What’s it like to Lose Everything?

It’s DocDay Wednesday and we have the story of a TV journalist who lost it all. Here’s his story of going from a high-paying job to sleeping on a bench.

Ed Mitchell is a former Reuters, BBC and ITN TV journalist who filed for bankruptcy and lost everything in 2007. Making the News reflects on a period of life when Ed was homeless, living on Brighton’s seafront.

Everything is Incredible

Tip of the hat to @colossal for sharing this doc with us. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

A disabled man named Agustin in Honduras has been building a helicopter in his home for the past 53 years causing controversy amongst his family and community. Some wonder if he is crazy. Other see him as inspirational. Some believe he is wasting his time. But for Agustin, the helicopter has become a way to cope with his debilitating polio as he painstakingly crafts the homemade flying machine. But will it fly?

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We the Pharaohs

Check out this awesome trailer for our friend Jeffrey Plunkett’s (@JKPlunkett) film We the Pharaohs.

OVERVIEW

We The Pharaohs follows American coach Bob Bradley as he attempts to guide Egypt’s beloved national soccer team to its first World Cup since 1990.  It’s a story about soccer, of course, but it’s more than that.  Nowhere in the world is the sport as tangled in politics as in Egypt.  Cairo’s hardcore soccer fans played a leading role in the revolution — and 74 of those fans then paid with their lives in a stadium massacre that most believe was orchestrated by remnants of the old regime.  With the scars still fresh and the future still uncertain, World Cup qualification would mean more than just sporting glory.  It would provide a powerful symbol of healing and hope for the new Egypt.

As the American frontman for the Pharaohs, Bradley is part diplomat, part politician, part celebrity, part curiosity, part savior and, oh yeah, part coach.  Put simply, he has accepted one of the most challenging jobs in all of sports.  Qualification won’t be easy.  The Pharaohs will need to overcome a host of talented African teams, as well as Egypt’s own instability, which on a weekly basis makes headlines around the world.  Still, nothing would mean more to the coaches, players and 85 million people of Egypt than to see this dream realized.

UPDATE

After winning their first two qualifiers in June, the Pharaohs have gotten off to a fast start.  Six games now stand between Egypt and the World Cup.  Qualification resumes in March.   This documentary will chronicle every step of the team’s historic campaign.

Shooting will be completed in the fall of 2013 and the film will be finished by early spring 2014.

Jeff’s a great journalist and producer, so we know this going to be good. Support it.

Devo, Big Bird, and Calvin & Hobbes

It’s doc day Wednesday and I found three docs on Kickstarter that I (@jeremeylavoi) want to see. Two are funded, one is almost there, so support them.

The first is I AM BIG BIRD.

I AM BIG BIRD is a feature-length documentary about Caroll Spinney, who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969 and at 78 years old, he has no intention of stopping.

Think you know everything there is to know about Sesame Street?  You don’t.  You might know that Frank Oz turned down an offer to play Big Bird, but you probably don’t know that until a last minute change of heart by NASA, Big Bird was supposed to go to space aboard the Challenger. Or you may know that Oscar the Grouch got his voice from a cantankerous cabbie, but you’d be surprised to learn that a fire in his trash can almost led to Caroll’s untimely demise.

Caroll’s stories are the stuff of legend.  He has been a constant presence in our lives for over 40 years, his path weaving through American history like that of Forrest Gump.  His time inside the Bird has taught him about the world and about himself.  I AM BIG BIRD will peel away the instances in his life that inspired his creation of characters that have influenced generations of children. And, as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the Muppet, who will steal your heart.

This one is still seeking funds, and you can still win a Blu-Ray, so do it.

The next one is Are We Not Men? The Devo Documentary.

The ARE WE NOT MEN? film delves into the brains — and the souls — behind the concept, music, and spectacle of Devo. Sculpting its music, lyrics and visuals are two men whose personalities seem different but whose worldviews are the same: introspective Mark Mothersbaugh and outspokenGerald Casale. It is Mark and Jerry’s cataclysmic, sometimes contentious, collaboration that birthed what we know as Devo. Rounding out the group are two more members whose position cements the group as a literal band of brothers — Bob Mothersbaugh and Bob Casale. Yes, behind the curtain of this art-school façade are two fascinating and sometimes fractious families, led by Akron, Ohio’s twisted version of Lennon & McCartney — with all the genius and precariousness that would imply. It is the stories of these men — together and apart — that drive the engine that is ARE WE NOT MEN?

That one is funded. I saw DEVO put on a free show at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco about a month after I moved here in 2002. It was rad. Can’t wait for this doc.

Last but not least, Dear Mr. Watterson a Calvin & Hobbes Documentary.

Calvin & Hobbes dominated the comics in thousands of newspapers for a decade, but when the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip in 1995, readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin & his tiger, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.

Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact Bill Watterson has had and the value and significance of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.

This film is not a quest to find Watterson, who prefers his privacy.  It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.

If you don’t love Calvin & Hobbes, then we can’t be friends. This one is funded as well. Kickstarter rocks. Can’t wait for it.

Fight For Space: Space Program & NASA Documentary

@FightForSpace by @EventideVisuals is a feature length documentary film that explores the current state and future of the U.S. space program.

TeamJaded loves space. We love Neil DeGrasse Tyson. We love space shows on TV. We love astronauts. And in honor of our friend Whit Scott‘s aunt, Sally Ride, we present this documentary for Doc-Day Wednesday. Sally Ride was the first woman, as well as the youngest person to enter space. She was a role mode, a national hero, and continues to inspire even after her death. She passed away on July 23rd, 2012 after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts go out to Whit and his family.

Sally was an avid supporter of science education and space exploration. We assume she would be down with this doc.

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If you want to support Fight For Space, you have until August 19th, 2012. They still have a long way to go, and any amount helps. Watch the trailer above. Seriously, it’s a great trailer.

Back The Project!

From the film:

Since the Apollo era of the 1960s, NASA’s budget has been shrinking and our ambitions in space have been decreasing. We are producing a documentary that will examine the reasons why our space program is not all it can be. We are also going to show that space IS worth the time, money, and energy that it needs, not for only exploration and scientific reasons but for economic, planetary security, and cultural reasons as well. We will also be covering the great scientific achievements that NASA is making right now, and we will be examining the new commercial space enterprise by companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, Bigelow, and more. Many problems have occurred in just the past 10 years that have lead to the consistent underfunding of NASA, the cancellation of multiple space systems, and the decline of America’s role in space.

We are not producing your average space documentary where we show restored footage from the moon landings and CGI galaxy renderings. We are covering the real political and economic issues of the recent past, today, and tomorrow. We are covering both sides of the argument and we promise to produce a fair and objective film.

Dear Mr. Watterson: A Calvin & Hobbes Doc

For DocDay Wednesday we bring you @dearmrwatterson Calvin & Hobbes! You can support the doc on… where else? Kickstarter! You have until July 14th, 2012.

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About the film.

Calvin & Hobbes dominated the comics in thousands of newspapers for a decade, but when the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip in 1995, readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin & his tiger, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.

Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact Bill Watterson has had and the value and significance of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.

This film is not a quest to find Watterson, who prefers his privacy.  It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at San Francisco International Film Festival this year. We had the pleasure of interviewing the Producer/ Director, Peter Nicks before his screening at the Kabuki in SF.

Peter was intelligent and engaging, and we highly recommend watching that video, and then checking out the film.

A cool aspect of the project is that it’s more than a documentary, it’s a “storytelling project”…

The Waiting Room Storytelling Project is a location-based social media and community engagement initiative that aims to improve the patient experience through the collection and sharing of digital content. This cultural data – video, data visualizations, photographs and text – is collected in the waiting room by creating frameworks for sharing that range from anonymous expressions of feeling to deeper storytelling.

The primary aim of the platform is to uncover the needs of underserved patients at a moment when the role of the “Safety Net” is being debated both in America and abroad. We also aim to develop tools for patients that allow them to take a more active role in their health care experience. To this end, we aim to expand and foster the organizational capacity for storytelling at Highland Hospital by creating a robust, scalable platform that can amplify the voices and needs of the most underserved communities in our country.

As America’s health care system sits poised to undergo its greatest transformation in generations, we will capture history unfolding and make sure that the story is told from the bottom up, not just the top down, using a unique combination of social media platforms and traditional documentary film. We will directly engage the people stuck in the waiting room of a county hospital: an underserved community that is isolated and disconnected from technology and the vital conversation that can improve their lives. The Waiting Room is comprised of five main components:

  1. A feature-length cinema verité documentary film that uses unprecedented access to go behind the doors of an American safety-net hospital fighting for survival while weathering the storm of a persistent economic downturn. Following both patients and caregivers, the film tells the story of a diverse patient population coping with a remarkable array of health problems, while caregivers struggle to treat problems that extend well beyond their patients’ health.
  2. social web architecture that encourages sharing and is designed for an interactive and social user experience. Project staff and volunteers will collect cultural data – photos, audio, videos, texts and emotions – using location based digital tools. Content will be tagged #whatruwaitingfor and uploaded to The Waiting Room’s multiple social media platforms.
  3. mobile application that will allow users inside and outside of the physical waiting room to browse, share and comment inline on content tagged #whatruwaitingfor.
  4. A self-sustaining interactive platform placed in the waiting room at Highland Hospital that will allow for the capture of user-generated content. This initiative will serve not only as a cultural data collection platform, but will encourage the use of technology by a community that is most disenfranchised by this nation’s digital divide. The platform will have a pilot location at Highland Hospital – but will also spin off a mobile version that can be replicated and used at remote clinics, community events and hospitals around the country.
  5. The Waiting Room website is a politically independent, hyper-local media portal that serves as a designed aggregator of our project data and a space built for user engagement. It will serve as a hub for our content: one stop on our web of inter- connectivity between points on the social web and the mobile space.

This content will be delivered across a variety of platforms including television, radio, public spaces and the internet, giving hospitals, policy makers, journalists and the general public a greater understanding of the evolving relationship between public policy and people’s lives.

Head to the website for lots more info about the issues. Facebook. Twitter.