Of beer, bicycles, and business: latest Eye article.

Here’s a link to my latest article for The Middletown Eye:  Remington Rand Building

The piece grew out of coverage of the monthly Economic Development Committee meetings.  Regularly, the EDC would approve new tenants for the city-owned Remington Rand building.  I got curious, as I was unfamiliar with the building.  It’s hidden down by the town landfill, ‘underneath’ the Arrigoni Bridge.

I found a whole community of entrepreneurs, a history lesson, and more interesting details then I could put into one blog post (even with all the hyperlinks).

It was fun to write a positive piece about an area of Middletown that all too often is neglected.  Best of luck to all the businesses trying to make their own history in a historic building.

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Video: Fat Tuesday Turnaround

Eli Cannon’s Tap Room does everything just a little bit differently. That includes social media; the Eli’s Facebook page is a personal page. You don’t ‘like’ Eli’s, you actually ‘friend’ them. That allows you to tag photos, among other things, but it’s also part of their honest-as-a-friend vibe. “We love most of you”, as they’re wont to say.

Every year on Mardi Gras, Eli’s hosts an Anniversary Party. Bill Flood Productions was lucky enough to be there this year, capturing the comfortable chaos of the evening, and creating a video for upload to social media sites in less than 24-hours — letting people see themselves, or see what they missed, while the beads were still swinging. BFP can do the same for your business or event. Write or call and we’ll talk.

And I highly recommend the Anniversary 9teen Ale.  Light, hoppy, delicious.
“Laissez les bons temps rouler.”

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Video: The Metacomet Trail (Remember Autumn?)

Remember Autumn? After getting slammed with three feet of snow, it seems a distant memory. Really, it was just a few months ago.
I’ll probably go out snowshoeing later today. But a small part of me hankers for the days of hiking in shirtsleeves through a slightly less-stark landscape. So here’s an autumnal Tales From the Trails piece I showed to some potential clients recently. They seemed to like it; I hope you do too.  It features the historic Heublein Tower (and their “Tower Toot”), some lovely foliage, and a ghost story.  All in 3 minutes!

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Video: The Mattabesett Trail (A homecoming, with poodle)

A new “Tales From the Trails” video has been released, this one about the Mattabesett Trail in central Connecticut.

This one is close to my heart.  The summer after I moved back to Connecticut from Pennsylvania, I hiked the entire length of the Mattabesset with two of my closest friends. It’s one of my favorite memories.  

So the shoot for this video was fun, a bit like coming home after exploring many other trails around the state. The section of trail above the ‘twin reservoirs’ has always been a favorite day hike, and it looked spectacular adorned in fall foliage. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Woodside. Chris is a writer, and edits the CFPA’s “Connecticut Woodlands” magazine. That showed in a very thoughtful and quietly passionate interview.

Chris also brought along her poodle, Talley, who managed to trot into frame and share the view at exactly the right time. As Chris said “We couldn’t have rehearsed that!”

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Sneak Preview: The NET

This gallery contains 7 photos.

The next three installments of “Tales From the Trails” will be online soon. Here’s a preview: some screen grabs from the pieces, all looking at the 3 Connecticut Trails that are part of the New England Trail, a/k/a “The NET”.

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Video: The Natchaug Trail

Here’s one of my latest videos in a series called “Tales From the Trails” which I am shooting, writing, and editing.  The idea is to highlight some of the “Blue Trails” in Connecticut and promote them as destinations for people in and out of the state.  The project is funded by Connecticut’s Offices of Culture & Tourism as part of the “Still Revolutionary” campaign.

It’s been a fun, and challenging, project.  Challenging to schedule shoots around the weather, challenging to learn a new edit system (FCPX), and sometimes challenging hiking up those all those hills to get some pretty shots!

Seven of the videos are already online; the final three will be out shortly.  Stay tuned!

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Cool Shoot Location

I spent part of this weekend shooting another episode of “Tales From The Trails”, a project I’ve been working on since Spring.  More details about that in upcoming posts, but right now I’m just recalling that I have a pretty fun job that involves me shooting video along one of my favorite hiking trails, which looks like this:

Mattabesett Trail

Lucky me.

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Holga Photography Show

My friend Tony Palmieri does a lot of stuff.  Mostly he’s known as a floral designer, through his company Datura: A Modern Garden.   But he also photographs things with his Holga camera, famous for light leaks and irreproducible “mistakes”.  A collection of those fine photos were recently put on display at Klekolo World Coffee in Middletown.  Waiting to develop film to see what you’ve got seems worlds away from the instant photo retouch apps we’ve all gotten used to.

Watch the video to see some of the pics and hear Tony’s take on “shooting with instinct.”


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“Let Me Be” Music Video

Great fun working on the latest project, a performance video of The Side Doors.  We were very lucky to have a great space for the shoot, the Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery. The band performed for a small group of friends and relatives.  Shot on three different cameras, (but primarily Eric Van Tassell’s Canon DSLR), the piece was edited with the new Final Cut Pro X software.  FCPX ticked off a lot of professional editors when it was unveiled, but I found it incredibly easy to do two essential things:  1) Color balancing the 3 VERY different cameras was a breeze.  2) Syncing sound from a separate audio recorder (the Zoom H1) to the camera audio was virtually effortless — without even using an audio slate.

The second point was particularly important, as the band sounded great.  The technology and Eric’s “floating” wide-angle camera work conveyed the sound, energy and intimacy of the night.  (I ran the cut-away camera, a tape-based Canon HV20.)  But enough about the tech-end of things.  Click on the video above and groove to the original tune “Let Me Be” by vocalist/guitarist Colleen Seymour.   Look for more videos to come, and some studio tracks as well.  Rock on, brothers and sisters.

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“Video for Volunteers” Talk

I had a fun and interesting time talking to the Connecticut Forest   & Park Association’s “Winter Trails Workshop” this weekend.   They asked me to present to CFPA members and folks from various land trusts and other organizations about the videos I’ve produced about their work.  (The talk was entitled “Video for Volunteers”.)

I’ve spent most of my career pointing the camera and spotlight away from myself, so it’s always a little nerve-wracking when I have to be the center of attention, however briefly.  Luckily I had a “Keynote” presentation (the Apple version of Powerpoint) to fall back on.  My first time using that application; it was easy and fun to create a pretty slick presentation that included slides and videos.

The crowd of 30+ was appreciative and inquisitive.   The CFPA staff were, of course, very helpful and professional.  I overcame my jitters and we had a good discussion about low-cost video, how it can be done, and what volunteer organizations can get out of it.  If you’re interested in the topic, drop me a line.

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