As they embark on an art installation in hog country, two resilient photographers navigate obstacles to remind travelers that pigs are more than just food.
Picturing Pigs (working title) is a documentary short film featuring two photographers, Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone, who work in academia in Raleigh, North Carolina. They developed an art advocacy project to make pigs more visible. The public typically sees caricatures of fat, happy pigs that seem eager to be eaten — imagery that’s been around so long, very few people question it. What happens when they put pictures of happy pigs on billboards along I-40 in the middle of hog country?
Go Behind the Scenes
In the Media
Picturing Pigs w/ Jane Casteline & Shannon Johnstone
Click here to listen to Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone talk about Picturing Pigs on the Our Hen House podcast
Picturing Pigs reel screens on January 28, 2024
Click here to read the article from Meredith College
‘Picturing Pigs’: Billboards Challenge Perceptions in Pig Farming State
Click here to read the article from Plante Based News
Cucalorus awards a total of $25,000 to 20 local filmmakers
Disappearing pigs: NC photographers discover influence of pork industry
Click here to read the article from The Charlotte Observer
Picturing Pigs: Making the Invisible Visible
Click here to read the article from the Culture & Animals Foundation
Disappearing Pigs Op Ed
Click here to read an opinion piece written by Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone
Picturing Pigs Press Release
Click here to read the press release written by Teri Saylor, producer, on June 27, 2023
Meet the Team
Jane M. Casteline
Photographer & Producer
Jane explores the nuances and unique qualities of the natural, human, and built environment through photography. Her work has been featured in juried and non-juried exhibitions since 2014. Her current project, “Mushrooms in Raleigh” documents the multitude of fungi species located in and around Raleigh, N.C., also seeking to capture the beauty that flourishes from the naturally decaying environment. She is currently developing a documentary photography series on the journey of homeless Turkish dogs from abandonment to rescue to adoption. Casteline is a research administrator at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C.
Photographer & Producer
Shannon Johnstone’s photographic work deals with themes that reclaim what has been discarded and make visible that which is hidden. Her project, “Landfill Dogs”, has been featured nationally and internationally, and was most notably on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (2013) and CNN.com (2014). Her recent project “Stardust and Ashes” was a Critical Mass Finalist (2017), and her newest work, “Roadside Zoo” won an Honorable Mention in the International Photography Awards (2021). Johnstone is a tenured professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Photographer & Producer
Teri Saylor is an independent journalist and communication professional in Raleigh, N.C., with more than 25 years of experience in journalism, public affairs, and nonprofit management. Born and raised in N.C., and a graduate of N.C. State University, Teri started her career as a reporter and photographer at a small weekly newspaper in eastern N.C., and from there she began a career with the N.C. Press Association, advancing the organization’s mission to protect First Amendment freedoms, and advocating for the newspaper industry. For the past 15 years, she has operated Open Water Communications, a small firm devoted to helping newspapers, magazines, and organizations connect with and engage their audiences through storytelling and photography.
Director & Producer
Camden Watts is a storyteller focused on charismatic, strong women making a positive impact in their communities. She creates safe spaces for viewers to face dark truths, laugh during lighter moments, and experience the beauty of the South. Watts empowers audiences to tap into their own courage by seeing real examples on screen. She is a self-taught filmmaker who made Brewconomy, The Innocent AK, Landfill Dogs: Behind the Scenes, Trophy, and Abandoned Allies. She also worked on Oh Crappy Day and Brownstone. Watts studied graphic design and photography at Meredith College. (Photo by Shannon Johnstone.)
Ned Phillips is a cinematographer and film editor who has been the director of photography for multiple feature films, including the documentary Truth Underground (2016). Ned graduated with honors in 2006 from Goucher College, where he played lacrosse and majored in both Spanish and in Communications & Media Studies. He completed a Certificate in Documentary Arts at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. He directed The Maestro (2018), which was an official RiverRun selection. Ned was the director of photography and consulting editor on Oh Crappy Day (2019).
As a Durham native, Nick Wallhausser was shocked by the change when he visited his hometown after spending nearly a decade in Nagoya, Japan. Impressed with how the city had grown, he gave it a shot and quickly found great creative and social outlets throughout the triangle. With music and events, he found like-minded artists and began an event series and record label named Raund Haus. This led to mixing and mastering countless records from local collaborators to artists worldwide, as far as London and Tokyo. Having a lifetime love of anything Nintendo and Super Mario related, a controller in hand was never a foreign thing. As drone technology became more accessible, it was a natural progression to find a love for flying drones. This led to an interest in video and aerial photography, which has been made easy with the advancements in camera technology on today’s drones. With a love for anything music or sound related and a massive enthusiasm for drones, Nick has transferred those skills into the film world, eager to work with new people to bring their films and creations to life.
Aaron is obsessed with audio; be it production recording or music. On the music end, he is an upright and electric bassist. He has released numerous recordings; the latest on Big Round Records with Ecco La Musica and with Sidecar Social Club. Add to all of this – a production audio recordist that has worked on numerous short and long-format films, documentaries, and commercials. A sample list of clients: US Soccer, HBO, Park Stories, Discovery Channel, and PBS.
Annie Beth Donahue
Annie Beth Donahue is a native North Carolinian. She has a degree in music therapy from Queens University of Charlotte but keeps a lot of different plates spinning as an independent consultant. Her typical roles include project manager, integrator, business officer, and CRM admin. Basically, she does the tedious stuff for the big-vision people. But don’t let all that left-brained work fool you. Harkening back to her liberal arts days, Annie Beth loves handling the details for projects involving nonprofits or the arts. In her “off” time, she’s a homeschooling mom of four, the founder of a nonprofit for children with special healthcare needs, and a middle grade author.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who's in the movie?
The short film features two photographers, Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone, as they work with people who run animal sanctuaries in North Carolina. We have been working with incredible people at Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary and Sisu Refuge.
What's the film about?
Picturing Pigs (working title) is about two resilient photographers, Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone, who create an art installation with funding from the Culture & Animals Foundation. They photograph pigs at animal sanctuaries then put them on billboards in the middle of hog country in eastern North Carolina. By sharing pictures of real, happy pigs the billboards help counter the cartoonish depictions of these animals. Their goal is simply to help people look at real pigs.
Why are you making this film?
We’re making this film to help people see real pigs. The goal is to counter the common imagery. Consumers usually see caricatures of pigs, silhouettes, or pieces of meat. What if people could learn more about pigs, their personalities, and how they live at animal sanctuaries?
How long is the film?
Picturing Pigs (working title) is a short documentary. The estimated total run time will be 30 minutes or less when it’s finished.
When can I see the film?
Picturing Pigs (working title) is currently in production. We hope to finish it in 2024. Please sign up for email updates to follow along so you’ll know when and where it’s screening.
Who's funding the project?
The billboards are an art installation made possible with a grant from the Culture & Animals Foundation. The documentary short film is seeking funding through grants, crowdfunding campaigns, and sponsors. Want to support our efforts? Please contact Camden Watts today.
Links to More Info
Picturing Pigs project
Picturing Pigs is an art installation created by Jane M. Casteline and Shannon Johnstone. Visit their website for more information about the project.
Sisu Animal Refuge
Sisu Refuge is home to 200+ rescued animals in the middle of hog country in eastern North Carolia. Daisy is featured on one of the billboards, and the sanctuary is in the documentary film. Please support their efforts by contributing or volunteering.
Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary
Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary is a safe haven for domestic and farm animals in North Carolina. Two pigs that live at BSAS are featured on billboards and in the documentary. Please support their efforts by contributing or volunteering.
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