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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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.

The Waiting Room

You MUST support @waitingstories on @kickstarter. Seriously. We had the chance to capture the film’s director, Peter Nicks, at the San Francisco International Film Festival back in April this year. What an incredible film this is! Touching, inspiring, informative, beautiful. It’s all these things and more.

You only have 17 days left to support this project. It will only be funded if their goal is reached by Sunday July 29th, 2012! Click here for more info.

Back The Project! The Waiting Room

Here is the cut of the SFIFF’s Scoop Du Jour which features Peter Nicks and The Waiting Room.

By supporting this project, they say:

Your help will allow us to:
  • Promote our theatrical release in NY, LA, San Francisco and Oakland through a grassroots promotional campaign! The more successful the release, higher the visibility of the film and the more communities we can bring it to.
  • Give access to communities that typically do not go to the theaters to watch an indie documentary. Since this film is about their community, we will partner with local and national organizations to hold sponsor screenings that will allow some to attend for free.
  • Cover the logistical costs incurred by our non-profit Open’hood in pulling this whole thing off.

Here is the theatrical trailer:

About Peter Nicks:

Peter Nicks is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has produced projects for network, cable and public television exploring topics such as immigration, journalism and technology. He has also directed media strategy for two social networking start-ups and developed transmedia storytelling projects that make use of emerging social media platforms. He worked as a staff producer for ABC News in New York and as a producer for the innovative PBS documentary series Life 360. Nicks is currently producing and directing the documentary-social media hybrid The Waiting Room, which explores the impact of America’s health care policy on one county hospital and the population of largely uninsured patients it serves. Peter Nicks earned his Masters in documentary filmmaking from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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.

If you loved Spartacus: Blood and Sand

go support the @BeHereNowFilm1 documentary. @spartacus_starz star, Andy Whitfield died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Sydney, Australia, on September 11th, 2011, 18 months after his initial cancer diagnosis. About this documentary:

Be Here Now” is an inspiring feature documentary and love story, about the overnight sensation, actor and international sex symbol Andy Whitfield, who put the same determination and dedication that he brought to his lead role in the hit television show, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” into fighting life threatening cancer.
This is Andy’s story, but it also about having the courage to make your dreams come true, tackling your fears and living in the present, despite the potential outcome. This film is for anyone who has ever faced a challenge in their lives.
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Be Here Now” is directed and produced by Lilibet Foster, an Academy Award® Nominated filmmaker. It is also produced by Sam Maydew. There are some pretty cool Kickstarter rewards for being a supporter. You have until July 23rd to donate!

RE:GENERATION Branded Documentary Feature

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FIVE DJs TURN THE TABLES ON THE HISTORY OF MUSIC

Follow DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, Skrillex, Pretty Lights and The Crystal Method as they remix, recreate and re-imagine five traditional styles of music. From the classical perfection of the Berklee Symphony Orchestra to the bayou jams of New Orleans jazz, our five distinctive DJs collaborate with some of today’s biggest musicians to discover how our musical past is influencing the future.

Apart from the content, RE:GENERATION is interesting because it is a feature length branded documentary:

Commissioned by Hyundai as the official vehicle partner of the GRAMMY®sthe film follows five electronic DJs/producers as they turn the tables on the history of music.

One of the more difficult aspects of documentary filmmaking is coming up with the budget. Generally that involves lots of writing letters for grants, begging family members, creating Kickstarter campaigns, or our favorite “knowing rich people”. Documentary filmmakers are frequently strapped for cash. Branded documentaries in the short-form have presented many filmmakers with the opportunity to make a living in marketing while hopefully helping them build the cash reserves to create feature length work (or at least get it started). There have not been that many features in the branded documentary catagory though.

The concept is intriguing for several reason. It certainly blurs the line between content and marketing. That is a trend that has excelerated in the last few years. It also creates and opportunity for great stories to be told using the best documentary techniques that corporate money can buy. Theoretically, everyone benefits. By everyone we mean the filmmakers, the brands with their names attached, and the audience that gets compelling content. Is there a drawback?

We haven’t seen RE:GENERATION although it was an official selection of SXSW 2012, where we were also in attendance. We’d like to, it looks like a great film. We also produce a lot of branded content, and thus are supportive of the idea be it short or long form. We think documentaries can be incredibly effective tools of messaging that lend themselves to marketing. Activists have been using them that way for years. We are betting that branded docs are here to stay.

However, another important form of documentary filmmaking is investigative journalism. If more and more documentary filmmakers move to the branded sponsorship model, will there be less opportunity for journalism in documentary?

What do you think?

As for RE:GENERATION, you can watch it on Hulu for free. So check it out (we will). This is what the future looks like.

Follow us on twitter @teamajded.

Do I Need This by Kate Schermerhorn

For DocDay Wednesday, @Do_I_Need_This Kater Schermerhorn brings us her Kickstarter campaign for her newest documentary idea.

Do I Need This doc by Kate Schermerhorn

Do I Need This examines our culture’s excessive, often questionable acquisition of possessions and asks the viewer to stop and examine what they buy and whether they actually need what they are purchasing – does your newborn really need that baby wipe warmer? Does your dog need another overpriced squeeky toy…do you need that hot dog cooker you found in the Sky Mall catalog…will that uncomfortable pair of new shoes be a good idea simply because they were on sale?

Using humor, quirky and engaging characters, and no preaching, Do I Need This pushes viewers to think beyond today, beyond the instant gratification of walking away with a shopping bag or carload of stuff and to look at the impacts of our endless world of purchases, on ourselves as well as on our planet. The film will engage viewers who may not view themselves as environmentalists but can still make a world of difference with changes to their buying habits.

Short doc by @ricreative – INFLUENCERS

INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment.
The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.
Written and Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today’s pop culture.

You can watch the whole film here.

Hollow: An interactive documentary “for the community, by the community”

For DocDay-WednesDay, we give you a film in progress by Elaine McMillion. You can help fund Hollow by donating to the Kickstarter campaign (you only have until May 13th).

Hollow is an interactive documentary and community participatory project that focuses on the lives of residents in McDowell County, West Virginia. Hollow combines personal portraits, interactive data, participatory mapping and user-generated content on an HTML5 website designed to address the issues stemming from stereotyping and population loss in rural America. Community members will take part in the filmmaking process by creating their own documentary portraits and balloon maps. Hollow strives to bring attention to issues in rural America, encourage trust among the community and become a place where users can share ideas for the future.

Background:

For years, the residents of Southern West Virginia have been portrayed the way that filmmakers, mass media and politicians believe they should be. Yet this constant flow of images depicting only poverty, drug abuse and unemployment have an effect on the way the community sees themselves and limits their capacity for action and empowerment. For the first time, the McDowell County community will have a chance to express their own ideas in a project that addresses universal issues seen across rural America. This is not our interpretation of Southern West Virginia but instead a project “for the community, by the community” and a unique chance to be part of future improvement.