Can we make enough clean energy to blunt climate change? How would we do that? And will we do that? Semi-environmentalist and documentarian Jamie Redford takes us on a personal journey to answer those questions.
Interview with Writer/Director: James Redford
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I wanted to use the power of film to inspire and engage people about one of the easiest ways to combat Climate Change: embracing renewable energy.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Most people are feeling depressed and impotent about climate change. And most people think clean energy is puritanical and boring. This film will change your mind.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
When something is cheaper and better, it wins. It’s always been that way, and renewable energy is no exception.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
In my quest to avoid boredom, I tried a lot of things - everything from oddball personal observations, beatle-esque settings and funny animation. But the complexity of renewable energy demanded that we simplify our approach so as not to overload the audience.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
People appreciate not being lectured. I think they also appreciate that I try to bring and lighter, inclusive vibe to what has been a partisan, combative issue.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I hear more laughs than I thought I would. I also think the movie assumes people are smarter than most movies do. Clean energy is also a moving target. I’m bound to miss a few developments.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
If more people understood that we can truly combat the worst of climate change with clean energy, we could preserve a livable world for our kids. A platform like yours increases the scale of the message.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I am honored to be an HBO film, which allows me to focus on getting the film out into the theaters and communites. I hope to be in independent theaters. There are also businesses, politicians, non-profits and foundations committed to fighting climate change with renewable energy. The film is meant to help them carry that message to their communities, and I’d like to work with them.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Every state should allow its residents to choose what kind of power they can purchase. Given the choice and the affordability of renewable energy, most people will choose it. I hope the film helps those who are trying to follow the half-dozen states that have passed legislation to allow this. That’s the best route to scaling up renewables, and the best shot at getting congress and the white house to listen up.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Can we make enough clean energy to power our lives? How do we do that? And will we do that?
Would you like to add anything else?
The folks truly bringing us clean energy are of all political and cultural stripes, they share a penchant for hard work, excellence, commitment. Oh, and being in your own documentary is weird. I’m utterly sick of myself.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
My co-producer Jill Tidman is the executive director of the Redford Center, and she is quite busy guiding us toward providing more support to filmmakers who share our vibe. The DP, John Behrens, just got back from Alaska, where he was filming in -60 degree weather with James Balog of “Chasing Ice”. As for me, I’m just starting on my next journey - headed back toward a story that will promote a better world for struggling youth.
Interview: March 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
This is Happening: A Clean Energy Odyssey
Can we make enough clean energy to blunt climate change? How would we do that? And will we do that? Semi-environmentalist and documentarian takes us on a personal journey to answer those questions.
Length: 75 minutes
Director: James Redford
Producer: James Redford, Jill Tidman
Writer: James Redford
About the writer, director and producer:
Jamie Redford writes, directs and produces for film and television. “I come from a long line of storytellers. It’s essential to who I am and how I see the world.”
Aside from producing HAPPENING, Jill Tidman is the executive director of the Redford Center. Jill Tidman oversees everything from daily operations to shaping the center’s vision to producing documentary films and action campaigns.
Key cast: Jamie Redford, Lena Redford, Matthew Norden,
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Journalists who are interested in the non-partisan landscape brewing in the clean energy world.
Social media handles: @redfordcenter, @jred5562, #cleanenergy #climatechange
Made in association with:
Where can I see it in the next month? Earthday Texas