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Keith and Mike: The Harpo Globetrotters Harpo Studios has been keeping our MPG shooters busy this summer in more exotic locales. Keith Walker and Mike Swanson, along with audio freelancer Matt Vogel, recently shot LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat for Oprah’s Next Chapter. They also traveled to New Orleans for behind-the-scenes shooting of Oprah’s return to acting in The Butler, a film by Lee Daniels (Precious), which also stars Forest Whitaker. Keith, Mike, and Matt recently returned from Barbados shooting a sequence with Rihanna for an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter. Rihanna surprised everyone by presenting her mother with a brand-new dream home, after touring her humble childhood abode with Oprah. Keith posing with the Heat’s championship trophy

Last week the crew shot an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter in Iowa with Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas, pictured here. The MPG shooters have also been busy shooting episodes of Super Soul Sunday and Iyanla Vanzant’s show, premiering in September: Iyanla, Fix My Life. Find out about the latest programming at

Matt Vogel, Keith Walker, Gabby Douglas and Mike Swanson.


Perseverance: The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor The feature documentary about legendary football player Billy Taylor of Michigan fame is nearing completion. Freelance editor Ryan Mayers spent several weeks in our Avid HD edit suite at MPG to cut the wealth of interviews with former Wolverines and archival footage into a one-hour piece. The rough cut was recently screened with Dr. Taylor in attendance by co-directors Bob Hercules and Daniel Chace. Dan Chace, Tom Ufer, and Bob Hercules

Perseverance tells the remarkable story of the star tailback, who rose to great heights at The University of Michigan, only to end up on the streets of Detroit, battling alcoholism and drug addiction. With the help of former coach Bo Schembechler, Taylor got back on his feet, earned a doctorate of education, and started a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and drug addicts. DP’s were Mike Swanson and Keith Walker. The film will premiere in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in early November.

Bob and Mike shooting at a Michigan game

RUN: The Mary Decker Story

Mary Decker at the 1984 Olympics

Keith Walker is the DP of a new documentary for ESPN entitled, RUN: The Mary Decker Story. Produced by Triple Threat Productions and directed by Shola Lynch, the documentary tells the story of the runner who set 17 world records, won three gold medals, and overcame several serious medical conditions to compete. Shooting took place in Eugene, Oregon, where Decker currently lives with her husband, as well as Myrtle Beach, San Diego, and Orlando. Stay tuned for news on when the documentary premieres on ESPN’s upcoming Nine for IX Series.


Saving Furry Lives at PAWS Chicago Keith, audio freelancer Byron Smith, and MPG’s newest PA (normally the office manager) Alex Ensign, spent several days shooting many, many, many adorable furry creatures for Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter, PAWS Chicago. Freelance producer Caroline Ziv worked with Paula and Alexis Fasseas, the exceptionally committed mother and daughter team who founded PAWS, to capture some priceless moments of pet adoption and rescue. Shooting on a Canon 5D, Keith, Byron, and Alex toured PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) various facilities, including a mobile spay/neuter clinic nicknamed GusMobile, the adoption center in Lincoln Park, and the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic.

The kitten that stole Keith’s heart at Animal Care and Control

After shooting some incredibly touching interviews and b-roll, Keith remarked, “A lot of times people say it’s never good to work with kids or animals, but in this scenario I found them to be quite lovable and adorable.” The footage will be edited into a series of PSA’s and web content. Stay tuned for those videos and find out more about this wonderful organization at

Alex’s most difficult task yet: cuddling a shih tzu puppy while an interview was being set up

Finishing Stories: The Avid Symphony Nitris

Our Avid Symphony Nitris HD suite is a deluxe on-line system with multi-layer color correction tools and a Black Magic HD scope. We recently did the finishing work for producer Ethan Bensinger’s new documentary, Refuge: The Self-Help Home, as well as our films Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance and Bill T. Jones: A Good Man. We can take your rough cut and transform it into a broadcast-ready, color-corrected gem. Call Lisa Pooler for a quote.


Easter Seals MPG shot and edited a video for the Easter Seals organization this July. Easter Seals specializes in helping the elderly, veterans, and those with disabilities through a variety of services. This video was made to encourage people to take full Mike Gomez being interviewed about SCSEP advantage of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which offers free job placement for senior citizens. Learn more about Easter Seals at The video was directed by Bob Hercules, produced by Lisa Pooler, and edited in our Avid Symphony HD edit suite by freelancer Rick Mahal, with graphics by in-house designer Paul Garcia. Mike Swanson was the DP and freelancer Byron Smith did audio.

Head Games Head Games, the latest documentary by award-winning director Steve James of Kartemquin Films, produced by Bruce Sheridan, and DP’ed by MPG’s Keith Walker, recently premiered in Chicago. The film discusses the complications that result from sports injuries and can have life-long, A vicious tackle can have lasting traumatic effects devastating effects on athletes. After shooting in Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore for the film, Keith remarked, “I played football in high school and never thought about the repercussions then. My nephew is heavily into sports and I left that project being more concerned about youth who play contact sports and how they are affected by those decisions.” Learn more about Head Games at their website,


Joffrey Now Available to Download Our film, Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance will make its Broadcast Premiere on PBS’ American Masters on December 28th, 2012! The DVD (with some excellent bonus extras) is now available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes. We encourage people to write comments on Amazon telling us what you thought of the film.

An early photo of Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino

Boss: Season 2 The Starz series Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer and Connie Nielsen, wrapped their second season of production in Chicago earlier this summer. Our MPG crew shot behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast. You can watch those videos online at The second season premiered on August 17th--don’t miss the rest of the season! Audio was primarily done by Hayden Jackson, along with various other freelancers.

Kathleen Robertson on set

A tangle of boom poles in a scene with Kelsey Grammer

For booking one of our crews or one of our Avid HD edit suites, please contact Lisa Pooler at 312-850-1300 or


MPG Summer Newsletter 2012  
MPG Summer Newsletter 2012  

See what MPG has been up to this summer!