Video Production During Pandemic

Many events I would typically film have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions: conferences, lectures, arts performances, and sports. I’ve redirected a bit to help clients get out their messages during this time of social distancing and remote work.

Dr. Alan Goldberg help athletes with slumps and mental blocks.

I’ve had clients film themselves, and then send me their footage to edit, add graphics, and post to social media. Alan Goldberg, the sports performance consultant mentioned in my last post, is doing that. The Smith College Museum of Art sent me some footage of an exhibit they filmed just before the museum closed for the pandemic, and I edited that for use on their website so patrons would still have a chance to see it. More to come from the museum this fall, as the campus remains closed.

Smith College Museum of Art Dust Bowl exhibit.

I filmed some parts of the Williston Northampton School’s 2020 Virtual Commencement, where a few speakers were masked and well-spaced, and I was a good distance away. I filmed the Hartsbrook School’s High School Commencement, which was held outside, with masks, generous distancing, and families watching from their cars and listening over the radio.

Hartsbrook High School’s socially-distanced graduation.

I’ve been back at Williston this month to film updates on coronavirus-related campus changes. Classrooms, dining services, and health services were all featured.

Dr. Peter Elsea updates faculty on Williston’s COVID protocols.

Not everything is COVID-centered, thankfully. I’ll be at the Children’s Advocacy Center later this week to film some promotional material on their mission and process. When filming, I follow any COVID related rules while on a client site. Otherwise, I will be following current best practices regarding masks and social distancing.


Help the Athlete In Your Life Navigate the Coronavirus Era

I’ve been doing a lot of editing this summer for Dr. Alan Goldberg, an Amherst-based sports performance consultant. Usually, he’s helping athletes get over slumps and blocks, and generally improving performance. But when the coronavirus led to the cancelling of seasons, championships, and even team practices, Alan knew there would be a lot of new challenges for athletes. He’s been posting two new YouTube videos per week since April helping athletes deal with this new reality.

Because of COVID restrictions, we are working remotely right now. I helped Alan get set up with a refresher training for using his camera and uploading his footage, and things are flowing very smoothly. I download his self-filmed footage, edit, add graphics as needed, and upload to YouTube for him, finishing up with all of the administrative stuff that goes along with a YouTube channel. He’s got 26 videos in this series so far.

Seriously, if you know an athlete at any level in any sport who has lost their motivation, trains less, feels depressed, or can’t get going, have them check these videos out!


Geoff McKonly Furniture

I stopped by Geoff McKonly Furniture last week to meet the owner and get a tour of his workspace. It reminded me of my grandfather’s basement workshop from many years ago.

Love the woodshop atmosphere.

Geoff does beautiful work—I got to see two projects in process, one a table he is constructing for a show at the Delaware Water Gap, and the other is a bed. The bed’s headboard has a unique feature, a beautifully curved “crack” between two boards, in a departure from his original design. He likes to bring features of the wood to the overall structure of a piece.

Headboard of bed in progress.
Headboard detail.
Geoff tapering a leg.

Geoff has been at One Cottage Street for a few years now, and before that he was designing and building boats for many years in Philadelphia. (I’m originally from the Philly area.) I noticed a lot of cleverly placed curves in his designs, and Geoff told me that comes from his time building boats.

Well-organized tools.
Geoff in his element.

He also teaches workshops at the New England School for Woodworking, including one this weekend about building an Adirondack chair. I’d highly recommend Geoff if you are looking for finely crafted custom furniture.

Visiting the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College

My son and I recently visited the Beneski Museum of Natural History on the Amherst College campus. Another hidden gem in the Pioneer Valley. We went on a summer weekday and nearly had the place to ourselves, which I liked, being able to linger over exhibits.

Mammoth skeleton.

I felt like I could get a lot closer to the reconstructed skeletons than I can in other natural history museums. We got much better views of skeletal details and a better sense of the scale of these animals.

An actual dire wolf skeleton, for Game of Thrones fans.

If dinosaur tracks are your thing, there is an extensive collection of those.

Dinosaur tracks.

Do not miss out on the drawers! There are drawers throughout with smaller fossils, etc. that are very cool.

Open the drawers to find more treasures. Don’t be shy!
Ammonite fossil cross-section.

There are very well-explained exhibits on our local geology and how fossils are formed. In fact, I didn’t have enough time to fully explore those, and I need to go back.

Oh, and admission is free! What are you waiting for?

Filming a Conference for DVD Sales

I noted in a previous post that I had filmed a conference for the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT). The topic was “Tangled Truths: Helping Couples Recover from Sexual Trauma”. It featured presenters and panelists from across the state. Northampton-based Yana Tallon-Hicks presented on human sexual development and education, and Easthampton-based Mike Lew talked about his experience working with men who have been victims of sexual abuse.

As always when I am filming conferences, it’s like continuing education for me. I learned a lot about the valuable and heroic work being done with survivors of sexual trauma. I was most impressed by the therapists’ respect and honoring of those survivors for their bravery in dealing with their trauma.

Yana Tallon-Hicks, MSW and pleasure-positive sex educator & writer, addresses the conference.

I filmed two lectures and a panel discussion that day and created a DVD for MAMFT. They are going to make the DVDs available for purchase through their website.

From the MAMFT website: “We are the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy in the state of Massachusetts…We represent the professional interests of 450 marriage and family therapists throughout the state of Massachusetts.“

Smith College Conference Center

This year I had the opportunity to film a conference for the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT). The conference was held at the recently renovated Smith College Conference Center. The center overlooks the campus gem, Paradise Pond, near the spillway, which makes for a very tranquil setting.

MAMFT Panel at the Conference.

Filming conferences is always personally rewarding for me, because I am always learning something new. Technically, each one presents a different challenge. For this conference, there were two individual lectures (one with a powerpoint presentation) and a panel discussion with 5 presenters, along with some projected video clips. It helps when the conference center runs smoothly and is technologically up-to-date!

From their website: “For groups from five to 300 people, the Smith College Conference Center gives its guests unparalleled customer service and value. Several rooms of varied sizes are available for your meeting, conference, lecture, retreat or special occasion. Equipped with the latest audio/visual capabilities and an on-site, professional-scale kitchen, the Conference Center offers accessible solutions for all your event needs.”

Brad Hall’s Salty Advice to Williston Graduates

Brad Hall sings advice to graduates.

Gearing up to film Williston Northampton’s convocation in a couple of weeks. You probably didn’t know that Brad Hall, a Saturday Night Live alum, is also a Williston Northampton alum. I was filming the Williston commencement a couple of years ago when Mr. Hall came back to campus to give the commencement address.

Capping off a very entertaining talk, Mr. Hall got out his guitar and left the students with some memorable musical advice. He brought down the house.


Filming Focus Groups

I recently filmed a series of focus groups for the company Brooks Adams, out of Richmond, VA. The focus groups met at the Lathrop Community in Easthampton, MA. I learned a lot about independent and assisted living options for folks 55 and older. I found the Lathrop Community to be very unique due to their commitment to lifelong learning for residents and their association with the Quaker-run Kendal Corporation.

Aerial View of Lathrop Campus in Easthampton, from Lathrop website.

From their website: “Brooks Adams from GlynnDevins offers senior living communities customized research, sales and consulting services to help you make smarter business decisions.” My wife worked in the training field for many years, and so I’ve picked up on what makes for a great facilitator. The staff from Brooks Adams were terrific and ran a very efficient focus group.

Childs Park Wedding Video

I had the opportunity recently to film a wedding in Childs Park, Northampton, MA. This was the first time I had filmed in Childs Park, and the setting was beautiful. The ceremony took place near the garden house and the formal garden, where everything was in bloom. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, and much Motown was played at the reception. I can’t post the highlight video due to music copyright restrictions, but here are some stills.