Thursday, September 27, 2012

A litte help from the outside: Ryan McNaughton

Meet one of the people helping me along the way with my documentary, Ryan McNaughton.

McNaughton is my faculty, or broadcast expert consultant on the project. McNaughton currently teaches a sports broadcasting course here at Westminster.

He also currently works as a Career Counselor at Kent State University, but has 13 years of experience in the broadcast field. Ryan has worn many hats over the years, working as a sports reporter and producer at News 10 Now in the Syracuse area, Communications assistant for the Cleveland Browns, not to mention a number of other positions.

McNaughton earned his Master's Degree in Counselor Education from Westminster College and his undergraduate degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

I asked McNaughton to help me with my documentary as my consultant because he has a vast background in the broadcasting business, more specifically the sports broadcasting field, a career that I am looking to pursue.

McNaughton is helping me with the project by advising me on different aspects of the documentary. Most recently, McNaughton gave me an idea of who I could contact for help in the production of the music for the film. He has agreed to advise me throughout the course of the semester, giving me feedback on my progress, and the overall creation of the Living Legend film.

You can learn more about Ryan McNaughton here:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living Legend to be entered to film festival
I have decided to enter the documentary into the Soutside Film Festival in Bethlehem, PA. I chose this festival because the deadline is time appropriate (February 14th), and the entry fee is very cheap ($15.00). The one disadvantage of the festival is that it is not close to Pittsburgh, where St. Mary's Lyceum is located. I was hoping that those from the Lawrenceville community interested in seeing the film could come to the festival, but unless another film festival in Pittsburgh surfaces, that probably will not happen. While I wanted to enter the film into the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, the deadline for that particular festival was too early, as the festival takes place in November. To make up for not submitting my documentary in Pittsburgh, I plan on submitting the film to WQED Filmmaker's Corner. This is not a contest, so to speak, however, the Filmmaker's Corner features documentaries about local subjects, perfect for what my documentary is about. This way, those from the Pittsburgh area will be able to view the film.

Sunday, September 9, 2012



A key ingredient to creating a documentary is having good research techniques, and sufficient sources to find content to display in your film. A key piece of research in the production of my documentary has been my contact with a local historian in Pittsburgh by the name of Jude Wudarczyk. Wudarczyk has a very vast background in knowledge of the history of Lawrenceville, the neighborhood in which Saint Mary's Lyceum is located. He is also a published author, writing of several topics about the history of Lawrenceville. In speaking with Mr. Wudarczyk, I have received information that I could not have found otherwise. I also plan on interviewing Wudarczyk, to hear his insight on the history of the neighborhood and the building specifically. The research that I did to obtain the information that Wudarczyk has given to me, has helped get my documentary on its feet. The research has also opened doors to more research as well. With information that Wudarczyk possesses alone, I have plenty of material for my documentary.

Jude Wudarczyk (left) and his brother, James Wudarczyk (right)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"A Living Legend" Treatment

A Living Legend: The Story of Saint Mary’s Lyceum

A Documentary by Liam Halferty

Logline: Nearing its 100th year anniversary, Saint Mary’s Lyceum has long been a place for the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville to come together to enjoy the various festivities held at this historical venue. This film will highlight how through economic and social trials and tribulations, the Lyceum has remained open because of hard-working people that put in countless hours to keep this century-old building, that is so rich in history, up and running.

Redbeard Productions, run by Liam Halferty, presents a historical digital short documenting the history of a very special 100-year-old historic landmark in the city of Pittsburgh. The film will also highlight the way in which a community has come together on several occasions to prevent this building that means so much to the neighborhood, from closing forever. The hard-working people of Lawrenceville, mainly one of the main characters listed below, Mickey McGrane, prevented the closing of the building in 2004 and 2010, when the church and schools associated with the Lyceum, were closed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The film will highlight how a community came together to overcome this conflict.

Main Characters

Mickey McGrane: A lifetime resident of Lawrenceville and an active member in both the community and Saint Mary’s Lyceum, Mickey is the main reason that the Lyceum is able to stay open. Mickey’s father, John “Baldy” McGrane, was the most active member in the community before his death in 2005. Mickey takes care of the day-to-day operations of the gymnasium, and he is the coordinator of the local baseball league. He is the most active member in the community of Lawrenceville and the true definition of a model citizen. McGrane is the main character in this documentary, as Lyceum has meant the most to Mickey and his family, as well as the entire community of Lawrenceville.

James Wudarczyk: An author and historian for the Lawrenceville Historical Society, Wudarczyk has written several articles on Saint Mary’s Parish. He also is co-author of In Loving Memory—and Still More Lawrenceville Stories. Wudarczyk, like McGrane, offers his knowledge of Lyceum and Lawrenceville history of years ago because of his extensive research. This is something that people living today most likely will not be able to offer.
Jude Wudarczyk: Also an author and historian for the Lawrenceville Historical Society, Wudarczyk, James' brother, has a very vast background of the history of the neighborhood of Lawrenceville.
Andrew Czachowski: A resident of Lawrenceville and a member of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 20-year-old Andrew Czachowski restored St. Mary's Lyceum in 2009 as part of his Eagle Scout project, the highest rank of achievement possible for the Boy Scouts of America. Czachowski not only knows much about the parish himself from growing up so close to the gymnasium, and playing basketball there for many years, but Czachowski also knows many other people very involved in the parish and gymnasium. Over 40 people who this building means so much to from the neighborhood helped Andrew in painting, cleaning, and remodeling the then 98-year-old St. Mary's Lyceum. Czachowski is an expert on the Lyceum as he will stress the importance that this building has had on not only his life, but the lives of the surrounding neighborhood as well. He will also tell how this building influenced his Eagle Scout project, and how neighborhood businesses aided him financially, and supported him in his work. Czachowski is now a student at Kent State University.

Through the creation of this documentary, 100 years of oral history is being preserved in the form of a short film. The film will not only intrigue those whose lives have been affected in some way by this historic building, but everyone can appreciate the story of how a community came together to keep this building open through difficult times. Lawrenceville has long been a place full of hard-working, determined people and the way in which the Lyceum has lasted all these years reflects that. Visuals used in this documentary include shots of the gym itself, the neighborhood of Lawrenceville, and the church associated with the gym. Still pictures also will be used from years past to depict the 100 year history of the Lyceum. The point of view will be someone telling the story from the outside, or an etic point of view. First, the film will show a brief history of the Lyceum. Then, the film will show how the neighborhood and building have survived the closing of the church and school affiliated with the gymnasium,  because of a tight-knit community of hard-working individuals coming together. Finally, the film will show again the present-day state of the building, showing how it has triumphed many trials and tribulations, and well as a description of what may be in store in the future for the building.

Redbeard Productions will tell the story in a 25-30 minute digital video movie to be presented to the BC 602 Capstone Showcase audience in Mueller Theater in December 2012.