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Humble Beginnings

Benjamin Chauvin had a dream and took to Goodwill and Craigslist with $50 in his pocket to make it happen. With the tools he bought, support from friends, and perseverance, he met his business partner Lucretia Ristin who helped him become someone that makes us all proud of his humble beginnings.

Produced by Pablo Korona
Assistant : Elizabeth Kris Theiss
Music : SFC – Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye.

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More than a Million

For 54 years, Vito Grisanzio has been making pizza. He immigrated from Bari, Italy to Rockford, Illinois. Soon after he started making pizza — eventually owning the Capri Rest in downtown Rockford. We talked to his son, Vito Grisanzio Jr to find out just how much pizza his dad has made.

Produced by Pablo Korona
Camera Asst. : Emma Fredrickson

Music: Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye.

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Gone Fishing for Thanksgiving

One time Eric went fishing, and now Thanksgiving for hundreds of people is no longer a painful holiday.

Eric Fishe has been a Rockford Mass Transit District Paratransit Driver for 18 years. He noticed when he was driving some of people to their doctor appointments, that was the only social interaction they had. So, he started The Fish-Abled Foundation…

Produced by Pablo Korona
Second Camera: Elizabeth Kris Theiss
Music: Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye

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Band Grandpas

Dr Arnie Rosen thought, “…when I retire I want to be a ‘Band Grandpa’.” This was an idea that he formed in his head, and didn’t actually become a thing until he and the Rockford Public Schools ( RPS 205 ) sat down together. Other “Band Grandpas” signed on, and this is the story of its first steps…

Produced by Pablo Korona
Asst Edit: Zach Staas
2nd Camera: Jordan Hardy of FlyGuy Films

Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye of SFC Sound dot com.

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Family Trees

Mike’s father opened Edwards Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove when Mike was around 5. When Mike Edwards opened his own Edwards Apple Orchard West, his son Brian was 6 months old. Brian, and his two sisters Kari and Kristin, hope to continue the Edwards family tradition — until the Great Lakes Basin Railroad proposal happened. See what this family, these Family Trees, did when this application to the National Transporation Board was submitted.
And if you’re curious about their donuts, you can watch to see how an apple goes from tree to cider to donut.

Produced by Pablo Korona
Asst Edit : Zach Stass
Second Shooter & Production Asst.: Elizabeth Kris Theiss
Music: Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye

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Andrew Jacob Holm

Within a typical Rockford neighborhood, stands a unique structure next to many cozy homes. Andrew Jacob Holms’s workshop. In this place, only built 5 years ago, the smell of burning wood, drying tobacco, and coal swirl around you. With each step, it feels like you are traveling a year back in time. Andrew, or Andy, may be noodling on his guitar or figuring out how to fix something that you can probably buy at the store, but makes more sense to make it just for a one off use. Like he’s always done.
The first thing you notice about him is that he appears out of time and place. Usually clad in overalls, and hat, he stands out in many crowds. The only thing you need to know is that it is just a uniform. A pared-down comfortable set of clothes that just work for him. A talented musician, a caring father, and a good guy just trying to do the best he can.

Produced by Pablo Korona
Music : Andrew Jacob Holm
Second Camera : Jordan Hardy
Drone : FlyGuy Films
Asst. : Elizabeth Kris Theiss

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Tour De North End

After moving back to Rockford, Zak Rotello began cycling as a way out of a funk. Combining that with his love of throwing a party, he started Tour De North End to bring his neighborhood together and promote safe biking. Most of the footage from this piece is from 2015, with some from 2017, but the one consistent thing is Zak’s consistent response to people thanking him : “You’ve got to make your own fun in this town.”

Tremendous help on this video by:
Tyler Yomantas & his timelapse photography Tyler Yomantas Photography
Jordan Hardy of FlyGuy Films with his drone
Jacob Rush with his drone
Additional footage by Aaron Hall
Assistant: Emma Fredrickson
Driver: Greg Farnham

Music: Zach Staas. Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye.

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Our Town, Our Team


The Rockford IceHogs are the only professional sports team wholly owned by the city they play in. This is our town, this is truly our team.
Produced by Pablo Korona
Second Camera & Drone — Jordan Hardy (FlyGuy Films)
Second Camera & Asst — Elizabeth Kris Theiss
Asst. Edit — Zach Staas

Many Game Shots — IceHogs video crew.
Music: Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, & Jason Kaye
Support from seven11 Productions & IceHogs Production Supervisor / Media Manager: Christopher Toltzman

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Laundry Duty


A pragmatic Coach Griffin saw a way to tackle a 5-day chore while creating one more opportunity to get to know his E-Rab Football guys better.

“I want them to work, to spend time together outside of football and school and feel like they’re accomplishing something. … Football is a game. It’s just a tool for me to use to get kids together and teach them about what’s right.” – East High School Head Football Coach Gary Griffin

Produced by Pablo Korona
Drone : Jordan Hardy of FlyGuy Films
Edit : Zach Staas
Music : Zach StaasDaniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye

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A place we all call home

Over fifty nationalities gathered to celebrate their cultures. Most were immigrant families connected by the city we all call home. Each culture shared the spotlight, to entertain and delight… though there was someone who didn’t want any attention. His tent doesn’t advertise his business. The free balloons didn’t advertise his company, either. Only the Midtown District. He didn’t want to be interviewed, but “everything here costs money and I didn’t want the kids to be left out,” we heard him say.

Captured during the Midtown Ethnic Festival & Parade.

Produced by Pablo Korona
Edited: Zach Staas
Music: Zach Staas, Daniel Pingrey, and Jason Kaye sampling : Yavo Black American Marchers & Drum Corps.