Modern Old-Time Fiddling

After 11 days of shooting spread out through last June – October, and nearly nine months of editing this school year, need I preface any further?

Modern Old-Time Fiddling: A Master’s Project Documentary

This project was produced in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University in 2012.

Julie Elman, chair, Rebecca Sell and Terry Eiler

This project is for educational purposes only. Not for resale.

Copyright © 2012 Heather Haynes and Ohio University.

Featuring and special thanks to: The Amundsen Family/Jubal’s Kin, Ammon Bowen, Bob Borcherding, Buck Mountain Band, Shona Carr, Marcy Cochran, Samantha Cooper, Pete Easton, Fox n Hounds, Lynn Garren, Alys Horne, Alan Jabbour, Heather Lewin-Tiarks, The Marchi family, Harold Maurer, Rob O’Connor, Jenny Leigh Obert, Kevin Samuels, Liz Shaw, Roger Sprung, Fred Swedberg, Chris Via, Charlie Walden and Andrew Zinn

Update // This project has been accepted into the Blue Ridge Film and Music Festival, Virginia Film Festival, and 15 Minutes of Fame Festival this fall!

Soul of Athens

When I first began looking at graduate programs in 2008-ish, Ohio University was on my radar for it’s connection with BOP and Soul of Athens. Each year I loved the Soul of Athens production more. When 2010’s came out, after I had sent my acceptance, I knew that I made the right choice. Last year I abstained from Soul, choosing instead to focus my time on gaining the skills that would allow me to be a good producer this year.

I dutifully finished all my coursework, studied as much multimedia and interactivity as I could, and divvied up my time so that essentially all of it would be spent on Soul of Athens. After forming the original theme of “What’s at Stake?” as a brain trust, Priscilla and I chose to co-produce on the Liberties team. We lived, breathed, and dreamed Soul of Athens. After countless meetings and rampant frustration the website launched last Friday.

We give you Soul of Athens. (Liberties is here, but I suggest the full experience.) I only hope that the final product inspires you as much as it did me.


So I’ve not been very alive recently. Next week, week 9, marks the final deadline for Soul of Athens and my master’s project defense. Week 11 holds my Information Architecture/User Experience final and graduation. After that: the real world.

Since I can’t show you anything from Soul or my project before the final edit & release, here’s one of the first things I can legally show you from my GA position:

Imagine you’re a prospective student, maybe interested in audiology or linguistics, and you stumble into OU’s College of Health Sciences and Professions. You watch.

RLSH Podcast

My first attempt at a podcast or narration since recording radio-style mix tapes in elementary school. I’ve entered a slightly shorter version in the Missouri Review Audio Competition so in December we’ll see how it does!

Chauncey Elementary

For this project, I acted as co-editor and co-producer in a group of four collaborators. Seriously proud of this one.

//update – 3/21/12 Athen’s local NPR station, WOUB, published this exact cut on their website. View the page here.

Patrol, Madison

After a week of Minnesota’s superheroes I became comfortable with the idea and situation. Patrol in Madison blew my mind in a way that was probably boring and underwhelming for the RLSH involved. Here they were able to help homeless on the streets and in the Occupy camp and talk candidly with passers-by about the RLSH movement.

I walked with them for almost five hours, until well after I knew my feet were bleeding, and still they patrolled into the night afterwards. Forget what they do and where they go…what does it feel like to be with them, the presence and energy and camaraderie. Maybe, just maybe, this explains the experience a little.

Pictured left to right: Night Vision, Blackbird, Watchman, Electron, and Geist. Curiously absent from this frame is Charade.

And to prove I brought a long lens, a pause as they stop for supplies to bring the Occupy camp:


Patrol, Willmar

Stingray and I shared a relatively quiet evening in which we encountered some broken glass and a stray cat. Our interview was, I think, longer than he intended so that some who arrived home early were surprised to see Stingray in the dining room.

Let’s say that cutting people’s feet off is my new aesthetic, instead of that I’m doing it by mistake.

Portraits, Geist

This is the first portrait session I’ve done since working at Picture People…the difference is unbelievable but challenge never disappears. Instead of creating endearing photographs of crying children, I’m charged with making intimate, telling images of a real life superhero without showing his face.

Thankfully Geist and I get along well and super patience is probably one of his powers. The first frame comes from a quick drop-off for a Ronald McDonald House; the other three are moments allowed to me after our audio interview.

Placing the Place

What’s the point in beautifully lit ‘sense of place’ photos when all the ‘action’ photographs take place under cover of night? Why do I go out each twilight attempting to capture the essence of the city when the rest of my schedule takes me other places? Even if we find a contextual reason to include these photos, does having verticals really matter?

The photos I make in the moment, trying to match the mood and color of the action shots, end up like the frame below. To me the image is successful in that it feels the way Nicollet Mall felt that night. However, I anticipate my cohort gravitating toward the ‘pretty’ frames, those matching neither the aesthetic nor the tone of the story.

Patrol, Minneapolis

The moment before I got in a car with these men I very quickly rethought all of my life choices. There were so many steps along the way wherein someone could have, should have, said “No, Heather, this is a terrible idea.” Real Life Superheroes was/is a story I wanted to push as far as it could possibly be pushed, knowing I’d be stopped before, as Stingray described it, “one of the most underground experiences there is.”

And that frame of mind failed me. Drinking coffee at midnight with three RLSH felt incredibly surreal yet very real as well. Needless to say I had a bit of trouble keeping up psychologically/emotionally, let alone photographically.

I know that between snow, darkness, and my own inhibitions I failed to achieve emotion, intimacy, and moment with these photographs. But I can sure as hell place us in Minneapolis.