VIDEO: Crowdsourcing the 2018 W.Va. Teacher Strike : PART 1 NOTES: I shot a video of the massive 2018 W.Va. Teacher’s Strike on its eighth day in late March 2018. I awoke the ninth day feeling out of sorts and didn’t get to work until noon. That, of course, was the day the strike was settled to much jubilation and national coverage. Drat! Blaspheme! Curses! But….. wait! There were thousands of cameras there, if mine was not. Why not ask readers for their (literal) view of the strike? Facebook and newspaper solicitations resulted in a torrent of submissions: almost 500 photographs and videos. I lined up a green-screen studio shoot , courtesy of the EDC co-working site in Charleston, interviewed a key reporter covering the strike and wove in reader submissions and staff photography and video. Here’s the result. NUMBERS: This video got more than 22,000 views on Facebook and was shared widely nationally, especially as teacher strikes took hold in other states such as Oklahoma and Kentucky. RELATED:
—A Crowdsourced look at the 2018 WV Teacher Strike: Part 2
— Day 8 of the 2018 WV Teacher Strike: Bands, banjos and honks
— The Charleston Gazette-Mail’s 2018 Teacher Strike Roundup Page
“THE KEY TO MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE,” written and photographed by David Imbrogno and video produced by Douglas Imbrogno is a powerful, moving photo-poem-essay on the immigrant tale of one Italian family. But it could be the kindred tale of millions of families across innumerable cultures through time.
This particular story began on a steep Calabrian hillside in the early 20th century in the southern Italian Province of Cosenza., moving through Ellis Island to the small town of Lorain, Ohio. It circles back upon themes of family, loss and heritage through text, photographs and sound effects.
IT IS A BIG ASK IN THIS SHORT-ATTENTION-SPAN ERA— 16 minutes of your undivided attention for this brotherly collaboration which reaches across two continents and two centuries. But after it is through, we feel you will come to understand the rewards of settling into a quiet space with your computer or phone and experiencing this journey with undivided attention. Your feedback is welcome and any other reactions it stirs in you from your own immigrant roots. In one way or another, we are all descendants of immigrants from somewhere and someplace. As my elder brother David puts it:
“The Key To My Grandfather’s House” story is not mine, not brother Doug’s, it is our family’s story … Normally I would say that I wrote it. Actually I feel as if I “channelled” it from our ancestors. I am usually a visual communicator but here the words came to the forefront and my photographs reverted to snapshots… Our Aunts Teresa and Loretta who accompanied us might have been the mediums through which our ancestors channelled the story.”
David adds: “Please, find a quiet place to enjoy the sixteen minute show. Turn on the sound and watch it full screen.”
THIS IS AN EXCERPT OF A MUCH LARGER written photo-essay (a prose-poem, really) by David. If interested in reading and viewing the longer piece, visit CowGarage.com or EvidenceofmylLife.com. This video can be viewed as a separate stand-alone work of art, but it is also a companion piece to a spoken word live performance.
FOR MORE ON THE VIDEO, to read the longer photo-essay or to schedule a live performance of “The Key,” subscribe to the websites above and to this website, TheWebTheater.com by clicking on the “subscribe” option in the right-hand top of the home page. You can reach either of us through those sites. Grazie mille!
THIS VIDEO IS A CO-PRODUCTION by David and Douglas Imbrogno. | Current version as of AUG 11, 2018
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.
VIDEO: The Curious Case of the Nicholas County, W.Va., Mystery Paintings NOTES: I was going to phone this story in—literally. It was a freezing December day and I was just going to do a phone interview to check up on a Facebook tip on some supposedly intriguing paintings in a 19th century farmhouse in the West Virginia outback. Am dearly glad I went out on this one, as encountering these amazing works made the story. Plus, the iPhone video I shot to go with the story went modestly viral on the newspaper’s Facebook page, with nearly 45,000 views as of January 2017, more than 500 shares and hundreds of comments. A fascinating backstory that resonated with readers and viewers. Did a Dalton Gang brother on the run paint these remarkable works and then flee? And if not, who did? And who will preserve them now? SOUNDTRACK: “I Can Feel It Coming” by Kevin MacLeod RELATED STORY:Read it here. PS:Here’s a family video shot years ago about the mysterious paintings, uploaded because interest in this story was so intense. PSS: The cinema verite handshake of the iPhone B-roll is not the greatest. Time for one of these!
VIDEO: How the Charleston Gazette-Mail won a Pulitzer. NOTES: A behind-the-scenes look at how a small newspaper in Charleston, West Virginia won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, for dogged reporting on the flood of opioids poured into West Virginia by drug companies. Co-produced by Maria Young and Douglas Imbrogno. LENGTH: 6 min 50 sec
VIDEO: City and rural kids write themselves a song. NOTES: This mini-doc tracks from start to finish how city kids and rural kids came together at a summer music camp at Big Ugly Community Center in Big Ugly, W.Va., (yes, that’s what it’s called), to craft an original song. With help from singer-songwriters Chuck Costa and Mira Stanley, of the award-winning group The Sea The Sea and other teachers, the summer campers wrote the music and lyrics to the songs then performed it with a little help from their friends. LENGTH: 4 min 25 sec
VIDEO: A look at why ‘Mentoring Matters’ for youth facing tough times. NOTES: A video shot and produced in association with Morgado Design for The Education Alliance, West Virginia’s premier statewide, nonprofit research and K-12 public education fund. The video profiles mentors in the Alliance’s ‘Walk the Talk’ program, who work with at-risk high school kids facing all sorts of stresses at home and in daily life. LENGTH: 5 min 38 sec
VIDEO: A profile of the grinning, picking and floating at Grinfest NOTES: Take a visit to GrinFest 2012, a musical gathering alongside the Greenbrier River in the heart of West Virginia, with excerpts of songs by the Spurgie Hankins Band, The Tom McGees and other performers as well as the life of the festival by day and by night. LENGTH: 10 min 17 sec