Entertainment is Fleeting – Storytelling is Forever

George Ortiz’s Exceptional Skills for his Craft Lead Him to IWFV

Anyone with a smartphone can publish a video on the internet. Some strikingly bad videos have found a huge audience. How could this be? My craft has been honed from decades of experience. My writing and interviewing skills have benefited from making my mistakes when I was a junior reporter and never repeating them. My cinematographer, John’s, arsenal of technology has been carefully selected, updated and lovingly worked upon like the keys of a Steinway, yet some guy with a phone and a gimmick goes “viral.” The merchant/ lawyer/ manufacturer making a selfie video might entertain, might get an audience. But is he taken seriously? Has he given his audience something they can use outside of a chuckle or a shock?

We all yearn for a good story. We want to understand the characters, experience their feelings, walk in their shoes–if just for a moment. Sharing an authentic story with your audience builds their support, and inspires action and long-term belief in you and your brand. Want to keep an audience? Tell them a great story.

Storytelling is, once again, king. George Ortiz of American Barber Academy has a great story and he wanted us to help him tell it.

George is an up-from-his-bootstraps kind of guy who found his calling in barbering and teaching others the craft. He’s an artist. He’s a mentor. His story is more than just words; it is a visual testimony to an industry that is finding a whole new sphere of participants. He knew he needed fellow artists to tell his story. This first video gave his audience a glimpse of the many success stories to come. Additional episodes are perfect little social media nuggets that he can release over time to share his artists’ experiences. Watch Taylor Stubler, Owner, No. 7 Barber Parlor, tell his story.

Why did George not try the selfie-method? Because he values his brand. There is a swagger and confidence to his protégés testimonies. There is a cool vibe in their shops and a sense of pride in their work. It is not a selfie’ kind of piece. His work is his art. As an artist he knows that lighting, staging and sound are critical. Above all, George wants his brand to be taken seriously. He’s got so much invested in his vision, he wants it to remain honest and pure.

We salute George for understanding that his message was too important to leave to chance.

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” –Ira Glas

Video Series Teaches Spinal Cord Patients Critical Recovery Skills

Imageworks Film and Video, Inc. Produces Learning Tools for MossRehab

The statistics are frightening. More than 17,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year. Less than 1% of persons injured will experience a complete neurological recovery by the time of hospital discharge.[1]

99% of persons with a spinal cord injury will learn a new normal when they leave the hospital, adjusting to their injuries emotionally and physically through time, physical rehabilitation, and education.
Organizations like Einstein Healthcare Network’s nationally renowned MossRehab begin the delicate journey of spinal cord injury recovery with their patients, and then dedicate themselves to supporting each patient through their entire life. Repeatedly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one rehabilitation hospital in the Philadelphia region, Moss provides spinal cord injury or SCI patients with a continuum of comprehensive spinal cord care. Translation- they know a lot about SCI’s. But if you’re the one living with an SCI, you have a wealth of knowledge to share too.

Recognizing the power of clinical expertise coupled with patient experience, and with the help of financial support from a patient who had lived through the challenges of an SCI,

the MossRehab SCI team worked with PA-based Imageworks Film and Video to produce an educational video series entitled “Living with a Spinal Cord Injury”. The series provides extensive information on the day to day care required for people with an SCI, but more importantly gives new patients and their families invaluable perspectives from SCI patients themselves.

Marni Nutkowitz, PsyD, SCI Neuropsychologist at MossRehab, explains the premise, “It is often only through exposure to the experiences of others that newly injured individuals begin to realize that they are not alone,” explains Nutkowitz, “and that living a productive life after SCI is within their reach. As with any traumatic event, to be able to relate to someone who has successfully navigated their way through it, is invaluable.”

MossRehab introduced Imageworks’ producer Lorrie King to 12 SCI patients, each identified as having unique insights into several areas of physical and emotional concern common to newly injured SCI persons. “I had the privilege of getting to know each one of these patients and found all of them to be very comfortable talking about their personal physical and emotional experiences. I knew they would make powerful on-camera interviews and help us to create an engaging framework for the more clinical information we needed to cover.”

Patient interviews coupled with numerous MossRehab clinical experts resulted in 10 video segments on topics including breathing, bladder and bowel care, intimacy, and emotional health.

Released on MossRehab’s website over the next few months, they will provide a worldwide resource for SCI patients and their caregivers.
Using patients to teach other SCI patients was key to this effort, but it did have some unexpected consequences. Says Alysse, an SCI patient who appears in the videos, “The best way to help yourself is to help someone else, and it sounds cliché but until you see that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, you don’t know how good it feels.”

Clinicians and Patients Collaborate to Educate and Inspire

No one can ever truly understand the feelings and emotions a person newly diagnosed with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is experiencing. Anger, confusion, sadness, shock and frustration are just a few. Coupled with those feelings are the challenges of coping with a new physical condition and the routines of care needed on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

According to Marni Nutkowitz, PsyD, SCI Neuropsychologist at MossRehab, the people who know best what a person with a spinal cord injury is experiencing, are others with spinal cord injuries. “As providers of service, we impart education and help individuals with SCI develop necessary life skills,” she explains. “But we can’t completely understand their emotional state, or their view of the future.”

The late David S. Loeb, Jr. knew what it meant to live with a spinal cord injury. At 19, Loeb experienced a traumatic spinal cord injury, leaving him with impairment of mobility in all four limbs. For more than 60 years, he proved that a spinal cord injury did not mean a life of limitations, but rather the beginning of a newly adapted life in which all things were possible.

Read the full article on the Einstein Healthcare website…

The F Word

Okay, it’s not what you’re thinking. This is not an expose’ on the merits of an overused expletive appearing not only in everyday life, but in crashing symphonies of dissonance in virtually every pay-for-TV dramatic show now airing. Instead, I’m referring to that other “F” word that’s thrown around as carelessly as “Kleenex”, “Xerox”, “Googling” and a host of other phrases that once proudly referenced a one-of-a-kind product or brand. The F word is “Film”. As in, “Quiet, we’re filming!”, or “I hope you have enough film in the camera for this.”, or “Are you filming now?”

In virtually every case, I can assure you there’s no film involved. In fact, there’s nothing even remotely mechanical that suggests that the camera or recording medium is “running”. Today, sadly, it’s mostly photons of light hitting silicon chips that create an endless stream of digital bits recorded to a frozen slab of God-knows-what in an organized procession of data. You can’t pick up a memory card and “see” what you’ve “filmed”. And if something goes wrong with your “filming”, there’s not even a scratched, jumpy image to console you – there’s usually just a silent slab of jumbled recording bits, unable to acknowledge that you even attempted to “film” something. [Read more…]