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Jill Mitchell interviews Dr. David and Sherry Regiani at the Clarkston411.com studio. Photos by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
August 04, 2010 - How are the frog legs at Bull Frogs Bar and Grill?

What kind of dentistry can Regiani Dental do without a drill?

What does Haywood Nelson, Dwayne on TV's "Good Times," think of current television shows?

Jill Mitchell of Independence Township found out the answers to these and many other questions, and put them all on the Internet.

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"I have no training, I'm just very inquisitive," said Mitchell, host of Jill's Show web program at Clarkston411.com. "I ask a lot of questions – I have a big mouth."

So far, she and her husband Norm Pardo have posted 30 of the one-on-one interviews with Clarkston area entrepreneurs, business people, entertainers, and community activists.

"I love them all. Everyone has a story to tell," she said.

Many sign up for interviews at the Clarkston News' weekly Coffee Club meetings, 7:30 a.m., Thursdays at Clarkston United Methodist Church.

"We started with three people, and now we have 40-50," she said. "It's free. Come in for a cup of coffee, some cookies, and networking with a lot of local people."

The interviews are a new way for local communities to use technology for marketing.

"It's a little infomercial for them," Mitchell said. "Every businesses has something not everybody knows about."

"This is so cool – the more interviews there are, the more people are watching," he said. "It builds traffic. It's really working."

Appointments are about 45 minutes. Mitchell talks to the interview subject before camera rolls to take notes and go over possible topics. The interview takes about 15 minutes. Then Pardo plays back the interview so everyone can see it.

After that, editing takes 2-3 hours, and Pardo posts it when he's finished.

"It's usually online in three hours," he said. "It's a lot of work – we make them look good."

The website evolves as people come up with new ideas. Laura Jasurda of Rodan and Fields Dermatologists filled the interview desk with skin-care products, and discussed items one by one, like on the Home Shopping Network.

So Pardo designed a home shopping channel on the website.

"Jewelry, make up, anything that can be put into a set," he said. "It's a way to share what you have with the community, especially with Christmas coming."

Other ideas include local experts hosting their own shows. With a studio green screen, shows can have just about any background.

"It connects people, a real powerhouse for selling things, with TV shows, shopping channel, movies, radio, game room, directory, local content, web cams," he said.

Norm spent years in the entertainment business in Florida as a filmmaker and promoter. His most famous client is OJ Simpson.

Jill was born and raised in Bloomfield Hills. They "retired" from Florida and moved to Michigan in 2006. When she was growing up, Jill and her family had a cottage in Clarkston on Walters Lake.

"That's what drew me to come back to Clarkston," she said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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