Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The city's sauce

I produced this video on D.C.’s semi-famous Mumbo Sauce, also known as Mambo Sauce to some. Most of the home-grown folks I talked to have known about the sauce for years and grew up getting it from their favorite Asian carryout restaurant. But the transplants who have only moved to D.C. in recent years have never even heard of the stuff. Arsha Jones, who recently launched a business making a bottled version of Mumbo, makes the point that if she were moving in from a different place, she probably wouldn’t go to the seedy carryout joints either. And those are the places where the sauce is found. And the sauce is always different depending on where you go because most of the carryout restaurants make it themselves from a secret recipe. It’s a story about a funky sub-culture that thrives in this city but remains a secret to so many.

Monday, June 20, 2011

House for homeless GLBT youth

The Wanda Alston House in northeast Washington is a transitional housing space for homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) youth. Eight to nine people between the ages of 16 and 24 live in the house at any given time and there is wait list of 10 to 25 more all the time.  I produced this video story about the house, focusing on a transgender woman named Sarah Feliciano. Sarah moved to the house in March after staying at Ronald Reagan National Airport instead of sleeping on the streets or in a shelter. She was initially shunned from her mother’s home after revealing her desire to live as a woman, as Sarah, instead of as a man, named Guy. This story tries to take a look at the struggles these GLBT youth face, especially those who are transgender, and the solutions that this house helps provide for them.

Closure never comes for 9/11 survivor

Though Kathy Dillaber survived attacks on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, her sister did not. Dillaber recalls seeing her sister at work that morning where they discussed the attacks on the Twin Towers they had just learned about on the news. Almost ten years after that day, Dillaber considers what the death of Osama bin Laden means for her while visiting her sister's memorial bench at the Pentagon Memorial. See the video here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Race and the recession: How Americans are getting by

African Americans in Prince George's County, Md., grapple with how to get by as they face increasing unemployment and foreclosure. See the video here. 

Keeping hair during chemotherapy

Breast cancer patient Katherine Klein brings a team of people to her oncologist's office, including her husband, to assist her in the cumbersome process of putting cold caps on her head during chemotherapy treatment. The caps are worn in an effort to prevent Klein's hair from falling out. See the video here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The worry about losing welfare

My latest video is about an unemployed D.C. woman with five children who has been on and off welfare for seven years. The D.C. Council took up a proposal today to decide whether to put a five year limit on the cash payments welfare recipients can receive. For now, they decided to modify the proposal to only punish people who don't participate in job training and placement services. See the video here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Pot buzz

With DC's newly passed medical marijuana law and California's recent attempt to legalize medical marijuana, I decided to make a couple of videos on the issues. The first video, "The California dream, smoked in D.C.?" is about medical marijuana.

And the second, "Pot politics" is as about Proposition 19

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Cost of War: Traumatic Brain Injury

For the past couple of months I have been working on a big multimedia project on traumatic brain injury and how it can change soldiers' personalities and impact their lives forever. I made six videos and we also had stellar photographs by Marvin Joseph, amazing motion graphics by Alberto Cuadra and Kat Downs put it all together into a really stellar interactive. Christian Davenport wrote the story, which an extremely well-written and moving piece. See the project here. 

Top Secret America

I worked with a huge team of other journalists on our two-year investigation of the government's huge and national security and intelligence system. Specifically, I was one of the folks who worked on the intro video and I also made the video on a security-clearance job fair. See here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Trouble with horse breeding industry in Maryland

In advance of the Preakness last Saturday, I worked on a story about the declining horse breeding industry in Maryland. Breeders like the one I focused on, Bill Boniface of Bonita Farm, blame their troubles on the fact that surrounding states have slots at their racetracks while Maryland still does not. The video is here and you can also check out Ian Shapira's story here

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finding solace in the Virginia countryside

I visited Holy Cross Abbey for a day to shoot a video, called Choosing the Holy Path, about what life is like there for the monks. This small group of men spends their day praying and working on their fruitcake operation, which is the source of their livelihood in addition to the guesthouse donations they receive. At the guesthouse, individuals can visit for a few days of near-silence, experiencing the services the monks hold in the chapel and enjoying the beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vacations can make for the best projects

In January 2009, friend and colleague Kat Downs and I traveled to India to visit a college friend and to pack as much adventure into eleven days as we could manage. We visited over seven cities including Mumbai and Delhi and took in vibrant sights and sounds along the way. I shot with the Canon 5Dmkii for the first time on this trip, gathering hours of scene footage and collecting ambient sound. When we returned to the US, I worked on editing the video together little by little when I had extra time, eventually putting together India in Motion with the help of Kat's fabulous design. In addition to what I gathered in the field, I put together lots of loops from Soundtrack Pro to create a soundtrack that I felt matched the mood of the visuals. The project is intended to immersive and interactive with short scene videos that demonstrate how colorful, intense and vibrant this country really is.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Moving through Metro

I was assigned to spend an entire day on the metro, documenting the ebb and flow of passengers' commutes. I did several interviews and originally edited the piece incorporating those interviews. But as I neared the end of the edit, I realized the piece was becoming extremely boring. The comments people made about Metro were not novel sound bytes or expert opinions. People basically said the expected: most are somewhat concerned about their safety but they ride metro anyway because it's their best means of transportation. So instead of sharing thoughts that we all have already heard, I decided to try a more artsy approach. I grabbed some audio clips from Soundtrack Pro and edited the piece to the music. I sped some clips up and slowed some down and tried to create a more emotional scene piece. Here it is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wasting Away: The Squandering of D.C.'s AIDS Dollars

Wasting Away: Failing the sick in an ailing city
While the sick languished in alleyways and on park benches in the city with the nation's highest AIDS rate, D.C. government allowed widespread waste and mismanagement to overwhelm the city's AIDS services. A three-part documentary explores some of these groups and the lives impacted by a lack of care.

A House for healing
When Leshelle Hicks came to Joseph's House, a D.C. hospice for people with HIV/AIDS and other terminal illnesses, her health was failing. Today, she believes the program saved her life.

Last Chance High School

At-risk teenagers who have struggled in traditional high school try to make it through tough academic
and physical rigiors of the strict military-style school
Freestate Challenge Academy at Aberdeen Proving Fround in Maryland.

Part 1:

Part 2: