Viral Video: World’s Toughest Job
Special to Flip the Media by Tom Moskal
I’ll be honest, I had no idea what topic to pick for this assignment. I had just driven across the country and needless to say my rolodex of awesome documentary ideas was lacking. As I ventured around Seattle looking for ideas, I stumbled upon Dusty Strings over in Fremont, which, to a music enthusiast, was essentially heaven on earth. I was able to introduce myself to Gary Davidson, a manager at the retail store, and got a better feel for what Dusty Strings does and what they stand for. We both agreed that a short video piece would be great for the business—and thus I embarked on my journey to tell their story.
My favorite part of this project was getting to know the ins and outs of Dusty Strings through my interviews with Gary and Kate. They truly shed such a beautiful light on how important a creative output can be not only for an individual but a community as well. It was also wildly fun shooting b-roll of the instruments all over the store (there is so much detail in every single one), and am grateful for the staff that allowed my “fly on the wall” presence time after time.
More so, anyone can play ukulele—give it a try and see for yourself!
Tom Moskal is a member of Cohort 13 in the Communications Leadership program.
When I got the idea to make a short documentary on Tacoma City Ballet’s world premiere prequel to “The Nutcracker” I knew it would be easy to get poised people who look good on camera. After all, these are dancers! And yes, despite a big learning curve on using my new camera for dance footage I got some good visual moments. But I also got a few things I didn’t expect: a big burly stonecutter with tattoos and raspy voice who built incredibly delicate set pieces and loved dancing the role of the King, a young dancer who didn’t hesitate to admit how much of your life is consumed by this art form, and some cool footage when I put a GoPro camera onto a male dancer.
I also didn’t expect that my computer would eat half my footage one week before the final cut was due. So now I know a lot more about filming dance…and about backing up files.
Contributed by Rosemary Ponnekanti, Cohort 13
When I walked into the first day of Alex Stonehill and Sarah Stuteville’s Advanced Multimedia Storytelling class, I had no idea what my subject for the quarter would be. Then as the class went around the table, pitching possible stories for a short documentary, I remembered that I already knew a great subject – my friend Rachel Jackson, who quit her day job a few years ago to start a business making, performing and teaching puppets.
Most of the puppets Rachel uses wouldn’t look out of place on the Sesame Street set, but their behavior might be. She tends not to do family-friendly shows – the first time I saw one of her performances, it was in a musical where at least one of the songs featured a chorus of large plush genitalia. She describes her working genre as “creepy-cute,” with the inherent cuteness of the puppets playing off darker material.
Rachel and her stable of puppet personalities made a great subject for my first stab at a video project, and even if while filming I got a lot of first-hand knowledge about what not to do, hopefully this video gets across some of the love she has for what she does.