Updated August 27, 2009: Updates are in red at the bottom of the post.
While the posting of new pieces for my blog is something I never seem to have enough time to do, that frequency recently dropped to near zero with the exception of a brief post each week about my weekly Blog Talk Radio show.
I have not fallen off of the face of the earth, taken a vacation, or curtailed my level of activity.
My attention shifted focus about four weeks ago to work on a new project.
In my efforts to network with people in other states, I came in contact with a fellow named Chris in Louisiana who has helped lead the way in the Tea Party movement in his state. His profession happens to be in film, music videos, and television.
It’s quite natural that someone with this background would survey the landscape and accurately note that Constitutional, limited government media is not only not competitive, there is no real presence outside of the internet.
Recognizing the need, he determined to produce a professional level documentary. A small group of like-minded business people in the Baton Rouge area agreed to invest in it.
I was asked to work as a producer and writer.
We realized we need to present information to the growing number of Americans who are now concerned about the direction of their government who may have previously not been spending any time focusing on the subject, or those who are now questioning their opinions or even their recent votes.
We intended to explore history and current events with particular focus on the health care reform and climate change debate.
That’s where we started. Certainly we had many ideas about the reasons we arrived at a point of financial crisis last fall and what impact certain bills would have on our country.
In the process of working on this project, we’ve realized there will likely be revealing information for just about anyone who watches the final result.
In the last few weeks, I have been home for about six days altogether. I’ve traveled to Washington, D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas to conduct interviews with historians, policy researchers, physicians, elected officials, candidates, and others with specific, relevant experience. That doesn’t include all of the states I’ve either stopped in to change planes and / or driven through to get to my final destinations.
The rest of the crew all went to New York and Maine at midpoint during the travels while I returned home for a couple of days. Although I am sorry I was not able to conduct the interview in Maine, in particular, with one of my favorite authors, my family needed my attention for a few days.
We are now nearing the end of filming, having completed two dozen interviews and obtained pertinent footage along the way.
I have had the opportunity to see several of the largest cities in the country, national monuments and symbols of our founding, see parts of the American landscape that were new to me, and had the opportunity to speak with some very bright, thoughtful people, many of whom I’ve come to admire over the past few years.
I also had the great pleasure of meeting in person people who I’ve been working with this year, such as Joan in Michigan and Sandra in Oklahoma.
As we are not quite ready to begin the official public relations campaign for the film, I will not go into detail at this time regarding all of the interviews we conducted, nor the information revealed, but suffice it to say, in so many ways, this has been an illuminating and exciting experience.
We have received much encouragement, advice, and offers of assistance from a number of the people we interviewed. When we explained the concept of the film, most become excited and comment that there need to be more projects like this and believe it will be well received.
Although the basic premises have not essentially changed, we have learned much from the people we’ve had the opportunity to interview.
What I’ve found perhaps most interesting is, despite the lack of communication among the interview subjects and the fact that different questions were asked, the same general themes keep coming out. When that happens, you know you are hitting on truths.
As noted, we are nearly at the end of the filming process and will enter the post production phase in a matter of days. We will be releasing the final result either just prior or precisely at the time Congress reconvenes.
The small group of investors hope simply to recoup their investment; profit taking would be a “bonus” and actually lead, likely, to investment in additional projects.
I agreed to be part of the endeavor because I believe we need professional quality media products to reach as many people as possible in today’s technological, entertainment culture. I also believed there were clear and specific reasons for our problems
I actually struggled with the decision about becoming involved in this project because I was offered a salary and a stake in the profits. I was having difficulty wrapping my mind around getting paid for anything I was doing and I’ve been leery about money getting mixed up in grassroots activism because I’ve seen the problems it causes.
Obviously, I need to be clear with people that this project has a for profit aspect, however, as someone who is fully in support of capitalism, it is rather nonsensical to reject doing something entirely out of hand because I stand to make money. After a lot of thought, discussion with my husband, and several people I trust, I realized I’m getting things a bit backwards. Making money is a good thing, of course. And the truth is, in order to produce a quality result it takes money and everyone working on something works harder when they stand to profit.
The other reality is that the budget for the project is very tight and I have had to absorb some expenses myself.
Perhaps we will only manage to recoup the investors’ money. But because it is, in the world of film and television, a very small budget, there is an excellent chance we will do better than that.
Because of the director’s experience and relationships in the film industry, he has access to a distribution network. He was able to secure distribution for the project upfront through a network of retailers that includes Amazon, Blockbuster, and Best Buy, just to name a few. Further, once complete, he also has access to an agent who will “shop” the project for potential sale and broadcast.
Although I have much appreciation for the opportunity to see more of this great country and meet so many interesting people, I must say…there is no place like home. I appreciate Nebraska more now than I did a month ago. Despite what I know to be some issues that require attention, the cost of living here is much more reasonable than in many places, the traffic less congested, the pace more manageable. I’ve also had reaffirmed my services as a wife and mother are still necessary to my husband and children. (I may catch up with the laundry by Labor Day!)
Wish me luck as I complete this project while attempting to dig myself out of the piles created by my absence and forgive anything that seems like neglect.
If I didn’t believe this film was important, I wouldn’t have agreed to work on it.
I’ll give updates here on my blog as we work towards completion.
We have completed filming and are in full fledged editing mode. Not sure what is harder worker…frantically driving through Washington, D.C. rush hour traffic while writing interview questions…or editing….