Thursday, July 4, 2013
I never thought that making food films would find me lying in the mud for the perfect shot of a green tomato. But indeed, that is how I spent Day One filming my current documentary, "Sprout of Control," (working title) about the positive impact a community gardening project is making in Richmond, Indiana. The temperature hit 92, the bugs were out in full force, and the site of a plump green tomato gave me so much joy that I didn't even mind the audience of horses or the bevy of bugs that were crawling down my back in that field. I was filming nature, and while some might question my sanity, I felt downright cool. I officially became a film maker that steamy day, and since I'm past 50, I've lived long enough to know that most of my peers have better things to do. But not me. For me, this was the perfect way to celebrate the summer solstice, as I felt compelled to begin telling the story of this project,which is actually very worthwhile. Though I still bear the bite marks of the "saber toothed" mosquito, I also have video of children experiencing the joy that comes from growing vegetables for the very first time. I've documented the pride of Richmond's community leaders who were on hand to show their unending support. I set up my camera in donated garden plots beneath billboards and beside churches, and I filmed the impressive, donated water sources that marked the equally strong support of the local business community. Even the Richmond, River Rats, (the minor league baseball team) offered up gardening space in their ball park, proving that baseball still cares, and much like community gardening, is really American as hot dogs and apple pie. Over the next several months, I'll be previewing the film on this page, showing some sneak peaks, and sharing my experiences. For me, the goal is not fame or fortune but a personal journey that proves that 50 is nothing more than the beginning of phase two of a life well lived. When the editing is finished and the project is done, the film will be shown on DATV in Dayton, Ohio. I'll keep you posted on dates and times, and I look forward to your comments as the project moves along. In the meantime, if you have ideas on food history stories that need to be told, post them here. Who knows? Me, my camera, and perhaps even a few mosquitos may show up to tell them. It may not be easy, but we're sure to have fun!