“Step Into History, The Carl J. McEwen Historic Village,” a 12-minute video produced by the Mint Hill Historical Society, earned statewide recognition last month, winning a Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.
It started with a need to take something to schools and other organizations, to show them what the Historical Society and the Historic Village had to offer.
With a matching grant of $2,500 from the Arts and Science Council, work was underway, with Historical Society co-founder Carol Timblin writing and producing, and member Larry Ferguson serving as director and videographer.
The video took over a year to complete, receiving the grant in July, and presenting the finished product to the people of Mint Hill the next October.
With Ferguson photographing and videotaping events like Christmas Tea and the farmer’s market as they happened, the video started to come together.
The narrator, Sam McGee, was chosen for his “mature southern voice,” as Timblin put it, and original music was performed by Trent Moody, of The Moody Brothers, and is a driving force in the video.
“I would take some video over to him and let himlookatitandgeta feel for it, describe where we wanted it to go, and he would pull down a banjo or a mandolin or a guitar or a base and played all these things,” Ferguson said.
Mixing was done in 18-hour marathon at Richard Putnam’s Big Feat Studios in Shelby.
“I think it would stand up well on some PBS programming and local stations,” Ferguson said. “Again, we were doing things without a high budget, but it’s professionally done, I think you could say that, and we’re happy with the way it came out.”
Part of the grant was a public presentation of the video, which came in October of 2011, a screening on a 24-foot inflatable screen at the Town Hall.
“I just didn’t think the quality of the video was going to hold up at all, but it was digital by that point, and so it really looked good.” Ferguson said.
The application for the award was sent in, and after a long silence, some good news.
“We didn’t hear from them forever, and I figured we didn’t get it,” Timblin said. “And then all of a sudden, they got a letter in the office that said we had won.”