Energy Day to be Filmed
Event will be honored with documentary
by Keegan Fairfield
Cross-posted from Vermont Cynic, March 14, 2012
Citizens across Vermont are being asked to submit photos and videos for a crowd-sourced documentary that will commemorate the first annual Vermont Energy Independence Day (VtEID) on March 21.
VtEID will celebrate the individual efforts of Vermonters to break ties with big oil and transition into a sustainable-energy future.
“Vermont is in the middle of this amazing transition to a new energy future,” said Jon Erickson, professor of ecological economics and one of the founders of VtEID. “We wanted to make a film that captures the spirit of that transition.”
The best way to do this, he said, is by allowing Vermonters to do the storytelling.
“There’s so much going on, let’s let the people of Vermont tell us their stories and we’ll do our best to weave it together as one voice about what Vermont is up to,” he said.
Vic Guadagno, the film’s Emmy Award-winning producer, stated his vision for the film is to simply “personify the nuts and bolts of energy.”
Guadagno said he hopes the film will inspire others to follow suit. “The best way to get participation is to make a film with the voice of the people,” he said.
Erickson stated a similar objective.
“The goal of the documentary is not the film itself, but the conversation that the film generates,” he said. “It’s an icebreaker.”
Over the last few months, students in Erickson’s Introduction to Ecological Economics class have been hard at work spreading the word.
The course incorporates a plan that turns theory into practice.
“I hope the project makes the themes, content and vocabulary around ecological economics real for students,” Erickson said.
Junior Mia Payraudeau called the project an “eye-opening experience.”
“It has been really interesting to find out how many small businesses, schools and local companies are so environmentally conscious in Vermont,” she said.
With broad participation, Payraudeau said the film could be a good depiction of Vermonters’ determination to redefine their energy future.
“If the film gets a lot of submissions and people get really into it, it will be extremely telling of how attuned Vermonters are with their energy consumption, as well as their will to change the status quo,” she said.
Johanna Miller, energy program director for Vermont Natural Resources Council, has coordinated the effort to reach out to the more than 100 town energy committees across the state.
“Generally I’ve gotten a very positive reception,” she said. “Vermonters are proud of what they have done, are doing and know what we need to do, so there has been a lot of enthusiasm for it.”
She said that compiling individual stories could present a powerful collective message, and hopes that people won’t be camera shy.
“It’s my hope that people can launch over [any shyness] and be brief and bold in telling their story, and putting it in the context of why it matters,” she said.
Eager to begin editing, Guadagno said all that is left to do is hope that Vermonters supply him with enough content to create a quality and compelling film.
“It’s risky,” he said. “It’s worth it though — it’s such a cool concept.”
BrightBlue Ecomedia will produce the documentary with a debut aimed for the Vermont International Film Festival in October.
Students are welcome to join Vermonters in showing the world that this transformation is possible by submitting a video of any length, quality or character that exhibits individual initiatives, however large or small, being taken in pursuit of a greener future.
For more information and to submit videos, students can visit the website march21st.org.