Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

On the big screen

August 8, 2011

This year, I entered “Oh, What a Laugh” into the Land of Lincoln Credit Union 21 Film Project. I didn’t win anything this year, but I did make it to the top 20, so I still got to see my film played on a big screen.

The award ceremony was at the Avon Theater during the Decatur Celebration, the 3-day festival that keeps me very busy shooting for the Herald & Review. Lucky for me, I was able to attend for the first time and film it for the paper.

Doug Bishop, as Santa, on screen at the Avon

It was a pretty fantastic event. There was a red carpet walk, a huge crowd, and lots of fun characters. It got off to a late start, and I had to film more events for work, so I wasn’t able to stay for the whole show. I stayed for about six films, and had to leave before mine played. I made it back on Sunday to see mine, and a bunch of other films. There are a lot of really talented people here in Decatur and the surrounding areas, and it was great to finally make it to the event.

Oh, I almost forgot: 80s singer, Tiffany, opened up the ceremony with a song. Pretty wild. Here’s the video that I did for the H&R, complete with my goofy walk down the red carpet with Doug Bishop.


D-Day anecdotes

June 6, 2011

Quick, what comes to mind when you think of D-Day? I immediately think of the terrifying opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan,” and the violence on Omaha Beach. The last thing I imagine is a funny story coming from that day. That’s when my interesting job comes in.

Last week I had the honor of filming an interview with WWII veteran William McGaughey.

Huey Freeman interviewing while I film

90 year old William McGaughey sure didn’t have any trouble recalling the details of his time spent overseas during World War 2. He told several stories, recalling his time as skipper of LCT 621 during the invasion of Normandy. I was amazed at how he regarded air raids as nothing to get worked up over, since there was nothing you could do but sit around and hope they didn’t hit you. I was even more surprised when he started laughing while he told a story from his landing at Utah beach.

He didn’t downplay the seriousness of war, and told other stories that weren’t as light-hearted. But I would bet enjoying the little things made it easier to deal with what was going on around you at a time like that.

Listening to Mr. McGaughey talk really made me wonder what stories my grandfather would have told if he was still around. My aunt said he didn’t talk about it much, but I wish I had been old enough to pick his brain before he died. It makes me even more grateful to be able to hear someone else’s story, and preserve it for future generations.

For the complete story in the Herald & Review, written by Huey Freeman, along with 4 more videos, follow this link: “Years don’t dim memory of D-Day for William McGaughey”

Lots of photos

May 15, 2011

This was going to be just another “Hey, here’s more animals I ran into this week” post, but I realized as I went into my mobile photos that there are still a lot of things you are missing if you aren’t connected to me on Facebook or Twitter.

And even if you are connected, this is a place where I can put some of these shots together, share a little about them, and even post links to the work that came from them.

This was the inspiration for the post:

Spring-loaded garter

On our way out to lunch a friend pointed out a garter snake slithering up the hill outside the office. I wasted no time in following it up the hill with the camera, but halfway up I turned just in time to see a larger garter snake coiled up. I’ve been bitten by snakes that I went out of my way to touch, but I’ve never had a snake go out of its way to strike at me. Check out this slow motion shot and see how far this guy went to try and hit me.


Potter brownies

March 21, 2011

I’ve never read the books, but I’ve always been a fan of the Harry Potter movies. I also love satire, so things like Harry Potter Puppet Pals really make me laugh.

I’ll warn you now, most of the links I am going to share in this post will contain foul language. Hit the jump for more.


Male modeling

December 1, 2010

I’ve already shown a peek of my talents as a model:

You're welcome, ladies.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, with me working as a stand-in (much like Martin Freeman in “Love Actually.”)

Working at the Herald & Review has afforded me the chance to be the center of attention, and really show off my Zoolander-esque abilities. Here are a few of my favorite modeling experiences.

Sick Work Guy:
This photo illustration belongs to a story about going to work when you are under the weather. As soon as I heard, “We need to wrap somebody in ‘Caution’ tape” I knew I was the man for the job.

Sloppy Court-goer:
This dashing lineup illustrates what not to wear when going to the Macon County Courthouse. I was very excited to wear my Biggie shirt.

Penniless Groom:
I don’t think I need to explain why this one is my favorite. This is my wife and I as cake toppers, illustrating a story about the rising cost of weddings. For this shoot, Alida wore her dress from our wedding a few months earlier. In return for some recognition, Seno Formal Wear provided me with the exact same tux I had worn at the wedding. So I was able to stand next to my wife in our wedding attire one more time. Sure I had to pretend to wipe tears from my eyes with the train of her dress, but it was a great time.

These creative projects are always a group effort, but the bulk of time and work is put in by chief photographer Kelly Huff and designer Jean Zerfowski. When they work together they produce some really great stuff.

So if you read the Herald & Review (and you should, because I say so) keep an eye out for some wonderful art. If you’re lucky, you might get to see my pretty face one more time before I get that call from Calvin Klein.

Bubba ate a stick…

November 24, 2010

Last week I covered two stories that involved volunteerism, and it really made me think about what efforts I make, and could be making, to give back.

Sure I’ll donate money here or there, but it’s been a long time since I actually took the effort to go out and do something like I did in high school. Sure going to a Catholic school meant the service was mandatory, but it was fun and rewarding. We would rack up hours working at soup kitchens, roaming downtown Chicago collecting money for Misericordia, working the Special Olympics, or serving Thanksgiving dinner to a group in need. I really can’t remember where we worked on Thanksgiving, but I do remember that I needed to offer tea and coffee in Chinese.

De La Salle men... collecting money and handing out candy

I'm on the right, before donning a "Casper the Friendly Ghost" costume

The first volunteer story I shot last week was with Habitat for Humanity. You can watch the finished video here. While a group was working on the porch I caught a well-timed error that made me laugh. It was harmless, so I don’t think they’ll hold it against me for sharing it.

The other story was about AmTrykes, which you can read here.  After filming an interview with Silas Martin, a 12 year old with neurofibromatosis, he went next door to see the neighbor’s dog, Bubba. He came running back over and said Bubba had eaten a stick because he thought it was a treat. On my way out, he requested that I take a picture of Bubba, and “put under it, ‘Bubba ate a stick.'” I’m not one to make idle promises, so here’s the photo that the Annie will be delivering to him.

Bubba looks like he could also eat my tibia.

Box City chowder

November 15, 2010

Last week I covered a pretty neat event at my alma mater, Millikin University.

Can you tell I wasn't expecting to have my photo taken? Thanks Chris!

At “box city,” students simulated a night of homelessness, building shelter out of cardboard boxes and huddling around burn barrels for warmth.

I know a few people who would hit me for holding an iPhone over a fire

The reporter writing the story for the Herald & Review was Allison Petty, and while she was soaking in the atmosphere, she also stood in line to eat the “chowder”, a mixture of canned-goods. As you can see here, she really appreciated me documenting the tasting of the chowder.

My small summary of the event really doesn’t do it justice, so I recommend reading Allison’s full story here, and watching the following video.

Fire Safety

October 14, 2010

Today I went to one of the Fire Department stations to film a program being put on for local kids.

We went out to a mobile unit used to run live fire escape drills with the kids. Using a fog machine they fill the rooms of the trailer with non-toxic smoke and teach the proper procedure to exit the house.

While we were there, they showed us how they use thermal imaging cameras to locate victims. One firefighter stayed behind in a room completely filled with smoke, and reporter Huey Freeman went in to locate him. You may remember Huey from his adventures paintballing with the Decatur Police Department.

I was very surprised at how low the visibility was, even though it was just smoke from a fog machine similar to the one I use on photo shoots. The smoke was non-toxic, but I still think I inhaled more than you’re supposed to.

Enjoy this video, complete with Huey’s commentary, my coughing in the background, and a neat demonstration of technology:

Here’s the video of the presentation the Decatur Fire Department put on for the kids. I was jealous of the kids that got to go down the pole and practice hitting targets with the hose.

Hot Air Balloon

October 9, 2010

Last year Alida and I went up in a balloon with the Touchstone Energy Coop at the Farm Progress Show here in Decatur. This year our friend invited us to the Balloon Fest in Shelbyville.

See how excited I get?

Unfortunately I didn’t realize it would have to wake up at 4:30am after working until 2am, but that’s neither here nor there.

Who would choose sleep over flying?

When we arrived, there was only one spot on the balloon, unlike the last time when Alida and I were able to go up together. Since Alida was shooting with the 5D (and because I’m just sweet like that) I told her to go up in the balloon so she could shoot both photo and video.

My wife, the thrill-seeker

Not only did being on the ground get me the chance to film some really nice shots of the balloons over Lake Shelbyville, it also gave me the opportunity to interview the pilot’s wife about “chasing.”

One of my favorite shots of the day

Here is the video that I produced for the Herald & Review with footage from both of our cameras.

One more thing! Now that you’ve seen the video and a couple of stills pulled from that video, take a look at Alida’s AWESOME photos on her new and improved blog!

Creative license

September 28, 2010

Today I edited the latest segment of “At My Desk” at the Herald & Review. As I’ve pointed out before, these videos afford me many opportunities to think outside the box and do some fun things. Here are a couple of images pulled from this week’s episode:

Reality TV at its finest

Oscar bait

Confused? Impressed? Apathetic? Either way, watch the video to see how these images are incorporated!