Thursday, May 27, 2010


Well it's been a long time coming, but we finally have a new (to us) camera for the documentary!  We are now the proud owners of a used Panasonic AG-DVX100A with only 128 recording hours on it.  What a relief...

Camera shopping has been an incredibly long and tedious process because the original cameras we budgeted and got partial funding for are no longer in our price range.  When we first researched and estimated the cost of our ideal camera options for our KFW and Alternate ROOTS grant proposals, there were several used cameras advertised online that would have been affordable.  But since receiving the funds, their cost has increased and our personal purchasing power has decreased.

We lamented the prospect of giving up HD capability and SD format recording, but ultimately it became clear that we were losing more in waiting to get a good camera.  So we decided to research the camera right below the Panasonic HMC150 and HVX200, and voila!  We discovered that the DVX100A still has a 24P (24 frames progressive) mode for a film look, shoots 16:9, and includes a headphone jack and XLR inputs for microphones.  These were the primary qualities that we were seeking to upgrade in our video equipment, so we feel really good about the choice we made and the price we paid! 

We actually got a great deal when we did a cost comparison of the same or similar models, both used and new, not only because of its low price but also its low usage hours and its excellent condition.  The other great outcome of going with a more modest camera is that we can still purchase some of the key accessories (i.e., shotgun mic, tripod, carrying case) that we originally budgeted.  Plus, we can also pay someone to repair our old MiniDV camera so we can shoot with both cameras and record multiple perspectives of upcoming interviews.  When it seemed like we would never find what we were looking for, we focused on what we really wanted, and it worked out it well in spite of taking longer than we'd planned.

Thanks again to Alternate ROOTS (with help from the Ford Foundation) and the Kentucky Foundation for Women for their Artistic Assistance and Artist Enrichment support!
Props also to various informative mentor materials from Anthony Artis: The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide and his Down & Dirty DV blog.  I mentioned his amazing book and online resources in our first blog post, and they have both been indispensable throughout our ongoing documentary budgeting and planning, especially when researching and selecting our camera and other essential equipment.  His style is extremely approachable and to the point, and he's already saved us a lot of time and money by providing a basic boot camp for DIY documentary production.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

David Lundy Oral History

The following interview video with David Lundy is an oral history of his personal and musical background; the history of Lundy Recording Studio; his family's musical talents; and his recollections of Bluegrass musicians Frances and John Reedy who recorded there.

We arrived at the Lundy Recording Studio around 10:00 a.m. on February 4, 2010.  Berea College Sound Archivist Harry Rice was already there as we had invited him to meet Mr. Lundy and participate in the oral history interview. Mr. and Mrs. David and Viola Lundy were very friendly and hospitable and welcomed us into the ground-floor studio in their home.  Tammy shot some footage of the studio and of Harry, Timi, and Mr. and Mrs. Lundy talking before and after the formal interview.

Mr. Lundy shared a fairly detailed history of the Lundy Recording Studio and his family's own musical talents and recording/performing accomplishments.  In addition to his recollections of John and Frances Reedy, Mr. Lundy also pulled a file with a photo of John and most of the invoices from their Lundy recordings.  So he was able to provide exact dates for the LP and three 45's they recorded there.  He also shared several names (and contact information) of potential interview subjects, one of which we already knew of and the rest new leads:
  • Charlie Bays (former band member of Brush Creek Grass who recorded with the Reedys)
  • Don Frederick (former member of Brush Creek Grass)
  • Homer Lee Jackson (Barbourville DJ)
  • Ray Hoskins (formerly Laurel Leaf Records in London, Kentucky)
  • Dallas Hoskins (son of Ray)
Tammy asked Mr. Lundy about regular studio musicians (other than his family members who regularly play in studio sessions), and he mentioned several additional names; however, some of them were inaudible when Tammy listened the first time (and to the video when she captured it), and we also need to clarify whether they were contemporaries of the Reedys or current session musicians who play at the studio.  This may be as simple as reviewing the video of this part of the interview, but we might also need to follow-up again with Mr. Lundy if it still isn't clear.

It was extremely helpful to have Harry along because of his personal knowledge of the local area as well as his broader expertise in Appalachian music.  Mr. Lundy also seemed very pleased that Harry was there and expressed great interest in learning more about the preservation techniques used at the Berea College Archives.  Their rapport was such that an ongoing relationship or at least interaction seems likely.  Harry expressed interest in participating in future interviews with other folks, so we plan to include him on the project as much as possible.  He's such a great resource!

Mr. Lundy expressed his gratitude and great honor in being included in the project about the Reedy family.  He mentioned John Reedy more than Frances, and he erroneously referenced John as the guitar player in the group (Frances actually played the guitar while John played the harmonica; both sang vocals).  This oversight was minor relative to the valuable information he provided and his genuine interest and enthusiasm in speaking with us.

Tammy promised to send Mr. Lundy a link to the documentary project blog as well as to share a DVD of the oral history interview and a CD of the Reedys' Lundy recordings that have been digitized.


Lundy Recording Studio Tour 

Visit the Lundy Recording Studio with David and Viola Lundy, Harry Rice, and Timi Reedy and listen to "Somebody Touched Me" and "My Warfare Soon Will Be Ended" performed by Frances and John Reedy and recorded at Lundy Studio.