Creating Change

The largest LGBT political activism conference in the world came to Chicago this year, and Flicker Effects was honored to be tapped for the official welcome video. During the months prior, we shot behind-the-scenes footage of meetings and events leading up to the big day, and combined it with iconic images of the city that were not imaginable during the cold month of January (shot in 2014 for just such an occasion). In the final video, conference attendees could see the host committee hard at work, and warmer seasons to which they could return. In the photo, you can see CC16 Host Committee Co-Chairs Kenny Martin-Ocasio, Precious Davis, Joshua Oaks, and Mary Morten. Shot on a Canon XF300 and Sony EX1, edited in After Effects.

Falling For You

Over the past five months I’ve had the pleasure of editing this indie feature comedy. Shot in 2014 with local actors and crew, the film is coming together nicely. We’re looking toward festival submission in 2016 with fundraising for finishing expenses currently underway. Longline: a woman with a clown phobia falls in love with her worst nightmare. I think you can tell in this scene what’s going on by a roundelay of looks — who knows what, and who doesn’t know yet. See if you can figure it out. Starring Sara Pavlak McGuire, Brian Pastor, Krista Atkinson, and Jason Peck. Directed by Melissa Albertario, written by Jason Peck, shot by Lance Soltys, and edited by yours truly.

 

Gay Fathers

New Jersey-based Men Having Babies returned to Chicago in September for the Midwest Surrogacy Seminar and Gay Parenting Expo hosted by the Center on Halsted. Over a hundred gay couples came to learn about surrogate parenting and adoption options from dozens of providers, and from gay dads and surrogate moms who have been through the experience. It was a long, information-packed and emotional day for many who were beginning their journey to becoming fathers. Flicker Effects provided video coverage of the major panels and information sessions that are now posted on the MHB YouTube page.

Here’s the highlight video we created for the event:

Illinois Safe Schools Ally

In September, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance recognized the Berwyn South School District 100 with the Ally of the Year Award for their policies and practices supporting transgender students. As teachers and counselors met students in the district who were coming out as transgender or gender-variant, they decided that it was time to create a school environment where these students could feel safe and welcome. The Alliance worked closely with staff and administrators to develop these guidelines over several months, and now the district is being recognized as a leader nationally around the issue. Flicker Effects created a video profiling the major players of the project which was shown at the Museum of Broadcast Communications at the ISSA’s annual Homecoming Awards Gala in September.

Here’s the short version of that video:

Emergency Training

Flicker Effects shot and edited an emergency training video for Sunstar America’s new facility in Schaumburg, Illinois. Using professional actors, voice over narration, onscreen graphics, and location footage, the video covered a range of topics that all employees were required to learn in order to create safe workplace. Topics included fire, severe weather, lockdown, power loss, and chemical spill procedures. Hopefully the facility will be the safest place to work in the north suburbs! The video was produced and directed by Video One Productions in Chicago.

Woke Up Black Again

In Mary Morten’s documentary Woke Up Black, five African American college students share their lives, hopes, and the challenges they face by growing up in a racially polarized society. Much has changed since the film’s release in 2011, and Mary is working on a sequel currently titled Woke Up Black Again which catches up with the five subjects, and reflects on recent social justice controversies. Last week, after the tragic death of Tony Robinson by police in Madison, Wisconsin, Flicker Effects went to cover the massive protests held in his name for the film. Madison is currently home to one of the film’s subjects, and has screened Woke Up Black several times at the UW campus. Hopefully the tragedy will inspire honest inquiry into the realities faced by so many people of color, both in Madison and across the U.S.

American Revolution

Earlier this year Chicago-based Theater Unspeakable mounted its newest, most ambitious show yet: a history of the American Revolution, told in about 60 minutes. Using no props or scenery, their brand of physical theater employs the performer’s bodies for all storytelling, and for this show, it’s all accomplished on a small platform in the center of the stage. This approach worked well for their wildly popular production Superman 2050, and when captured on video, the format reveals a wonderful handmade cinematic quality. Flicker Effects was hired to shoot and edit a promo which they will use for their upcoming tour.

Howard Brown Health Center’s Big Night

Howard Brown Health Center celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual Garden of Eve event on November 7 at Venue One in the West Loop. It was a cold night, but the vibes were warm and the beats were flowing… and the fancy hors d’oeuvres didn’t hurt, either! After providing health care services to Chicago’s LGBT community for 40 years, Howard Brown has earned its props, and staff and supporters were on hand to mark the occasion. I was there breaking in my new suit jacket and trying to figure out how to eat fancy mac n cheese while not looking like a messy twelve year old. (I failed.) But the video looked good! Flicker Effects was hired to edit the video promo which was projected on two giant screens, and gave an overview of the event and the organization. Our video from last year’s Garden of Eve was such a hit that they asked us back, and it was an honor. Much love to all the folks at HBHC.

Women and Children and You

This past summer, the owners of the iconic Women and Children First bookstore decided to retire after 35 years in business, and handed the reins over to two store employees, Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck. Although the bookstore has been a Chicago landmark for independent booksellers and savvy readers for years, Lynn and Sarah have big plans for its future, and launched a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo to raise $35,000 for much needed space improvements. Flicker Effects was hired to create the video (based on a script they wrote), and now they are very close to their goal! (Warning: lots of kids, so the cute factor for this video is very high.)

For more information, please visit their IndieGoGo campaign here.

 

Meeting Planner Cookoff

Last month meeting and event planners in the Chicago area submitted recipes to the Meeting Planner Recipe Showdown, a new culinary contest hosted by MGM Hotels and Resorts International. Chicago was one of 12 host cities around the country, and the winners from each city are invited to compete for the national title in Las Vegas in October. We captured the  grueling matchup between the 3 Chicago finalists at the Chopping Block (located in the Merchandise Mart), and loved seeing these women who work so hard behind the scenes be given a chance to take center stage.

 

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