The expedition for Independent America was like mining for some rare and precious mineral beneath a ton of rock. We dug a lot, trucked a lot out, and only now, with a lot of chipping away, do we know what we have.
The first draft of the script is done, and yes, the shiny metal needs a lot of polishing. But it is still shiny metal. It's value just revealed itself to us over time. Now we know what we have. And what it's worth.
From 70 hours of tape, to 4 hours to this. We're aiming for an 80-minute feature film or less. Dense, concentrated, full of energy. We also still have the Amsterdam and Sundance film festivals clearly in our sights. Nightline has gone away, but as veterans of the network news wars, we almost expected this -- the winds blow a different direction depending on the time of day.
Three major themes inform Independent America:
(1) There's a growing hunger for community in the country -- an appreciation for relationships and civic responsibility. A realization that since we can control so little of what is happening in the outside world, what we can control closer to home matters more than ever. Citizenship vs. consumerism.
(2) There's a growing unease about the country's transformation from manufacturing to service, and where that leaves the economy. Wal-Mart jobs vs. GM jobs.
(3) There's an ideological divide out there, certainly. But it's less red state/blue state and more a reflection of the role of large, powerful, sometimes dominant instutitions. The concentration of corporate power vs. diversity and democracy. Private property rights vs. the public good.
On top of that, we have an entertaining, informative story to tell you about a certain trip a married couple and their dog took across America in the summer of 2005 before Katrina, before gas prices went through the roof and before we truly understood the importance that Mom & Pop play in our lives.