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posted: 7/14/2010 12:01 AM

Lisle-based Two Parrot Productions documents people, communities

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  • Bill Kizorek in Cameroon on assignment for Lions Club International at the Jimmy Carter Center for River Blindness.

      Bill Kizorek in Cameroon on assignment for Lions Club International at the Jimmy Carter Center for River Blindness.
    Courtesy Bill Kizorek

 
 

Bill Kizorek is an adept storyteller.

Looking through the lens of a camera, the Lisle resident documents people and communities around the world. His passport reads like a world atlas.

From Myanmar, Moldova, Tanzania, Guatemala, Jordan and Burkina Faso, Kizorek's videos tell the wonderful work of nonprofit groups.

"We are so fortunate to live in this country," Kizorek said. "There are so many people in the world living on a dollar a day, and so many Americans doing so much to help the world that I want to bring it to light and document it."

Highlighting humanitarian organizations at work is a hallmark of Two Parrot Productions.

Kizorek, together with his daughter Jessica Kizorek, founded the company simply named for two parrots the family owned. The group has grown to include daughter Carly Kizorek, Bill's wife, Janie Kizorek, and his brother, John Kizorek, as producers.

The father-daughter team is well-qualified with a global perspective. An author of nine books on video and risk management, Bill also has helped produce segments for the four major TV networks and traveled to 150 countries.

Jessica Kizorek has written four video-related books and appeared on the CNN show "Young People Who Rock."

A five-hour trek through the Congo to see the silverback gorilla, feeding schoolchildren in Tanzania and filming in Cameroon at the Jimmy Carter Center for River Blindness are all part of the job.

Most adventures take a two-person crew one week. The exception was a trip to Cambodia that took 44 hours just to reach the site. Back in the Lisle studio, every hour of raw video translates into 40 hours of editing. The result is a captivating 6- to 8- minute video a group uses to explain its mission, raise money and expand its impact.

"We want to document the positive effects charities have on the impoverished people we film," Carly said. "We show the contrasts of what things were like before and what the group is doing to help."

"It warms our hearts, and we want to create a film to tell the story," Bill said.

Bill has been behind a camera for as long as he can remember.

"I remember when you needed to stick a flashbulb into a camera to take a picture," he said, laughing at the thought.

After graduating from Loyola University with an English degree and a tour of duty in the military, Bill sharpened his skills in investigation and video production. He founded InPhoto Surveillance and was its successful CEO for 20 years.

When he sold the company 11 years ago, he donated many of his frequent flier miles to charities and his work took its current direction.

Most of Bill's career was spent in the video production business as an internationally known authority on insurance fraud and video surveillance. His experience uncovering the shady characters in life makes his work with the philanthropic set all the sweeter.

Today, Bill has a desktop computer capable of producing documentary films fit for an I-Max theater. Together with a laptop, several cameras, five lenses and boom microphone, the crew travels light.

"Invariably, we are landing in a different time zone, and the toughest part of the first day is to make sure we hit the ground running with all our equipment," Bill said.

Even traveling light, necessities include charged batteries, mosquito net, duck tape, water purification tablets, special Insect Shield-treated clothing and even a tooth repair kit. Along with a passport, the crew has the precautionary inoculations to travel to the remote corners of the world.

Each member needs to be prepared for whatever may come his or her way, such as tsetse flies, fire ants and malarial mosquitoes. Wherever the assignment, having electricity, screens and warm water often are luxuries.

Two Parrot Productions' clients include World Concern, Lions Club International Foundation, Lutheran World Relief and Doctors on Call for Service. Closer to home, the village of Lisle is a client.

Over the past year, the Kizorek family filmed a documentary about the village to reflect why the community is a great place to live and work. In 2007, Money Magazine cited Lisle in its top 20 of America's Best Places to Live in its population group and the video is designed to show why.

Bill, together with Carly and Mike Jais of Graphics Plus in Lisle, filmed several videos and a group from the village helped assess the final product.

"A major use of the video will be to help attract new businesses to the village by outlining the economic opportunities that exist in Lisle," said Catherine Schuster, Lisle's economic development director.

A 30-second video pulled from the longer version will air this summer on cable television.

"I believe residents will enjoy seeing their community showcased in this manner," Schuster said. "Lisle is a community that intelligently blends innovation with a respect for nature to offer outstanding work, life and visitor experiences. Its powerful presence energizes people, sparks innovation and inspires creativity."

"We discovered so many little gems in Lisle," Bill said. "We have traveled the world and what our area has to offer is amazing."

To view some of the videos of Two Parrot Productions, go to twoparrot.com.

• Joan Broz writes about Lisle. E-mail her at jgbroz@yahoo.com.

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