Thank you, drjon, for reminding me.
The Battle For America
Director: Alrick Brown
Writer: Max Skolnik
Producer: Paola Mendoza
A few days after the 2004 election I walked the streets and rode the subways of New York and was amazed at the look of hopelessness on peoples’ faces. They stole another election and then we let them cripple our morale as well. They were winning twice. I was getting ready to direct an NYU class project in response to the “War on Terror” when I received a forwarded email in response to the sentiments of the moment. The subject was “Get Up, Stand Up.” After about two paragraphs I got on my cell and tried to track down the person who sent the original email. Within the hour I received the name Max Skolnik, a Jewish kid from New York, now living and working for a non-profit in Washington DC. I explained to my friend, Paola Mendoza (On the Outs) who found Max, how I wanted to bring the piece to life with diverse faces. She said, “Let’s do it.” In the next few days we sent out emails to family, friends and colleagues in and outside of the arts and requested their participation in our project. Within in a week we created a schedule, assembled a small volunteer crew; and we went out and shot it. We ran into some enthusiastic people on the streets that wanted their voices to be heard. Max took a train up from DC and helped us as a production assistant/boom operator to bring his piece to life. I told him that I would not change or edit his words because whatever passion drove him to write it the way it was should be respected. The purpose of the piece was not to start a movement or a revolution but to inspire those would get up and start the movement, the paper, the website, etc. Max did his job by getting off his ass and writing it. He inspired me, thus getting me off my ass and I inspired “actors” and crew to get off their asses. Our simple hope was that people would see this, get up and go out there and do something productive and proactive. It is not time to sulk or complain. It is time to stand up.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead