|Kevin Paul Duffus|Megan
S. Duffus|Mickey Duffus|Robert
Kevin Duffus is a twenty-four year veteran of television and video
production who has served a variety of roles in management, sales production and
operations prior to owning VMG. A former broadcast executive producer, Duffus helped to
create and develop major television projects including live, statewide coverage of North
Carolina's 400th Anniversary celebrations from London, Plymouth and Portsmouth, England as
well as the coast of N.C. Other specials included a documentary and PSA campaign for the
Save Cape Hatteras Lighthouse committee.Through VMG, Duffus produced a thirty minute
program about Habitat For Humanity. Duffus and his crew traveled over 40,000 miles,
shooting on location in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America. The program aired on
PBS in 1990 and a fifteen minute fund-raising version was created and thousands of copies
have been distributed in North America.
Video Marketing Group, Inc., owned and operated by Kevin Duffus has published the most
comprehensive collection of travel videos ever produced about the state of North Carolina.
North Carolina - A Video Travel Guide, is an hour guided tour featuring over 300
destinations in the state and was published on Dec. 1, 1994. Great Golf Courses - The
Carolinas takes viewers on an epic journey to eight-five of the best places to play from
Hilton Head to the mountains of North Carolina. Duffus photographed and wrote the hour
long video that also includes information on design features, playing statistics, regional
points of interest and insight from two of America's greatest golf course architects.
Duffus has produced international broadcasts, corporate promotions, documentaries,
telethons,symphony concerts, sports broadcasts, children's shows, multi- station
consortiums and community outreach campaigns that helped to make the CBS affiliate in
Raleigh, NC one of America's top 25 television stations and and under his guidance, Video
Marketing Group, Inc.has become the Southeast's largest producer and publisher of travel
The Peabody Award for excellence in
journalism was presented to Kevin Duffus and four other producers in 1981 for their
combined effort on the national documentary, "Fed up With Fear". Duffus received
the World Hunger Media Award at the United Nations in 1986 and the National Educators
Association top broadcast honor for his program, "Tanzania, A Need Beyond
Hunger". Duffus was Executive Producer of documentaries that were honored in 1989 by
the national Associated Press Best Enterprise award and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow
|December 9, 1997
Graveyard of the Atlantic, Parts 1 and 2
Reviewed by Philip Van Vleck
native Tarheels are aware that the waters off the Outer Banks constitute
one of the most dangerous stretches of coastline in the world. As this
two-part documentary notes, there have been one thousand documented
shipwrecks between Currituck and Cape Lookout (182 miles).
Filmmaker Kevin P. Duffus has created a documentary of misfortune and
heroism, so to speak, in chronicling the history of shipwrecks along the
treacherous shallows of North Carolina’s stormy Atlantic coast. To piece
together the visual portion of his story, Duffus utilizes everything from
16th-century navigation charts to period photographs to photo images of
the coastline taken from satellites to video footage shot by treasure
hunters and recreational divers. He relies on historians like Dick
Stick--whose book The Graveyard of the Atlantic seems to have been Duffus’
inspiration--and residents of the Outer Banks to help flesh out an oral
history of the men and ships that came to an unhappy end along our coast.
Part one of this shipwreck saga deals with pre-20th century catastrophes,
such as the sinking of the ironclad Monitor off Diamond Shoals during the
Civil War. Duffus is particularly keen to relate the stories of the "surfmen"
who risked their lives to save sailors and passengers in distress during
this era, both before and after the U.S. Life Saving Service stations were
in place. Rasmus Midgett, B.B. Daily and his crew from the Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse Station, and Richard Etheridge’s all-black crew at Pea Island
all performed incredible feats of bravery in the course of rescuing
shipwreck victims and were duly honored by the U.S. government for their
heroism. Duffus’ pointed suggestion that these men--and hundreds like
them--have not been properly memorialized by North Carolina is right on
the mark and seems to be an issue that coastal Carolina residents ought to
bring to everyone’s attention.
The second part of the documentary is mainly concerned with submarine
warfare off the Outer Banks during both world wars. Evidently many
residents of the United States were unaware, particularly during World War
II, of just how close to home the war really was. Outer Banks folks,
however, could see both merchant ships and warships going up in flames
almost daily in 1942. One gentlemen recalls nearly piloting his father’s
boat onto a surfaced German U-boat before realizing what it was. Duffus
also shows us the tiny British cemetery on Ocracoke Island where the
bodies of four British sailors from the H.M.S. Bedfordshire
lie buried, U-boat victims as well. Having stood in this cemetery and
gazed up at the Union Jack flying above the graves, I found the place
deeply touching and was moved by the kindness shown by the residents of
Ocracoke, who have, over the centuries, found more than their share of
drowned sailors and broken ships on their beaches.
Part two also offers some spooky moments. The story of the Carol A.
Dearing, for instance, a five-masted schooner out of Bath, Maine, that ran
aground on Diamond Shoals in 1921 during her maiden voyage. Upon boarding
her, searchers found no hands on board, just a cat. She became "the
ghost ship of Diamond Shoals." Or the story of the Caribsea--another
tale involving Ocracoke. (I don’t want to give away all the best details
before most people have had a chance to view Graveyard of the Atlantic.)
Duffus does not dwell on any one wreck during this 90-minute film. Rather,
he offers what might be called a historical survey of shipwrecks. I would
have sat still for another 30 minutes’ worth anyway, particularly if
Duffus had devoted some of that time to pre-19th-century events. He has
also chosen to avoid spending much time chasing after tales of pirates,
though the Outer Banks has a wealth of such history. Duffus was obviously
more interested in relating the stories of more obscure men, such as the
surfmen, than in rehashing the Blackbeard legend, which is just as well.
Anyone who’s interested in naval history or the history of North
Carolina’s Outer Banks will enjoy this two-part documentary. Duffus’
work is very polished, the narration by Triangle (North Carolina’s
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area) newscaster Bill Leslie is quite
articulate, and Duffus makes good use of archival photos and the personal
reminiscences of some Outer Banks residents and local historians. This
would be a pretty cool Christmas gift for a land-locked friend in Kansas
as well as for those of us who have caught the buzz standing on the beach
at Hatteras or Duck or Cape Lookout.
Reviewer's Rating: (3.5/5.0). Ratings Legend
Written, directed, and produced by Kevin P.
Narrated by Bill Leslie. 1997; not rated; 90 minutes (each part 45 min.); documentary/N.C.
history; Video Marketing Group
To order the Graveyard of the Atlantic videos, call
the Video Marketing Group, Raleigh, North Carolina: 800-647-3536. Triangle residents call
Review: © 1997 Philip Van Vleck. All rights
The Island Breeze
New documentary tells the story of the Graveyard of the Atlantic
by Irene Nolan
The treacherous seas and shifting
shoals of the waters off the Outer Banks, known to mariners
as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, have claimed more than 1,000 ships in the
four centuries since the early days of exploration along the North Carolina
Today the remains of those ships rest at the bottom of the ocean or are buried
under the storm-driven sands along 182 miles of coastline from Corolla to Cape
But the stories of the ships come alive again in a new video documentary, "The
Graveyard of the Atlantic - 400 Years of Shipwrecks, Mysteries and Heroic
The 90 minute, two-part documentary tells the story of pirates and ghost ships, of wars
and storms, of brave men who risked their lives to save the survivors of sinking ships and
of the people of the isolated barrier islands whose lives were shared by living on the
edge of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
The story is told for the first time with pictures, including rare film
footage and photographs. It is also told through interviews with the Outer Banks' foremost
historian David Stick and the voices of islanders for whom ship wrecks were a way of life
that brought employment, food, fuel, and lumber in build their homes, churches, and
"Graveyard of the Atlantic" was written, photographed, and
produced by Kevin P. Duffus, president of Video Marketing Group, Inc., of Raleigh. Duffus
is a former broadcast television executive producer who along with four other producers,
won a prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in journalism for their documentary,
"Fed Up With Fear." He was diving on wrecks when he was a teenager in Greenville
and admits to being fascinated by the history and heritage of coastal North Carolina.
company produces and publishes videos, mostly travel videos about North
Carolina. Joseph Schwarzer, executive director of the Graveyard of the
Atlantic Museum, a shipwreck museum that is planned for the southern end of
Hatteras Island, saw one of the videos on a trip to Raleigh and gave Duffus
a call. Later, he asked Duffus to bid on a promotional video that the museum
planned to use to raise funds to begin construction.
Duffus was interested, but he was unsure whether enough visual material
existed to tell the stories of the ships that are now long gone. He and Schwarzer spent
two weeks at the National Archives.
"We would go in at 8 in the morning and come out at 8 at night
with our eyes falling out of our heads," remembers Schwarzer, who estimates the
two reviewed 40,000 to 50,000 feet of film.
"We quickly realized there was enough to work with," says Duffus, who
became so enthusiastic about the project that he made the museum an offer it couldn't
The museum and Video Marketing Group essentially became partners in the
endeavor -- with Duffus footing most of the bill. The museum got its promotional video --
a 13 minute film that cost $15,000, of which $10,000 came from the Dare County Tourism
Duffus also produced the documentary with Schwarzer as an adviser.
After Video Marketing Group recoups its expenses, the museum will get 15 percent of the
proceeds from the video sales.
"Kevin really went out on a limb for this project," says Schwartzer. "It was a
calculated risk," says Duffus, "but we feel really good about it. Even if we never break even, we
feel that we have produced a lasting tribute to the history and people of the Outer Banks."
The 90-minute documentary is being marketed in two parts, each of which
is 45 minutes long, and costs $19.95. Part I explores the golden age of sial and steam and
details ship- wrecks from the 1500's until 1899. Part II deals with the 20th
Segments of the documentary deal with the heroism of the U. S.
Lifesaving Service and its successor, the U.S. Coast Guard, with the era of the pirates,
with the Civil War, and with two World Wars that were fought within sight of the Outer
The video relates the individual stories of some of the more tragic and
memorable shipwrecks and of the rescues, that are unparalleled in modern history
--including the Priscilla during the fierce San Ciriaco hurricane in 1899 and the Mirlo,
which was blown up by a German mine off the coast of Rodanthe in 1918.
It tells the story of the Carol A. Deering, the famous ghostship, which
was found aground on Diamond Shoals one day in 1922 with nothing out of place. Food was
prepared and tables were set, but there was not a person -- alive or dead -- on the
schooner. The only life aboard was a cat.
The story of the ghostship and others are told by Stick, author of Graveyard
of the Atlantic. Still more are related by Daniel Couch of Buxton, a historian and
writer who is on the board of directors of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.
Others are told by Outer Bankers who have lived through shipwrecks and
wars on the banks and whose lives have been shaped by their experiences.
Ida Willis O'Neal,
94, of Hatteras village remembers World War I on the island and the terror
of the German submarines, patrolling just off the coast.
"My father was on the lightship,@ she recalls. ". .
. and they didn't blow that up. They told him to get off, and then they'd blow it up. They got
in small boats and rowed away. They gave them the time to do it. They didn't kill them.
And they blew the lightship up."
Owen Gaskill of Ocracoke tells the tragic and ironic story of his
cousin, Jim Baugham Gaskill, who died in a ship torpeoded by the Germans during World War
II near Ocracoke.
The two parts of the documentary had a Premier at the Fessenden Center
in Buxton in December. About 100 islanders attended.
"Seeing their reactions, seeing some of the older people relive
their memories, was one of the greatest rewards,"
He plans to produce a third part to the documentary this year. It will
probably be titled, Stories From the Graveyard of the Atlantic. It will feature
some of the mysteries of the area, such as the 1813 disappearance of Theodosia Burr,
daughter of the vice-president, and her vessel, Patriot.
No one is happier about that than Schwarzer -- and not just because of
the percentage of the proceeds the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will receive.
He and Kevin Duffus share a goal -- to preserve the maritime history
and culture of the Outer Banks, both of which are in danger of being lost as the wrecks
under the sand and water are eroded by time, and the older islanders who witnessed the era
firsthand pass on.
Schwarzer plans to attain that goal with a museum, and Duffus has done
it with his documentary.
Graveyard of the Atlantic -- 400 years of Shipwrecks, Mysteries and
Heroic Rescues is available in two parts -- Part I explores the years from the 1500's
through 1899. Part II covers the 20th century. Each part runs 45 minutes and
each costs $19.95 plus tax.
Videos can be purchased at The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum office
in Hatteras Village above the Post Office. They are also available at National Park
Service Stores and visitor centers on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the North
Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the Elizabeth II historic site, and various
businesses on the Outer Banks.
The videos can also be ordered by calling the museum office at (252)
986-2995 or by calling Video Marketing Group at (800) 647-3536. (Postage and handling are
charged on mail orders and Video Marketing Group accepts credit card orders.)
preview 10 minutes of part I of The Graveyard of the Atlantic
video click here!
You will need to download Real Player 5.0
in order to view the video. You may follow the instructions listed of the Duffus video page which
is tabbed in the index or click on the button below. Real Player 5.0 is free for 30 days
only at which time you will be required to download another free copy. When you enter the "www.real.com" site follow the Real Player 5.0
logo until you reach the download page. Modem speed of at least 33.3 bps is required for
will need to download Real Player 5.0 in order to view the video. You may
follow the instructions listed of the Duffus video page which is tabbed in the
index or click on the button below. Real Player 5.0 is free for 30 days only
at which time you will be required to download another free copy. When you
enter the "www.real.com" site
follow the Real Player 5.0 logo until you reach the download page. Modem speed
of at least 33.3 bps is required for viewing!
Name: Megan S. Duffus
Graduation Date: Fall 1999
Address: Brough House, Room #112, Athens, Ohio
Telephone: (740) 597-7089
Desired Newsroom Position: Producer
1997-present: Executive Producer, ACTV-7
1995-1997: Producer: Gardy Mc Grath
International in Reston, Virginia
1995: Production Assistant/Editor:
NewsChannel 8 in Springfield, Virginia
1994: Freelance Script Supervisor: Proctor and
Gamble Redna Productions in Cincinnati, Ohio
(16mm and 35mm film)
Currently working on my Master's Degree at Ohio
University. I love 70's, 80's, 90's police dramas such
as Charlie's Angels, Magnum P.I and NYPD Blue.
22 Leeukoppie Road
Llandudno, 7800 Cape Town
Telephone: +27-21-790 0181
Mobile: +27-82-773 8576
Fax: +27-21-790 0181
LOCATIONS + LOCATION SCOUTS +UNIT MANAGERS
+FREELANCE ASSISTANTS +
Locations for film, fashion and functions. Unit management, recess, photo
ROBERT DUFFUS ADDED TO
FILM AND TELEVISION
Robert W. Duffus Jr. (Editor, Producer, & Director)
1992 EMMY for "Itzhak Perlman in Russia"
Gold Lion for "Sound Truck/Pepsi (Cannes Film Festival)
Clio for "Lion" (Bell System)
PRSA for "Ride the Sun"
Gold Medal for "Competitive Edge" (Chicago International Film
Telly Award for "Merci America"
Silver Medals for "Mikva Israel"
"In the Mainstream, The Cleveland Quartet"
(The International Film & TV Festival of New York)
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