Archive 2008 - 2019

Juno in Holliston

by Chris Portal

“Juno in Holliston” - Filmed in Holliston, MA during Winter Storm Juno

My name is Chris Portal, and I’m a filmmaker enthusiast, living in Holliston since 1997. Although my day job is managing a team of software engineers, my interests outside of work are behind the camera, either as a cinematographer, video editor, or director.

Having lived in Holliston for so long, I’d always wanted to profile the town in some way, but had never had a chance to until this past week when Winter Storm Juno hit the area. There’s something peaceful about a snowstorm when no one’s out on the road and it’s so still and quiet, and for a town like Holliston, I’d always found the tranquility of the snow brought out the area’s rich character and history. It’s such a picturesque and charming town. Very New England.

So in the middle of the blizzard I set out to profile the town. I loaded up the car with a tripod, a dolly slider, a couple lenses, and a Canon C300 camera to film a few sites. I had a checklist of visuals I’d been carrying around in my head for a few years that I wanted to capture, so I tried to get to as many in the 3 hours I had available.

The only concrete ideas I had going into it as far as the style of the video was for it to be shot in black and white with a fairly flat look to avoid any obvious stylizing, and have the town’s intimacy come across by the snowfall filmed in slow motion. The flow of the piece was informed during the editing process by the song I ended up choosing, which was Lisa Hannigan’s acapella reworking of “Silent Night”. Her voiced is so hushed and restrained, it spoke many things that represented Holliston to me.

The video:

I didn’t have any big expectations for the video - it was just a creative outlet - but have been excited to see the response from the Holliston community so far. I’m happy to see it connect with so many people!

I have experience doing promotional videos and short documentaries and narratives, some of which have screened at film festivals and been recognized with awards. I’m always on the look out for freelance work, and am currently looking for writers to collaborate with to develop another short narrative film.

If you’re interested in working together, you can contact me at, or visit to learn more about my work.

Comments (3)

Please contact me Chris - I'd love to have you come on Heartbeat of Holliston, the local TV magazine. We'll show your video and interview you. We are always looking for stories. You can see our shows online, too, at - under Video.

Mary Greendale | 2015-02-06 07:03:42

Really nice work! Nice smooth trucking shots considering the environment.

Bruce | 2015-02-05 08:48:05

Excellent piece - very evocative

Tom | 2015-02-05 05:58:24