Dispatch from the Boiler Room: September 24

One of the benefits of working in film and video is the opportunity to interview fascinating people and learn from insiders about fields that we’d otherwise only ever encounter from afar. We’ve worked with many clients who provide these experiences, but our favorite by far is the Oregon District Court Historical Society. We first worked with them last year when we were tapped to produce a video honoring the recipient of their annual Lifetime Achievement Award, attorney Barnes Ellis. We’re returning to help share the story of this year’s honoree, Judge Anna Brown.

The Honorable Judge Anna Brown

The child of immigrants displaced by World War II, Judge Brown worked as a 911 dispatcher and records assistant in a police station to support herself through college and law school, balancing the demands of school and work with her responsibilities as a caretaker for her ailing mother. From those humble origins, she has become a pilar of the law community, and has presided over two of the most publicized trials in Oregon History: the Philip Morris settlement and the Malheur wildlife refuge occupation.

Judge Brown adjusts her mic

Like many who have made great accomplishments in their lives, Judge Brown is often reticent to sing her own praises, but we nonetheless managed to get her in front of the camera for an interview, sharing some of some of the most compelling storytelling I’ve ever had the good fortune to capture on camera. From being told by a professor that she was taking a place in law school that should have gone to a man, to having the legitimacy of her oath of office challenged by defendants in court, Judge Brown has faced adversity that would make a lesser person hardened to the world. Instead, her experiences have only strengthened her belief in the importance of the law and her resolve to ensure that the system works for everyone that appears in her courtroom.

Cinematographer Phil Pratt joined us on the shoot to work his usual magic, and apprentices Chico Ordeneal and Garrison Davis tagged along to provide assistance, and got to see how a seasoned cinematographer like Phil uses the available lighting resources to make sure that each interview subject looks their very best.

We’ll be reviewing this footage in the coming weeks to prepare for the daunting task of distilling Judge Brown’s amazing life and career into a ten-minute homage to be screened at the District Court Historical Society annual dinner on November 7th. Wish us luck…

This Week…

…is National Week of the Deaf. First launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy, International Week of the Deaf by World Federation of the Deaf, the National Week of the Deaf serves to honor the accomplishments of those with hearing loss and to bring attention to their rights. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports around 466 million people worldwide to have disabling hearing loss (1). Of those, 34 million are children. 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.

Till next time…