prior documentary on the project.
SOUNDTRACK: “Grand Final’e” by Lucas the Flow. (I recommend having a son who is an electronic music composer, if you happen to need a lot of varied video soundtracks.)
VIDEO: 9 Ways of Looking at ‘Hallelujah’
NOTES: Acclaimed metal sculptor Albert Paley’s monumental sculpture, “Hallelujah,” sprouted almost overnight (well, over the course of a weekend) in front of the Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va., in October 2009. The reaction to the 198,000-pound sculpture was immediate in a city and state where high-ticket monumental sculpture is as rare as straight roads. While fans of art and culture were happy to have this sculptural visitation from a much larger city, commentators to the local media dunned the nearly million-dollar sculpture as a rattletrap junk heap. In other words, the usual reaction to contemporary art. It is true that the sculpture, with its upward-thrusting lines, its meant-to-weather Cor-Ten steel and bronze elements going green, bears a resemblance to a wrecked interstellar rocket ship. That’s a compliment, by the way. For those of us who have come to appreciate passing it on our daily commute into town, it is a welcome bit of visual flair to an otherwise mundane cityscape.
SOUNDTRACK: ” Fortune” by Lucas the Flow
LENGTH: 3 min 15 sec
VIDEO: Recalling 29 lost miners.
NOTES: Sometimes, the simplest exposition is best. Here is a memorial slideshow to the 29 miners, ages 20 to 61, who died in the April 5, 2010, explosion at the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal, West Virginia. This was originally produced for the Charleston Gazette in Charleston, W.Va. But every time former Massey Energy Don Blankenship, who headed Massey Energy at the time, is in the news, the video garners more viewers.
LENGTH: 2 min 41 sec
SOUNDTRACK: “Andante Quieto,” by the New Arts Trio from the CD “Harold Hayslett: A Musical Tribute” (cdbaby.com/hayslett).
VIDEO: An historic overview of how West Virginia’s population went from lean to not-so-lean, with a corresponding rise in chronic health issues.
NOTES: “The Shape We’re In” was a powerful year-long series of articles in the Charleston Gazette by Kate Long, that delved deep into the chronic health problems in West Virginia and the many people and programs focusing on improving the shape of the state’s population. I was the video feature producer for the series. The series won the 2013 top award for public service reporting from the National Association of Health Care Journalists.
VIDEO: Meditation Group notice
NOTES: A video announcing The Meditation Circle of Charleston WV was moving to a new time was an opportunity to share some melodious meditative Buddha imagery.
LENGTH: 1 min 3 sec
VIDEO: “Elizabeth & George: Two Sides of One Life”
NOTES: A companion video to a three-part Charleston Gazette series (June 2, 3 and 4, 2013) about a street person named ‘Elizabeth,’ who was often seen in downtown Charleston, W.Va. Her past turned out be a surprise. She had grown up in the Bible belt and was such a promising singer, Ric Ocasek of The Cars sought out George through mentions in Rolling Stone magazine. But George had since become Elizabeth, and showed up on the streets of the West Virginia’s capital city. Read the tale of how George became Elizabeth, losing touch with some beloved sisters and a mother and the reunion that eventually ensued. Read the award-winning three part series, “Elizabeth & George” here.
SOUNDTRACK: “Marathon Man” by George Bartlett
LENGTH: 5 min 31 sec