Since February 2010 I’ve been involved in helping to produce “Amie About Town” with Amie Winters. We’ve got some forty stories to our team credit now. Our philosophy of with “Amie About Town” (AAT) is as follows:
That Sounds Like Fun.
That’s it. That simple. If it’s fun, we’re in.
Sometimes Amie is at the center of the fun, sometimes she’s just along for the ride like you are.
To round out the details, we do have what you might call “categorical parameters.” Fun can assume the shape of: food, dance, art and literature, recreational sport, music, dining out, film or theater, or “zoos/anything else/miscellaneous.”
This past week was a perfect example. While plotting out our story schedule for the summer and fall Amie and I decided we’d like to do a story on the Irvine Park Zoo. We had no physical plan or strategy of approach — other than show up with camera and batteries during operational hours. Both of us knew that the combination of kids, camera, animals, and Amie would offer intriguing possibilities. So we just piled out of the car and hit the little button that said “do a TV story, go.”
Sometimes feature shoots are like that –- an exercise in free flowing creative application. One of the first things that happened that day at the zoo was that we spotted a Guinea Fowl standing on a nearby railing, with several children gathered around. A Guinea Fowl is a bird from West Africa that looks like a knight’s helm with a spike sticking out the top. I noticed that the bird was amazingly tame, so I hurried over and began stalking it, camera rolling. When Amie came over I introduced her to the bird. Moments later, Amie blurts out “That duck over there is moving its mouth like it’s talking…” Summon forth the Lennon Sisters, a touch of audio manipulation, a rolling pony, an “angry” goat (but that’s okay!), and volleyball-playing pig, and the rest is WQOW history.
Even the promos (the little fifteen or thirty second “self-promotional” clips that run during commercial breaks are fun. Like the time we duct-taped the camera to the drivers’-side rear-view mirror and taped Amie “waving at herself” in downtown Eau Claire, or the time we taped her “popping up” about town.
“Amie About Town” is about community. AAT is about creativity. AAT is about fun.
Recently we just wrapped up shooting for the current ten-story “third” season.
Sounds like fun!
(You can see this season’s stories on our website, under the Amie About Town page. While there — be sure to check out “Norwegetarian” and “The Vinyl Countdown” — two other of my favorites from this year.)
Posted under Artist? Scientist? Philosopher? Camera Guy?
This post was written by sbetchkal on August 30, 2011