The short film above is the culmination of a project that my colleague Scott Macklin and I had pursued last summer, as an exercise in storytelling for my Storyteller Uprising book (just revised and expanded this week), as well as for our storytelling class earlier this year.
Our working premise? A conference for journalists seeking new business models, looks to Detroit’s incredible community activism (particularly urban farming) for inspiration. We would somehow mash up what was developing inside the conference with what was happening on the outside: slow food, meet slow news.
We were pleased with the footage we gathered. Unfortunately, after shooting the film, we sat on the material (babies were born, school started, life went on). We commissioned a rough sequence from one of our best students, who assembled it after screening all of our material. We showed it in class in February. It was roundly criticized for its murky focus and overly complicated premise.
Fundamentally, we had not heeded the same lesson that we had been teaching the students: we had never established a meaningful Action-Idea.
What do I mean by that?read more