Flying around Marion in a helicopter with two cameras hanging out the window may not be a typical WIWU-TV workday, but it and a few other creative video shoots made the summer a little more interesting for the TV station staff.
WIWU-TV worked with the City of Marion, creating a video showing Marion’s progress and heritage as part of the Stellar Communities competition. The state of Indiana awards a select number of Stellar designations each year, which opens up a variety of funds for community renovation.
Dr. Randall E. King, IWU Director of Broadcast Media, volunteered to co-produce the video with Mark Fauser, Marion Director of Marketing, screenwriter, and former Hollywood actor. They developed a theme around the Mississinewa river, which runs through downtown Marion and is a focal point of the city’s redevelopment plan. Once this theme was set and the first script drafted, the fun started.
“We wanted to see all kinds of people in Marion talking about the energy that flows through the community, just like the river,” King said. “So Mark assembled all these different groups to yell out words representing Marion’s accomplishments, such as ‘education’ and ‘growth.’ It’s sort of like getting all your family together for a photo, times ten or a hundred…lots of challenges but a pretty overwhelming impact when you see all of them together,” he said.
Those video moments included several hundred IWU students staying after chapel to shout “faith” behind Dr. Keith Newman, IWU Executive Vice-President. More than a hundred employees at Marion General Hospital took part of their lunch hour to shout “compassion” while King recorded it from the top of a hydraulic lift.
And more than 3000 volunteers at the Marion Walk of Hope for Cancer Services of Grant County shouted their support as Garrett Matney, WIWU-TV Promotions Manager, grabbed the shot from the ladder of the Marion Fire Department’s newest engine.
“At first, climbing up the ladder was a little intimidating..but once I got up there it was really cool seeing how many people were lined up for the walk,” Matney said. ” It was quite a view, seeing two or three city blocks completely packed with people in a community like Marion,” he said.
The capstone experience of the production was flying over Marion in a helicopter, piloted by local businessman Dwight Ott. Fauser and Matney joined Paul Crisp, WIWU-TV Station Manager, as passengers. Each had cameras grabbing stills and videos of the riverfront, downtown and other community icons including the IWU campus.
“The helicopter was actually the smoothest aerial videography I’ve ever done,” said Crisp, who held two GoPro video cameras out of the open window on a boom pole. “It was a blast hanging out of an open door with very little wind or vibrations that tend to make you realize that you are actually flying,” he said.
In late June, the Stellar Community representatives saw the projects, the site locations and the video, as part of visits to the six finalist cities. Marion officials will learn in August if the city was selected, and if not they plan to apply again. Meanwhile, the video lives on for thousands of online viewers as a statement of Marion’s unity and community support.
“The WIWU-TV team brought creativity, skill and vision to help accomplish this incredibly synergistic and uniting video…That was the goal of the piece – to show the community was united for a solid vision,” said Fauser.
It’s a vision now captured in a big picture view, of IWU’s hometown.
Watch the finished video, “Marion, Indiana – A Stellar Community”: