Predicting the future has been a desire of humankind since archaic Homo sapiens and Neanderthals first held hands. Whether they’re prognosticators or con artists, psychics answer a powerful need to know what’s ahead and beyond. In the US, there are estimated to be 79,900 practitioners in the psychic services industry, and some 52.5 million Americans have sought their services. Approximately 27% of psychics practice in the Southeast. Southern Psychic is about the psychic industry in our community and an up-close exposé of one psychic who believes her work improves people’s lives.

Chip Howell began work in video while still in high school with the production of Young, Male, and Hungry, about the after-school eating habits of teenagers, which he sold to a national magazine. He also produced a documentary on Sandy Island, SC, inhabited by the descendants of runaway slaves. As an undergraduate at East Carolina University, he produced programs on water quality in the Tar River and an anniversary program for the School of Hospitality Management. He now works as an independent producer of short videos for companies to use on the internet. This summer he shot footage for the film Gettysburg: Final Measure of Devotion, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The film is available on DVD and Hulu, and the shoot was the largest live-streaming event focused on a military battle. He has provided camera work for the television pilot Outlaws and Badasses, and he is currently shooting a pilot about home decorating.

This was the final project for the Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. See more Fall 2013 final projects at cdsporch.org/archives/21145.

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