August 29, 2022

An Idea is Formed

Last I posted, I mentioned my Documentary Practicum class would be choosing an idea for their semester documentary project. And so they have: the role of the house-party scene as a steppingstone to success for a local band.

My first thought was: typical undergraduate student idea.

My second thought was: it all depends on how good a job they do telling that story.

In other words: I will teach them how to do it well.

August 11, 2022

In Search of an Idea

I’m teaching MED512 Documentary Practicum this fall. The semester begins on 22 August.

The class will complete a short documentary film about a Springfield topic over 16 weeks. They’ll get hands-on experience doing all the things.

The goal for the class is to finish a good film in time to submit it to the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Arts — an international competition of student and faculty media. Our overall media program at Missouri State ranks 4th. Our documentary program ranks 21st.

I have high expectations. I’ll be taking my readers along for the ride.

Step one: A story idea.

Stay tuned…

July 26, 2022

(self) Promotion in the Current Moment

I used to know how to jump start a blog (soooo 2004) from zero through noticed to important in a matter of weeks.

Times have changed.

I’m always on the lookout for good publicity photos — whatever those might be 🙂 Is this one good? I like it. Made a cartoon of it just for fun. Just made it my Facebook cover photo.

Still looking for just the right banner for my YouTube channel. The extreme horizontal shape makes it a bit difficult for my representational desires. The current image is a contact sheet of photos of my grandfather Grant.

I posted this one to my Instagram yesterday. It’s a college selfie circa 1976 and was made as part of an assignment in my black & white class at RIT in Rochester, New York.

I used Google Photo Scan on my phone of the original print I made back in the day. Works slick. Not sure this one does me any favors 🙂

I feel like I’m just stabbing around in the dark. I used to know what to do.

July 22, 2022

Notes on the Trinity Edit

I have one big step left before beginning the edit of Trinity, my latest documentary project.

It’s a buddy road trip story about coping in a crisis era. Call it the Crisis of 2020 as predicted by Strauss and Howe in their 1992 book Generations: The History of America’s Future. A long time ago on this blog I published a list of ten books all Americans should read. This was among them. If you want to check that list, you’ll have to go hunting for it at Just click the link in the sidebar.

Anyway, we’re living through a crisis era just as Strauss and Howe predicted. Now they didn’t say anything about the various problems that might comprise the Crisis of 2020. Instead, they used their model of cyclical generational personalities to make a general prediction. Basically, the generational alignment now corresponds to the generational alignment of the World War 2 era (including the late Depression and post-war angst over communism).

So my buddies and I made a road trip to arguably the site of the culminating event of the last crisis era — the Trinity site in New Mexico where the first atomic bomb was tested.

I made this decision before filming began: I’d conduct my interviews with my buddies after the trip and in audio only so that the entire film is narrated b-roll.

I still need to make my final decisions about what audio gets in and what gets left out. I’d like to finish that work in a few days.

And I suppose it’s about damned time to get this finished. I first mentioned the project in a post back in April 🙂

July 17, 2022

Eight Episodes In Plus An Update

I’ve posted the eighth episode of Our Expat Journey to Portugal on my YouTube channel. Just passed the 200 mark for subscribers. Growth has been slow since I posted the first episode on 21 May. I am actually trying to do things (some things, anyway) the “right” way regarding content and presentation. I may go into that a bit more soon.

First, I have to return home — later this week — from my current trip to the East Coast. And I’ll have more to say in my developing series on “what is a documentary”?

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