I just got back from New Mexico and Arizona where I filmed a ministry visit of Reyna I. Aburto. Sister Aburto is a counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was asked by the church’s Public Affairs department to document her trip to parts of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona. The trip included several devotionals, home visits and trainings. Here is a short video we created, plus a few photos.
The last two weeks I was able to travel to Peru, Paraguay and Chile to document the visit of Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nelson spoke at devotionals in Peru and Paraguay, which were attended by several thousand people. In Chile, he dedicated the new Concepción Temple. I helped produced video stories in each country for the church’s Public Affairs Department. Here are a few photos of the trip and videos from Lima, Peru and Concepción, Chile.
This coming year will mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the United States’ first transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah. At the time, Promontory was a remote location, far from a large city. Because the junction site would need to serve as a major railroad hub where passengers would disembark one company’s railcars and board another’s, the transfer point between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads was moved to Ogden, Utah. Over the next few decades no traveling passenger would cross the country by rail without stopping there.
This evolution in transportation ushered in a period of remarkable growth, and the cultural diversity and commerce that endlessly streamed through Ogden’s Union Station and legendary 25th street forever changed its place in history.
In 2005 I became interested in Ogden’s railroad history after visiting with volunteers at the Union Station Museum. Retired railroad workers served as patrons at the Museum and shared great stories. One individual in particular, Grant Gibson, managed a dining car and told me about a time he accompanied Eleanor Roosevelt up Ogden’s notorious 25th Street.
For the next two years I produced a documentary on Ogden's railroad story and it premiered on April 25th 2007 at Peery’s Egyptian Theater.
With the Promontory celebration approaching, I thought now would be a good time to make the film available online. Hope you enjoy it!
In September I produced a short documentary for the Cathedral of the Madeleine’s Bishop’s Dinner. This was the fifteenth consecutive year the Cathedral has asked me to produce a film for their annual fundraiser. I have enjoyed this special opportunity each year. In this year’s film we chose to honor two individuals, Jon Huntsman Sr. and Ian Cumming, who played roles in raising funds for the Cathedral’s major restoration that took place in the early 1990s.
The last two weeks I was able to travel to Manilla, Philippines and Osaka, Japan to create stories about the visit of Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Sister Lesa Stevenson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The stories are posted online by the Church’s Public Affairs department.
The Stevensons participated in two question and answer sessions that were broadcasted live to youth ages 12-18 in Asia. Youth were able to submit questions online, that were asked to the Stevenson during the broadcast. The Japan broadcast was unique in that is was conducted in Japanese, which Elder Stevenson speaks.
Here are the two stories I helped produce from Manilla and Osaka, plus a few photos from the events.
Last week I was able to meet Joan Maw, a daughter-in-law of Herbert Maw, Governor of Utah from 1941-49. Governor Maw was the second governor to live in the Governor's Mansion and Joan let me look through a few family scrapbooks at her home in Salt Lake City.
While we looked the photos she shared a few fun stories she had heard over the years from her husband and in-laws.
While in the Mansion, oldest daughter La Rue complained to her father that none of her friends dared swing by the house to pick her up. Her parents tried to compensate for their fame by hosting parties for their children and keeping an open door policy for friends.
One day five year old Ralph decided to explore the home’s steep roof, “Just to see if I could do it,” he later recalled. But he soon found himself stuck three and a half stories in the air until the governor himself came on to the roof to rescue him.
Here are a few of the photos from the Maw family scrapbooks. They will be used a in a documentary I am producing for PBS station KUED7 on the Utah Governor's Mansion.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Jon Lee Taylor, a daughter of J. Bracken Lee who served as governor of Utah from 1949-1957. In our interview Jon shared her memories of living in the Governor's Mansion in Salt Lake City - a big change from the town of Price she grew up in.
While living at the Mansion, Jon attended West High School. On several occasions she and her mother hosted "Teas." All the girls from West High School were invited to the Mansion for a tour and refreshments.
Here are a few photographs Jon shared with me from her scrapbook that show her family's time in the Governor's Mansion.
While doing research for a documentery on the Utah Governors Mansion, I learned that for nearly 25 years, the Mansion housed the Utah State Historical Society. In the late 1950's Governor J. Bracken Lee decided the Mansion was unfit to serve at the Governor's official residence. The building was 55 years old and hadn't seen many updates over the years. In 1973, the Mansion was used as a set for a horror film titled "The House of Seven Corpses."
The Utah State Historical Society has a number of great images showing the Mansion in use during those years. Archival documents were stored in the basement and bedrooms were used for offices and reading areas.
The last few months I've been working on a documentary for PBS Station KUED7 on the history of the Utah Governor's Mansion. The Mansion was originally built by Thomas and Jennie Kearns in 1902 and was later donated to the State of Utah by Jennie Kearns in 1937. Three Governors and their families lived in the Mansion until the 1950's, when Governor J. Bracken Lee decided to build a new Governors Mansion in the Federal Heights neighborhood. The old Mansion was then used by the Utah Historical Society. From 1977 to 1980 extensive restoration work was done on the Mansion and it became the official Governors residence again.
During production we've had the opportunity to interview a handful and Governors and individuals who lived and worked in the Mansion over the years. This month we will begin editing the program and it will air on KUED7 this fall. Here are a few images of the Mansion's history.
This weekend I helped Mormon Newsroom document an event the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah called "Be One." It shared the history of the African American heritage in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and celebrated the Church’s June 1978 revelation that extended "the blessings of the priesthood and the temple to all of God's children everywhere in the world."
Guest performers Gladys Knight, Alex Boyé and the Saints Unified Voices performed musical arrangements that got the audience on their feet and singing along. Here are a few photos and a video we put together about the evening.
On May 7th and 10th, a film I have been working on for the last year and half will be having a team screening at DOK.fest in Munich, Germany. The documentary is titled The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement and tells the story of a growing environmental initiative in which natural areas are given legal status. For the film our team traveled to Ecuador, New Zealand and Santa Monica, California to learn how each of these locations have changed laws and mindsets to recognize the rights of nature. Here is a short clip from the film.
The last couple of weeks I had the opportunity to document part of the Global Ministry Tour by Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a newly installed leader of the church, Nelson visited a number of nations across the globe, meeting with church members and speaking at devotionals attended by thousands. I was asked to record stories for Mormon Newsroom in Harare, Zimbabwe, Bangkok, Thailand and Laie, Hawaii. It was an exhausting trip, but also a special experience. Here are some of the stories we produced.