Here is a multimedia video I just completed about a finish carpenter that defied the failing economy by turning his childhood fun into a modern-day longboard skateboard venture.

I’m pretty excited about this post. For the past month I have been working night and day on this multimedia project. I found Bob Waller, of Waller’s Woodys, by chance while working on another story for my newspaper. Bob is a high end finish carpenter here in Fairfield who for the last 25 years has been doing high end custom woodworking and carpentry throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As he puts it, “I was a cake decorator for a house. Doing beauty for the sake of beauty.” When the economy began taking a nose dive two years ago, Bob watched as his business dwindled from being booked six months out to a near trickle. It was that point that he realized he needed to go another direction. A phoenix rising out of the ashes. Through the encouragement of his sons, he decided to harness the life-long love of skateboarding and started a longboard skateboard company based off of the old 1960’s Woody panel wagons.

This story meant a lot to me in that it was a very personel project. For the past couple of months I had been frustrated with the stories that I was producing mostly due to the fact that my newspaper always gave me very limited time to development and work on one. I wanted a project that I could do on my time at the pace I wanted to develop it at. A pace that favored quality over quick deadlines. Waller’s Woodys was my answer. Bob and his family were gracious enough to open their door and let me into their lives. Through their patience and trust, I was given full reign to experiment and try new approaches to telling a story. Most notably my use of video. I’ve done little video work as a photojournalist throughout my career and I saw this project as a great opportunity to give it a shot. I had a great time with it. I am grateful to them for allowing me play and to step out of my comfort zone as a journalist. Check out the video, let me know what you think and spread the word. Best, -M

I’d like to dedicate this story to a friend and insanely talented photographer Monica Lopossay who recently helped me to refocus my approach to my photography. I am forever grateful.



8 replies
  1. Mark Bidstrup
    Mark Bidstrup says:

    WOW, that old photo was the skateboard ramp on my familys ranch in Suisun. I bet I have more of those shots of us. We built that half pipe right next to my parents house. Two skateboards went through windows. Good fun!!!

  2. Mike Greener
    Mike Greener says:

    Mark, that is awesome. Sad to hear that a half pipe like that doesn't exist in Fairfield anymore. I had a lot of fun going through all of that old footage. Too much good stuff. Glad you liked the video. I had a blast making it.

  3. Jsn@rchr
    Jsn@rchr says:

    Thanks for reconnecting and directing me to your blog. I agree with all of the sentiments above. Good work on the video. If you ever wanted to transition into television journalism or documentary you would be well suited. Take care!

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