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Workshop: Meet the Film Maker

Meet the Film Maker

“The Folk” don’t write tunes, people do. So where does folk music come from? How does traditional music become traditional? These questions have long intrigued me, and I felt that by studying case histories closely, I could perhaps learn about how that process works.

As I looked into the history of the “Westphalia Waltz,” I realized that it was a great story to develop into a documentary film. It’s primarily a 20th-century story, so some of the principals are still alive. The children and grandchildren of others preserve their ancestors’ stories, pictures, and instruments. They were forthcoming in sharing information and materials with me to help make “The Waltz to Westphalia” a compelling story.

At my “Meet the Film Maker” session, I share how I’ve learned to document their stories, a research process that demands both technical and social skills. I show several chapters from the DVD and tell behind-the-scenes stories about the people and places I saw during my travels around Texas, New England, and the Midwest. I ask for input from the audience regarding composition, substance, and style, and answer questions about the story and the production of the film.

Katie Weed editing video at Highland Studios

Waltz to Westphalia DVD

Joe Weed is a fiddler, recording artist, writer, and producer. He has released six albums of his own. His music productions have been used by Ken Burns, PBS, NPR, the Martin Guitar Company, and at Arlington National Cemetery. Joe has composed music for film scores at The Lincoln Museum, the National Steinbeck Center, and many others. He has written fiddle tunes that are played at contra dances, festivals, and jam sessions across the country.