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  • Writer's pictureNancy Williamson

Frame by Frame, Chapin's Historic Documentary Unfold


Frame by Frame, Chapin's Historic Documentary Unfold

(Authors note: fifth in a series of articles)

As featured in Chapin Neighbors Magazine

Without the short, catchy, idiom of, "...Lights... Camera... Action..." - the traditional cue for alerting a film crew to begin a scene take, the development of a commercial grade video of Chapin's history was launched on April 24, 25 and 26. The Chapin Historical Association is the Project's sponsor, which is being carried out in concert with the Town of Chapin. CHA's vice chair, John Thomason, is acting as project manager. L. A. Kornegay Media Productions is spearheading the filming, after our Board selected her firm to interview, produce, direct, and videograph the documentary.

The Project launched with 16 interviews completed over the three day period, either yesteryear's senior citizens or descendants of our original founding families. Filming backdrops were the historic Chapin Chamber of Commerce building; the large conference room in the Chapin Public Library; streetside and within several NRHP buildings along Beaufort Street; the Chapin Town Hall; the Piney Woods Elementary School; the small, quaint, Christ Church; and, the Lake Murray Country Visitor Center. The weather cooperated and individual contributions of interviewees were outstanding across the board. More interviews will be scheduled and follow within the next several weeks.

The whole process of capturing our community's past was fascinating to observe from the sidelines. Four lighting, camera and audio professionals assisted Lee Ann in synchronizing pictures and sound. And, just like a Hollywood production, opened hinged clapboard sticks held in view of the camera, are "shuttered", to precisely match visual and audio tracks. Set up and take down of filmmaking equipment, each requires 15 to 20 minutes between takes. And, oh how well all did in recounting forever memories, accompanied by amazing stories, with some occasional humor thrown in the boot!

Once interviews are completed, Ms. Kornegay will begin a several month long process of gathering so-called B-roll footage -that being, images used to support the interviews plus the capturing of archival photos. Then, editing and scripting of Chapin's historic documentary can begin.


To date, the CHA has raised approximately $10,000 for this undertaking. Other outside grants and gifts will be needed to complete the project and we welcome, and in fact encourage, any and all monetary support that may be forthcoming. The so-called long version film format will be ETV suitable and will be approximately 27 to 30 minutes in duration. A shorter version will likely be developed for web and social media applications.

Our working team has been charmed by those we visited with, their in depth knowledge of Chapin's history and their willingness to share their stories. There's so much to be proud of in what we're capturing! And, we can't wait to start weaving all of this together and then sharing it with a much broader audience - hopefully, before the end of the year!

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