Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

CVI: Wine Stoppers

Stumbling on the Extraordinary

When a video production team goes on a shoot, there are certain expectations. They know their subjects, the location, the footage they need to capture, and the broad strokes of the story they’re trying to tell. But, as anyone in the video production industry will tell you, shoots have a way of surprising you, no matter how much you prepare.

For ECG Productions’ joint producers-and-directors from ECG Productions, Sebastian Chamaca and Alessandro Graci, their shoot at the Center for the Visually Impaired offered the best kind of surprise: A chance to help tell a genuinely inspiring story about some remarkable people.

An Unexpected Calling

CVI performs an important task, creating initiatives to help people navigate living with blindness, whether they became blind, or were born that way. For ECG, the gig was pro-bono, unpaid and for charity. The focus was on a project called Woodworking for the Blind. Specifically, the focus of the piece was on spinning pins and making wine stoppers. Sebastian and Alessando were happy to help out, but they didn’t know exactly what to expect. As it turned out, it was the context of this seemingly innocuous activity that made it so special. When Sebastian and Alessandro met with volunteer coordinator and woodworker, Steve Pritchard, and CVI client, Laurie Cannon, they were immediately drawn into this story. It was a mission to inspire visually impaired people through woodworking.

Originally started in Tampa, Florida, the Woodworking for the Blind project has helped blind individuals and volunteers like Steve find fulfillment. In addition, it’s actually proved to be a conduit for more than one visually impaired person to start a woodworking business themselves. In her interview, Laurie describes a hobby that’s not only productive, but also healthy, as it improves her dexterity and spatial awareness.

That’s where the wine stoppers come in. This program has driven Laurie and others to hone their skills. Laurie, who started woodworking about a month before the video was made, hopes to expand her repertoire to include other products, too. Items like bottle openers, candlesticks, and peppermills. She’s donated several items back to CVI, and sold many others to a growing clientele.

Spreading Inspiration

The story of the Woodworking for the Blind project is a remarkable example of determination being rewarded. It’s a great reminder to never count anyone out. We can all learn new things, get involved in unique activities, and contribute to our communities in unexpected ways.

From the program’s humble beginnings, it has changed lives, allowing people to gain new skills and foster new relationships, like that between Steve and the Cannon family. It might seem like a lot to stem from something so simple as a pin, but, as Steve says in the video, “If they could make a pin, they could do anything.”

Perseverance brought the program to life. It’s helped draw awareness to CVI, and bring joy to the people involved. For the ECG team, the message was clear: We shouldn’t let our limitations define us. “Something that really stuck with us,” said Sebastian, “was how they put it. They said, ‘Just because you’ve lost your sight, it doesn’t mean you lose your vision.’”

As a result of their time on this project, Seb and Alesso (as they’re known around the office) have become the chief advocates for ECG’s involvement in more charity projects. As if there was any doubt as to the effect that making this video had on the pair, they’ve now got a plan of their own back at ECG Productions headquarters. The goal? Granting future interns the opportunity to seek out worthy causes and choose to make mini-documentaries themselves. It’s an opportunity for them to refine their real-world skills and find fulfillment in their work at the same time. Sound familiar?

About ECG Productions

ECG Productions is a script-to-screen production house located in Atlanta, GA. From music videos, to corporate explainers, to documentaries and narrative film, they do it all. Dynamic, engaging video content is the name of the game, and there’s nothing they love more than bringing great stories (like this one) to light. To see more of their work, or contact the team, check out their website!