Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stop Baptist Predators Blog's Review

Christa Brown is a writer, blogger and founder of Stop Baptist Predators.

Yesterday she published a great description/review of All God's Children on her blog also called Stop Baptist Predators (Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse: reflections of a Southern Baptist survivor).

She aptly titled the post "The F-Word" in reference to Beverly calling "forgiveness" the "f-word" in the documentary and starts out with:
If you were abused in an evangelical faith group, see this movie. You will see some part of yourself in it.

If you’re someone who wonders why abuse survivors don’t just get over it, see this movie. You may begin to understand.

We are so grateful for her enthusiastic endorsement and were struck how well she captured the essence of the film in her post. Even we heard the "why can't they just forgive" all too many times when we first told people about making this film. And to explain that was one of the reason we began this journey.

It's very moving to know that the stories we captured can be meaningful to people outside of the circle directly effected by the events depicted in the film. The MKs and their parents truly did tell a universal story and it's wonderful to see that it is starting to reach people.

Christa also provided us with an excellent quote independently of her post:
"Deeply moving, the film tells of children who were cast onto the rocks of horrific abuse by the siren call of God's will. Yet years later, the wounded adults manage to shine a little light for all of us. Their stories stand as testimony to the transformative power of truth-telling."
Please check out her entire post about the film and browse through her blog and the website. She and the other members of Stop Baptist Predators are doing some amazing and important work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All God's Children - Excerpt 3

Excerpt 3 from the documentary All God's Children:
"Lifelong Consequences"



All God's Children - Excerpt 2

Excerpt 2 from the documentary All God's Children:
"Classroom Abuses"




All God's Children - Excerpt 1

We just uploaded a few excerpts from our documentary film All God's Children.

Please feel free to:
Watch them.
Embed them.
Email them.
Link to them.
Comment on them.

All God's Children Excerpt 1: "Sacrifice and Church Policy"



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Three Screenings in Ohio


In May All God's Children will have three FREE public screenings in Ohio.

Dianne Darr Couts and David Darr will be attending to represent the missionary kids and parents appearing in the film. Scott and I plan to attend and discuss the film as well.

During the Ohio trip I'm also scheduled to speak to a journalism/communications class at a local high school. Very exciting!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 - 7pm
Goss Memorial Church
2247 11th Street S.W.
Akron, OH 44314
Phone: 330-745-5038

Sunday, May 24th - 3pm
King Avenue United Methodist Church
299 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-424-6050

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 - 3pm
Minerva High School
501 Almeda Avenue
Minerva, OH, 44657

If you are in the area please come out to watch the film and support our effort to break the silence about missionary kids abuse at missionary boarding schools.

If you are not in the area, please spread the word to others.

For more information visit the film's website or facebook page.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Streak To Win" Launches!

Today marks the launch of the first two segments of Streak To Win, the very entertaining film from our friend Sean Tice (and Adam Bedient).

The film will speak for itself. But it's only right to point out what might not be obvious from the title to everyone: the film is about streaking, which means the film features a lot of people running around naked - details are mostly blurred, of course.

The trailer:



An aspect I find particularly fascinating about this project is that the producers decided to launch it directly to the web as streaming segments (Segment 3 will launch May 1st). They are foregoing festival submissions (or the festival racket as I've heard it described a lot lately by filmmakers not related to this project) or other more traditional ways of getting their film out to the people. I'm very curious to see how this works out for them.

The beautifully designed website offers a lot more than just the videos: entertaining background info, how-to advice, a blog, bonus videos, downloads, a shop for gear, places to leave comments and even a contest.

And of course, with the videos having been published via blip.tv you can easily embed the video on your own site, subscribe via iTunes and watch in great quality in full screen.

Here's to Streak To Win going viral!!!

Watch episode 1 below or go straight to the episodes page to watch them all.



www.streaktowin.com

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"All God's Children" Screenings in North Florida

McDowell Baptist Church
(photo courtesy of McDowell Baptist Church)

Two All God's Children screenings coming up in Florida!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 – 7pm
McDowell Baptist Church
16 Bay View Drive

St. Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: 904-829-8388


Thursday, May 14th, 2009 – 7pm
Lakewood Presbyterian Church
2001 University Boulevard West

Jacksonville, FL 32217

Phone: 904-733-8055


Scott and I will attend both events together with film participants Ann Beardslee and Rev. Dr. Howard Beardslee to discuss the film with the audience after the screening.

Keep an eye out for screenings throughout the US and Canada in the coming months. If you'd like to host a screening or have a venue to suggest, please contact us at screenings@allgodschildrenthefilm.com.

Trailer for the documentary:



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Help Scott Miller Get A New Kidney And Pancreas

Scott Miller and Debbie Foreman-Miller

Debbie, one of my dearest friends and her husband Scott are currently trying to raise funds for kidney and pancreas transplants, which Scott is supposed to receive later this year.

They have a facebook page and a website to tell Scott's story, to raise awareness and to share information about their fundraising events (right now they have two softball games coming up) and how to donate money.

If you can, please help them - by making a donation or by spreading the word so that it may reach someone else who can help financially.

Debbie was the first friend I made in NYC. We had both just moved to the city and worked together on an independent feature film. Within a year she decided to move back to Atlanta. Even though it's been almost a decade since she left, we've stayed close friends.

It was when I attended her and Scott's wedding that it became obvious to me that she had been destined to return to Atlanta so that she could meet Scott. They seemed so happy and perfect together - despite all the health and accompanying worries they've had to deal with in recent years. They are an amazing team and I truly hope that they will get all the support they need to get Scott healthy and for both of them to finally not have to struggle and worry so much anymore.

From Scott and Debbie's website:
MY NAME is Scott Miller. I am 39 years old and reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I need your help. I was diagnosed in 1982, at the age of 14, with Type 1 Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes) and I have struggled with the illness itself and the escalating side-effects for the last 25 years.

In 2006 I received a not entirely unexpected letter from my endocrinologist informing me I was approaching end-stage renal failure. Sure enough, my kidneys soon stopped functioning. [...]

The only way for me to survive this illness is to undergo a kidney transplant and, on my doctors’ recommendations, a pancreas transplant. Due to my kidney failure, I have recently been able to acquire insurance through Medicare. However, I am still responsible for 20% out-of-pocket for all medical costs. [...]

I have been unable to work for much of the last two years due to my illness and its complications. [...] Due to cutbacks, my wife has lost two jobs in her industry - which has been hard hit by the current economic downturn. Because of my costly medical expenses and my inability to produce income our new home, which we purchased just six months before my kidneys failed, was lost in July of 2008.


Thank you for your support.

Monday, April 20, 2009

MobLogic Nominated for TWO Webbies

MobLogic, one of the web shows Scott worked on as a producer together with several of our other dear friends at CBS Interactive, is nominated for a Webby. Actually it's even nominated twice. Once for Best News and Politics Series, and once for Best News/Variety Host for Lindsay Campbell.

There are two ways to win a Webby: through the regular judges and through YOU voting.

So please cast your vote for MobLogic at The People's Voice Webby Awards.

Unfortunately the show does not run anymore. But here is an episode from almost exactly a year ago which is especially current again right now: Tent City, USA



Friday, April 17, 2009

Flying is Fun

As a nod to Carolyn, who one of these days will be featured in my documentary Five Sisters (when it finally gets its turn in the editing suite) and who just sent me this video and also to put a positive-attitude-spin on all the flights we'll be taking this year to promote All God's Children... here is one of many videos of the rapping Southwest Airlines flight attendant David Holmes:



Monday, April 6, 2009

YouTube pulls music videos

When my brother told me about this a few days ago I could hardly believe it. But it's true. The German version of YouTube, youtube.de, eliminated all music videos from the big German labels off their site. If you're in Germany, you can't watch them anymore. Interesting twist is that you can still watch those same videos if you access them in other countries via youtube.com etc.

Here are some details from a write-up on CNET:

YouTube has pulled the plug on music videos in Germany as Western Europe starts to look like a hostile environment for Web music services.

A YouTube spokesman confirmed that YouTube is no longer playing music videos belonging to the largest music labels after talks with Germany's biggest royalty collections group, GEMA, broke down.

The conflict is almost identical to YouTube's spat with a royalty group in the United Kingdom, but with one important twist. According to YouTube, GEMA is asking for royalty rates that are 50 times higher than those asked for by PRS, the British organization, and YouTube argues those are even too high.

And in another twist, they didn't delete all the horrible phone-made videos of live shows that dilute the access to the good videos with high audio and picture quality. C'mon!

While I can understand (especially as a constantly broke creative person) that everyone needs to get paid, it also seems to be counter-productive not to realize that the times and systems are changing. People have and will continue to have access to creative work without paying for it - the companies that provide that service will make money off it through advertising or selling off their companies. Yes, it's wrong that YouTube makes money through advertising off of the work of composers while the composer doesn't see a penny.

But on the other hand YouTube provides an incredible service to discover and share music with other people. If I'm looking for specific music to check out, that's where I go. If I want to recommend a song to someone else, that's where I go.

Not to have certain videos available on YouTube is going to cost the artist, the label and the composer because ultimately less people will know about the songs and the artists.

The solution: find different ways to make money.
There have to be other ways to make money: selling music to advertisers, concerts, merchandise... crazy idea: cultural and artist grants because society and government actually realizes that art and other culture is essential to our well-being. Okay, I know that one is Utopian.

I'm not much of an innovator and other people will come up with better ideas of how to continue to get artist and entertainers paid, but this is clear to me:
The music should continue to be available in these kinds of search engines and content providers. That's how we find music, that's how music is advertised to us. Those websites aren't going away - our demand for them isn't going to go away.

We're facing the same things with films. I don't wish it to be that way - but it is. We have to find new ways to make money of our films as well. Maybe it is about product placement. Although that's even less legit in documentaries.
Maybe it's not about selling the film on DVD but about creating events around it, which is very appropriate with documentaries. Maybe it's about just getting by and keeping the focus on the love for the work itself and the good that it can do for others. Because again who is really complaining here? The big corporations and organizations. Not the lower income artists. They don't seem to be making or losing much money either way. Or am I wrong?

Of course, YouTube could also do what seems to be the right thing and just pay GEMA and all the other royalty collection groups. Oh greed.

So before they pull the plug on music videos on the American YouTube.com as well, here are some of my recent favorites:


Lady Sovereign - So Human
(How come no one managed to upload this and the next one in the right aspect ratio though? Or is it that YouTube needs to get all their different embed codes straight?)




Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls




Loney, Dear - Airport Surroundings




And for good measure and because they were so wonderfully charming at their Williamsburg Hall of Music show last night: Mates of State - Get Better




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Heckle U: The Big Game

The good people at CBS Interactive keep cranking them out (and stay at work way too late every night). Here are episodes 2 and 3 of Heckle U - leading up to and then finally showing the big game...





Oh, and how come you haven't entered the video contest yet? Do you not want to go to Las Vegas with three of your friends?