I first heard of Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges working at a non-profit, “American News Project.” We did great short documentary work there around public policy and the impact it has on everyday citizens. We had a good mixture of smart passionate filmmakers and journalists. Just like everything, a good thing never last forever. I considered ANP my film school, “outside of film school” and the place responsible for my career and personal growth.
I remember being the middle of a long edit for a short doc I produced titled “James Jenkins” and realizing “holy shit!” a light bulb went off in my head and right then and there it all came together. I had finally done enough shooting, editing and producing to really understand how to control the narrative flow of stories I was filming. I’m sure all professional’s come across one moment where something clicks and it all comes together.
It’s all from strong training and pratical application of our experiences at work, but all good professional can turn to some series of moments or one in particular that puts them over the top. ANP was that for me more than film school, it was like some Bruce Leeroy or Matrix-type shit that happened, they provided the platform.
We were, in my opinion, ahead of our time but, at that moment and place, the videos we produced on the web just weren’t gaining traction fast enough. Then the financial crisis hit. Funding dried up and staff went on to different professional tracks.
It always feels as if learning curves are a series of long, endless, steep rises coupled with short plateaus until you reach your goals.
Either way, Bill Moyers was on the board of the non-profit that funded the ANP venture and it’s cool seeing Chris Hedges and him together for a conversation.
After doing a series of videos around military themes and the housing crisis, I started reading Chris Hedges on Truthdig.org - one of the many progressive websites that considered distributing our projects. Hedges is personally my favorite author and his hands are on the pulse of what’s buried deep beneath our societal sub-consciousness. I have to admit, at times his tone can be a bleak but, like all truths, some reveal themselves as rosy and some just slap the shit out of us.