Works in Progress

By: Keli Ganey

It’s good to be back with exciting updates on my project “The Story Behind the Bronze. ” We are now 8 weeks into our humanities projects course and having covered the brainstorm, planning, and coordinating phases it’s time to create. I first traveled to the monument itself to taken in it’s story from all angles, while being able to experience it being brought to life by the theatre troupe the Past Players.

Image (above) features the Past Players, Keli Ganey and PJ Riddell

The acting troupe of Past Players created a wonderful and engaging atmosphere for guests to experience with the statue. Their personal element adds another element to my story. My videography assistant PJ Riddell and I followed them from the statue, all the way down T. Morris Chester Way and into the new T. Morris Chester Research center within the riverfront Dauphin County Library. The research center was officially opened on October 20th 2022 and PJ and I were invited to attend the event by project heads and Dauphin County Library Board of Trustees members Susan Anthony and Andrew Enders esq.

About two weeks following my first encounter with the past players and research center, I was able to complete my first interview with creator Lenwood Sloan, and the footage has come out fantastic! For the interview, I decided to go with a three-camera shoot to give me a wide, medium, and tight angle of my subject. Each angle captured important elements of the story and sparks of passion coming from the creator. Along with my cameras, I made use of two standing lights in front shining on to the subject and placed an extra standing light off to the side to produce backlight and nullify extra shadows.

I designed the interview background with the monument in mind. In the Past Players room at the T. Morris Chester Research Center, there are cut outs of the figures featured in the monument. I arranged them in such a way behind my guest’s chair so that the creator would be almost immersed in the statue itself. This way the monument is always featured in the story. Behind the figures is a nice fireplace and a deep mahogany bookshelf that brings out a rich color contrast to the scenery. The various colors created a splendid composition for our cameras to capture.

This past saturday I just wrapped on my second interview with another collaborative creator behind the bronze monument, John Melham. I was blessed with a beautiful quiet space from Chad Frey alum of Messiah. This time I was joined alongside with another videography assistant, Marie Miller. The shoot set up was similar to the first one minus a wide camera angle. I knew I wanted to utilize my background and could do that best through a two camera shoot.

I have one interview left with Becky Ault and a potential addition of a fourth voice! When it comes to setting up interviews one must always be flexible to a guest’s schedule. It often can make things more difficult to shoot, but a good director/producer (or a DP as it’s known in the field) should always have backup plan to pivot to. Personally, I have had to pivot from my original idea due to my guest’s travel. Now, I will feature her voice and story in the places she created. It is a unique idea that puts an original spin on documentary status quo interviews or sit-down interviews.

Through talking with my interviewees and Dr. Pettegrew I have already seen my video production begin to form in my mind. The editing process will begin very soon and it will be exciting to see how things fit together in the end. The most exciting part about working on this project is watching all of the pieces slowly but surely falling into place into what I know will be a spectacular final product!

Keli Ganey is a Junior History major at Messiah University with a concentration in Public History and minor in Digital Public Humanities. She holds the position of Humanities scholarship program leadership council co-chair, President of the Messiah History Club, works for Yellow Breeches Television as the station’s historian and serves on the editorial staff. Keli also is the exhibit designer at York County History Center. You see her many works in various forms on her personal website.

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