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Behind the lens

World unfolds for filmmakers

Created date

September 21st, 2009
For the life of her, world traveler Barbara Walker couldn t understand why anyone would want to watch someone else s home videos. Then one day it hit her: There are a lot of people who have traveled throughout their life and for whatever reason are no longer able to, says Walker. My videos allow them to revisit places they ve been and travel to places they ve never seen before.

Along for the ride

Whether I m on an elephant, in a balloon, on a bus or a boat I want people to feel like they re right there with me, Walker says. When they watch one of my videos and say it felt like they were there in person, then I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do. Barbara Walker's "Joyful in Tibet" Walker became interested in video in 2004 after she took a video journalism class at Charlestown, the 62-plus community in Catonsville where she lives. They supplied us with video cameras and trained us how to edit our videos at the TV station, she says. From venturing through India to trekking across Turkey, she has been capturing the places she travels on tape ever since. Her films periodically air on Charlestown s in-house TV station, Channel 66, and she holds screenings in the community s auditorium. At first, she says, trying to obtain quality video while getting the most out of her travel experience was difficult, but eventually it became second nature. Little by little, as I took my video camera along, it was less and less intrusive, she says. Every once in a while, I find myself in a museum or at an archeological site where I may have to posture myself to get the best lighting or angle. But for the most part, it just comes naturally.

Movie stars next door

In addition to recording far-off places, Walker finds captivating subjects right under her own roof. A lot of times, I ll be having dinner with someone [at Charlestown] and discover that they have an interesting hobby or background that I think would make a good story, she says. I ll get together with them and talk about the possibilities. Then I plan out the story, film it, and edit it. For example, she filmed a couple who lived in Holland during World War II and several antique car owners, who all live at Charlestown. Barabar Walker's "Growing Up at Charlestown" It s a great challenge and a lot of fun to see what you can do with video, says Walker. You re never really finished. You re always critiquing it, thinking, I should have done this differently or added that. And it s that attitude which has kept her creating, entertaining, and even hosting a program on Channel 66, as she and her craft continue to evolve.

Now playing

Fellow Charlestown videographer Lon Chesnutt has spent his fair share of time looking through the viewfinder of a video camera. Earlier this year, he produced a video for his local Rotary Club of a service trip he took to Colombia, South America. Our club sponsored two orphanages in Colombia, and a few of us went down to meet the people and see the sights, says Chesnutt. I filmed the whole trip and put it together into a 25-minute short film. The video is posted on the club s international website. Chesnutt says one of the exciting things about making your own videos is that you really feel like you re in the moviemaking business. You can edit and move your clips around, shorten them, add still pictures, insert them into movies, extend a passage to make it longer or shorter, add voiceover, add music all sorts of things, he says. Chesnutt estimates he spends two to three hours editing for every one minute of film he shoots. To date, he has produced numerous travelogues from places like Australia, Lake Tahoe, and Bermuda. He also filmed a lecture series he attended in Mt. Gretna, Pa., and a triathlon he competed in at Charlestown. Lon Chesnutt's video "Australia" Anything that looks like it might have a storyline, I try to film, says Chesnutt. I haven t yet gotten to the point of writing a script and creating a drama, but who knows that might come later down the pike.