After that last post, about 25 To Stay Alive, I realized that there might be some confusion as to the content of this blog and the content of the documentary, so I put up a Standard Disclaimer about it.
Here’s the important part:
Opinions on this blog DO NOT inherently represent the views that will be expressed in the documentary. These opinions here are my own; the participants in the film speak for themselves and will provide the content of that work.
I have some upcoming posts about the topic of pot and the environment that might irk some people and I want everyone to realize that whatever you think of me and my opinions, they don’t represent what will be in the film.
Hi everyone, I’m on the road at the moment, but wanted to give a brief update. I got a few on-air comments on KQED’s Forum discussion a few days ago. The subject was the environmental costs of pot growing, spurred by the L.A. Times piece I critiqued in recent posts. Luckily, all of us, other than the guy from Fish and Game, were what you might call pro-pot environmentalists. That is to say, we understand the community, culture and economics of pot production and know it can be grown in a manner that is organic, fish-friendly, land-friendly and community-friendly. (And as shameless self-promotion, that is part of what my film shows.) We are also long-time environmental activists who are very concerned about the negative impacts that some growers are having.
This is an important distinction to make. Most people who rail against the negative impacts of pot growing are also anti-growing and anti-marijuana, which makes it hard to bridge the divide between enviros and growers. Those of us who can have one foot in each world are in the best position to find solutions.
The KQED podcast can be heard here:
Happy new years!
The southern Humboldt Independent weekly newspaper has a great cover story on the film and my fundraising campaign today, with some nice photos. The author, Keith Easthouse, did a great job on it and even included a link at the end to this site. Unfortunately, since they’re not online, I can’t post a link so you can read the story. The best I can do is this snapshot of the pages.
In the final documentary, you’ll see people carefully harvesting their plants one branch at a time, selecting each branch when the flowers are at their peak potency and cutting in such a way as to make post-harvest processing efficient. Typically, the tops are harvested first then, days or even weeks later, there is a second cut after the smaller flowers have matured fully. After that, the third harvest is usually the tiny “larfy” flower clusters that become tinctures, oils or concentrates.
One Plant Harvest from Downtown Dailies on Vimeo.
The Kickstarter campaign to fund editing of this film is off and running, or at least ambling along, reaching about $1500 in pledges by this Monday afternoon.
An insightful article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells in New York Magazine, titled The Truce On Drugs. He did an extensive phone interview with me, after we were connected by Kristin from Emerald Growers Association, whom he’d contacted looking for sources.
I’m busy putting the finishing touches on my Kickstarter campaign. Once things slow down a bit, I’ll reread the story and see if I can add anything to the Humboldt perspective.
I’ll be using Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding platform, to raise the funds necessary to pay my great editor, Gretta Wing Miller, for her work over the coming months to bring One Good Year to completion. If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter, check out all the amazing projects that people are doing and sign up on my email list here so you’ll get the announcement once One Good Year goes live. I’m currently putting together all the project details in the background on the site, so my page is not visible there yet. I’m hoping to go live before Thanksgiving or, if not by then, shortly afterward.
Gretta Wing Miller, the film’s editor, has sent me a rough cut of the trailer and it’s coming together nicely. We’re hoping to have it done soon and will announce it here and on my @onegoodyear Twitter feed. I’m excited to (almost) finally be able to show you all a teaser of what I’ve been working on for so long.
And, speaking of documentary trailers, I was interviewed last fall by a couple of filmmakers working on a doc about dam removal. They wanted to talk to me because back in 1987 I painted a 100′ long crack on the face of Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River—a dam that is being jackhammered and blasted into little itty bitty pieces as you read this. The trailer for their film is now online at http://www.damnationfilm.com/ Yours truly has the last word in the trailer, saying that dam removal is no longer crazy.
Something I learned during 2010′s grueling shooting season was that my job as director is as much about getting people to not talk on camera as it is eliciting information. All four of the main participants are interesting, funny, heartfelt and very opinionated. Three of the four live alone, but everyone loves to talk when they’ve got company. It was late into the season before I realized how little footage I had of everyone just doing what they do and being themselves without explaining it, interesting as that explanation is. Watching the footage for the first time Gretta, the editor, has been wishing for more silence, footage of people doing, not saying. As an editor/artist working in a primarily visual medium, the silent scenes leave more possibilities open for creative flow. The best audio footage and the best picture don’t always coincide in the same shoot.
I want the world to know and understand and love the true story of this community as much as the film’s participants, so it’s hard for any of us to remember that sometimes the picture is the best way to tell the story and then create the space to let it do so.
Today I was reminded of the enormous value in discussing the creative aspects of the project with other film and story professionals. Walking through the story and watching the footage today with Gretta (the film’s editor; see previous post), we had an important revelation about the story’s basic structure. Keep reading