'Waiting for Bernie...'
PROFILE OF A VJ: Sandi Bachom - Telling Jokes in Auschwitz
Posted February 02, 2017
We first met Sandi Bachom at a presentation we gave at The Center for Communications nearl a decade ago.
The title of the talk was 'How To Start Your Own TV Production Company", and after the talk was over, we were approached by an incredibly energetic woman who said that we had changed her life.
She had been an very successful Mad Men era ad agency exec and TV producer, she had also written three best-selling books “Denial Is Not A River In Egypt,” “The Wrath of Grapes,” and “Hell in the Hallway” published by Hazelden/Betty Ford.
But she had give it all up to become one of the first real Video Journalists and America, and had become one of the very first full-time VJs with Current TV (hence the connection).
Since then she has gone on to win multiple awards for her work: "Shadow Boxer" just won Best Short 2012 Shadow Box Film Festival, "A Tale of Two Sandy's" given special My Hero Award in My Hero Film Festival, her "My Occupy" invited by Michael Moore to screen at his 2012 Traverse City Film Festival. She has been a guest on MSNBC, ABC, CNN, Fox, HuffPost Live and her videos have appeared in every major news outlet.
She has also used her camera to record and broadcast important political issues from the fight over carriage horses in NYC to Occupy Wall Street to the marches for women.
Be sure to check out her Youtube channel.
She is full of great stories about her work. Here's an example. A video she shot and produced called Telling Jokes at Auschwitz, and then the story behind it, in her own words:
Did I ever tell you this story? It's a good one.
Telling Jokes in Auschwitz had just been voted to #1 on CTV, and ever since I made it, I told people "Steven Speilberg is going to see my film and call me".
One day I was having lunch with a friend and told him the story of the film. I said, "Steven Speilberg is going to see my film and call me".
I left the restaurant in Chelsea and wound up in Soho it was 90 degrees out so I ducked into John Vavartos to get our of the heat. The store was empty…except Steven Spielberg was trying on a jacket.
I went up to him and laughed and said, "I was having lunch with a friend and told him "Steven Speilberg is going to see my film and call me", It's called Telling Jokes in Auschwitz, I made it for Al Gore's Current TV.
He asked where he could see it, I gave him my card, it was before YouTube, but was on my website. "I'm going to watch it" he said and I left. Must have taken 60 seconds the whole exchange.
Three days later, I got an email from him, he wanted to put it on his Shoah site. He said it was one of the most indelible of all the stories of the Holocaust, he looked at my reel and liked my visual style and moxie.
I keep the letter in my wallet.
Great story huh?