In the last couple of years I have been working on little inexpensively produced films that hopefully “make a difference that MAKES a difference”
The first is a film to help get women off the streets of Seattle and into transitional housing entitled “Veronica”. It was created in conjunction with the Peter Howland at the Edge Creative in Seattle and it was very effective in raising money (and it won a couple of Telly Awards).
The second film is about the issues confronting Still Born children and the film title is Born in Silence. Charlie Watts and I were co-creative directors and Andrew Watts of Watts Media Seattle did the edit. This film is designed to help families, doctors, hospitals and so forth come to terms with a hidden but huge issue (this video also won Telly Awards).
The third film was just completed and ,again, it was a co-creative directorship with Charlie Watts. This film looks at the issue becoming a national burden… Alzheimer’s disease. We explore in this film this issue but through the lens of art therapy. Of interest technically with this film is that instead of all the monster cameras and lenses I used a simple setup, a Sony NEX-7, and a Sony NEX-5. The tiny nature of this cameras with the quality of image… well, see for yourself.
These films can be seen on my website: www.williamthompson.com.
Video highlighting the first and only high-altitude film documentation of Mt. Everest. Originally shot in 1983 for the National Geographic Society and Boston Museum of Science.
These images of Mt. Everest are being shared on this Xmas eve 2011… Interestingly, these were both taken on Xmas eve 1983 for an article on Mt. Everest for the National Geographic.
In March I am taking a group of 12 image makers to North Vietnam for 14 days. We will high grade the enormously visual environment by traveling and shooting in Hanoi (incredible lively environment), then to Sapa in the mountains of Hmong country (Red and Black Hmong villages) staying at the Topas Eco-Lodge, ultimately taking the night train to Hanoi and on to Hal0ng Bay to film amidst the remarkable karst ‘islands’ of this World Heritage site.
Each day is a ph0t0 adventure whereby every participant will work with me personally to learn to see through the eyes of an ex-National Geographic photographer. But this adventure is not just for the experienced photographer.. it is an adventure in learning to see and perhaps see differently.
Please visit my site PhotoAdventureVietnam to see imagery and read in detail about this photographic learning and traveling experience..
I find it fascinating to wander through my life-time of images. It is through these photographs which essentially measure my life and fundamentally define who I am.
One of the most exciting and interesting stories I did for the NGS was for the 100 year anniversary issue – Exploring the Earth. The National Geographic and the Boston Museum of Science invested 10 years in defining and creating commitments to allow the overflight of the top of the world and given that one-half of Everest is in China this was a touchy and difficult negotiation. I was lucky enough to have been the one to do the image making. Two aircraft were utilized: a Swiss Pilatus Porter turbine engined small plane, and a Lear Jet from Sweden that was especially outfitted for oblique image making as well as map making. The project was many months in the process and a fantastic experience. It was exciting and dangerous.
(click on the image for enlargement)
A year ago I was in a discussion with the president of my son’s University (Quest Canada) about the nature of their website. In my kindly and generous way I said I would fix it pro bono. Whoa… too generous but a commitment had been made – a huge job and a year later but it is done. The connection here is that the entire project, the videos, the stills were all created on these two Canon cameras. There were almost 40 videos and over a thousand stills. The quality and ease of use of these tools was and continues to be astonishing.
I stayed away from all the add-on tools that one can buy… I had an assistant part of the time but the imagery was created often on the go without a lot of pre-planning. I used the cameras’ monitors to focus and the sound was brought into the cameras as well (there are noise issues but it has more to do with the air conditioning and other mechanical “gray sound” in the background and I didn’t have the time or inclination to do something about it given the time constraints). Tools do not make great images or film obviously and I am not suggesting that this is great work. What I AM suggesting is that the tools were easy to use as always, substantial in terms of ergonomics. I never had to worry.