Photo courtesy/Christopher Powless
Hugh Danforth (left), Mark Powless (middle), and Brenda John (right) portray Oneidas set in the 1880s during recent filming with Digital Designs of Green Bay to produce talking paintings. These talking paintings will eventually be displayed in the log homes on Salt Pork Avenue.
Michelle Danforth and Christopher Johnson
Big Bear Media
With great sadness comes great creativity. Since the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year the Oneida Nation Tourism Department has been unable to educate visitors and conduct tours of the Reservation due to the layoff of staff members. The pandemic has forced the entire tourism industry to modify how they operate, and Oneida is no exception.
Fortunately, CARES ACT funding from the federal government made it possible to bring back one staff member for six weeks and help coordinate a virtual tour guide project affectionately dubbed “The Harry Potter Technology Project.” The project entails filming of actors portraying Oneida historical figures in front of a green screen. Digital Design Services of Green Bay will then convert the background into a log home setting like those in the Amelia Cornelius Culture Park on Salt Pork Avenue. Digital programming and audio will then create the magic of this virtual tour.
Just like in the Harry Potter franchise, this technology will convert the film into what appears to be talking paintings which will be displayed in the Salt Pork Avenue log homes in the near future. Oneida Tourism will be the first organization to utilize this technology in Northeast Wisconsin. As an uncertain 2021 dawns on the Nation, our tourism efforts will continue to focus on new virtual technology to assist with the education of the greater public.