US warship the base for documenting Project Hope medical aid mission

Pasquale Iannino shoots for Project Hope

Pasquale Iannino of Rockit Projects spent three weeks in October and November living aboard amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima and flying daily into the South American countries Guyana and Suriname as the mobile videography unit for Project Hope.

The Virginia-based medical relief group was supplying medical specialists to Continuing Promise 2010, an initiative of the U.S. military in collaboration with Latin American governments and international aid organizations to provide medical services to underserved people across the region.

“Most days we would wake up early and take one of the first helicopters off the ship to one ofthe medical sites on land,” Iannino says.  “The sites were very make-shift—usually a schoolhouse or clinic with less than favorable conditions—dark, hot, dusty, no privacy.  Having total mobility with my production equipment was key.  Upgrading to the JVC HM100U camera, and wireless Sennheiser mics made it that much easier to capture the essence through image and sound.”

Iannino landed the job through a referral from client Dr. Mona Khanna, a disaster relief expert who put him in touch with Project Hope.  “Project Hope saw the benefits of utilizing the power of video and filmmaking to tell the story of their efforts,” Iannino says.

Iannino documents medical aid in South America

“Instead of blogging and snapping photos, they were now able to get the untold story and show their contributors where their money is actually going. This is the first time they have utilized a mobile video studio in their over-50-year history.”  Iannino created video profiles of each Project Hope medical volunteer on the mission, a short documentary featuring the group’s work, and a pilot webisode for

Having delivered the Project Hope videos, Iannino is back to “business as usual,” focusing on promotional web video for local small businesses.  But he’s hoping to expand on his South American experience.  “I am pushing our International work where we can truly be mobile in every sense,” he says.

Iannino started Rockit Projects after graduating from Columbia College in 2006 “to show people that video and other forms of media can be used in everyday applications,” he says.  “With so many new businesses popping up every year, you have to be unique. What sets you apart from your competition? With video marketing through the internet, businesses have a new avenue to deliver their message.”

Rockit Projects is at 1321 W. Taylor St. in Chicago and 1028 S. Fairview Ave. in Lombard. Call 630/290-3084 or see