Erin Smith Staff writer
July 10, 2014
WHITE LAKE — The story of White Lake is as unique as the sandy bottomed, clear water lake itself.
White Lake resident Robert Kinlaw decided to take on the task of telling the many fascinating stories of White Lake in a documentary form and compiling them into a video.
“I’ve always had an interest in film and moviemaking. I started thinking about how we have all have these great stories about White Lake,” said Kinlaw.
He said as the idea formed he worked on the project for about two years and finished it in January. He received a grant in the amount of $1,000 from the Arts Council to help with the project.
“It was way more difficult than I expected,” said Kinlaw. “I learned a lot about the entire process of making feature-length movies.”
Kinlaw said he learned about editing, picking out subjects, selecting music and other things of that nature that go into making a finished feature length movie.
The grant helped to pay for the equipment needed to make the documentary.
The video features interviews with several lifelong White Lake residents — including James Melvin, Tommy Faircloth and Harry Womble, to name a few. They include stories from the formation of the lake itself to how lake life has changed from about 1920 through the modern era. The video includes stories about the tour boats that took folks around the lake and the dances and live bands that visited the area.
The video also includes an interesting piece on the Ski Heels, a professional water skiing group, who once called White Lake home.
He is currently in negotiations with UNC-TV to have the video aired on PBS as a documentary piece.
“I submitted it online to UNC-TV. I got a call back from them and we are currently making sure we meet all the requirements for television airing,” said Kinlaw.
He hopes to have the video on the air by December. For those who don’t want to wait for it to debut on television, copies of the video are currently available at the Marina At White Lake for $30 each.
Kinlaw is a student at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in journalism.
“I want a career in some sort of multi-media,” said Kinlaw, who is the son of Tim and Cathy Kinlaw of White Lake.