Here it is, finally, after weeks of access issues, crash course video and video-editing tutorials, numerous critiques, and some last minute help from some very talented film school friends of mine:

 

Profile piece on Joe Bradley, crane foreman for the World Trade Center construction site.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “World Trade Center- October 14th, 200…“, posted with vodpod

Last week, I was finally granted access to the World Trade Center site. Joe Woolhead, the resident photographer for Silverstein Properties (and has a blog with weekly posts from Ground Zero), took me around for an hour or so. 

Too be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Would the atmosphere still be solem and funeral-esque? Would the construction workers be working twice as fast, or with a sense of urgency? I was very curious to see if the obvious emotional and political conotations that would maybe be expected from a GZ worker actually held up when you’re there.

Even though I was only able to be on site for an hour, it felt like any other construction site would. Guys joking around, smiling, cracking jokes, and yes, getting work done. I bet that as I spend more time on site, the fact that it is Ground Zero will probably fade as a filter in which to view the site.

I ended up interviewing Joe Bradley, who is the Foreman for the Crane Operators. Joe was very candid and unabashed during the interview, and it was a perfect profile for how, even seven years later, working on the World Trade Center site is still a very different experience from other construction sites. His interview, most importantly, is really going to help tell the story of what’s going on with the most famous construction site in New York at the moment.

The video is in a second-cut stage. It will be up over the weekend most likely, and will continue to grow and expand as I collect more footage from the site.

Just the fact that I have access, even though limited, to Ground Zero is incredible. I simply cannot believe how lucky I am, but at the same time it reminds me how persistence pays off almost every time.

So much more material come, I can’t wait!

Off to fly…

October 3, 2008

Shooting the sunrise at 6am (for the fourth straight day), followed by hanging with the family until 3pm…and now I am preparing to fly!

I have been given the opportunity to go up in a Sesno 170 airplane in about an hour to make a flyby of the town we are covering at the workshop. I just rented out a ridiculous amount of gear, and am very excited to go. There literally isn’t a cloud in the sky today, so the sunset should be incredible, especially the colors falling on the downtown. 

Less than 24 hours to shoot, so lots of holes to finish. I wanted to end the post with the link to the website of the workshop, which just went live. 

http://www.mountainworkshops.org/

I have several photos in the “Best of 2008” slideshow, so take a look and if you have any feedback please leave a comment!

See you soon,

Ben

Greetings from Kentucky

October 2, 2008

Hello All,

So this week, I am in Mayfield, Kentucky (pop 10,000) for the 2008 Mountain Workshops. It is a workshop put on every year by Western Kentucky University for photojournalism/multimedia/picture editing students. Each year, about 50-60 students and the same number of faculty and staff descend upon a small Western Kentucky town for a week to visually document the community. It’s an incredible event, with world-renowned faculty (ill tell you about mine in a second), and its a place where you grow as a storyteller. 

My coaches are Rick Loomis, a Pulitzer-Prize winning photojournalist from the LA Times, and Lynne Marron, Senior Writer at National Geographic. I’m on what we like to call the “power team.” How the workshop works is that on the first day (Tuesday), we are given an assignment to follow for the week. My assignment is to cover a homeschooled family on the outskirts of town. After some initial reservations (you’re from NYC? Why are you in my small town in Kentucky?), the family opened up and gave me the privilage of being able to document their life.

Sorry for the rapid nature of the post, but this is the only break I will have today (we go from about 5:30am-2 or 3am) and I wanted to show some of the work that I have produced this week:

 

 

Two stories up in slender trees that flank their Mayfield home, 13-year-old Jayson Woods and his 11-year-old sister, Katie, stand guard in the threehouse that Jayson built all on his own.

Two stories up in slender trees that flank their Mayfield home, 13-year-old Jayson Woods and his 11-year-old sister, Katie, stand guard in the threehouse that Jayson built all on his own.

<— from the first two days

I was lucky enough have one of the professional multimedia teams come with me today to help me capture some interview, B-Roll, and audio of the family, so while I won’t have a Final Cut of my Guerilla News project up this week, by next class I should have an amazing final piece on the family I have been covering.

I got some great, out of the blue news from a construction company yesterday; it looks like the Silverstein Construction company (they are rebuilding the WTC, among others) has agreed to let me on one of their sites! Very exciting, and I cannot wait to bring back some of the multimedia skills I have learned this week to class.

Off to shoot some video and more stills! Hope all is well,

Ben