A few years ago, I entered a contest sponsored by the US National Archives. The challenge was to take one of their historic photos and visit the location where the photo was taken (decades ago), and re-contextualize that image within the contemporary environment. In other words, basically just to take a new photo at the site of an old photo, while holding the old one up. The entries were judged by a panel at NARA, and winners chosen with help of the Archivist of the United States himself.
Two of my photos were chosen to be published in a book of postcards sold at the National Archives gift shop. Pretty neat! Here are a few of my entries taken here in Chicago.
Above: The site of Al Capone’s soup kitchen is now a parking lot.
I recently built a website for Kartemquin Films, the prominent Chicago documentary nonprofit organization. ’63 Boycott is a documentary in progress about the largest demonstration in Chicago history; the 1963 Chicago Public Schools boycott over segregated classrooms.
One of the neat features on this site is the ability for visitors who participated in the boycott some 50 years ago to actually tag marchers that they recognize, so the filmmakers can interview them for the documentary. Check it out!
Impressively, Rebecca’s goal of $25,000 has almost been met! The film is about progressive nuns being investigated by the Vatican. I’ve also been involved in some of the post production work and archival research for the project. Check it out!
The Robben Island Singers are a trio of South African anti-apartheid freedom fighters turned singers. I built this website for the project which showcases videos of their performances in American schools and also offers their music for sale.
This is a short, limited scope documentary about Michael Reese Hospital that I produced while a student at Columbia College Chicago in 2009. While news cameras were stationed outside during the closure of the historic hospital, I gained exclusive access to the inside exclusively of the hospital, gathering a more candid, personal version of a hospital’s closure. You can read more about it at the film’s website.
This is the packaging I did for the special 15 year anniversary edition of the award winning documentary The Return of Navajo Boy. I also did the DVD menus and website for that project, as well as edit most of the webisodes and bonus features included on the DVD.
This is a website I built for One Hope United, the foster care/child welfare nonprofit.
They have some unique challenges because the organization is geographically spread out across four states with different but similar programs in each state. So our team had to come up with a solution to make that clear– something their old site didn’t do so well. I think the solution we came up with works quite well. Like a lot of other sites I’ve built, this site was designed by the Beth Keller Stein.
The wells and springs folks down there often rely on are unfortunately contaminated due to Cold War-era uranium mining that was never real cleaned up properly, so this site helps to provide health risk data for various sites. I also shot part of the video you see below.
CleanupDePue.org is a website I built for the village of DePue, Illinois, one of the worst environmental superfund disaster sites in the United States. The town was left with hundreds of tons of toxic waste thanks to ExxonMobil and CBS/Viacom shutting down their factories. The site was a lot of work to build but fun too. A team of interns at Northwestern University helped enter the data by hand.
Some of my favorite features of the site besides the interactive contamination map are a virtual video tour of the town and an “ask residents” virtual interview (inspired by a similar mechanism I built on the Protect Our Defenders website).
Incidentally I also shot most of the video that appears on the site and edited it too.
Client: Village of DePue, Illinois/Northwestern University/Groundswell Educational Films, NFP
This is a website I built for a documentary called The Return of Navajo Boy. The site includes online ordering of the film on DVD, the first time I’d done any e-commerce stuff. You can also view clips about the film and read news articles. Although it came out in the year 2000, the film has had an amazingly long shelf life, a testament to the power of a strong outreach campaign.
Food Patriots is a website I built for Groundswell Educational Films, a Chicago-based documentary nonprofit organization. The site was designed by Six, a British design firm. Food Patriots is an upcoming documentary by Groundswell that I’ve also been involved in helping to shoot and do post production work on. More on this later. It will be released in 2013.
I shot and edited this little video for One Hope United staring Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah who supports their foster care programs. Joakim was a super laid back nice (and tall) guy. His mom couldn’t have been nicer too. Here’s a behind the scenes photo:
Protect Our Defenders, whose website I built, is a nonprofit organization that seeks to reform the way rape and sexual assault are handled within the US military. It’s shocking not only how widespread of a problem it is but also how poorly it’s handled under the current system where commanding officers are basically acting as the judge and jury. And all too often their promotions are based on whether or not any sexual assaults are recognized to have occurred under their watch, meaning it’s to their best interest to sweep abuse under the rug.
This is the Amdur Spitz & Associates website which I built. Amdur Spitz & Associates is a strategic communications and public relations firm here in Chicago that I’ve done a lot of work for. It was designed by Beth Keller Stein of Maze Inc.
Frances Judd is a really cool retired kindergarden master teacher. I’ve shot and edited some videos for Mrs Judd’s Games (subsidiary of the Chicago-based game company KBooM! Games). The impact of technology on education is pretty interesting.
The first time I can really remember using a computer in a classroom was in fifth grade– this would have been probably 1997, and I remember it being a treat to be able to use them. There was a row of five computers, probably Mac Performas, along the wall of the room and we used to get to play The Oregon Trail and program our own little stuff in an educational suite called Microworlds. Things have changed a lot.
The Forgotten History Blog is a little blog I started as a hobby project a few years ago with some curious anecdotes I never learned in school. Research is one of my passions so writing little items for it is pretty fun for me. Interestingly it’s had a few hundred thousand hits and was even linked to from the Scientific American website.
AssetGarage.com is a cute little website I built which helps creative types find free music, images and footage to use in their work. It has a search engine, although at the moment the browse feature is probably more useful because there’s only about 50 sources indexed. Users can also submit a website if they know of a resource that I don’t know of yet.
It was inspired by a conversation with Rebecca Parrish of Interchange Productions and I built it because people often ask me for where they can find stuff like free music to use in their web videos and I got tired of having to list a bunch of sites I use for this sort of thing.