"Behind the Scenes" documentation

Documenting the preparation and efforts of people behind the scenes of a big project or event can add new perspectives for audiences, appreciation for participants, and a way to look back and see the changes over time.  One such annual event I have had the privilege of working with since 1985 is Pacific University's Luau.  Having documented the event for so many years, I have seen the enormous changes which have taken place to create this northwest Polynesian showcase event which it is today.

50Films Project - Creating 50 short films in 365 days

I once witnessed an artist embark on and complete an exercise of producing 50 paintings in one year, and this has always stuck with me as something I would like to accomplish. I feel that this level of commitment to an art form will only improve one's skills, and open up new ideas and opportunities.   These short films are usually shot in an hour or two, and then edited the same week or as time permits.  This has been an ongoing pursuit of mine for the last 5 years.

These programs are all produced at no charge. I have set 3 goals for this endeavor and they are to:

• Explore and develop new techniques, styles and skills in my craft
• Collaborate and create with other artists and people on projects
• Seek out stories of courage, beauty, community and personal meaning

If you have ideas of people or topics for a short film, please contact me.  

Diversity Education

I have had the opportunity to work on a number of diversity education (inclusion) type programs for a variety of clients, as well as on a private venture with Doug Freeman of Ideascape, Inc., who wrote and co-produced some of the programs.  I did a series of programs for the Shriners Hospital for Children - Portland - with the message that "Kids Just Want to Have Fun!" and "What's the Difference?" - whether a child has one arm, is in a wheel chair, or has green hair.  All kids what to have friends and have fun.


“David Decker is a skilled professional and a joy to work with. When we hired Dave to create a video to promote understanding and acceptance of children with differences, I knew I would be watching the program frequently. Laughingly, I said that it had to be a program that I could see over and over again without getting bored. The project was a raging success. Many years and hundreds of viewings later, I continue to enjoy the video each time I show it. How Dave took over 12 hours of film and edited it to an 8 minute video which captured the best of the best, I’ll never know. I do know that the video continues to facilitate conversation, challenge stereotypes, and change lives. I highly recommend David Decker and Mercury Productions.”
— Becky Speulda, The Shriners Hospital for Children - Portland. November 12, 2012


Partnering with Doug Freeman of Ideascape, Inc. again (our company was called Arnold Creek Productions - named after the creek which runs near our houses), we produced an award winning DVD - "Architecture to Zucchinni: The people, companies and organizations pioneering sustainability", and a series of other programs highlighting sustainable practices and results across a wide spectrum of industry - from farming to building, manufacturing to pizza production, and entrepreneurship to grocery chains.

"Artist Response to 9.11"

A team based in Portland, OR created a documentary called "Artist Response to 9.11"

Their intention was to capture the feeling that swept across the country within hours and weeks after the events of September 11th. This program is a time capsule of the initial responses within a week after the attacks. The subject matter is about how artists dealt with and reacted to September 11th.  Footage and projects were gathered from around the nation and the world. Everyone who participated in this project, including the creators, volunteered their time and efforts to pull this program together within a three-month period.

The program contains interviews with 20 artists around the country and a sampling of projects ranging from printmaking, to painting; animation to web design; illustration to photography; video art to new media installation; collage to murals; and poetry to music. The program illustrates the important role that artists play in our society. The creators hope the documentary will evoke a message of hope for the future.

Produced By:  Dana Plautz | David Decker of Mercury Productions

Written by: Dana Plautz

Music Composed By:  Greg Ives

Artists and Credits:

Artists who contributed work to this project and others
credited in helping make this project possible

Here are some of the successes the program has had to date:

* Aired on WNET Metro Arts 13 station in NYFeat
* Feature story in the Oregonian Newspaper, Portland, OR Sunday March 10th, 2002
* Featured on Portland's KPTV Channel 12  news for the six-month anniversary of 9/11
* 10 minute Segment on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat January 3, 2002
* Feature segment on KEX News radio 1190, December 14, 2001
* Clips were shown on March 7, 2002 at the Museum of Television and Radio's panel titled "The Artistic Community Responds".
* Shown at Lewis and Clark College March 11th, 2002 and Portland State University April 24th, 2002. Also shown in various departments at UC BerkeleyNYUUCLA,Columbia UniversityUSC and Penn State.
* Accepted for the NY Independent Film and Video Festival and was screened in L.A. July 13, 2002 at the Fairfax Laemmle Theatre in Hollywood. Also shown in NY Sept. 23, 2002.
* Accepted for the Ashland Independent Film Festival and shown in 2 screenings April 3 – 4, 2003.
* Part of the Fulton Street Gallery exhibit in Troy, NY. Exhibit dates Sept. 4 - Oct. 6, 2002
* The program has also been requested by numerous community and art groups to show at conferences and meetings.
* Shown on WNET Metro Arts 13 in the NY area on Easter Sunday and on May 9th and 12th in 2002. 


* Gold Award Winner: 2002 Aurora Film & Video Awards — Art/Social Impact/Documentary category. 

Banner photo by Wolfgang Staehle