Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What You Can Do: How It All Got Started

OK, so here's the story:
One night a few years ago my husband, my sister and I were all watching a brilliant documentary called Why We Fight. The film was basically about The Military Industrial Complex in our country and how the American army is helping to fund the economy of much of the western world. The documentary was intelligent, illuminating, shocking, moving and basically made me want to kill myself dead. In fact, about an hour into this documentary I closed myself in my bedroom and started reading US magazine.

Somewhere into an article about Brangelina I realized that this is a problem. If you want help starting, stopping or ameliorating a global issue, I am basically your target audience. I genuinely want to help, to get involved, to be of use. But instead, I am hiding under my bed reading made up news about hyphenated celebrities.

I realized then that I had been taken over by a illness I like to refer to as Impending Sense of Doom. Perhaps you recognize this feeling? I also felt ISD while reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road and watching the polar bears in An Inconvenient Truth (On the iceberg?! The horror!). ISD comes on when you are presented with an insurmountable issue and you feel like there is nothing you can do about it. And when this happens, I just don't want to know anymore. If i hear about a genocide and there is nothing I can do about it, I don't want to know. If you tell me that thousands of elephants are being slaughtered in front of their families and now they all have post traumatic stress disorder and there is nothing I can do about it, I don't want to know. I realize that personal ignorance and denial is a very poor global policy, and yet when faced with my options I don't know what else to do.

What else do you do?

And then I got an idea. I have access to a production company! I have (albeit limited) producing skills! So maybe there is something I can do.

And that's where the idea came from.

What You Can Do is a web series that takes a pressing social issue (global warming, AIDS in Africa, hunger, etc.) and shows what an individual could DO about if they had a minute, an hour a week or a year. We have started pre-production on our inaugural episode and we hope to launch it in June.

I am not naive enough to believe that a single web series can cool down the planet or end global strife, but it is still an effort at an attempt to connect people to solutions. And who knows - maybe it will reach someone and inspire someone who really can make a difference. Someone with a larger skill set, and a more talented brain than I possess.

And that is something worth putting down US for.

No comments: