VIDEO: Interviewing the Interviewer
BACKGROUND NOTES: Sandy Wells is a beloved, legendary reporter and profiler at the Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, W.Va. In her ‘Innerviews’ column, the 76-year-old writer has been profiling people of all walks of life weekly since 1988. Head out on assignment with her in this video as she interviews a 102-year-old woman, who may be hard of hearing but is anything but clueless. This is a companion video to go with a story I wrote about Wells’ career in the April 14, 2018 Gazette-Mail, for a column which she once summed up this way:“I’ve learned how extraordinary ordinary people can be. I’ve learned how ordinary extraordinary people can be.” Read up on Sandy’s long career.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Lo-Fi Media production, shot entirely on an iPhone.
UPDATE: Sandy died in February 2019, after facing down cancer for six years. She was a treasure. West Virginia lost a wonderful soul
VIDEO: Time To Deliver
NOTES: I often try to tell somewhat complex stories in the confines of the short time period/window of engagement that people give to social media videos. Sometimes, it’s nice just to try to do one thing. For aspiring video producers, that might make a nice Guiding Principle for Short Videos: Tell One Thing (TOT). So, this video exemplifies the TOT manifesto. My colleague, Bill Lynch, has a series called ‘One Month at a Time’ in which he spends a month learning some new skill. For February 2018, he learned how flower shops operate. After designing some floral displays, the final step in his 30-day apprenticeship was to deliver. And so he does, but not without a few wrong turns. Tell One Thing: Bill trying to deliver flowers in a Charleston skyscraper.
MORE ‘ONE MONTH’ VIDEOS:
— Bill Takes on the West Virginia Symphony
— Bill, why not try a goat joke?
VIDEO: So, what CAN you do with a bag of carrots in rural West Virginia?
NOTES: This video was featured in the 2016 national 100-Second Festival, showcasing short films and videos from around the world and was screened in Somerville, MA., at an Exhibition of International Super Short Films.
SOUNDTRACK: An excerpt of “Centerall” by Lucas the Flow, featuring N8. Check out the full version at soundcloud.com/the-flow
VIDEO: This Bud’s For You
NOTES: After his wife died in 2013, Bud Sears was looking to channel his energy in the community. He found a rocking thing to do.
LENGTH: 1 min 17 sec
VIDEO: An ornamental operation
NOTES: At The Bear Wood Company, they specialize in hand-hewn wooden images in the shape of West Virginia, often made from reclaimed wood. Three years ago, they began making ornaments in the shape of the state. They sold a few dozen. Now, they sell thousands.
LENGTH: 59 seconds
RELATED STORY: Bear Woods is a cool and innovative wood products company. Here is a 2017 Charleston Gazette-Mail profile of its founder, Matt Snyder.
VIDEO: A “100 Seconds” installment that shows how to put up a Christmas tree in 100 seconds flat.
NOTES: Part of the mission of the “100 Seconds” video series is to showcase videos shot using only smartphones to showcase “lo-fi media” capabilities. (Not that smartphones are all that lo-fi, these days, as they pack more computing power than the NASA computer that landed Neil Armstrong on the moon.)
VIDEO: Bill takes on the West Virginia Symphony
NOTES: Charleston Gazette-Mail staffer Bill Lynch takes on a new challenge for his “One Month at a Time” series, preparing to perform with the West Virginia Symphony. Only one problem: he’d not played an instrument since he was 15 years old. He’s a lot older than that now.
VIDEO: Bill gets ready for stand-up
NOTES: Each month, Bill Lynch tries something new for his “One Month at a Time” series for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. For June 2017, he was schooling (and steeling) himself for a 5-minute stand-up comedy routine. Go for the goat joke, a colleague suggests.
LENGTH: 1 min 36 sec
VIDEO: Who makes the art?
NOTES: This was a promotional video for Third Eye Cabaret, a listening room performance space I founded in Charleston, W.Va. The current incarnation of the Cabaret takes place at The Fireside Lounge above the Little India restaurant on the West Side of Charleston, W.Va.
SOUNDTRACK: Vocals by Kathleen Coffee from a late-night jam at The Room Upstairs in Princeton, W.Va.
LENGTH: 1 min 10 sec
VIDEO: An episode in the 100 Second series on the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, on the state Capitol grounds in Charleston, W.Va.
NOTES: This is a full-on ‘lo-fi media’ video, shot on an iPhone, then edited and uploaded using the smartphone video editing app ‘Splice.’
LENGTH: 100 seconds