Director, Tom Jackson (seated), Producer/Cinematographer, Peter Vandermark (standing, left), and Cinematographer/Editor, Bill Rogers (standing, right) shooting an interview with Riki Ott for “Out of Balance”. Photo by Mike Soha.
Joe Public Films, www.joepublicfilms.com
Prior to “Out of Balance,” I have produced three documentary videos:
My first, “Greetings From Missile Street“ (2001) has been the most widely viewed thus far. “Missile Street” aired on Free Speech TV over 50 times, screened in 14 film fests, and I did over 200 screening/discussions with it, all across the country. The documentary focuses on the crushing effect that economic sanctions had on the people of Iraq. “Missile Street” was used widely by activist organizations to raise awareness and inspire people to action against the economic sanctions. In addition to use by Voices in the Wilderness, and American Friends Service Committee, “Missile Street” aired on countless community access stations and screened at hundreds of grassroots screenings across the US, in Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand.
“Defending the Commons“ (2004) looks at Nicaraguan activists opposed to World Bank and IMF policies which would force the country to privatize its water resources, services and infrastructure. This piece includes interviews with world renowned water rights authorities, Vandana Shiva and Maude Barlow.
“Worlds Apart: 9/11 First Responders Against War“ (2005) focuses on a small group of emergency workers who responded on 9/11, but unlike many of their colleagues, took an anti-war stance in response to the attacks. I follow Megan Bartlett, founder of the group “Ground Zero for Peace” to Afghanistan where she went to reach out to Afghan first responders in a peacemaking, friendship building delegation.
In addition to my own productions, footage that I shot has been used in Michael Moore’s “The Awful Truth” TV show, as well as in “Independent Media in a Time of War” with Amy Goodman. Other footage that I shot has been used in many other documentary productions, as well as on ABC-Chicago, Fox, and other television stations.
A working photojournalist since 1972 and Associate Professor of Journalism at Boston University’s College of Communications from 1983 to 2000 Vandermark is now working with the 163 Group producing and directing videos dealing with social and environmental issues. Peter has been Videographer, Editor, Director, Producer of various film and video productions. He had camera credit on two recent PBS documentaries and has shot, edited and directed numerous fund raising and capital campaign videos for non-profit groups. Most recently he completed a soon to be published video portrait on the children’s book author and illustrator David McPhail.
In my first recognized film about and titled “My Uncle Joe“ I looked at the relationship my uncle had with my family and the world that sent him to an institution – presumably for the rest of his life. But Joe’s quiet dignity was greater than the walls that contained him. If he had been born 20 years earlier he probably never would have got out alive. Born 20 years later he never would have ended there. But he did live there and is a force of nature that speaks to the best and worst of what we do collectively.
I followed that film with a companion piece – “Front Wards, Back Wards“ – that I’m just now delivering to PBS. It was more than ten years in the making. And it jumped inside the world of the institution – both is contemporary story as well as its historical context. Because I believe that WE create institutions. And without our intelligence to guide us we will create places like Fernald – in the worst of its times – all over again.
Then there was the film about Olymipic skier Bode Miller, “Flying Downhill“ (http://www.flyingdownhill.com), another epic journey. Though Bode ended up a media star then bust, his essential story was about a vision of finding an entirely new way down the mountain.
Along the way I assisted others in creating their own productions, such as acting as cinematographer and editor for Melissa Paly’s, “Livable Landscapes“ about the effect of suburban sprawl on communities in northern New England [aired on New England PBS affiliates].
I have also written a number of screenplays, written essays on media aesthetics and acted on stage and screen.
Mike came to Joe Public Films with the highest of recommendations and lived up to his reputation and then some. Much of the research and stock footage for Out of Balance came to us by way of Mike’s work. Maintaining attention to the facts was a key to going forward with the project, and Mike was a big part of making it happen.
Tavia Lee Goldstein
Tavie’s work can be seen in the numerous trailers for Out of Balance that appear on YouTube and elsewhere. The trailers have been seen by thousands of people around the world, and helped promote the film online, on LinkTV, and on TeleSur International.
Arielle’s work is probably best described as “all of the above”. She worked on numerous initiatives, including research, stock footage, scheduling Tom’s tour of the country with Out of Balance, making contacts, editing with Tavie, etc. Joe Public Films was fortunate that Arielle came to Portsmouth instead of NYC!