I had begun to write you to thank you for the wonderful video you created for the Caldwell Arts Council, but as I thought about what to say I realized I have much more to thank you for than simply the video. When we first began conversations about the video, I had visions of a sort of documentary and a “who is the Caldwell Arts Council” type of piece, but what we got is so much more. The questions that you asked of me and others required thought, required exploring beliefs and passions, and required digging deeply into the heart of the organization. In the process of interviewing with you and answering questions, I became re-energized about my job, about this place and about the people that I work for and with. I became reconnected to the heart of the organization and with why I am here. I took a break from focusing on the job, to focusing on the why. I needed to remember what I love about this place and you made me pay attention to that through your thoughtful questions and engaged responses.
So, yes, thank you for the wonderful video, but thank you also for caring about this place and our work. And, thank you for reminding me that this organization has a soul. I come to work each day with an eye on the mission and not just the job. Thank you!
Executive Director Caldwell Arts Council
Dennis was a great person to work with all around! I was able to totally relax and be myself. He asked the most provocative and interesting questions that really drew me out in the interview. I hardly even knew he was videotaping, and it felt like I was having a conversation with an old friend. I was very impressed with the simplicity and professional quality of his audio / video set up. He captured flawless still photos along with the audio of my musical compositions that he features in the video documentary. Dennis has the extraordinary talent of capturing the essence of his subject matter and representing it in an honest and captivating manner.
Viola Instructor and Composer
Rhonda's performance available here.
Last year our parents celebrated their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. With their friends and families spread across the United States it was impossible to really celebrate such an occasion. However, we felt our family needed to do more than just have a special dinner and champagne. We proceeded to gather pictures of our parents in their younger years, pictures of their children as they were growing up and of the grandchildren to put in some type of slide show.
My husband Bob and I took hundreds of pictures to Dennis Hagerman of
“Norm’s Stories LLC.”
Dennis guided us through the process and suggested that we also video tape Bob, his brother and other family members. Dennis spent many hours interviewing Bob about his family, organizing photos and videos and researching music of the era. Now, our family enjoys and cherishes several generations of history and memories. When Bob’s parent first saw the video, they cried with joy and we knew that we had given our family the best gift ever. They have not stopped talking about the DVD and the wonderful music, pictures and videos of their lives. We will never forget what a wonderful treasure Dennis Hagerman has given our family. It is truly a priceless gift.
We recommend “Norm’s Stories LLC” to anyone who wants to keep an oral history and chronological account of their families. The DVD will help keep memories alive long after we are gone for our future generations to appreciate.
With our appreciation to Dennis Hagerman,
Deborah and Robert Elliott
An old neighborhood friend of mine called to ask for my help in making a life-story DVD for her parents shortly after their 50th anniversary. I told her I thought it was a good idea, and that I would be happy to participate, as long as the logistics could be arranged. She said Dennis would call me to set up a time for us to meet, which he did shortly after.
Dennis was very accommodating in setting up a time and place. He came to my office for the interview, which saved me travel time. We did the interview in a conference room on my floor. At first, I was a little nervous, but his easy going manner relaxed me, and the conversation just flowed. It was actually enjoyable.
My friend later called to again thank me, and to tell me how pleased she was with the final product. Dennis had told me that he gives a copy to everyone who is interviewed, and when I viewed my copy, it was clear why she was pleased. It turned out very well.
I appreciated how Dennis worked to make my involvement hassle-free, and I was happy to help my friend and her parents preserve a lifetime of memories.
Dr. Rob DePasquale, CPA, CMA, CFM
Professor of Accounting
Saint Vincent College
It was very exciting to know that a videographer of Dennis Hagerman’s ability would be interested in the story of the Harper School of Performing Arts. Having seen his work, I was thrilled that we would get the opportunity to work with Dennis. He has been tireless in dealing with our crazy world! He has filmed recitals, concerts, studio lessons, private recording studios and done countless interviews: all with grace, charm and kindness. The work he has produced for us is creative and beautifully presented. The story of The James C. Harper School spans many years and an incredible amount of information. Dennis has been tireless in chasing down a variety of stories that could be incorporated into our films. His work will be invaluable to us as we continue our journey here in Lenoir, North Carolina. Dennis is truly an artist with a heart of gold who has the desire and ability to tell a story in a contemporary fashion. I was truly humbled to work with Dennis on this project.
Our faculty, board and parents have all loved working with Dennis as well. And of course Stonewall has stolen our hearts!
Janet K. Bloom
James C. Harper School of Performing Arts
Lenoir, North Carolina
Dennis Hagerman is a pleasure to work with. He has a sense of joy about living that overflows into his work and professional relationships. Dennis’ attitude about creating videos for people is at once sensitive and practical. Through music, video, voice and evocative still photos, he creates films that encapsulate and preserve a moment in time. He is flawlessly reliable.
A movie produced for Jennifer by Norm's Story can be viewed here.
Nearly five years have past since I last saw my brother Kevin. He was tragically killed at the age of 19 doing what he loved, pole vaulting for Penn State University at the big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships. That morning in attempt to clear his first jump of the day Kevin fell some seventeen feet and hit his head killing him almost instantly in front of thousands of spectators including our parents. Needless to say our family, friends and I have been learning to cope with this tragedy ever since.
One of the hardest things for me is accepting the fact that someday when I have children they will never meet or get to know their Uncle Kevin. This is something very hard to swallow and until I spoke with a dear friend Dennis Hagerman, I wasn’t exactly sure how I could keep Kevin’s memory so much alive. Dennis then showed me the video of Norm’s Story. As I sat their watching this wonderful and moving video I couldn’t help but think about Kevin. Immediately I knew this would be the way.
Dennis and I talked for quite awhile about his business and how we could make a special video that would celebrate Kevin’s life and help keep his memory alive. I gathered hundreds of pictures, hours of childhood videos, newspaper articles of Kevin in high school and college, and letters that were written to Kevin from friends. Dennis then spent countless hours sorting through everything, observing and choosing what he would use to tell Kevin’s Story. He then suggested that we bring in several of Kevin’s friends and interview them live on camera. All in all Dennis interviewed five different people and filmed over 12 or so hours of video which was used to help narrate Kevin’s Story.
The first time I watched Kevin’s Story I busted out in tears. It was the most moving and emotional thing I have ever seen. As I sat there watching I found myself flashing back to all these moments that were captured in his video. And I quickly realized this is so much more than a video. This is the story of my brother’s life. It is so powerful and moving and it is so alive. Everything about Kevin and the wonderful life he lived is captured forever. The entire process of working with Dennis, and Kevin’s Story in particular has been very therapeutic and enjoyable for me. As for my parents, family, and friends of Kevin it is by far the most special gift that I could ever give to them in memory and honor of Kevin’s life.
Dennis, words can never thank you and Norm’s Story enough for all that you have done for our family and Kevin too. Your passion, love, and wonderful gift of being able to bring someone’s story to life is truly unique and very special. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Our daughter Lauren was graduating from High School and we wanted to do something special for her. We had seen some of Dennis’ work and asked him if he would be interested in putting together a video. The result was Dennis’ creation of “Lauren’s Story”. Little did we know that what we thought would be something special for Lauren, would turn into a treasure for all of us. “Lauren’s Story” touched our entire family, from her great grandparents to her younger brother, Christopher. Dennis managed to convey that there isa little bit of all of us in Lauren’s looks, personality and interests. It was amazing.
Dennis truly captured the essence of Lauren as told through interviews with her family and friends. The pictures and video clips he selected of Lauren made her come alive, as we re-lived her growing from a tiny infant into a beautiful self confident woman. It was hard to believe that a person outside of Lauren’s world could re-create her life as though he had experienced it with her! Lauren was thrilled with the production.
The wrapping on the final package of “Lauren’s Story” was Dennis himself. He was an absolute pleasure to work with. He has a way of making everyone feel so at ease, and his interest in Lauren and our family was genuine. His dedication, creativity, attention to detail and the quality of the project was remarkable. We look forward to an encore withDennis when it’s time for “Christopher’s Story” to be told! Dennis and “Lauren’s Story” will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Judy & Rich Pearlman