Chanse Simpson

Simpatico Documentaries


Producer • Director • Writer

Cinematographer • Editor

Photographer • Instructor


Segments From Documentary Projects

Soul’s Journey:  Inside the Creative Process

Where does creativity come from?  How does it play out in a person’s life?

Those were the central questions we started with. For this project, I traveled to 10 states to profile 22 contemporary artists and craftspeople, documenting them at work in their studios. The result is Soul's Journey:  Inside the Creative Process, a six-part educational series.

Ali Randolph & The Outta Luck Band
Popcorn Sutton

In 2009, legendary mountain moonshiner Popcorn Sutton made a fatal mistake:  he sold moonshine to an undercover ATF agent.  When the agent returned to buy more, he brought a posse of state and federal agents with him. Popcorn was sentenced to prison for making and selling his illegal likker.  But instead of serving time in a federal penitentiary, he chose to end his own life.  Singer-songwriter Ali Randolph  immortalized Popcorn’s life in a song that she first performed at his memorial service, and later recorded with her band, The Outta Luck Band. The video -- which combines documentary and music video formats -- was shot on location at Popcorn’s home and grave, and at the site of his last moonshine operation.  Before Popcorn died, he signed a deal with a Nashville distillery to sell his moonshine, which is now available as Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey.  The life of Popcorn Sutton may be over, but not the legend.  That lives on.

Discover Mitchell County

Located between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, Mitchell County, North Carolina is an area with a rugged landscape and a rich history.  This segment is part of a travel and tourism project and features the natural beauty of the region, and highlights a trip down the Nolichucky River.

Martinsville Speedway

In October of 2006, NASCAR came to historic Martinsville Speedway in Southwest Virginia as Jimmie Johnson pursued the first of his five consecutive points championships.  This segment shows highlights of the race, including a duel between Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and the post-race media frenzy and celebration in victory lane.  With more than 60 years of stockcar racing, Martinsville’s half-mile oval is the oldest track on the circuit and remains a fan favorite.

Subway 500 • October 22, 2006

Simpatico Documentaries

Chanse Simpson

Live Music Photography

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Winter on Mount Mitchell: The Longest Season

At 6,684 feet Mount Mitchell is the highest peak East of the Mississippi River, and home to North Carolina’s first state park.  The weather on the mountain is more typical of Canada than the Southern United States.  In the winter months, the park is frequently slammed with snowstorms, and often accumulates more than 100 inches of snow annually.  For the rangers and maintenance staff who live on the mountain, dealing with the snow and sub-zero temperatures is a constant challenge.  This video documents a storm’s arrival in the park, and the snowplow operation as workers fight to clear the roads and keep a path open to the outside world.  It features storm footage, and many shots of deep snow drifts in the park.  Originally produced in 2004, the video also shows the old tower on top of the mountain (that has since been replaced by a wide viewing platform that is accessible by a ramp).  This documentary is featured regularly in the park’s interpretive program.  Designated by the state legislature in 1915, Mount Mitchell State Park is located in the Black Mountain Range in Yancey County, NC and encompasses nearly 2000 acres.

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Civil War Documentary

In 1861, the future Mayor of Asheville, Thomas Walton Patton, was still a young man in his early-twenties when he joined the Buncombe Rifles. The soldiers marched off to war expecting to be back home within months. Four long years later, as members of the NC 60th Regiment, they were still fighting.  Patton survived the Civil War and returned home, where he was elected Mayor in the 1890s. It was first broadcast on North Carolina Public Television in August, 2000 and is still shown on UNC TV channels.

Thomas Walton Patton: Asheville’s Citizen Soldier

Ryan Wiebe: Organic Farming

Ryan Wiebe owns and operates Wiebe Farmin' in Yancey County, North Carolina, where he grows organic produce and sells it to restaurants and grocery stores across the state.  Ryan was selected by NC Agricultural
and Technical University as the 2014 Small Farmer of the Year.

Music Videos

Kaitlyn Baker
Coal Train

Kaitlyn Baker is a singer-songwriter from Pound, Virginia.  This video was shot on location around her hometown, and tells the story of a young man growing up in coal country, and making the decision to leave home and pursue life away from the mountains. 

Ali Randolph & The Outta Luck Band
Frankie & Charlie (Put A Stop To It)

In this song, Ali Randolph & The Outta Luck Band tell the infamous story
of Frankie & Charlie Silver, a real-life couple living in the North Carolina mountains in the 1830s.  After Charlie was found murdered, the sheriff arrested Frankie for the crime and later executed her by hanging, despite her pleas of self-defense.  Written by singer-songwriter Ali Randolph, the song also tells the story a modern couple dealing with domestic violence, but with a very different ending. 

Travel, Tourism & Marketing Videos

Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

The Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair is held annually in Burnsville, NC on the first Friday and Saturday in August. The event features a wide range of artists and crafters, food vendors, craft demonstrations, and live music on stage. The Crafts Fair began in the mid-1950s, and is named in honor of Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain East of the Mississippi River, and the first state park in North Carolina.

Career Paths

Career Paths is a program designed to provide high school students with information about various career fields, and allow them to take courses to gain experience and knowledge.  This video was made for middle school students preparing to enter high school.