JEAN DONOHUE, co-producer/director is an award winning documentary maker who has over twenty-five years experience in producing broadcast and community-based media, public engagement campaigns, web sites, and online learning experiences. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kentucky Foundation for Women, Al Smith Fellowship and Kentucky Educational Television Independent Production Award. Her work has been seen on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC 2 and the BBC World Services, The Learning/Discovery Channels, WNET-13-New York, Kentucky Educational Television, and Ohio Public Television affiliates in Dayton, Cleveland and Columbus. A number of her documentaries have won festival awards including From The Shadows Of Power, and Coal Black Voices.
Her environmental filmmaking began in 1982 when she worked with a Cincinnati anti-nuclear power coalition to produce a documentary featuring the key whistle-blower at the Zimmer Nuclear Plant. Since she has produced a series of documentaries and advocacy videos about landfill pollution, recycling, and household hazardous waste. She started working on themes of earth-centered consciousness in the 1990s with Sipiwi, Leave No Footprints, and The Trail of Hope: The Building of a Ceremonial Earthwork.
FRED JOHNSON, co-producer/director has been producing documentary and video art since the mid-seventies. Much of his work focuses on relationships of geography, constructed space, communications and culture. Johnson’s work has been broadcast on the Learning and Discovery Channels, WNET-NY, Kentucky Educational Television, BBC 2 and BBC’s World Service. As a recipient of a Television Arts Fellowship from the Fulbright Commission he served in the BBC’s Community Programme Unit in London. He produced and directed Future on the Line and Death on Delivery and was subsequently commissioned to produce Hybrid City for the BBC. Coal Black Voices, broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television worked with the Afralachian Poets to help redefine Appalachian literary culture.
Johnson is also a writer, and communication policy analyst. He has been designing and implementing media and technology education and training programs for over twenty years in a wide range of settings, from community media centers to national education initiatives and colleges. He has recently completed 6 years on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts where he directed the Community Media and Technology Program focusing on community media practices, community engagement and collaborative learning. Johnson divides his time between Portland, OR and Lexington, KY working on various projects.
GURNEY NORMAN, consulting producer, is a writer and philosopher of bio-regionalism. He is a former Poet Laureate for the state of Kentucky. He is serving as Consulting Producer to provide a perspective on the history and circumstance of Kentucky rural culture and farming, the emergence of a new farming culture and its expression through literature. Gurney is the author of Divine Right’s Trip, first published in the margins of the Whole Earth Catalogue, Kinfolks and soon to be published, Ancient Creek. He is co-publisher of Old Cove Press.
MARK STUCKER, Director of Photography ~ Mark’s work has earned international acclaim for tackling difficult scenes and locations with artistry and sensitivity. He has photographed several award-winning documentaries including Media Working Group’s Coal Black Voices and MWG’s advocacy web shorts around telecommunications legislation impacting the public’s interest in the Internet and cable regulation; Torrice Productions’ The New Metropolis; CBS News: “Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Assassinations;” ABC News: Good Morning America/World Evening News – “Marietta Flooding;” American Public Television “Do Not Go Gently – Frederick Franklin segment;” Oprah’s “At Home with Peter Frampton;” Discovery Canada: “Mine Safety Innovation.” He has also worked on films such as Mentorn TV-UK/ Channel 4: Unreported World – US War Veterans, and Helen Hood Scheer Productions, JUMP ROPE and ABC News: World Evening News – Religious 501C3. Stucker is the principle of Media Works based in Cincinnati, OH.
THE EDIT TEAM
MIGUEL HUARCAYA is a film editor who has a Ph.D in Indigeneity with a focus on his own culture in Ecuador and Peru. He is a former producer/editor for Peru TV and was editor of Media Working Group’s COAL BLACK VOICES. His own work in the field of ethnographic documentary represents ceremonies, festivities of indigenous peoples of Central and South America and importantly “La Dignidad de los Pueblos. El levantamiento del 21 de Enero, 2000.” (The Dignity of the People, The Uprising of January 21, 2000). He currently lives in London, England.
KEVIN LEWIS of Media Stew LLC, is a new kind of editor specializing in digital media, and the complexities and challenges of non-linear editing (Final Cut Pro/Final Cut X, Motion) He is an accomplished PhotoShop and composite artist, and is on the leading edge of output formats and format translation (MPEG2, H.264, MPEG-4, Windows Media, QuickTime, etc).
SHAWN WALKER is a social media consultant, facilitator and trainer working with organizations, universities and governmental agencies on designing server programming, computer networking, system administration, website development, database design, and strategic technology planning. He is working with the Coming to Ground team focusing on leading edge digital citizen participation and viral political media.
We are seasoned documentary makers who create social documentaries and participatory media on a broad range of topics, with a long-standing focus on social policy and environmental issues. Our work has appeared on public television, cable, the BBC and the BBC World Service.
Media Working Group, Inc. is a pioneer in participatory media and citizen engagement. Many of us came to independent media through activism and brought organizing and coalition-building skills to the practice of documentary making. The public engagement team uses associative and relational thinking to create strategies for partnership and collaboration. This unique method sometimes creates unexpected and deep relationships born out of common core values and mission. This culture of collaboration has enabled us to produce documentary and authentic participatory experiences with a diverse collection of groups and organizations. Since the group formed in the mid-1980s we’ve been early adopters of new technology. We incorporated online learning in 1995, and social networking via listservs and threaded discussions in the late 90s. And, now we deploy social networking and video sharing platforms of Twitter, Pinterest, FaceBook, Vimeo, BlipTV, Tumblr, and YouTube.
Coming to Ground has a broad field of public interest and organizations to engage with ~ farmer organizations and land use and policy activists, food reform advocates, government Food to School programs, Farm Bill activists, climate change, soil and water activists. All will find the stories in Coming to Ground useful in their work to bring about a more just, green, and abundant food system.