profile spotlight (5)

One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Ken Winikur

Winikur Productions Demo Reel 2014 from Winikur Productions on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?

My name is Ken Winikur and I am a documentary filmmaker creating independent projects and work for museums.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?

I am a Philly boy born and bred who relocated to Boston about 10 years ago.  Yes, I hear a lot about Larry Bird but I still rock my Sixers jersey.

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

When I was in high school my friends and I would make films on a Fisher Price Movie Camera.  It used to record sound and picture on cassettes and play back a very grainy, very cool, black and white image.  When I was in college I studied English Literature but always took film/video production classes.  It was then that I started to become very excited about the possibilities of how you could explore ideas through moving images.

4. Who or what do you most admire?

I admire people who live the lives that they want to live and not the lives they think they should.  That takes bravery and I admire brave people.

5. What do you love about Boston?

Each city has their own unique personality.  What I love about Boston is that it is permeated with an incredible sense of the possible.  Things actually change here.  Problems are addressed and solutions are sought.  There isn’t a fear of trying something new.  

6. What do you fear most for Boston?

My biggest fear for Boston is the loss of diversity.  Diversity is what makes cities vibrant.  All forms of diversity.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?

I hope Boston continues to address its problems in creative and revolutionary ways.  I hope it never becomes complacent and I hope it finds solutions to core problems that can act as a model for other cities.

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One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Rick Macomber

Air Traffic Controller "Ready or Not" [Official] Music Video from Rick Macomber on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Rick Macomber. I am a filmmaker. I also have 30 plus years under my belt as a multiple Emmy award winning TV News photojournalist producing stories from around the globe such as a glimpse into the world of Cambodian refugees at a border camp in Thailand, the 50th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France and coverage of 9-11 from Ground Zero. I've interviewed countless rock legends, Hollywood and sports celebrities for CBS over the years.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I was born and raised in a small city just over the Tobin Bridge called Chelsea. I later moved to the picturesque sailing town of Marblehead, which is located on the North Shore of Boston.

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I confiscated my dad's Kodak Brownie 8mm movie camera when I was a teenager to shoot rock concerts and to document my crazy friends on our one year cross country adventure in my VW bus. From that point on I was hooked on motion pictures.

4. Who or what do you most admire?
To this day I have so much respect for people like Martin Luther King, Jr. for his work with the Civil Rights Movement leading up to and during a most horrible period in American history. It's great to see films like 12 Years a Slave and The Butler getting recognition around the world for their heartfelt stories.

5. What do you love about Boston?
Boston is a walkable city. I love that. From the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the ultra hip Seaport waterfront, the city is easy to navigate. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway was a brilliant idea, connecting the North End with Quincy Market, the downtown area and the waterfront with beautiful parks and fountains along the way. The skyline is breathtaking now at night with the addition of the Zakim Bridge.

6. What do you fear most for Boston?
I think that affordable housing in Boston for the middle class is what I fear most. Real estate prices and rents are steadily rising in the city. Unless you are independently wealthy or sharing space with roommates, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find decent living space. I don't want to see Boston's housing become as unaffordable as it is in San Francisco.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
I hope to see a city where there is more integration, both socially and racially. Boston is still not the most integrated city in the country. We need to work on that problem. I also hope to see more affordable college tuition. There needs to be a reversal in tuition fees. It's out of control and unfair to those who cannot afford higher education. And finally I hope to change the climate here. I'd start winter right around Christmas with a little snow... and move spring to the beginning of February!

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One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Jesse Ciulla

Art in the Streets from Jesse Ciulla on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Jesse Ciulla and I am a Boston based cinematographer and editor.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
Well, I've lived in the Boston area my entire life: Revere Massachusetts for 22 years and Allston Massachusetts for 2 years. I've had a pretty average upbringing and an above average mother who has supported me in whatever decisions I've made in my 24 years.

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Skateboarding. Skateboarding is the only reason why I ever decided to pick up a camera. It started with just going around filming my friends skating and eventually that drew my attention to other aspects of filmmaking which interested me. I eventually pursued that interest in college and, now, here I am.

4. Who or what do you most admire?
I admire anybody who does something that they enjoy for a living ESPECIALLY in the creative world. If you can make a living doing something that you like and it's creative, then I am most likely going to admire you.

5. What do you love about Boston?
The fact that you can get from one end of the city to the other within probably an hour on public transportation is pretty great. That and Boston in the fall is pretty hard to beat weather-wise. Downtown Boston on a 50 degree day in October is ideal.

6. What do you fear most for Boston?
That's a tough one. I don't have many concerns for Boston, it's adapted to the times pretty well thus far. I guess if anything, the size of the city could be a concern. The fact that Boston is a lot smaller than many other major cities could contribute to the city being overlooked.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
Hopefully in the next 20 years Boston can continue to support and grow all of the small communities and cultures that make Boston the great little city that it is.
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One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Beth Balaban

Son of Saichi (1-minute trailer) from Beth Balaban on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name means Beth, "To Serve Bread with Honey" in Turkish. I'm a non-fiction filmmaker.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
My academic background is in psychology, philosophy and creative writing. My cultural background is Midwestern. 

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I can't say I have any sort of miracle narrative for how I arrived at being a filmmaker. At my own peril, I wandered toward it - like walking into the light even though the voices are screaming "Don't do it!" It's just the thing I love doing the very most, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

4. Who or what do you most admire?
I admire intellectual rigor and ferocity and I admire people who have arrived at their own Truth.

5. What do you love about Boston?
I know it's dorky, but Boston to me feels like the home of documentary and that's why I'm here. Some of the greats started here and really pioneered the art form...and the lingering effect is an ongoing conversation about craft and storytelling on a large scale. That's hard to find everywhere else.

6. What do you fear most for Boston?
My biggest fear for my city is gentrification. Admittedly, I might be part of the "problem" - but there's a great depth of beautiful cultural heritage in the Boston area and if housing/development keeps going in the direction it is now, we're going to wash it all out of our diverse city.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
As Boston continues to grow over the next 20 years, I hope that city planners take human interests into account and design a future city where quality of life trumps commerce and cars.

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One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Stebs Schinnerer

MIT Architecture from Paper Fortress on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Steven Joseph Schinnerer, but most people call me Stebs. I am lucky enough to make a profession out of being a filmmaker, and more often than not just telling stories.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I was born in a nice little town on the coast of Massachusetts and lived with my mom, my dad, my sister and my pets. I played with my friends, ate a lot of cereal, rode my bicycle and got a lot of stitches - really, I had a very stress-free childhood. My parents worked their butts off to give my sister and I a good life - but living in that small town made me itch to see what else was out there. Not just that, but to understand the world around me in a deeper way by meeting people and getting to know their world and their struggles. I hadn't had too difficult a life growing up and it's definitely something that drew me to understand a world outside of my own.

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker? 
I grew up watching my father paint - creating something from scratch - and definitely caught the creative bit that way. My parents always had the home video VHS camera out during family events and I decided to use it to make silly videos. Eventually, I went to school for film, all while making my own dumb videos and realized I could use this as a platform to tell interesting and sometimes personal stories. I loved edgy and interesting films, and after working in a video store for five years in middle school and high school, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a filmmaker.

4. Who or what do you most admire?
This is a really hard question to answer. I admire many things about many people...but I suppose I can boil it down to that I simply admire the human spirit. I admire perseverance and dedication. Confident people with a willingness to stand up for what they believe in. From Mandela and Ghandi, to my best friend and my mom, there are deep qualities in many people that I find admiration in.

5. What do you love about Boston?
Boston is a little-big city with a HUGE heart. The communities are incredibly diverse, the culture is rampant and you can't beat its history. We have some of the most die-hard sports fans in the nation, and some of the most intelligent people in the world walking the streets. We have people pushing the limits of technology, healthcare, business, food, sport, philanthropy and pretty much everything else you can think of. It inspires me to walk through the MIT and Harvard campuses, through communities having block parties and fund raisers, or through bustling farmers markets multiple times a week. All in all, this city and the people in it just never cease to impress and inspire me.

6. What do you fear most for Boston?
I fear that in the name of progress, too many of the quiet and simple communities will be torn apart by major developers to make way for big apartment buildings and chain restaurants and cafés. One thing I love about this city is how many small businesses there are, and I fear that our city could become stale if broken apart for big business.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
During the next 20 years, I hope to see our tech industry grow and for us to continue to be on the forefront of science, education and technology. I also hope that more of the privileged communities will help to lift up, inspire, and care for the under-resourced. This city will best be served when everyone has equal opportunity, and when the haves can care more frequently for the have-nots.

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