Needless to say, I had a wonderful time with this award winning production company who just visited us here in Clarksdale.
Here’s their letter to us, and all of us can be glad that our community was friendly, as usual, and eager to put our best faces forward.
Dear Clarksdale (this was also sent to the Press Register)
Below is a letter to you and the people of Clarksdale, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. I have attached a link to some location production photos at the bottom of the email in case you would like to print them — I know this is unusual in the letters section, but feel free to use them in any way you wish.
Our LANCIT DIGITAL MEDIA documentary video crew was fortunate to be in Clarksdale July 31st through August 1st, to research material for a new series on “The Blues.” Our writer and host, Richard Folsom, said Clarksdale was the perfect place to begin our journey because of the unique musical history, authentic and unspoiled locations, and welcoming people. With the sole exception of the Blues Museum, (who didn’t have adequate advance notice and received us with more disdain than welcome, insisting we leave our video equipment in another room because they were afraid we would shoot something), our mission was a great success.
Wherever our camera showed up, in most cases unannounced, people were willing to help, to talk to us on camera, to share their spaces and places with us, to tell their own Clarksdale stories and to warm us with smiles, laughter, pride and delicious meals!
What originated as a simple research survey turned into a full-on production effort! Virtually everywhere we turned there were people and stories and music and food we could never have imagined! The openness and generosity of Clarksdale folks shined a light on your special town in a way that showed heart, community, history and an artistic free spirit that justifies Clarksdale’s appeal to people all over the world. While in town we met people from Spain, Australia, Wales, Germany, Holland, Scotland, France and England. For them, this was not a processed tourist destination, but a fresh, unvarnished taste of America – being at once proud and humble, with a vulnerable strength and emotional availability that is disarming and endearing.
There are so many people to thank – Bill and Francine Luckett who helped inspire the project to go forward; and to GROUND ZERO BLUES CLUB, where Harry, Mama Rita and Stacy filled us up with Catfish, Tamales and fried grits, and which featured a fabulous show by Big A; Theo and Lorna at the ROCK N’ ROLL AND BLUES MUSEUM; Roger at CATHEAD DELTA BLUES AND FOLK ART; Tina and Archie at GRANDMA’S HOUSE OF PANCAKES and RONNIE’S BARBER SHOP next door where we interviewed Kerry Lee; YAZOO PASS, where we enjoyed breakfast and interview shooting; Art and Carol at BLUESBERRY CAFÉ, with outrageous performances by Deak Harp and Watermelon Slim, plus a fine dinner with fresh pickings from Carol’s garden; Charles, Ellis and Red at RED’S JUKE JOINT (thanks, Charles for the best rib dinner, ever!); Nellie “Tiger” Travis and her entourage, whom we stumbled upon at CLUB EBONY; Robert at HOPSON PLANTATION, who took a break from working the bar to chat about Blues history; and Richard of CLARKSDALENEWS.COM, a true visionary in tourism for the area. There isn’t enough ink in the printing press to list all the wonderful friends we made along our way.
Thank you so much, Clarksdale! Thank you for welcoming our small video troupe like you would family! We couldn’t help being utterly captivated! We will be editing over the next several weeks – and cannot wait to share our story about your special people, remarkable history, delicious food and generous hearts!
Cecily, Larry, Richard and Jan
LANCIT DIGITAL MEDIA
PRODUCTION STILLS LINK: http://tbf.me/a/BDphW3
President & Creative Director
(239) 676-5722 (office)
About Lancit Digital Media:
Lancit Digital Media is a professional video production services company based in Southwest Florida. Our team has earned 16 National Emmy Awards, over 200 broadcast awards including a Peabody Award, Hugo, Prix Jeunesse International, 2 Social Media Star Awards, 2 Telly Awards, numerous Monitor Awards and many Cine Golden Eagles. Lancit Digital Media owns & operates Paradise Coast TV, the visitors channel playing in ~4,000 hotel rooms across Collier County.
About Cecily and Larry Lancit:
Cecily & Larry Lancit are EMMY AWARD winning veteran broadcast producers with over 40 years of experience in the industry. They founded and ran Lancit Media Entertainment in New York City for over 20 years. Lancit Media was best known for creating and producing READING RAINBOW, winner of 16 National Daytime EMMY Awards over an 18 year period, including 7 Emmys for Best Children’s Series.
Lancit Media was also responsible for creating and producing other notable network series, including The PUZZLE PLACE (PBS), OUTWARD BOUND (DISCOVERY), RAMONA (based on the best -selling books by Beverly Cleary,) THE SADDLE CLUB and THE ZACK FILES (Fox Family). Lancit productions have been recognized by over 200 broadcast awards including numerous EMMIES, A Peabody Award, Hugo, Prix Jeunesse International, numerous Monitor Awards and many Cine Golden Eagles.
Lancit Media received over $65 million in production funding from both the public and private sector. Their partners included Fisher Price, Sony, Toys R Us, Kellogg’s, Barnes and Noble, B. Dalton, and IBM. The Lancits also received significant funding from numerous prestigious foundations, including the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation and Pew Charitable Trust.