Docs in the Dome: Tales of the American South

Last semester, Nathan Klima and I produced two short docs in the span of four months on the American South. 

For our local story, we traveled to the nearby town of Siler City. The population of Siler City, North Carolina has increased by 20% since 2000. Along with the population growth, there’s been a demographic shift in which Hispanic residents now make up roughly 50% of the town. Fourteen years ago, Jose Juan started an independent soccer league, La Liga Sabatina de Siler City, which he organizes to this day. Soccer is now what unites this town in the American South.

For the second film, we traveled to East Atlanta, which has become one of the most significant regions for contemporary hip-hop music in the United States. We filmed rap duo Osei & Armani, from Bouldercrest Road, home to some of the most popular rappers to come out of Atlanta. In the short film, Osei & Armani reflect on the what it takes to be successful in the most popular music genre today.

Both films will be screened at Morehead Planetarium today at 6pm along with eight other films produced by our peers. At the end of the showing, we will host a Q&A where we will answer questions about the stories and production.

Hope to see you all there!

Also, go ‘Cuse!


Portrait Preparedness

In January, I started working for Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a production assistant, I’m responsible for filming and editing promotional videos and assisting the creative department with research and editing for planetarium shows. But perhaps the coolest perk is being able to photograph some of the awesome people who come to visit.

On Friday, Astronaut Charlie Duke came to talk about the various Apollo missions he participated in, including the one that took him to the moon. General Duke is one of only 12 people to have walked on the moon and was the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for Apollo 11, the first moon landing. It was incredible to hear him talk about some of his experiences in person.

Because he was on a tight schedule, I did not have a lot of time to make a portrait. I thought about what I wanted it to look like and arrived early to set up. I knew it had to be simple because of the time constraints so I took my reliable and efficient Yongnuo YN360 light and had Sam - a gentleman who was working the event - help me out and stand in so I could have an idea of what my exposure would be. 


Hurry up and wait.

About 10 minutes later, General Duke walked in and I quickly introduced myself, directed him to the spot where I wanted him to stand, and fired off six frames in 10 seconds.


Mission Accomplished.

Professor Greg Heisler at Syracuse University always stressed the importance of working with intention, having an idea, and then being prepared. Though this was a simple setup and thankfully everything went seamlessly, this shows the importance of all these tips - especially in larger, complicated shoots.