The Air We Breathe

While I was wrapping up my film on Brigham Street last spring, I was asked by PBS Station KUED to create a documentary on air quality in Utah.

In recent years Salt Lake City has been in the national spotlight for having, at times, the worst air quality in the United States.

Most of the year Salt Lake City, and its surrounding communities, experience good air. However, the winter season brings a tempurature inversion that traps colder air and pollution in the valley. The result is PM2.5 levels that can exceed EPA standards.

The Air We Breathe looks at the causes of these high levels of pollution, the inversion, and the impacts they have on Utah's citizens, businessess and government. The film is narrated by Mark Eubank, a long time television meteorologist in the Salt Lake area.

Film

Weber State University "Dream 125"

The last few months I've had the opportunity to create a handful of short documentaries to celebrate Weber State University's 125th anniversary. The films share stories of Weber State students and faculty and are part of the University's "Dream 125" capital campaign.

Here are two of the videos and a short montage of old photographs that was created for the 125th anniversary kick-off event.

Film, Work

Kennedy's Hugs

For several months I have had the wonderful opportunity to create a short documentary for the family of Kennedy Hansen. Kennedy was a healthy and vibrant little girl, but that changed about five years ago when issues with her eyesight and learning abilities slowly transitioned into full blindness, debilitating cognitive abilities and other physical ailments. One June 5th, 2013 she was diagnosed with Juvenile Batten Disease.

Brett and Lisa Bradshaw, who have been long time friends of the Hansens, asked me to create a film about Kennedy's life. It was a touching opportunity to get to know Kennedy through stories told by her parents, relatives and many friends. Despite her condition, Kennedy's example of love, determination and kindness is touching many.

Film, Work

Tenth Anniversary of the Bishop's Dinner

Tonight was the tenth anniversary of the Bishop's Dinner, an annual event held to benefit the Cathedral of the Madeleine. I've had the wonderful opportunity to produce films each year the event has been held. This year's video shared the story of Laurence Scanlan, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake's first bishop, who oversaw the construction of the Cathedral of the Madeleine and made efforts to set events in place that would ensure it's vitality in the future. The film also has highlights from speeches given by past dinner guests and memorable moments from past year's films.

The idea for the Bishop's Dinner was conceived from a photograph found in the Cathedral Archives of an event Bishop Scanlan held for a visiting Cardinal in 1912. Seated around the table were local dignitaries and members of the Cathedral parish.

Film, Work

Photo Credit: Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake Archives

Prophets of the Restoration

This week concluded a two and a half year documentary project I have worked on for the Church History Museum at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Our team created 160 documentary shorts that share the stories of the men who have served as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Beginning with Joseph Smith, sixteen men have led the church from it's beginnings in April of 1830 to it's growing worldwide presence today.

The films share message from each of the prophet's ministries, but also stories of their childhood years and personal careers.

I have included some of my favorite's from Heber. J. Grant (1918-1945), David O. McKay (1951-1970) and Ezra Taft Benson (1985-1994).

All of the films can be seen online on the Church's History Website:
history.lds.org/section/prophets.

Film, Work

Archive Research

This week I did archive research for a film for the Cathedral of the Madeleine's annual Bishop's Dinner. The subject of my research was the writings of Bishop Laurence Scanlan, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake.

At the Diocese Archives I was quickly able to locate several turn of the century newspaper articles quoting Bishop Scanlan. These could have provided the needs for the film, but didn't have the emotional connection I had hoped to portray between Scanlan and the Cathedral he spent nearly 10 years constructing.

Further study revealed a series of letters Scanlan wrote to a group in France. In them he petitioned monetary donations for his growing Diocese. His words were sincere and touching and showed his love for the people of his Diocese.

I've found that my most successful research has come when I find something that I wasn't looking for. Often it's easy to have quick in and out approach to find what it was you came searching for (such as the newspaper articles quoting Bishop Scanlan). However when we get away from the checklist mentality and spend time getting to know our subject, we add depth, understanding and emotion to our story.

Film, Work

Photo Credit: Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake Archives

Brigham Street
Salt Lake City's Grand Boulevard

This past year I've had the great experience to produce a film for PBS Station KUED7 that documents the history of a street.

Brigham Street, or South Temple as it is known today, is a street unlike any in the American West. It's been called "Salt Lake City's Grand Boulevard" and has been the home of governors, senators, mining magnates and religious leaders. From 1880 to the 1930's the vast majority of Utah's wealth resided here in the most opulant neighborhood the region had ever seen.

The documentary will air on PBS Station KUED 7 on May 14th at 7 PM and May 16th at 8 PM. The film will also be viewable that week online at kued.org.

Film, Work

Photo Credit: Utah State Historical Society

Postcards of Brigham Street

One of my favorite parts of creating a historical documentary is to imagine what it would have been like to live in a past era. This week I received these postcards with fabulous views of "Brigham Street", the topic of my current documentary. One in particular even had a letter written on the back dated 1914.

I've learned that someone willing to take the time to explore old photograhs and postcards like these can discover a window to the past. When I examine old pictures I love to think what did it sound like at the time this photo was taken? Where are those people walking to? What was the weather like that day? Who lived in that home or who worked in that building? What time is it? Old photographs can be a time machine to the past if you are willing to take a step inside and explore their story.

Film, Work

Brigham Street: Devereaux House

This year I'm producing a film for PBS Station KUED7 on Brigham Street, a historic district in Downtown Salt Lake City. In the early 1900's the street was home to dozens of mansions built by Salt Lake City's wealthy elite. The Devereaux House is considered by many to be Utah's first mansion, but fell into disrepair in the mid 1900's when it came under the ownership of a used mining equipment dealer. Salt Lake City later bought the property for a restoration project, but an accidental fire burned the roof and some of the interior. This week we interviewed Craig Paulsen, the contractor who did the major restoration to the home in the 1980s. Here is a short clip with some of his comments about the condition of the building prior to the restoration.

Film, Work

We Are Brothers

This summer I was able to be part of a crew that filmed several vingnettes for youth.lds.org, a website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that shares Christian values, music and videos with teenage youth around the world. This year the website's theme was "Stand Ye in Holy Places." This video documents the experience of a group of young men in Alburquerque, New Mexico as they take their Christian faith and put it to action to serve their friends.

Work

Lehi Community College

This fall I was asked by a friend to produce a video to assist in raising funds for a community college in Lehi, Utah. The school is unique in that it will provide post high school education to adults with disabilities. The school specifically targets students enrolled in public school special education classes. Government assistance for these programs ends when students reach age twenty-two and many are in need of continued education, employment and social engagement.

Work

Ministries of the Madeleine

Every year I have the great opportunity to produce a film for the Cathedral of the Madeleine that raises money for its preservation fund. This year the subject of the film was the Cathedral's Ministries. They include many community outreach efforts by the Cathedral and its parishioners that provide arts and humanities events, religious ministries, education and humanitarian aid.

Work

Sarn Energy

I just wrapped up a video for Sarn Energy, a company that distributes green energy technology to countries in Eastern Europe. This presentation was for an event in Prague, where SARN unveiled a new Wireless Power Transfer Techonlogy. The system is intended for use in public transportation and allows electric buses to operate on and be charged by wireless energy sources located at current bus stops. Buses are currently being installed at several US Universities.

Work

We Are Progress

I recently returned from Lisbon, Portugal where I was a DP on a video for Abbott. We interviewed a number of Abbott's European region managers who work with Diabetes care programs. Each person was asked to define what progress meant for them personally and for their employer. Some of my favorite responses were:

Progress is always moving forward.
Progress is courage to do new things.
Progress is life.
Progress is becoming the person God wants me to become.

Work, Travel

Salt Lake City: A Downtown Story

This past year I've been producing a documentary for PBS Station KUED Salt Lake City. The film tells the history of two city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City that have recently undergone a massive renovation. However, this is third time in the city's history that these same two blocks have been torn down and built again. The documentary shares stories of old theater houses, department stores, mansions and the arrival of the personal automobile that changed everything.

It will air on KUED7 on March 21st at 7 PM and March 22nd at 8 PM.

Film, Work

Seek Out and Help Others

I recently returned from a trip to San Francisco and Lima, Peru. We were shooting a series of documentary sketches on women who are members of Relief Society, one of the worlds largest women's organizations. Each segment was connected to a principle taught in the Relief Society's new book "Daughters in my Kindgom." This segment features Rachel, from San Francisco. See more videos at: www.lds.org/relief-society/daughters-in-my-kingdom.

Film, Travel, Work

The Good Samaritan Program

I was recently able to spend an inspiring day filming the volunteers and patrons of the Good Samaritan Program. The program provides assistance to the poor and needy of the Salt Lake City community 365 days a year. Volunteers serve thousands of sack lunches each month. Donations can be made online at the Cathedral of the Madeleine's website: www.utcotm.org.

Work

Miami Marathon

This last weekend Becca and I went to Miami, Florida for Becca's first marathon. It was a wonderful experience. Becca was sponsored by a website called Fitstudio.com. Here is a short video showing some of the highlights from the race. You can see more of Becca's story at: www.captivatemotivate.com.

Film, Travel

Endurance

My wife Becca was sponsored last year by Fitstudio.com to compete in her first marathon on January 29th in Miami, Florida. As part of her training, each week she attends a hand cycle spinner class. Here is a short video about the inspiration the class has given her. You can follow her training at: www.captivatemotivate.com.

Film

Becca's First Marathon

My wife Becca was sponsored last year by Fitstudio.com to compete in her first marathon on January 29th in Miami, Florida. In the last month leading up to the race we've been creating these video blogs to document her training. More are viewable on her website: www.captivatemotivate.com.

Film

Arise and Shine Forth

This Fall I was able to travel to Arizona and the Dominican Republic as a DP on a shoot for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were filming stories of teenage youth as part of an annual video series for youth.lds.org. Here are a few freeze frames from the videos and a story on an amazing young man named Hector from Mesa, Arizona.

Watch more of the videos online at: youth.lds.org.

Film, Travel

Crossing the Sweetwater and Londonderry Air

Here are two more recordings from my mothers album Chanson. These were filmed this Fall at the Conference Center Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Crossing the Sweetwater was composed by Sam Cardon for Lee Groberg's documentary film Sweetwater Rescue. The film shares the story of Willie and Martin Handcart Companies who after a late start hit harsh winter weather and soon disaster. More than two hundred lost their lives before a courageous team from Salt Lake City traveled hundreds of miles through freezing weather to save nearly a thousand emigrants. Learn more at: www.sweetwaterrescue.com.

Film

Chanson
Performed by Jeannine Goeckeritz and Tamara Oswald

My Mother in an incredible flute player. She performs with the Orchestra at Temple Square and on Music and the Spoken Word Broadcasts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Recently she asked me to film her and harpist Tamara Oswald performing excerpts from their album Chanson. This performance was at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. See more at: www.harpandflute.com.

Film

Conversations on Ethics: Robert Garff

Recently I have been working with the Richard Richards Institute at Weber State University to produce a documentary and several short videos that focus on ethics in politics and business. This video in a conversation we had with Robert Garff, President of Ken Garff Automotive Group. Garff talks about his father's ethics in creating and running the company.

Film

Kenya Safari

My short film "Kenya Safari" was accepted into the 2011 African World Film Festival. The film is a series of three short vignettes that I filmed in Kenya. The first segment takes the viewer on a seemingly perilous journey by way of a jam packed Kenyan highway. The second segment is a game of soccer played by Kenyan school children. The children's ingenuity to turn a bundle of rags into a soccer ball offers inspiration amidst difficult circumstances. The film concludes with a touching montage of Kenyan women and children receiving humanitarian aid.

Travel, Vignettes, Film

Street Vets Trailer

My new film Street Vets will air January 31st on PBS Station KUED. The film shares the inspirational stories of several veterans at the Homeless Veterans Fellowship, a transitional housing facility aimed at assisting veterans from homelessness to self sufficiency. For one year I documented their progress through the Homeless Veterans Fellowship program and learned of the their issues, challenges, and hopes for the future. Street Vets is also viewable on my website.

Film

What I Believe

My wife Becca is an accomplished motivational speaker and wonderful example. At fifteen months old she was paralyzed in an auto-pedestrian accident. However, she hasn't let her wheelchair define who she is or limit her in any way. We recently completed this film for her website: www.captivatemotivate.com

Film

Norway Horses

I was able to travel with a friend and his family to Norway to document several breeds of Norwegian Horses. At the end of our trip we attended a competition event for a girls riding school near Bergen. We learned that horse riding and training provides the girls with confidence and the ability to make their own choices.

Travel, Vignettes

Angels of the Madeleine

This Fall I was able to produce a documentary fund raising film for the Cathedral of the Madeleine's annual Bishop's Dinner. The films shares the story of the winter of 1917. At the time the Great War raged in Europe. However, on the homefront, a the hopeful event in Salt Lake City would bring peace to the hearts of the parishioners of the Salt Lake Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Film

A Day on Lake Mead

Becca's family went to Las Vegas this week and we spent a day water skiing on Lake Mead. Becca even got on the water and did a little knee boarding.

Vignettes

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