Following the Wood' documentary project seeks volunteers to help film

Owen Shapiro knows a good story when he sees one.

A 102-year-old woman bowler? That's one. Transforming the Oncenter into a 48-lane bowling alley? There's another.

"It's something most people don't pay a lot of attention to, but there's some really great stories here," said Shapiro, co-founder and artistic director of the Syracuse International Film Festival and film professor at SU.

Documenting the stories that come along with hosting the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships tournament from April to July is a rare opportunity, Shapiro said, and he's looking for interested volunteers to help.

The "Following the Wood" documentary project may not result in an actual film - but if it is going to, Shapiro said, the event must first be documented from beginning to end.

Shapiro is already working with a group of around 20 student and local professional videographers to film the bowling alley construction in the Oncenter.

But a bigger group is needed to be able to cover the extensive tournament.

Shapiro is looking for people with experience running a video camera to help shoot the tournament, as well as anyone with interviewing experience to serve as associate directors.

Small groups of volunteer videographers will be led by associate directors, who will be responsible for directing filming and interviewing subjects.

Shooting will run through the tournament and through the deconstruction of the alleys. If the material is promising, Shapiro said, it may go on to be edited into a finished product.

Film is provided, and cameras, too, if needed. The Syracuse Convention and Visitor's Bureau will provide parking passes to those helping with the project, so there is no expense involved in participating.

And if the film is edited, volunteers will get credit, Shapiro added.

"I just think it's a great project," Shapiro said. "The social and economic impact for our city is going to be immense."

He expects to hold a meeting in the next week or so for interested volunteers and encouraged anyone interested in helping out to e-mail him at ojshapir@syr.edu or contact kc@syrfilm.com for more information.

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