In the summer of 2016, I got the opportunity to tell a very powerful story. A local refuge for human trafficking victims called “A Safe Place” was having a large fundraising event and asked me to craft a video to encourage donations. Through my research I learned that trafficking of women and men isn’t just something that happens in larger cities. In fact, 25% of all trafficking victims who enter the U.S. end up here in the southeast. For our production, I was given unprecedented access to a safe house and spoke with a young lady (renamed “Natalie”) whose life trajectory had been altered due to the efforts of this organization. I bonded with Natalie over our love of soul food and her fictitious name came from her fondness of singer Natalie Cole. My approach was to tell Natalie’s story using her own unscripted words and pepper it with statistics to both inform and inspire those in attendance to open their wallets for this nonprofit. The video caused a haunting hush to come over the event’s room and now lives on the front page of their website.
Clement Asante came from Ghana to build on the American dream, and to serve. In the latest installment of a video series for N2 Publishing, we see “Clem” describing his job with deep gratitude. It’s obvious he takes his work—and the trust N2 has in him—seriously. Clem’s responsibilities include quality control. He is the last person to touch the magazines before they are seen by readers. As you watch, I think you’ll be inspired by his humble and gentle spirit.
Any time you can blend your passions, or relive some childhood memories in your work, it’s a win. As a kid I spent hours playing with my dad’s Lionel train collection. So when I heard about an assignment to shoot a video at a huge Chicago train yard for the rapidly growing agency dboy, I got excited. Really excited. Pair that with working alongside a very talented local director, and you’ve got my undivided attention. The Union Pacific facility was a very cold and blustery place to film in December, but we donned our best winter gear and went for it. The breakdown went something like this: 5 layers of clothing, 4 days on location, 3 cameras, 2 cities (in 2 states) and 1 very happy client. Thanks to those who made sure that safety was always at the forefront of our minds. And here’s to the kid in us all. Directed and edited by Evan Vetter.
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After moving to Wilmington 9 years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing entrepreneurs. It’s really cool to watch their ventures grow. One of the Port City’s most successful companies is N2 Publishing. There is a lot of buzz about these guys. Inc. magazine reports N2’s growth at 474% over 3 years. That’s pretty incredible. Their CEO wanted to share the hearts of some very smart people who have joined their ranks. We decided to keep the videos simple and shoot them in B&W to let the story shine. This is one of the most-watched series of videos that we’ve ever created. Does your brand have a story to tell? Let’s tell it.
Another new series for Port City Community Church caught my attention. “We’re gonna be shooting a pretty nice car. Wanna help out?” asked the media director. My resounding YES was almost as fast as the car they secured for this shoot—an Aston Martin “Vantage.” The church brands most every Sunday message. Redline is about channeling your ambition in the right direction. The car theme was a good fit and the red line of the tachometer made a nice visual analogy. So my task was two-fold: assist with the video production and capture stills. Photographing a moving car (or a still one) is no walk in the park. My goal was to get as much motion as possible in camera. And 95% of it is. Working tirelessly with church staff and volunteers, we were able to get the whole car portion of the video in one afternoon. Here are some of my favorite stills from the shoot along with a link to the approved video for PC3.
Redline – video for Port City Community Church directed and edited by Joey Connolley
Leaders are born every day. But do they enter the world a leader, or are they shaped into becoming one? When I found out that the mission statement for a local private school was about forming young leaders, I decided to make it the theme of their branding video. The fine folks over at New Horizons Elementary were very cooperative and listened to my suggestion not to “set-up” shots. Instead they let me blend into their environment and capture the kids doing what they do best — being kids. With no crew, no lights and minimal gear it was easy to keep the intimidation factor down. The results were authentic and pure. Paired with a simple yet powerful script, the piece was very well received and will be used to attract future leaders to this growing school. Special thanks to Donna and Wendy for trusting me with your vision.
The other day I was asked to be a part of a camera test for an upcoming film to be shot locally on the beach. The beach presents an interesting set of challenges to a filmmaker, but I digress. Long story short, the test got cancelled due to weather. Well, I already had my gear in the car, so I used this “found time” to do a little camera test of my own. The short piece below was released later that same day. And be sure to check out the album – Love & War & The Sea In Between by the very talented Josh Garrels. Got any negatives you can turn into a positive?
Since I released my first reel in 2010, I’ve had the opportunity to tell many new stories through the medium of moving pictures. So I updated the reel to share some of my latest experiences, including never-before-seen footage from the feature film “Adrenaline” to be released later this year. More on that soon! Many thanks to my friend Evan Vetter for his editing excellence. Enjoy!
I love working in my yard, so when I got a referral from a friend and found out the client was a nursery wholesaler, I was thrilled. David Johnson, owner of Johnson Nursery, had a bit of a twist with his goal for their video. After being in business for 30 years, they didn’t need new clients, they simply wanted to share with their current customers the effort and dedication that go into delivering farm-fresh plants to garden centers along the eastern seaboard. In fact, their process involves a highly coordinated workforce that picks, labels, loads and ships plants all in the same business day. Depending on the destination, plants literally go from nursery to retailer in a matter of hours. Quite impressive. So our goal was simple: Show this extreme operation along with the employee’s dedication through a day-in-the-life film. While it made for a long day of shooting, we created a fresh branding piece that leaves customers with new-found impressions.