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I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the computer this week and yesterday, I really had to get out and talk with people face to face. Fortunately, it was the first of “Detroit Creative Mornings” and I ran into a few familiar faces while hearing from Oscar winner Luis Resto about his creative process. I used to think of myself as a creative person, until I got wrapped up in raising money and communication plans – so it was good to be around other “creatives.” One woman I ran into knew a lot about John’s work, and while she was active in community-based art, she had never heard of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project (!) so it reminded me how cool it is to be able to share all this good work going on through this film.
I returned to the studio where Diane had been pulling together two Detroit environments for me to look at – The Heidelberg Project and Great Lakes Coffee. During the week she had been focusing on Jessica, who is in charge of their youth programs, and yesterday she started on the footage we shot during Tyree’s show opening in Bern, Switzerland. For those of you who don’t know Tyree Guyton’s work – he’s been out there taking risks for a long time – and it was really good for me to meet him at this point in the process. When you’ve gotten a big NO from major funders and you think you’re telling an important story – it was really good for me to hear the “keep going, you’re on the right track” from Tyree – an original anti-establishment guy who continues to challenge us all. The video for today features Jenenne Whitfield, who’s manages the business of the Heidelberg Project as its executive director.
The other piece she had pulled together was from Great Lakes Coffee. They opened their first store in Detroit this summer in the Midtown area and they used a lot of reclaimed materials for the build out and furniture. We shot there back in August and sometimes, a location just comes together with the right light, the right personalities in front of the camera…maybe it has something to do with coffee-obsessed DP Lon Stratton loving the coffee process, but it’s that business environment that produced some of the most “artsy-fartsy” footage we have. (We’re going for high AF factor with our shots.) I’ll try and get that out for you to look at soon. It also has one of the fun “moments” for the movie – these moments are like little jewels – you can’t plan for them, and suddenly, there it is.
A lot of this material, guided by the economic impact of it all, can feel heavy and serious, so the little jewels for me are the things that will make the audience smile and walk away with a feeling of optimism and belief in humanity. We found one of those moments a Great Lakes Coffee, with a morning patron really needing his cup of coffee. It makes me smile whenever I watch it!
So if you’re in town, grab a cup of coffee from Great Lakes, then head about two miles south east to see what’s going on at The Heidelberg Project. You can swing by One of Us Films on the way!
Have a great weekend everyone – and thanks for your support!
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