These commercials were done for the Power Workers’ Union of Ontario to get the personal stories of the people of Kenora who would be most affected by the closing of the local mill due to power costs.
I interviewed families in Kenora, the Mayor and workers at the mill to get very human, very touching and sometimes uncomfortable viewpoints on the consequences of hydro policies.
To get the people, who obviously were not experienced actors, to look directly into the camera rather than the usual technique of their eyeline being to the side, we rigged up a system by monkeying around with a standard teleprompter setup where the live image of me interviewing them was placed in front of our camera lens. So while they talked to ‘me’ (my live image) they were looking directly into the lens. It took a couple of minutes for them to get used to it, but then everything went perfectly.
These were turned into a series of :30 second commercials, a compilation :60 and were also used in presentations by the PWU.