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Apple Castle: Right to the Core

Every week I will post here how my Capstone project is going and what I will be aiming to do before my next entry. I hope you enjoy following me on my most important college project.


Anthony Humes



Well the end is here. I finished my final piece and showcased it on Saturday 6th December.

          I listed two people as my supervising producers. I named Adam Plyler as my production supervisor; like I said in earlier posts I brought him on board to help me with production tips and pointers. The other supervisor I brought on board was Steven Johnston, who I also commented on in earlier posts, I brought him in to help me and give me information on a topic, which is pretty much about him. I would also like to thank Amanda Sloan for helping me to shoot the interviews, this helped a great deal because it meant that the subject was always focused well and always in shot. My last thank you goes out to the Johnston family has a whole for sitting down and talking to me about their family history and their day to day lives. It was good getting to no them and I really appreciate the time they took to speak to me at such a busy time for them.

This has been a great experience for me and I have learnt a lot from it that I can be taken into the future, below is a copy of my final piece.



I have now got to the point where I have started editing my final piece. I have spent the last few weeks raw cutting my interview clips down to the bits that I will be using in my final piece. As I am going through the edit of my final edit I no I will end up need to shoot some last minute video either because I don’t like what I have or I need just that something extra to make it a better piece.

        From what I have edited so far my basic organization of my files is really helping me because I can find the clips easily making it fast and efficient. The way I have organized my files is by naming the clips after what section I will be using them for, also I have placed the clips in bins according to scenes, for example my 2nd scene is my interview with Ralph Johnston so I have named the bin Ralph and placed all the interview clips of him I want to use in that bin. Another thing that is working for me is how I have my own edit suite set up, I use my laptop as a source monitor and I have an Apple TV which connects to my TV which I use as an output monitor this works great because I can see what my final piece will look like on a TV compared to a laptop screen that isn’t even that big.

         One thing I regret is that I didn’t get my interviews earlier because now I feel like I am rushing to get this done and it may not be the best work I could have produced. Unfortunately when I could get my interviews was out of my hands but I am fairly confident I can make a good final project that I hope people can enjoy and also appreciate. 


Here is a brief clip of an interview with Steven





















In my last post I talked about Steven and his comments he made about my interview with him and also the feedback he gave me.
        After is shot my interview with Steven and talked to him about it, I showed it to my production consultant Adam Plyler. Adam said he liked the way I had shot my interviews and he also saw what I was trying to do with the interview. He mentioned that he liked the pictures of the family in the background because it explained on a deeper level what the documentary is about, “family.” He said the audio levels where good, however he said the lighting wasn’t bad, but he would have used a little bit more light under Steven’s chin.
       This point of view and help is vital when I interview anyone else because it will just make my production values better and more professional. I would also like to thank Adam for the effort and time he has put in to help me with my documentary and the overall production value of it.




In one of my previous blog entries I explained that I had two consultants on board to help me produce the best documentary I can. I have met with them and they gave me vital feedback.
         Last week I met with my first consultant Steven Johnston and interviewed him. After the interview we talked about some of the question I asked him during our interview. Steven said he liked the questions I was asking because it hit one part of his business that he is proud of and an area that has stayed strong through out. 
         Steven said he hopes it lives up to his expectations because he would love to use it as an advertisement tool on his Facebook page and he hopes it will bring in more customers.
        I am going to take Steven’s comments into consideration and also take this moment to thank him and his family for allowing me to interview them and also for the open answers they gave which shows how much of a strong family they are.




After a year of producing, filming and editing Westminster Colleges broadcast students will present their documentaries to the public. On December 7th, at Mueller theatre inside the McKelvey campus center on the Westminster College campus, the showcase will begin at 11:00 A.M. The showcase is free of charge.


It would be great to see everyone come out, especially Adam Plyler and the Johnston family. I would like Adam to come out because he has been my consultant through the whole project and understands what it is like to do a capstone project. I would like the Johnston family to come so they can see my final project and I hope it meets their standards.


I will be dedicating my documentary to the Johnston family because they have helped through this whole project and also given me the knowledge behind there family. I also want this project to show the community how small businesses survive when big chain supermarkets are competitors.


Joining me at my showcase will be Chelsea Haybarger, she will be presenting her film “The Real Dance Mom”. These documentaries will show you how one person or a family can help out a community.  Mark your calendars now for December 7th and spend this day with watching moving and heart-felt films.




Travelling half way around the world to start at a new college can definitely be an experience but I am glad I picked Westminster College. I am glad I picked Westminster College because it has helped me become a better-rounded person, mainly because of all the different classes we have to take in so many subject areas.  One of the classes that really sticks out in my head is my writing class not only because of the peers in my class but also because of the teacher, Brett Devido.
While in writing it helped me learn a lot about how to analyze certain texts and also certain situations. We did an exercise in class where we were split up into two different groups, Republican and Democrat. Brett Devido gave us a situation and we had to analyze it and talk about what would be best for the country.
I like to think that this has helped me out in many areas of my life especially problem solving situations which I come up against everyday of my life. This especially comes in handy when I am working on my documentary and I come up against a problem such as filming conflicts with classes or light problems when it just happens to be a dark day or overcast.
Brett Devido was my professor for this class and I would like to thank him a lot for everything he taught me. He really wanted class discussion because he wanted us to learn to respect people’s opinions and also see things from peoples other point of views. Finally he was really tough on deadlines which is a massive thing in the broadcast industry. 




When I first started my capstone project I was asked how my project demonstrates service learning according to the Westminster way. I found it hard to come up with a way that my project services a purpose to the community but it then hit me, I can preserve the oral history of a family owned business that has been in the local community for over 150 years.
I won’t only preserve oral history for myself but I will also preserve the oral history for a community. Future generations will be able to watch my documentary and see how this family business has played such a big part in the community for over 150 years. This documentary will also help people get a good inside look at how a family has dealt with big chains coming in and causing competition.
In the long run I think service learning will help me because I will have to learn about American history and American agriculture in particular. Having lived in England my whole life and only moving here in the last three years it will be good to learn more about local American history. Learning about the history will help as an overall human being just learning about American history.




Westminster College has its own route it likes to take with its students and that’s called the “Westminster Way”. The “Westminster Way” is a way that allows students to get involved in real world experiences as much as possible before students such as myself are sent out into the real world. Westminster basically set you up to be ready for the real world. While filming my documentary I have definitely been set up for the real world.
My documentary allows me to hit one of the Westminster outcomes it allows me to demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills for careers and responsible service as world citizens. Filming this documentary has allowed me to gain extra skills that I would have never just learnt from being in the classroom, this project allows me to interact with a real world client. Allowing me to deal with a real client makes me not want to let him down because how I act now should help me with how I deal with them in the future.
I also feel that my project has a purpose for the Johnson family and I want to do them justice in my final piece. I feel that they have a very fascinating and intriguing story that the local community should hear and see for themselves. I see this documentary as me doing a responsible service as a world citizen because I really want people to see how hard this family works to compete with big chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle.
Westminster has taught me a lot over the last three years and has also given me a lot of opportunities to help improve my resume and boost my chances of getting a job by the time I leave.




For my capstone project I had to get two consultants who I would talk to at least once a month about my project. One of the two consultants had to be an expert in the field I chose for my project and the other had to be an expert in the broadcast industry. The expert I chose for my subject was Steven Johnston and the expert in broadcast I chose was Adam Plyler.


Steven Johnston


Steven is the current owner of The Apple Castle so I thought he would be a perfect person to have as my expert. He clearly knows his own business very well and could really help me with any information I needed. I chose Steven as my expert because the documentary is about his business so who better to have as and expert than the owner. I could have chose his dad Lyle or his Grandad Ralph but I thought Steven would be better as he is the current owner and runs more of the day to day things of the business. Steven offers me a lot because he has been really helpful with everything I have requested and also helped me out by shooting some footage himself while I was away for the summer, Steven also has a great voice which will be really helpful because I would like to use him as the narrator for my documentary. Steven said “I am very excited about this project because I would hopefully like to use it as a small advertising tool for us (The Apple Castle) because it can show people that we really are a family owned business.” Steven has been a great help through out and I would really like to thank him for that because without him and his knowledge this project would never have gotten off the ground.


Adam Plyler


Adam is currently working for Lincoln Memorial University on their television network. Adam currently works as a host on ADA sports report, video editor and news videographer/reporter.  He has also interned at WFMJ TV in Youngstown. I selected Adam because I know him quite well and he is also in the modern age of tv story telling so he would be very up to date on new editing features and also new camera equipment that can help enhance my documentary. Adam said “I am glad I can help a current Westminster student out I remember being in his position and how having an expert to turn to can really help.” I would really like to thank Adam for agreeing to help me out with my documentary and I am sure his expertise and knowledge of being in my position before can really help me and give me a project that can help attract job offers.





The Apple Castle


Steven and Ashley Johnson




Family owned businesses in the agricultural industry are hard to come by these days especially in a small town such as New Wilmington. The Apple Castle orchard is one of those businesses. It all started in 1861 when Josiah Smith settled along what is now Route 18 in New Wilmington where he decided to start a small family business called “The Apple Castle.”


Now over 150 years on, that small family business Josiah started has grown into a big part of the local community providing them with a wide selection of fruit, vegetables and much loved donuts.

The farm is now with the 6th generation family, Steven Johnson. Steven took over the family business from his father Lyle Johnson who in turn took it over from his father Ralph Johnson.

The family has been through some hard times over the years with bad weather hindering their harvest and also the added competition of large chained supermarkets.

As generations go on the family has changed the production line from just Apples back in 1861, through to cows and now many other variations of fruit and vegetables.


The 7th generation is here but the big question is will she take over from her father and fore fathers.

This documentary unveils to the viewer the history of the orchard and how it managed to stay running in such a small community, you will see trials and tribulations of running a business and family in such a hands on industry where production is everything.  You will also see the new generation of The Apple Castle and the thoughts of the family, if they would want her to take over.

Adam Plyler

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