Countys Powell honored
for documenting local history
Helen E. McKinney
EMINENCE, Ky. (January 2003) Henry County, Ky.,
native Jim Powell has spent more than 30 years in the field of communications.
A veteran video producer, Powells latest endeavor is a documentary
titled, The Arnolds of Owen County.
This video strikes a personal note with Powell because it is about his
In recent years, the history of the area has become a curiosity
of mine, plus I had always wondered how long our family had lived in
North Central Kentucky, he said.
By chance, he met a distant cousin several years ago,
and they struck up a conversation about their ancestors. This cousin,
Jerry Arnold, told Powell of a log cabin that still stood in Wheatley,
Ky., that had belonged to his great-great-great-grandfather.
His curiosity piqued, Powell decided to see the cabin for himself. It
had been sold by his family many years earlier. From this trip, the
video idea materialized. It told the story of two brothers, Thomas and
John Arnold, who settled in Owen County, Ky., along the Kentucky River
in the late 1790s.
A 30-minute video is the result of his labors. Powell himself gives
the viewer a tour through the original log cabin, beginning at John
Arnolds gravesite, 75 feet from the cabin door. The frame of the
cabin was made from 18-inch to 2-foot white poplar beams.
Jerry Arnold, now deceased, conducted some of the necessary research
for the project. For the most part, information has come through
records my mother received from the Hance family in Lockport,
Powell added that genealogy is not really one of his hobbies. My
major focus is video production. I enjoy documenting historical sites
and trying to conceive what life was like in those times.
A 1967 graduate of Eminence Independent High School, Powell majored
in mass communications at Kent State University and electronics technology
at United Electronics Institute.
He has worked in radio, TV, broadcasting and corporate television as
an on-air talent, programmer, writer and director. Powell travels the
United States working as an on-camera and voice-over narrator.
He said he caught the acting bug while in high school. One of his teachers,
Mrs. Terry, asked him to be in a school production, and from then
on, the ham in me was born and continues today.
He still does a moderate amount of on-camera work in commercials and
for training and marketing videos. He mainly performs voice-overs for
those types of productions as well as shooting and producing.
Seeking an alternative to limited radio station studio facilities, Powell
created Sound Booth Studio in Birmingham, Ala. He started his communications
career in radio broadcasting at WSTL in Eminence in 1966, at a time
when creating complicated productions was unheard of.
In 1971, while working in Nashville, I decided to build my own
studio to do better audio production for on-air, he said. At that
time, equipment choices were more available in Nashville.
Today, he records mostly voice production that is sent via CD or over
broadband throughout the nation. Sound Booth Studio is a full production
including sound effects and royalty cleared music.
Powell is also a writer, having penned The Business of Talent
in 1998. This publication aids directors in gaining the most efficient
and highest quality performance from their talent.
He has written numerous articles and newsletters centered on the idea
of working with and developing talent in narrators and actors. His vast
knowledge of experience has prompted him to give numerous lectures as
Powell said one of his most important current projects is being a life
member on the national board of directors for the Media Communications
Association International, formerly ITVA. Due to changes in the corporate
structure of the industry in which he works, Powell said, Our
goal is to provide as much leadership and direction to members who have
had to face working on their own.
In the past, members (producers, writers, craftspeople) were employed
full-time by companies, but the majority now work independently of these
Powell has been honored with TELLY and Videography Awards for The
Arnolds of Owen County. His directing and videography of
a recent video for the U.S. Space and Rocket Centers Space Camp
has also earned him a TELLY Award.
The TELLY Awards were founded in 1980 to recognize outstanding non-network
and cable commercials, including film and video products.
For the latter project, he spent six days following 11-year-olds around
Space Camp and the flight counterpart, Aviation Challenge. He recorded
each of the events that a single group of campers went through, from
the first day of arrival through flight simulation to graduation.
For more information about Powell, call 1-800-283-7686
or go to www.jimpowell.com.
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