Trash Dragon by Silas Crews

Facebook message:

FEB 27TH, 3:57PM Hi Silas. I thought you might be interested in this video competition from Keep PA Beautiful. We are planning a Trash Dragon clean up around Earth Day if you or someone you know is interested in filming and entering the competition. Should be fun.  - Emily Landis, Executive Director of The Lancaster Science Factory

Contest Entry guildlines:

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is announcing our Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania Video Contest.  Send us a 2-minute video (made within a year) of your Great American Cleanup of PA event. (Any videos over 2 minutes long will be disqualified.) We want to see individuals, groups, children, and adults having fun making your communities clean and beautiful!  Include music, be creative, and have fun!

Johnson for Council by Silas Crews

I suggested making a more traditional campaign ad. Matt Johnson, a city council running - young philosophy professor - urbanphile had another idea for how to standout in a seven candidate Democrat primary race.  Production took about four weekends with a lot help from friends and the community and countless accolades to the Red Rose City.  

Lancaster Archery Classic by Silas Crews

Ten months of the year most of my work days are spent creating videos about bows, arrows and archery how-to. In December and January, I put all that aside to take charge of live event broadcast coverage for the Lancaster Archery Classic. 

The 2017 tournament started with 1100 archers in 15 divisions. The final 68 competitors took to the finals stage I designed to highlight the best archers of the competition. We had three days to set-up the lights, backdrop, targets, cameras before streaming head to head matches from each division. Thanks to a great production staff we managed to reach a concurrent live viewership of 3000 on YouTube during the two day broadcast (about 16 hours in total). The archive videos from the finals remain the most popular stuff we produce all year.

And it only took four hours to completely dismantle and pack up everything.


Live video was not the only content we created to help prepare participants for a new venue and a new score card. First, we announced it was time to register. 

The venue space was impressive and large. What used to be a giant warehouse, now encompasses 17 acres of indoor basketball, soccer, baseball, fitness and climbing areas. To give some sense of where the tournament was being held, I created a short 360VR tour. 

Opening day registration is always chaotic and staff typically find themselves answering the same questions over and over. A perfect opportunity to preemptively answer some of those question in a video emailed to all the contestants.

Exploring archery's roots by Silas Crews

I wasn't sure what to expect as I drove across Pennsylvania to the Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous (aka E.T.A.R). I've been to a few archery tournaments that host hundreds of archers, but to see archers camping, to see archers hiking up and down ski hills and no one keeping score... this was not the archery story I expected to tell.  

The audience response was also not exactly what I expected. This has been Lancaster Archery Supply's most successful short film project to date, seeing more than 58K views and 740 shares on Facebook in the first month. 

 

Sled dog-gone dreams by Silas Crews

Hard drive failures are never fun. When you lose a collection of images that captured a memorable assignment it creates a void, a yearning to relive, and a dream-like memory leaving you wondering if it really happened. The first time I experienced sled dog culture was in Northern Michigan on an assignment for True North magazine. Despite the bitter cold, it was one of the warmest and most invigorating assignments I've ever been on. 

Why people decide to visit Fairbanks, Alaska in Winter (okay, maybe early Spring) with their paid time-off was a mystery to me. Turns out it might be one of the best times to experience the Golden Heart City. Ice sculpture festivals, hot springs, northern lights, cross country skiing and sled dog racing are just a few options of the surprising abundance of activities Fairbanks offers in mid to late March. 

I was particularly excited about the Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race. This was my chance to relive my lost sled dog memories. 

Here are some of my favorite moments from three days of sled dog sprint (20+ mile) racing from the 2016 ONAC Championships.

Musher's Hall, Fairbanks, Alaska