Welcome to my website. I am a writer, producer, director and editor, working in the field of documentary media. I was raised in Dallas, Texas, and studied film and literature at Wesleyan University. I have a master's degree in film studies from the University of Texas and a master's degree in media arts production from Emerson College in Boston. I am currently living in Oakland, California.
Please scroll down to read about some of the documentaries I have worked on or produced, and view the videos online. (These are .mp4 files encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio. So they can be played in the Safari web browser, which comes on all Macs and is a free download for Windows. You should be able to use other browsers, such as Firefox, Opera or Chrome, if you have the QuickTime plugin enabled. Read more about the plugin here. It will take a moment to load the file into your web browser. Or you can just right-click on the picture to download the file and watch it on your computer's media player.)
You can contact me at Summers@SummersHenderson.com
Thanks for visiting!
-- Summers Henderson
Watch the video (4 mins, 6 secs, an excerpt from the full-length program).
Synopsis: An activist working in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina clashes with the other members of his radical, anarchist group. His personal transformation will eventually lead to his decision to work as an informer for the FBI. Ultimately he provides information which leads to two younger activists being imprisoned for making Molotov cocktails while protesting at the 2008 Republican National Convention.
I worked as an editor on this 82-minute documentary, along with the director and another editor. Edited in Final Cut Pro. Premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival, screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC, and winner of the Best Editing Award at the Salem Film Festival.
Dream Foundation - produced by Smush Media
Watch the video (7 minutes).
Synopsis: The Dream Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides final wishes to adults with life-threatening illnesses. This video describes the work of the Foundation and profiles three dream recipients: Tamika, Elexa and Hobart.
This promotional video was produced by Geralyn Pezanowski and Wellington Bowler of Smush Media in San Francisco. I served as the editor of the piece, working in Final Cut Pro.
Nuclear Climate Change
Watch the video (3 mins, 21 secs, a preview of the full-length program).
Synopsis: Is nuclear power part of a carbon-dioxide-free solution to global climate change? Is it safe, affordable, or even necessary? Scientists from MIT and anti-nuclear activists in Massachusetts and New Hampshire address this complex issue.
I made this hour-long documentary as my final project for a master's degree in media arts at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I served as the writer, producer, director, editor and sound designer. I also did most of the videography and sound recording. Edited in Final Cut Pro. Screened at the Connecticut Film Festival and the Boston International Film Festival.
To purchase the complete 55-minute program on DVD or video-on-demand, please visit SeasonalVariations.com
Walden Pond: Living Deliberately
Watch the video (6 mins, 46 secs).
Synopsis: Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, draws tourists curious about the legacy of Henry David Thoreau, as well as those seeking a place to retreat to nature and a source of spiritual renewal.
I produced this short documentary in 2007, in collaboration with my classmate Oriyah Yoran, in the graduate program in media arts at Emerson. Oriyah and I shared the work of being writer, producer, director, editor and sound recordist. I also worked on the project as videographer and sound designer. The video was edited in Avid Media Composer, and the sound was mixed in ProTools.
Watch the video (10 mins, 9 secs).
Synopsis: Meet three students at the Elder Learning Center of the Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts. These women learn life skills and support each other while building a community of people who share the challenge of visual impairment.
I produced this short documentary in 2007, in collaboration with Dave Drees and Chris Summerfield, while we were taking our first class in documentary production at Emerson. Dave and Chris and I each contributed as writer, producer, director, videographer, sound recordist, editor and sound designer. Video edited in Avid Media Composer, sound mixed in ProTools. Screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Watch the video (15 mins, 12 secs).
Synopsis: What do dishwasher detergent, lawn fertilizer, and over-abundant geese populations have in common? This movie explains the danger of phosphorus pollution in the Mystic River watershed in eastern Massachusetts, and shows community activism in response to the problem.
I collaborated on this video with Gary Ashwal and Laura McLam, while we were in the "Filmmaking and the Environment" class at Emerson. We shared the duty of being writer, producer, director, videographer, sound recordist, editor and sound designer. Edited in Final Cut Pro. Screened at the Boston Museum of Science.
Teagan Emi Takahashi
Watch the video (6 mins, 48 secs).
Synopsis: Teagan Emi Takahashi is fourteen months old, growing up in Brooklyn, New York, in a multi-cultural family. Her parents reflect on the question of how faith will impact her life.
This project was made as part of the International Documentary Challenge in 2007. Teams were given a theme, a genre, and only five days to make a documentary from start to finish. Our genre was "biography" and our theme was "faith." Members of my team, including Oriyah Yoran, Jitu Huntley, Bryant Jones and me, each contributed to writing, producing, directing, videotaping, sound recording and editing. Edited in Final Cut Pro.
Watch the video (28 mins, 15 secs).
Synopsis: Camilo is a two-year-old boy living in New York City. His father is studying abroad. Camilo's mother, Tania, describes life as a temporarily single parent.
This video, created for the introductory production course at Emerson, was my first documentary. It was produced with a crew of only myself, hampered by malfunctioning sound equipment, and shot entirely over two-and-a-half days. I apologize for the poor technical quality, but I still like this movie. It's indicative of the kind of stories I like to tell, about the struggles of daily life. The video was edited in Avid Media Composer.