H-Town Stories II on MediaStorm

From the MediaStorm blog:

In this new installment of H-Town Stories commissioned by Neighborhood Centers Inc., MediaStorm takes an intimate look at two lives that have been transformed by the power of work. Neighborhood Centers provides services to 400,000 Texans every year and MediaStorm hoped to create intimate portraits of just a few of these men and women who benefit from such assistance.

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Fred, a pilot and Vietnam veteran, spent decades taking care of his ailing wife. As a cargo pilot, he split his time between the stress of flying and the stress of watching his partner slowly die. With his savings finally gone and the passing of his wife, he decided at 60 to start his professional life again.

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Teresa was born in Mexico. She and her ex-husband traveled to Houston as undocumented workers. Despite the stress of her new life, and even an attack on her life, Theresa has managed to not only survive, she has thrived, starting a new business to support her two daughters and one on the way.

Watch here.

The Far End of the Road on MediaStorm

Blog-The-Far-End-Of-The-Road-Poster-v4 From the project description:

Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) takes the medical breakthroughs of the developed world and brings them to The Far End of the Road where 1 out of 6 adults is HIV-positive and healthcare can be many hours away.

GAIA is successful, in part, because its dedicated staff brings care to those who might otherwise go without. Training and deploying mobile clinics, village health workers, and nursing scholars, GAIA builds stronger, healthier communities that are leading the way towards an AIDS-free future.

In The Far End of the Road, MediaStorm follows the story of two women working to create better health for Malawi.

Recent Posts on the MediaStorm Blog

The Dude on Photography

It's been my honor to produce this project on a such an awesome subject. And I count it as one of the greatest moments of my life that Bridges said we did a "cool job."

Details: The Project was made in collaboration with the International Center of Photography with support from the Harbers Family Foundation.

From the project description:

Jeff Bridges is an Academy Award-winning actor. He is also an accomplished photographer. He’s been taking pictures on the set of his movies for more than 30 years, capturing intimate and surprising behind-the-scenes moments.

To watch videos for the other seven honorees please see the MediaStorm blog.

Congrats to all the winners.

I Know Where I'm Going for the International Committee of the Red Cross

This one is special.

I Know Where I’m Going follows Mr. Saleh, who was born and raised in southern Yemen, as he networks and visits with the Yemeni government and the leaders of the armed groups that control large swath of territory. It captures Mr. Saleh and the ICRC Aden team as they prepare for the first visit ever to detainees held by a Jihadist group, a significant operational milestone for the organization in the country and globally.

Mr. Saleh’s efforts were critical to the protection and assistance operations of ICRC Aden. Working closely with his colleagues, he made significant contributions to the development of a neutral and impartial humanitarian operation in this volatile and dangerous region.

Mr. Saleh was born in 1977. He died on June 20, 2012 in his native Abyan Province. He is survived by four young children and a wife who is pregnant.

Watch the project on the MediaStorm web site.

Darkness Visible Nominated for Emmy

Seamus Murphy’s A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan was nominated for an Emmy in the New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming category.

This is a special honor as Leandro Badalotti and I spent nearly a year producing the project. Congrats to Seamus, Brian and the rest of the MediaStorm team.

MediaStorm was also nominated for a second Emmy for Crisis Guide: Iran, produced in collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations.

A Thousand More Receives Casey Medal Honorable Mention

From the MediaStorm blog:

MediaStorm’s A Thousand More received an honorable mention in the 2012 competition for the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism about the lives of children, youth and families in the U.S.

The judges honored the film saying, “Produced from start to finish over a single week, this piece is a magnificent, nuanced and soulful story about a family’s devotion to their child who is living with a fatal genetic disease. An inspiring and memorable account that gives the viewer the time and space to breathe and think and smile and cry.”

Watch A Thousand More.

MediaStorm Workshop: Remember These Days

I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest project from the MediaStorm Advanced Multimedia Workshop.

Rick Gershon and I were fortunate to work with the great team of Galen Clarke, Frederic Menou, and Marian Liu.

The piece was of course made better by Andrew Hida and B. Storm.

From the description:

For Walter Backerman, seltzer is more than a drink. It’s the embodiment of his family. As a third generation seltzer man, he follows the same route as his grandfather. But after 90 years of business, Walter may be the last seltzer man.

Watch Remember These Days here.

A Darkness Visible Wins 2012 Media for Liberty Award

From the MediaStorm blog:

A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan, by Seamus Murphy, was selected by the Media for Liberty Award jury panel as the winning submission for the third annual Media for Liberty Award, a $50,000 journalism prize that recognizes media contributions that examine the link between economic and political liberty. Print, broadcast and online submissions were judged on criteria including thematic relevance, educational value and relevance to the public discourse.

“This was a powerful story that unfolds over fourteen years and illustrates the physical, emotional and economic toll the years of political instability took on an average Afghan family,” said John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media. “On behalf of the jury panel, we congratulate Seamus Murphy and MediaStorm for producing an educative and compelling piece that stood out among this year’s entries.”

Watch A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan here.

Undesired Wins Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award

Undesired by Walter Astrada, a project I produced at MediaStorm for the Alexia Foundation was honored with a 2012 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and I couldn't be more proud.

From the MediaStorm blog:

The duPont Awards, administered since 1968 by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, are considered to be the most prestigious broadcast journalism awards and the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also administered at the Journalism School. Selected by the duPont Jury for excellence in broadcast journalism, the award-winning news programs aired in the United States between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. The honorees will be presented with silver duPont batons at a ceremony held at Columbia University in January 2012.

Congratulations to my MediaStorm colleagues and all the winners.

Watch Undesired here.

MediaStorm Workshop: Broken Lines

I’m excited to share my latest production from the MediaStorm Advanced Multimedia Workshop.

The talented team consisted of Martine Fougeron, Richard Kendall,
Frank de Ruiter and Simon Schorno.

From the description:

Joe Soll never met his birth parents. Raised by upper-middle class New Yorkers, he spent half of his life tormented by the death of his mother.

But then one day, that story suddenly began to unravel.

“I felt crazed,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do with it.”

What followed was a three decade search for the truth and a mystery that would haunt him for years.

Through almost unbearable personal pain, Joe has devoted his life to a single question, where did I come from?

The quest for that answer has redefined him, setting Joe on a mission to help others.

Broken Lines was co-produced with Jennifer Readfearn plus two awesome interns: Leandro Badalotti, who helped with post, and Tucker Walsh, who created some lucious visuals.

The piece was made better by the insights and audio assists from teacher-extraordinaire Bruce Strong.

See Broken Lines here.

Also, make sure to check out the other, excellent workshop story Voice co-produced by Tim McLaughlin and Rick Gershon.

Edit: I committed a huge oversight. I forgot to acknowledge Brian whose vision touches everything we do at MediaStorm.

A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan by Seamus Murphy

This one was a beast. Some numbers:

  • 30-plus hours of interviews
  • 26,000 images
  • 9 months of production

  • It was the most complex project I've ever undertaken. But now it's done, and I am so very proud.

    From the description:

    Outsiders often see Afghanistan as a problem in need of a solution: a conflict region that needs more troops or another election. But in seeing Afghanistan as a problem, the people of the country, and their desire for self-determination, are often overlooked.

    From the Soviet invasion and the mujahideen resistance to the Taliban and the American occupation, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan examines thirty years of Afghan history. It is the story of ordinary citizens whose lives play out in the shadow of superpowers. There are tales of violence to be sure, but there is also love and even romance.

    Based on 14 trips to Afghanistan between 1994 and 2010, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan is the work of renowned photojournalist Seamus Murphy. His work chronicles a people caught time and again in political turmoil, struggling to find their way.

    This was, at every turn, a collaborative project and special acknowledgement begins with Seamus Murphy and his luminous photography. At MediaStorm, the continued support of Brian Storm and the design skill of Tim Klimowicz; as well as a great epilogue co-produced by Tucker Walsh and a tremendous sound mix by Bruce Strong, without which subtitles would have been a necessity.

    Fianlly, a special thank you goes to my partner in crime, Leandro Badalotti, who gave me guidance when I was lost and humor when I was in need. He made this project better in more ways than he knows.

    Please watch A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan here.