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MotionMasters produces a shelf of award-winning documentaries

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

By James E. Castro - Daily Mail WV

CEO Diana Sole-Walko recalls the humble beginnings of MotionMasters, the video production company she heads:

“The one-room office was small and sparsely furnished. There were just a couple of us with one phone, a rented camera and no editing system,” she says.

“But we had journalism degrees, TV news backgrounds and ad agency experience. We also had talent and determination. So we took our story to prospective clients and did what we said we would do for them: produce results.

“Thirty-some years and a lot of hard work later, we’re the writers, producers, designers, editors, shooters — the storytellers — of MotionMasters. Today, we not only own a fine editing system, we own a couple of them. The cameras, the latest in HD technology, also are ours.”

And the storytellers at MotionMasters have put all that high-tech equipment to good use, producing a whole shelf of award-winning documentaries.

The company has produced documentaries about NASA’s Katherine Johnson, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the Rev. Leon Sullivan, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, the West Virginia State Capitol and “Burning Springs,” a history of the state’s early oil and gas industry.

The latest MotionMasters documentary, “The Blennerhassetts,” will debut Monday, Aug. 30, at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

After that initial airing, it will be offered to other public broadcasting stations, and Sole-Walko says she expects interest from those in neighboring states.

Eventually, the plan is to make it available for streaming on Amazon, like some other MotionMasters productions.

In addition to heading MotionMasters, Sole-Walko is very active in the community. She is a past president of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam, a group she was actively involved with for more than 20 years. She was one of the founders of the Charleston Area Alliance and a past president of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce. A native of Weirton, she holds two degrees from Marshall University — a B.A. in journalism and an M.B.A, which she completed in 2004.

James E. Casto is the retired associate editor of the Herald-Dispatch and the author of a number of books on local and regional history

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