Category Archives: Video

BEHIND RIBFEST – Feature-Length Documentary Film Provides All-Access Behind-the-Scenes Look at Naperville Ribfest

by Stuart Meyer

For the past 26 years, the Naperville Exchange Club has produced Naperville Ribfest as a charitable event which donates 100% of net proceeds toward the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence.  Prepare to be entertained and inspired as you journey behind-the-scenes of the Naperville Ribfest for an exclusive inside look at every aspect of this volunteer-run charitable BBQ and music festival.  Behind Ribfest  is a feature-length documentary film produced by my production company, Social Frequency Media Communications, and after making some rounds at film festivals we’ve decided to release the film online in two parts.  We hope you’ll watch and share this film with others.  Watch the film below or simply click here.

Hear My Music on the Stuart Meyer Artist Page at ReverbNation

The procrastination has ended and I finally built a social “home” for a portion of my own music library on ReverbNation .  If you are already knew I was a composer and music producer, then simply click hear to visit my page, listen to music and, fingers crossed, help me spread the word .

I composed my first piece of music at age 10 and had originally planned to pursue a career in music.  After several detours in life brought about by fear, insecurity, shyness, false starts and allot of trial/error I’ve spent the last 10 years putting myself and my music out there, mainly through my work in independent film.  Nonetheless, music has been the greatest constant in my life and over the years and regardless of the path I was on, I’ve never stopped composing, writing and recording.

What I’m about to say may hopefully seem more fascinating after you listen to a few of 28 tracks presently posted, but to this day I’ve not made a single cent for my music, volunteering my services for each director/producer I’ve work with up this point… still it remains one of the most gratifying aspects of my life.  I always tell people that if you go into film or music first and foremost to make money, you’re certainly going into it for the wrong reasons.  But if you have a relentless passion, a devotion to your art and focused persistence then one day the opportunities will arise.  This is where I’m at and why I feel the need to get this music out to a larger audience beyond my immediate network of collaborators.

As you’ll read in the bio section of my ReverbNation page ,  I believe there are things in life that we do because we have to… there are things in life we do because we can… and then there are things in our lives we do because we quite simply can’t not do it.  For me… that’s music.  SM

My Greatest Business Weakness is Perhaps My Greatest Personal Strength

As I sit here on this Friday evening reflecting upon the way in which 2011 has started, my thoughts turn to my film shoot this morning over at NCO Youth and Family Services.  What an inspiring organization.  I’m wrapping up the final pieces of production for the documentary film I’m producing about the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest, which places a strong emphasis on non-profit organizations who benefit from all net proceeds.

As I worked through capturing principal and b-roll, my mind couldn’t help but pause to bask in the fact that since I started my own media production venture, I’ve never had a more rewarding and enjoyable year-and-a-half of work in my life, not to mention family balance and plenty of cherished moments around my two rapidly growing little men-in-training.  My business is a thriving success from the standpoint of being able to do what I love for a living connecting and collaborating with great people.  At the same time, there is that uneasy tension that all business owners feel with regard to the nagging need to make money… you know, for life’s indulgent luxury’s such as that roof overhead, food and taking care of the most cherished possession of them all… my children.

I started my business for one simple reason… to live my purpose in the service of others and be an example to my children to follow their passion in life.  I love people… I love to help people solve problems… and I love to tell inspiring stories.  While 2010 was a fruitful year for my business, 2011 has started out as one that leaves that uneasy feeling in your stomach.  Yet, I’ve come too far through my professional and personal evolution in life which was full of its own share of sobering highs and crushing lows to ever considering turning back.

So what’s going on?  Well, I’ve been told by someone very close to me that my weakness is I simply give too much away.  I would be inclined to protest, but the irrefutable evidence against me in the wide span of pro bono and speculative projects I’m working on these days only yields an airtight case.

Even more, I’m a passionate ball of energy when I meet potential clients and end up spending hours of thought and research to bring as much to the table as I can offering up ideas and strategies that most everyone else would require a fee in exchange.  I do it because I simply can’t not do it… it’s the relentless and inexhaustible creativity that takes over.

I’ve been in and around the media business for many years, yet never so focused on taking chances, bringing big creative visions to life and placing my full 150% percent effort into all that I’m producing.  I believe it shines through in the herculean effort and devotion I pour into creative media production.  While I hope to one day be sharing the best examples of the pilot projects I’m working on right now, below are a couple of brief examples.

This is just the beginning for me.  I’ve never expected anyone to “swing open the door” without extending effort.  But I hope and pray each and every day that my blood, sweat, tears, passion and determination earns me that ticket into the door to help tell great stories and to create with a little less fear of where that next check is coming from.  Isn’t that what true dreams… the ones which have been with since your first memory, that something that you were uniquely put on this earth to do… are all about?

It’s been a tough week, yet all I can do is put myself out there and work as hard as I can knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and loving every minute of the creative process.  Perhaps this post might resonate with you and inspire you to think about your own life and purpose.

In the end, maybe I do give too much but I’ve always believed that if we put ourselves out there, working in the service of others and creating value that good things will happen.  For these reasons, I’ll continue to see giving of my God-given talents and abilities as a great personal strength.  I hope that you will do the same for yourself in reflecting upon your own life.  SM

Uncle Bub’s BBQ “Day in the Life” Web Series

Among my series of media production endeavors, I produced a documentary style 3-part web TV series for Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont.  Catch the first episode below and you just might be on 75th Street heading to Cass Avenue to Westmont by the conclusion.

Uncle Bub’s BBQ Begins Monster Sandwich Challenge for Chicago and Western Suburbs

Get ready BBQ lovers in Naperville, Western Suburbs and Chicago…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my company, Social Frequency Media Communications, has been working with Uncle Bub’s to develop their multi-media interactive social media strategy and this fun contest/challenge, along with their new Uncle Bub’s TV channel on YouTube, Uncle Bub’s BBQ – Facebook , Uncle Bub’s BBQ – Twitter and Uncle Bub’s – FourSqaure is the starting point.

It’s also a continued step in my personal life journey toward my purpose and passion, choosing to connect only with those people and businesses who I admire.  There is definitely a human story behind this one as well.   The Link family, the owners/founders behind Uncle Bub’s, and their long-time BBQ team there are truly a great group of people whose passion for BBQ is equal to their belief and passion in giving back.  Spend some time at Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont and you’ll see it shine through.

Again, I guess it goes back to the many intentional and unintentional lessons I learned from my father in his career as publisher of a small-town shopper newspaper.  As entrepreneurs, it’s so much more about the passion to create and serve people than it is about the money… and those are the businesses which deserve all of our support.  While the destination may ultimately be money/survival, the journey is so much more fun.

Discover your purpose and take the next step in living your dream… today!

 

 

Glennette Tilley Turner Brings the Illinois Underground Railroad to Life at 2010 African American Heritage Festival in Naperville

“Heritage” is a word that is not only at the fabric and meaning of our existence, but one which carries with it tales of tradition and tragedy which are meant to never be forgotten as future generations inherit this Earth, this country and our community.

The inaugural 2010 African American Heritage Festival, which took place at the NCC Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center last weekend, was certainly an occasion worthy of joyful celebration, insightful reflection and meaningful connections.  Based upon my own experience in attending the festivities on Saturday and meeting the amazing people behind this event, my resolve to bring the larger community into the experience of this Festival was solidified.

To those who could not attend, below is a small piece of what you missed… an audio and still photo composite of author Glennette Tilley Turner talking about her own life and the Freedom Seeker’s travels through the Naperville portion of the Illinois Underground Railroad.  The video also includes an audio interview with the Festival’s Originator, Osie B. Davenport, on the story behind the Festival.

Turner’s warm soul and lifelong inquisitive curiosity has resulted in a number of books for all ages, including:  “An Apple for Harriet Tubman” (childrens book), “The Underground Railroad in Illinois”, “Running for Our Lives”, “Journeys in Courage – On the Underground Railroad”.

In addition, she is about to release a new book, entitled “Fort Mose” about the small island off the coast of St. Augustine, FL which was founded nearly a century before the Emancipation Proclamation and became the earliest settlement of emancipated slaves in our country.

I encourage you to buy these books, share these important stories with your family and make a plan to retrace the steps of the Underground Railroad in Naperville and our surrounding areas.  You can find out more about Glennette Tilley Turner and order her books at:  www.ugrr-illinois.com.

If you missed the African American Heritage Festival this year, I highly recommend that you make plans to attend next year as this is both an important event and opportunity for our community to come together, connect with each other and to explore and celebrate the unique richness of the lives, culture and history that surrounds us.

In the end, the contribution of grant money to support these enriching events is lost without the contribution of time, attention and participation by our community.  Even more, there is an amazing personal and societal reward to be gained when we travel outside of ourselves to build a deeper connection with what is the truest and most meaningful wealth within our community… our relationships with each other.   SM

White Chocolate Grill Broadcasts Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Episode of WCG Cooks Filmed in Naperville

While most of us struggle to avoid overindulging in our favorite holiday foods this time of year, the holiday season can be a particularly frustrating time for those with food allergies.  In showing it’s commitment to the gluten-free dining community, the  White Chocolate Grill recently released an episode of its WCG Cooks series featuring Executive Chef Robert Kabakoff and Chef/Owner Bobby Fitzgerald demonstrating how to prepare a delicious gluten-free pumpkin pie.  Though White Chocolate Grill is based in Arizona, this episode was filmed right here in Naperville at their location on Diehl Road.  You can view the video below:

I’m very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with White Chocolate Grill, producing this episode through my social media production company, Social Frequency Media Communications. While we only entered into this creative partnership within the past couple of months, I’ve had the good fortune to build a friendship with Bobby Fitzgerald over the past two years and am continually impressed by his passion for the restaurant business. SM