Filmmaker surprised

Staff report

Editor’s note: Gateway Arts Council will present the premiere screening of “Moving a Nation,” a film it produced to celebrate Shelby County workers, Oct. 15-16, at the Sidney Auto-Vue Drive-In. This is one of a series of stories that will chronicle the making of the documentary.

SIDNEY — Gateway Arts Council (GAC) will premiere its documentary film, “Moving A Nation,” Oct 15-16 at the Sidney Auto-Vue Drive-In Theater.

This movie is a tribute to the rich and inspiring story of Shelby County industry and its essential role in the county’s past, present and future. The documentary will show the strength, vitality and diversity of the men and women who work every day to make ends meet. The production captures the story of industry through the eyes of those close to it, the founders, workers and their families.

To accomplish this production, GAC hired filmmaker John Ondo. Ondo, a native of Lima, grew up with a love of broadcasting. He began volunteering at a local TV station in his hometown as a teenager, by 17, Ondo was directing live television programs. He moved from shooting and editing to producing nationally syndicated programs. He founded Ondo Media around the simple thought. “Let your story be told.” He is the winner of an Ohio Valley Emmy and multiple national awards.

Ondo loves telling the stories of businesses.

“It’s the story of America,” he said. Ondo felt that after viewing this film, people would be amazed to realize the variety of products that are produced in Shelby County, from grain elevators to parts for the NASA program.

“I think the one thing that I was most surprised by was that the pop top for beverage cans was designed and manufactured in Shelby County. That’s an item I use all the time! Even individuals who have lived here all their lives will be astonished to learn just how much is produced in Shelby County,” he said. Ondo pointed out that there are a couple of themes that developed in this film.

“The dominant theme that we heard in almost every interview is that a lot of hard work, sweat and tears built Shelby County, and that same work ethic continues today,” he noted.

Also playing a role in the film is the Sidney Civic Band. The band recorded music that will be used in some parts of the film. Select members of the band assembled and recorded six selections that had been suggested by the producer, some by specific title and others for the general emotional impact that they could provide. Using that criteria, Phil Chilcote, the music director and conductor of the band, chose the music to be used. According to Chilcote, the challenge was finding the suitable music.

“For the Sidney Civic Band, working on the project was a very exciting thing to do. This was a new experience for the band. We are so honored and humbled to a small part of such a wonderful community,” Chilcote said.

Staff report