It was about this time two years ago when a small group of us gathered in my living room out at Muddy Ford and discussed what we wanted out of the new Columbia arts magazine we were building, Jasper. Having written for national magazines for years, I felt comfortable on the writing side of things. But having always been peevish about people talking — or worse, writing — about things they know little about, it was important from the start that we only bring in staff members who know a great deal about their subject matter. Experts in the field, if you will. Folks who have the vocabulary and are proficient in the theory and methods about which they would write.
It was a pretty small group of us at first. Ed Madden took on the literary arts and Kyle Petersen, music. Thankfully, Heyward Sims agreed to be our design editor — a huge task and a huge load off of my mind to know that our words and photography would be handled by someone who would respect them, as well as enjoy and experiment with the process of putting them on paper. And Kristine Hartvigsen was and continues to be a great source of advice and encouragement.
It didn’t take long for the magazine family to grow with long-time theatre aficionado August Krickel joining the staff as theatre editor, Bonnie Boiter-Jolley as dance editor (it seemed only natural), and Forrest Clonts as photography editor — another huge job given that Forrest is responsible for arranging for all the photographs to be taken, and then editing them and preparing them for publication. Last summer, Annie Boiter-Jolley signed on as our operations manager — a tremendous underuse of her skill set, but we’re thrilled to have her. Just before Christmas this year, Chris Robinson from USC joined us as our visual arts editor — a position I had been wanting to fill with the right person since the inception of the magazine. And now, finally, local filmmaker and documentarian Wade Sellers has come on board as our film editor.
Wade is the owner and executive director of Coal Powered Filmworks and, among many other things, the person who brings you the excellent SC ETV series on South Carolinians and their involvement in WWII. Wade is always hopping on a plan and heading for all points exciting so I’m practically over-the-moon that he has agreed to share his wisdom with us. And when I say that he has wisdom and experience, I’m not kidding — in all aspects of filmmaking. He has served as the director of four films, cinematographer on seven, writer on three, and editor and producer on two, not to mention working as camera, gaffer or grip on nine more. And he’s been nominated for two Emmys.
Wade came to work ready to make things happen in the Columbia film community. You’ll see the product of his work in the next issue of Jasper coming out on Friday night, July 12th. And you’ll also hear him announce some exciting news about an additional film festival in Columbia (organized with the blessing of our friends at the Nickelodeon.)
So please help us welcome Wade to the Jasper family. He fits in so well – it feels like he’s been here forever.