Mountain Workshop’s Killer Website





Last fall, I was a multimedia coach at the Western Kentucky University sponsored Mountain Workshops. The workshop, now in it 32 year, hosted more than 70 photographers, multimedia journalists and picture editors as they visually documented the small town of Danville, Kentucky. This was the first year that multimedia storytelling was added to the workshop. There were three multimedia instructors, Chad Stevens with MediaStorm, Joe Weiss, a multimedia producer and developer of Soundslides, and myself. We each had four students to coach for five days.

It was a thoroughly exhausting, but incredible rewarding week, as students expanded their knowledge of how the tell a story with more that just photos. The website was supposed to go live during the workshop, but technical problems kept that from happening. It is up now and looks incredible. A truly inspirational website.

Here are just a few of my favorite student multimedia projects: (go to: Menu/Multimedia Participants)

Holding up the Memories by Jonathan Young. This is one of my all-time favorite audio slideshows. It has great narration that builds emotionally and ends with a song. Joe Weiss was Young’s coach and did a great jog of helping Young craft a powerful narrative. Weiss made Young go out and sleep on the woman’s couch overnight so he’d be there when she made coffee in the morning. It paid off. Listen to the narration closely. When the owner of the store sighs, the story comes right into sharp focus. If only every Soundslides production could be this good.

My Customers, My Friends by James Patterson. I really impressed upon Patterson to use his time at the Ace Billiards pool hall to gather lots of little nat sounds that he could then layer into his production. Listen to for those subtle sounds he sprinkled throughout this production. I love the way the narration weaves back and forth, between and over the nat sounds. I think James learned something at the workshop because he won 1st place in Individual Audio Slideshow category last month in the NPPA monthly Multimedia Contest.  Nice job James!

Gettin’ Her Hands Dirty by M.K. Smith. Smith, a graduate student, was my challenge. She was headstrong, self-assured, and talented beyond her years. “I goggled you,” was Smith’s introduction to me. Over the five days of the workshop, Smith crafted a story on a woman dairy farmer that was a mix of still photography and video. It was probably the toughest technical challenge that any of the multimedia students faced. She pulled it off with grace and grit. Her show received the loudest cheer at the workshop’s final show-and-tell night.

Make sure you check out the other multimedia and photojournalism produced students and workshop staff. Nice work all.

5 thoughts on “Mountain Workshop’s Killer Website

  1. I’d love to look at the site, but I’ve tried it with a Mac and a PC, with IE, Safari and Firefox . . . and I get nothing but a blank opening screen . . .

  2. Hello there,

    Just to serve as a notice, the site was down for a short period for on 1.24.08. All is well now and let me know if you see any other issues.

    Thanks to everyone for making the 07 Mountain Workshops one of the best to date.

    ken Harper

  3. I’m told by the MW development team that there was a problem with the site this morning. It’s back up.

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