November 11, 2007
RJ's Newsletter - December 12, 2006
RJ’s Newsletter—December 12, 2006
Welcome to RJ’s Inventive Productions Newsletter, which is written to inspire myself and everyone to live a “grand, heroic, life.”  (from a poem by Walt Whitman)
(Note: a copy of this newsletter can also be read at
This newsletter is dedicated to your parents and grandparents this Christmas season.  Give them a call, better yet, sit down and talk with them about their life. 
Great Quotations:
"The greatest gift is a portion of thyself." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pearl Harbor
Here are some incredible photographs taken that infamous day.  I have been fortunate to have met a couple Pearl Harbor Survivors lately, and I can tell you their stories are powerful, remarkable, and inspiring.
Inventive Productions update:
1.      Happy Holidays Party—you are invited to our Happy Holidays Party. It is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19th.  We will have Live music by entertainer India Turner, plus lots of wine, finger foods, and prizes for the best costumes.  We are having a movie theme for this party, so feel free to dress up like anyone from your favorite movies. You could be Marilyn Monroe or Charlie Chaplin or John Wayne or the Creature from the Black Lagoon or whomever you want. Let’s all have a great party and remember to have fun. The party will run from 4 pm to 7pm at our offices in Bellevue. Please RSVP so we know how much food and wine to get. You can RSVP by calling Kellie Ridenour at 425-747-4538 or by email at
2.      Mission Statement: The goal of Inventive Productions is to help people and organizations tell their unique life story in their own words with video & DVD.
3.      From Sam Stern, Professor & Dean of Oregon State's College of Education: Earlier this week, I heard from an OSU alum who wanted to tell me about the Freedom Writers Foundation ( The Freedom Writers Foundation grew out of the experiences of Erin Gruwell in her first years of teaching high school in Long Beach, California. Her students, identified by the administration as at-risk and unteachable, were a diverse mix of African-American, Latino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Caucasian. What they had in common was adversity and struggle. With the help of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, Erin coaxed her students into finding their voices and telling their stories. Their stories have since become a book ( and, this coming January, will be a feature movie -- check out the movie trailer ( “Education isn't just about hearing the stories of others, it's also about telling our own stories”, said Sam Stern.
4.     From Julie Gottschalk: Please invite all your friends and family to an important charity event, the ONE WISH ONE WORLD party. You are invited to this special charity event at May’s Restaurant in Seattle starting at 6pm on Thursday, December 14th.   The charity event party includes dinner, dessert, education, a silent auction, goody bag, and being around good people.   100 percent of the proceeds of this event go to the children of northern Uganda who are being kidnapped, forced to serve as soldiers, and are brutalized, raped, and mutilated, and given as sex slaves to military commanders. To learn more about this important event, call Julie at 205-321-7237.
5.  Here is a great poem:  "A Cup of Christmas Tea," a poem by Thomas Hegg.
6.  Did you know:A recent survey of over 2500 Americans showed that the non-financial leave-behinds such as personal histories, are 10-times more important than monetary inheritances. 
7.  Here is a great feature created by NPR called “This I Believe”:
8.      Mary O'Brien Tyrrell wrote: "Gene Cohen, M. D., Ph. D., acting Director of the National Institute on Aging, has ... discovered that there are four stages in late life: Midlife reevaluation, Liberation, Summing Up, and Encore. During the third stage, he finds that as an outcome of summing up, one of the common outcomes is writing a memoir! He believes it's a developmental task. Dr. Cohen's book “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain” ... From my 25 years of experience as a gerontologist, I believe that this book provides a paradigm shift ... we see this description of telling one's life story as a developmental task."
9.      The website Veterans Today" is running a great article about our Inventive Productions and the Video Biography of John “Bud” Hawk. You can read it here:
10.      Bud Hawk’s Video Biography “Hometown Hero” (produced by Inventive Productions) was aired several times, including on November 29th at 9pm on Bremerton public access TV.
11. Jerrod Sesslor, one of the Veterans that we interviewed here at Inventive Productions for the Library of Congress program, Veterans History Project, was featured on radio station KUOW. You can hear the interview at
12.   Life Chronicles is a wonderful program dedicated to helping capture the oral histories of terminally ill patients. Here is a link to their website:
13.  People magazine for Dec. 4, 2006 has a story on p. 141 about a lovely woman, Pam Fairmont, who made a video for her son before she died of cancer. (To see a clip of Fairmont's video, go to
14.Barbara K—we delivered a great Christmas DVD, turning four CDs of photographs into a moving Holiday Season greeting card DVD.  It was a lot of fun putting Christmas songs to pictures and pictures to songs.
15.Richard & Joyce N—We have started editing the Video Autobiography interviews of this awesome couple from Wisconsin. 
16.Robert & Evelyn B—This couple was on vacation here from Iowa, visiting the family.   The family thought it would be a great time to capture their life stories on video.  I really love to meet people from the Midwest.  They are very inspirational.  Their values, their solid outlook on life, their wisdom.
17.Randy Kim—we have entered into a special relationship with local estate planner Randy Kim of RW KIM & COMPANY to help spread the word to people about the importance of creating a living legacy with video biographies.  You can learn more about Randy Kim and his philosophies at
18.New TV channel is on now:
19.Dave & Fran D—The video biography idea came from their daughter Carla as a gift to the parents.  Dave & Fran live in Roslyn, Washington, the little town where they made the TV series Northern Exposure.  Dave is former mayor and a hero from Vietnam.  He served for over 20 years in the US Navy.  The Divelbiss family has traveled all over the world as part of Dave’s job in the service.  Including working for NATO in Italy.  We are proud to have the opportunity to help Dave and Fran tell their life stories on video.   
20.A biography of a poodle. We have been asked to create a Video Biography of a very special poodle.  This poodle is rated in the top five in all of America.  Our mission is to create a marketing video that will highlight the achievements of this incredible animal.  This is no ordinary dog, it is an athlete.
21.Very funny website:
22. Pacific Institute Christmas Party. Last week we shot the exciting Christmas party for Lou & Diane Tice and the Pacific Institute.  It was really inspiring to see people from all ages and backgrounds getting together to eat good food and to sing Holiday songs together.
24.Rotary Group Presentations—last week we enjoyed giving presentations to the University Rotary and the Kent Rotary.  The local Rotary groups have been very hospitable to us and have expressed a lot of interest in this topic. 
25.Association of Personal Historians.  This is a very unique group of authors and video producers who have dedicated their lives to help people tell their life story.  To learn more about the APH, go to
26.Dr. Mathias Berry—we are creating a series of training and marketing videos for this awesome, energetic, and inspiring Dr. Mathias Berry.  I must admit that I have not met such an impressive person in a long time.  To learn more about his unique services and ideas, go to:
27.Interesting website:
28. PREVIEW COLLECTION DVD.  We have created a new free DVD compilation of short excerpts from several of our projects.  If you would like a free DVD sampler of our work, just email and I will send it out to you.
29.Inventive Productions on YOU TUBE.  Some of our samples are now viewable on  Just go to and do a search for Inventive Productions
30. Chatanooga, Tennessee and Lincoln, Nebraska, too.   Our work on Video Biographies at Inventive Productions was featured in a cover page article in the Seattle Times in September.  Over the past few weeks, this article has been criss-crossing all across America.  It has been picked up and reprinted by newspapers in Detroit, Chicago, Indiana, North Dakota, Philadelphia, Eastern Oregon, Cle Elum, WA, and Sacramento, CA.  The word is getting out!   You can read the article at:
 (‘Note:  if this link does not work, go to and do a search for inventive productions)
31.Fidelity Investors Article.  The Fidelity Investors newspaper did an article about the importance of using Ethical Wills to share your values.  Here is a link to the article:
32.Dan Foley--  We are editing together an incredible five and one half hour interview with Dan.  Dan is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient from WWII.  Dan was in the 75th Infantry during World War II.  After the war he raised a nice family and enjoyed a long time career with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.  Today Dan is writing a book about his life.  He was very excited to get his story on DVD.
33.Terry & Ted K—it was a real pleasure to meet and capture the life stories of this fabulous couple.  Married for over 60 years, it was inspiring to see them holding hands during our interview.  Ted worked for over 30 years with Boeing and Terry was born in Italy.
34.West Coast Investors—we finished creating a TV commercial for this real estate mortgage company in Portland.  You can learn more about their work at
35.Mara Williams.  This past week we shot a mock wedding for a Wedding Dance Party DVD for Mara Williams.  Mara is famous for her expertise and insight on how to put on the perfect dance-themed party.  To learn more about Mara, go to
36.Greg Shaw.  We are producing a TV Commercial for Greg Shaw, a Top Producing Windermere Realtor from Magnolia.  To learn more about Greg go to his website:
37.Emerald City Smoothie.   Emerald City Smoothie has in-store flat screen TVs.  Our goal is to create a five to ten minute loop tape that will help put these big screens to work, allowing Smoothie customers to be entertained, inspired, and educated while waiting for their Smoothies to be made.  To learn more about the incredible smoothies at Emerald City Smoothie, go to
38.We are very grateful for the personal referrals we are receiving from our clients, friends, and family.  Remember, we have a referral program where you can earn $200 referral dollars for any business you send us.  You can donate this to charity if you want.  Thank you so much.  If you have a friend or family person you would like to recommend, please email
40.Letip Power Breakfast.  We are finalizing the editing on  a video about the exciting Letip Power Breakfast at the Marriott at the Redmond Town Center.  We are also proud to be a member of the Washington Letip organization.  It has been a fantastic experience to meet so many fine folks.  You can learn more about this group at
41.This past summer, the Kiplinger letter wrote a great article about how Americans are starting to catch on to the Video Biography idea.  Let me know if you want me to email you a copy of the article. Earlier this year there was an article in the Wall Street Journal, and just a couple weeks ago another article in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Yes, Video Biographies are on the verge of becoming a main stream product that every family will want.
45.D.R.W.—we are excited to be producing a surprise video biography for a woman’s 50th birthday.  Her family doesn’t want her to catch on to the surprise, so we are being super discrete.   The husband has been sneaking photos and home movies from his house and bringing them to us for scanning.  Then he sneaks them back home before being detected.   We always are dedicated to total confidentiality and sensitivity to our subject’s needs.
46.Al Farmer—we just finishing the final editing on the Video AutoBiography on this grandfather in Sherwood, Oregon.  Al has led a very interesting life.  He was in the Merchant Marines during WWII and had a super successful career in the Insurance business for over 40 years.  Now he is limited a lot by a stroke he had a couple of years ago, but you sure can feel his enthusiasm for life.  He is a very inspiring fellow.  He really looks forward to seeing his children and grandchildren when they visit.  You can see a sample of his video at
47.Dean Echelbarger—we have just finished the editing on the Video AutoBiography of Dean, a grandfather from Edmonds.  He has led a Wonderful Life.  It was very interesting to hear about his World War II experiences--he was there when the Americans liberated the Dachau concentration camps.  He is really a great example of the American Dream.  Starting from humble beginnings, Dean's life shows how hard work and by being honest and helping people, you can become a big success.  You can see a sample of Dean’s biography on our website at and click on the SAMPLES page.
48.Bob & Jackie P—We are waiting for photographs and home movies on this great Husband-Wife Video Biography for a unique couple.  Bob & Jackie have been together for over 50 years.    
49.Jan W—We are scanning nearly 20,000 incredible slides as part of the first stage of the production of a heroic Video Autobiography of Jan.  Jan has led such an interesting life.  She led an expedition of white water rafters down the Yangtze River in China, and that is just the tip of the iceberg on this story. 
50.Shirley M—We just finished making the last few fixes to Shirley’s production.   Shirley is such a positive person.   To hear her tell hilarious stories of her Mother and Father and her childhood is priceless.  I think it is awesome to be able to laugh so much about your childhood.
51.Jim Z —We are awaiting feedback from the family on our first draft of Jim’s biography. 
52.Bill & Dorothy S—We just finished the first draft of the Video Biography.  Now we are making some changes to the music and adding some more photos to this wonderful love story of two people who met at a USO dance during World War II. 
53.Gordy G—Our team is working on the post production of a full length Video Biography of Gordy.  Earlier this year we created a short Promotional Biography DVD for Gordy and his team.  Gordy is a nationally known motivational speaker and author who helps individuals and organizations cope with and make Changes.  He is known as the “Change Agent.” ( )  You can see the video online   
54.Steele Heart Documentary—Our team is producing a fun documentary about a remarkable group of musicians, the Steele Heart Band. ( ).  These musicians are actually RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) law enforcement officers who play Country Western Music in their RCMP uniforms at charity concerts all across America, Canada, and other countries. 
55.Bill E—How many lives does one man live?  Here is story of a Seattle-area man who has led several lives in one lifetime.  Here is the story of a veteran from WWII, a broadcaster who started on a small-watt radio station in Bend, OR, a children’s TV-show personality from the 60s in Seattle, a dedicated TV producer who captured exciting moments of the early years of NASA at Cape Canaveral, an author, a businessman, a pilot, and a grandfather, father, and husband.  I feel very fortunate to be able to help Bill tell his life story in his own words.   He has terrific stories to describe, and tons of great photos, home movies, and other materials that will help make this DVD a real treasure and heirloom for his family.  One of my favorite stories is about his trip across America with another WWII vet in a restored US Army Jeep.
56.The Pacific Institute—we are producing a History and Culture series for the The Pacific Institute. Our mission is to create a mini-series of documentaries that will chronicle the history and culture of this incredible organization.  This weekend we are interviewing several clients and employees from over 30 years.  To learn more about the Pacific Institute, go to  
57.Stroke Victim DVD--In this short documentary, Gordy Graham explains his remarkable recovery from having a stroke, using visualization techniques to speed up his recovery.  You can see this short documentary at our website  Click on the SAMPLES page.
58. Coffee Table Books & Movie Posters--We can now create a beautiful hard-bound coffee-table Picture Books & Movie Posters. 
59.DEMENTIA--50 FIRST DATES--Experts have testified that Biographical Videos can greatly enhance and help in the care of people with memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and amnesia.  Have you seen the movie 50 FIRST DATES?  By watching a video DVD of their life, a person with memory loss can help remember who they are and feel better about life.  Dr. Richard A. Wyckoff  told me that Biographical videos really do help people with memory loss remember their identities.   Check out his website  
60.Packages and Prices—our packages and prices are now available in the BREAKING NEWS area of our website at
61.Financing Available—we are pleased to be able to offer financing if needed.  Call or email RJ for exact details.
62.Ship of Miracles.   It was Christmas 1950 when a small merchant ship saved over 14,000 civilian refugees on one voyage.  It has been described a nothing short of a miracle.  Five babies were born on the three day voyage and no one died.  The ship captain, Leonard LaRue was so moved by this experience that after the war he became a monk in New Jersey.  I was so moved by this story that in 2001 I started a journey to create a personal documentary about this exciting story.  I am just about finished making modifications and creating the final version of the film.  To learn more about the SHIP OF MIRACLES, goto
63.Writing. I am pleased to have received my first box of my new book “BONUS TIME AND OTHER SHORT STORIES”.  Email me if you are interested in reserving a signed copy.  My first two novels are available on AMAZON.COM.    Just go to and do a search for RJ McHatton.  You will be able to see my first novel, “THE DIRTY DEED,” and my second novel “MY KIDS.”  My fourth book, “THE BRILLIANTS AND OTHER SHORT STORIES” will be available early next year.  You can learn more about my writing at   Thanks goes to Laura Standring for helping me type up my books and to Kellie Ridenour for editing them.  They both are awesome.
64. Umatilla Film.  My grandfather worked in the summer of 1941 to help build the igloos at the Umatilla Weapons Depot in Eastern Oregon. My award-winning documentary, UMATILLA, is now available on DVD on  Just go to and do a search for UMATILLA.  You will see my DVD there.  You can learn more about this project at
65.Family. My wife and kids are really getting into the Holiday spirit. We have a house full of Christmas decorations and miniature dachshunds.   You can see some pictures of our puppies at
66. My youngest sister, Patty McHatton is serving in the Construction Battalion (Seabees) with the US Navy near Baghdad in Iraq.  She is very excited about the opportunity to serve her country, to help others, and she makes me proud.  She asked me to remind everyone that there are a lot of service people over there who never receive any letters from people back in America.  If you have a moment, why not write to someone over there and let them know you care? No matter what your politics or feelings about the war, why not at least show your thanks to those who are serving in harms way for our country?  If you would like to write a card or letter to a service person over there, go to:
69.Home for Sale. We are selling our home in Astoria, Oregon.  It is a restored 1900’s Victorian with awesome views.  You can see pictures of the home at  
70.Joke of the week:
Q.  What did the mother broom say to the baby broom?
A.   It's time to go to sweep.
                   (Joke submitted by my son Jason)
71.The Inventive Productions Team:
Executive Producers:  Bill Peare & Jeff Sites
Producer-Director:  RJ McHatton
          Sales Producers:  Akina Moscinski, Anita Johnson, RJ McHatton, Matt K., Virgil B., Bill Maxwell
          Managing Editor:  Tyler Griffin
          Production Coordinator:  Kellie Ridenour
          Associate Editors:  Kenny Stine, Shayla Jones, Olivia Howe, Nate, Shawna Cook, Gary Schmidt, Nikki Smith, and Gary Gerve.
          Graphics Designer:  Bekah Laughman
          Research:  Crissy McHatton
Would you like to read some of our old RJ’s newsletters?  Go to:
Thanks for reading my email newsletter. 
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email
To learn more about Inventive Productions, go to
Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and family.
Have a great day.
RJ McHatton
Inventive Productions LLC
3625 132nd Avenue, S.E.
Suite 100
Bellevue WA 98006
Studio office 425-747-4538
Fax 425-747-4564
cell 503-470-0728
Note: a copy of this newsletter can also be read at
If you would like to be added to or removed from this email list, please email

Leave a comment*

Note: All comments must be approved by the post author.