“Truce On Drugs”

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.

Ripoff Moon, another good year, the same old fear.

(This was written two years ago, but is still just as relevant, so I thought I’d reshare it.)

By Mikal Jakubal

“The ripoff moon. That’s what my grandpa used to call it…the ripoff moon.”

Ripoff moon

“Yes,” I mumbled under my breath to my friend standing next to me, “he should know.” The speaker was, after all, the notorious ripoff son of said grandpa, himself a notorious ripoff. A friend and I were talking with him in front of my place, across the street from the junkyard and jumbled cluster of squalid hovels where the family lives.

More about the thieves——>

Sheriff, Chamber of Commerce, promote safe hiring and employment guidelines for pot growers and workers.

One of Garberville’s two weeklies, The Independent, printed a public service announcement sponsored by the Garberville/Redway Chamber of Commerce, and “supported by” the Humboldt County Sheriff, advising pot growers to only hire locals and people they know and trust for harvest work. The PSA also recommends asking for I.D. and checking references. While nowhere in the ad does it actually mention marijuana or trimming, the headline directed at “ALL HOME BUSINESS OWNERS” leaves no doubt as to whom they’re speaking.

Screenshot of Garberville/Redway Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page with the ad that also ran on page 6 of The Independent on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.

Click here to read the rest of the story

More Marijuanalingo: “Stack”

Leaf nodes stacking up on “Blue Dream.” Apples ripening in the background.

“My plants are starting to stack” or “my plants are stacking,” refers to the marijuana plants switching from vegetative growth into flowering phase as the days shorten. In vegetative growth, the leaves are huge and the internodes (the length of stalk between leaf nodes) are long. As the plants prepare to flower, leaf production slows and internode distance shortens, so the nodes where flowers emerge from are said to “stack up,” ultimately becoming the dense masses known as colas.

Read the rest for more bonus silly pot grower words

The 18-wheel landslide

Humboldt County, especially Southern Humboldt, is hard to get to and hard to get out of. To drive anywhere requires getting from Highway 101 over into the I-5 corridor to the east or northeast or the Bay Area to the south. This is a four to five-hour drive, much of it on winding, two-lane roads. Parts of Highway 36, heading eastbound over the mountains to the Sacramento River Valley, are so narrow as to be nearly one-lane for short stretches.

Of course, more than a few people will tell you that’s why they like it here.
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A brief progress update

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.

Letting the picture do the talking.

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.

Many stories, two narratives, one film.

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

Film progress update

I’m currently in Madison, Wisconsin for another day beginning work with the film’s editor, Gretta Wing Miller. We’ve spent most of two days looking through footage, sharing ideas on the film’s structure and making notes. I fly back tomorrow afternoon, leaving a duplicate hard drive with her so she can continue working away. We’ve only watched a series of “selects” clips that I put together. This is maybe 10% of the total footage available, so there’s lots more to watch.
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