2017 was a great year for Kromatic Media.
I was hired for a documentary short by Ruby Memorial's Stroke Center (in production). I profiled some great local businesses like Black Bear, Beertopia, Quantum Bean and JoJo's Paddleboard Yoga. There were investigations and discussions with a city council member regarding problems with the city’s user fee. I traveled to Virginia to document farms for Sustainable Chesapeake. There were profiles of exceptional WVU students. There were photo shoots at regional locations like Raven’s Rock and the rolling hills of the state’s interior. I was able to shoot some lovely models. I wrote research-heavy editorials about topics like WVU’s tuition hikes and fact-checked poor reporting in an editorial on the state’s gun violence. I shot photos with Morgantown’s custom guitar builders, Agape, which appeared in a Guitar Connoisseur spread. I was able to shoot in beautiful locations outside the area like the Canadian Rockies, Red River, KY, and downtown Atlanta.
But most of my energy was put into the biggest project of the year: the Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders podcast. It has been an honor to dive into a story as complex, interesting, and culturally relevant as this one. The show is currently 6 episodes long, with 2 more on the way in early 2018.
The first outside media coverage of the podcast by WV Explorer crashed their server, and the reaction since then has been equally amazing. The show has earned almost exclusively 5-star user reviews (more than 200), and is on the way to 100,000 plays, with coverage in local and regional media sources like Morgantown Magazine and Times WV. In less than 6 months, the podcast was added to the curriculum of classes in forensics (WVU), true crime (Marshall University), and podcasting (University of Tennessee).
Mared & Karen introduced me to hard-working Morgantown professionals like journalists and lawyers, but also to tons of musicians. From the beginning, my co-producer Sarah and I used only Morgantown artists to help us tell this story, and the resulting collection of songs and bands is both impressive and reflective of some of the great talent that the city has to offer.
Thanks to everyone who witnessed and shared all these stories, photos, podcast episodes and articles! 2018 is going to be a blast.