Charlie Steiner, Video Director of WWOZ
Film by UNO student and documentary filmmaker Stephen Herrera
When we think of WWOZ, we don’t often think of videos, but it may be time to rethink what we know. Charlie Steiner is in charge of putting videos on the radio for WWOZ, which is all about New Orleans, Louisiana, and regional contemporary music. WWOZ is involved with the culture of New Orleans – music and music related (second lines, Mardi Gras Indians, street musicians, etc.) culture- as well as documents these aspects of the city.
When preparing to film the musical event they have chosen, the crew for WWOZ wants to know who is going to be there, what they’re expecting, and then they show up with two cameras and a list of questions. After the concert, there is an interview, and that is what they make the video out of. It’s a way to bring a new forum to an already existing event.
In fact, at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival, they were doing a live switch to the Jumbotron as well as streaming live. This brings even more music and music coverage to New Orleans residents and music lovers all over the world.
As Charlie Steiner points out, in New Orleans if you don’t have a relationship with cultural people then they are not going to let you in. He feels that there are many people in New Orleans that have felt exploited by the music business or tourism, and that causes them to not be open to be documented. That is not the case for WWOZ. The station plays their music, and they go out and talk to the musicians. Therefore, the words, “I work for WWOZ,” gives Charlie and his crew an open door quite often.