Blue Chalk Media Four Years On
Four years ago this week, we declared Blue Chalk open for business.
It came at a precarious time for people who made a living through visual storytelling. Bucking conventional wisdom, Blue Chalk’s inaugural message was optimistic. In 2013 we wrote: “Our job at Blue Chalk is to build sustainable business models for world-class visual storytelling in this evolving media landscape. … We see rich possibilities for rethinking how best to create and convey picture-led stories in a digital world.”
I dare say we got that right. Today the market for quality journalism and documentary storytelling seems more robust than any time in the past decade. The rise of social media and web publishing platforms have matured and anointed video as the new coin of the realm. And, as hoped, many companies and organizations with established reputations for knowledge-driven products and services have embraced the powerful communications capabilities of video storytelling.
Since 2013, we’ve completed nearly 500 short documentary films for more than 75 clients, and garnered over 70 major awards. What unifies our approach to all of these diverse projects is an attempt to help viewers walk in someone else’s shoes—if only for a few minutes.
Through our storytelling, we’ve met Dr. Helena Ndume, a Namibian ophthalmologist who alone has conducted 35,000 free cataract surgeries restoring sight to people who had assumed that going blind in old age was simply the will of God. We met award-winning National Geographic photographer Cory Richards who told us how as a wayward teen his camera “saved his life” by giving him purpose and direction. And we met a brave Catholic Sister Consuelo Morales who leads a campaign against government indifference by demanding investigations into the fate of thousands of Mexican citizens who have simply gone missing due to drug violence.
Stories like these seem to be resonating. Our polarized political moment calls for people to go beyond the crude stereotypes and cartoonish characterizations of “the other.” Our goal is to show the actual consequences affecting real people who find themselves “living in the news.” Portraying our subjects as complete, fully feeling human beings brings a sense of authenticity and heartfelt emotion to each of our films.
For all the societal disagreements over politics, economics, religion, gender, race, and class, Blue Chalk’s intent is to make all our stories acknowledge a common humanity. We are thankful that so many clients have chosen to support this type of documentary storytelling, and in doing so, grow the Blue Chalk family of creators. It is truly a privilege to do the work we do.
Thank you for an exceptional four years. We look forward to telling many stories with you in the years to come.
All the best,