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You know I’ve been yapping on about this “Big Job” and how it has taken all my time and I can’t concentrate on anything new because of it. Well, that’s now finished and I can start making room for the rest of what I have in the works. I am not complaining, at all, about the amount of time that project took. Not at all. This is what I love to do. What is it? I hear you, I hear you… I’ll tell you.

Four years ago, Jason Thiel of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership came into The Less Desirables Studio and asked if I would be interested in helping him out with something. He needed to have some video work done, along with some voice overs, for the Downtown Winston-Salem Excellence Awards. The guy he had do it before was unavailable and the job needed to be done in two weeks. He seemed really in a bind. I like being the one to help out and I was also in position to make a little revenue, and that, Dear Reader, is a wondermous thing.

Here’s the thing, though: I had no idea how to do any video work. I had put together some video from a small project that I was doing, once. For that, luckily, I had purchased a cheap-o, $30 video editing software and it was sitting on the computer in the studio, by chance. That was a big. ballsy thing, a huge chance I was taking accepting the job, but I accepted it, nonetheless. The voice over thing? I can do that, no problem, that’s what I was already doing and still continue doing.

Jason provided me with the pictures and copy to read, I just needed to do the VO, put them, along with the pictures, into a video add a little music and crank out a finished product. I stressed and worked around the clock for those two weeks. He was happy and that made me happy. The next year he asked if I’d do it again and I said yes. He actually left the job of copy to me, so I turned to my favorite copywriter: The BCPF. We make a good team.

I moved up that year to use Adobe Premiere Pro, a much more in-depth program. Thanks to some very quick tutoring (read: self learning, Google and YouTube) I was able to really pull off a decent product. The next year, he asked me again but this time, not only did we do the copy, we collected the pictures. And this year, yep, again: more of the all-inclusive contract work and it’s fun. Challenging, but fun.

The BCPF and I have gotten pretty good at pulling all this together. Luckily, we had a few weeks to get all of this together, this year. So, I finished all the videos up yesterday. It took a little bit to get everyone’s bios and pictures that they wanted us to use. It’s easier to make them look good if we have material they’re comfortable with us using.

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Excellence Awards are always presented at the annual meeting of the DWSP. That meeting was this morning. The DWSP went through what the city had done this past year, new developments that are coming and then the awards presentation.The recipients for this year were all deserving and it was an impressive class of winners.

The award winners this year were:
*Atelier on Trade: Owned and operated by my friend Pablo del Valle. A great bakery that isn’t just bread and baguettes. Actually, I don’t know much of any baguettes there at all. But, my favorite thing there is the cheesecake. I’ve never had a cheesecake like that. Pablo graduated Le Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Delicious artistry, this. Congrats mon ami!

*ARTivity on the Green: a cool green space, urban park and artistry place located on Liberty Street. Disclaimer, here, Dear Reader: I will admit that I’ve had some not-so-positive things to say about this project in the past. I want to make a public retraction. Not


©AFAS Group

because I did the vid for this project, but because over time I’ve changed my perspective. I have always loved the idea concept of the project but didn’t understand the “misting red sticks” in the middle. Once I found out what they were and what they represented (the factory and industrial history of the city’s smokestacks and the mist is the smoke), that really opened up my eyes to the purpose and vision that AFAS Group, and especially Harry & Julie, had, as well as the love for this city, its history and its art community. So, congrats to Harry, Julie and the gang for this award. You deserve it. Harry actually gave a preview of the new AFAS Group Headquarters which will host the Red Dog Galleries, the offices and a community artist space. Great job, guys!


*Bailey Park: The former power plant for the RJR industries’ warehouses and factories, and close to downtown shops and restaurants, the park features a large grassy lawn with a covered stage, food truck court and planned enhancements including a water feature and a walkway connecting the upper and lower levels. Bailey Park has proven to be an ideal venue for free community programming, events and activities. It’s great for picnics, sitting and relaxing and viewing the great city skyline of Winston-Salem. Currently, there’s some renovations (just a year or so after it opened) to include a water feature (a water fountain) and a walkway to connect the upper and lower sections of the park. Good stuff.

*Hank Perkins and Drew Gerstmyer: executives at East Coast Capital properties and owners of several locations and buildings like Big Winston Warehouse (where Black Mountain Chocolate, Big Winston Lounge and Broad Branch Distillery is), Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Famous Toastery, Top Tier Fitness and investors in the Nash Building (where Texas Pete and Green Mountain Gringo are moving to) and Camel City BBQ Factory. A lot of what is happening in the new “Entertainment District,” is happening because of Hank and Drew. They’re mysterious and out of the spotlight but we are happy to be able to partake in their vision for the great downtown we have. Congrats!

*Linville Team Partners: Real estate investors and reshapers of the downtown landscape and features, LTP has been instrumental in the development and re-purposing of 525@Vine in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the Wells Fargo Center, the historic Nash Building, the future Ballpark Development, the Twin City Lofts and many things in the north Trade Street area. I actually know one of their agents/partners from my days in the network marketing group, BNI. Happy for them!

*Mast General Store: Not much needs to be said about Mast General Store. Started way back in the late 1800s, it’s rapidly becoming a big tourist destination wherever they set up shop. The WSNC store has been one of the largest undertakings of the company and I believe it’s the best of all their stores. I’m biased and have only been to one other one, in Hendersonville, but this is the best one. Lots of candy, like two miles of it, and retail options along with old timey charm. That’s what you’ll find there. Glad you’re here, Mast General Store!

I really want to take this time to thank Jason, Mary Charlotte Hinkle and Mackenzie Cates Allen from DWSP for allowing me the opportunity to present them my work and thanks to Jason for the public shout out at the meeting. I really appreciate that. I hope that I get to work with you perpetually in the future. Thank you all so much.

Ok, well that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. So, I apologize but, I thank you, Dear Reader, for reading!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Capitalizing on the dismal economy, I decided to return to school. This time my studies would take me to Paris, France, where I spent a year studying at the venerable Cordon Bleu and earned the prestigious Grande Diplôme. My training, the most comprehensive program in French culinary education (I attended classes six days a week, typically twelve hours each day), provided me with an opportunity to master a staggering range of cuisine and patisserie techniques.” – Pablo del Valle