Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Gulf Oil Lies, Spokane, Film Making 101

May 27, 2010

How Filmmaking the Death of the Coast is More than Cinema Verite

By Paul K. Haeder as told by Marc Gauthier

Marc’s main objective is to head on back to Washington and let people know the true story of the spill’s affects on people’s health. “I don’t want BP to make a single dime from that well once it’s repaired.”

It’s the personal stories of people he is still interviewing that compels him. Marc is seeing the latent image of a film, dreaming about it, that it has to be at least 60 minutes long, and really turn into a poignant picture of the people and the effects of the spill on wildlife. “It’s also going to be a full assault against corporate America.”

It’s been disheartening at times trying to get officials working at places such as the National Wetlands Institute to speak about all the negative effects the spill creates for marshes. The people there actually told him that they couldn’t talk about any oil-related issues.

“I didn’t come here to listen to them tell me about how a wetland works.”

It’s all very microcosmic how BP sent in one person, not an entire team of specialists on reparations, disaster relief, and discussing the science behind the oil contamination. A public relations stooge.

It’s too easy to keep going back to the national story, Marc told me, so his film has to evoke a strong personal, local narrative.

He’s heading out today, Thursday, to meet up with an old timer who is going to show the Spokane-based filmmaker some gators in some swamp somewhere near Venice.

Yeah, he’s hearing how BP cuts corners, how they actually are putting a price on coral reefs off Cuba and a dollar amount on the fisheries in Haiti threatened by oil hitting their fisheries through the Loop Current.

“It’s unbelievable. People tell me how Shell would have never drilled the hole this way,” Marc said referring to BP’s Deepwater Horizon well 5,000 below the surface and another 18,000 under the earth.

“It’s so tragic that 11 men died because BP cut corners,” Marc added. “Look, my grandfather had a heating and cooling company in Michigan. He would have never thought of cutting corners for profit. A shoddy heater installation could end up burning down a house or asphyxiating people.”

It’s the entire sea floor that’s asphyxiated thanks to BP cutting corners and the Interior Department in these cozy relationships with the captains of dirty industry and presidents like Dubya and their henchmen like Cheney allowing these checks and balances – regulations and prosecutorial powers – to just dissipate while their election war chests fill with Big Oil cash.

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