Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Powerhouse of a Picture: Willamette Week makes the struggle worthwhile

Anyone who has lived through the epic struggle that is "making a movie" can probably relate to this, as will anyone who has published a novel or launched a new product or opened a new play: the rush of the good review. When a reviewer really 'gets' what you were trying to do, and articulately expresses his or her opinion, well it sort of makes the whole thing worthwhile. Not just because praise is a boost to the ever-hungry ego, but because a good review helps you move closer to your goal of getting your work in front of your target audience. And that's what happened this week to the movie I had the privilege of helping to produce: Dare Not Walk Alone.

The review was not in the New York Times or the San Francisco Chronicle. The reviewer wasn't Roger Ebert (my personal choice as the gold standard for film reviews). Nevertheless, this reviewer , Aaron Mesh, really nailed it, in a very special publication, the Willamette Week (this is the alternative newspaper that serves Portland, Oregon, and just happens to be the only weekly newspaper ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting) . Here are some quotes:

"A POWERHOUSE OF A PICTURE"

"MINUTELY ATTUNED TO DISPARITIES OF CLASS AND RACE"

"A TRIUMPH OF OUTRAGE AND EMPATHY"

Please forgive a moment of chest-swelling indulgence as I savor those lines. It's been a long journey--over four years--down a rocky road. When I first met the director, Jeremy Dean, in 2004, he had a vision and a goal, six months of research, and 4 minutes of footage. His main source of funding was tips from waiting tables. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Mergener and the generosity of a small but loyal group of supporters the project was able to keep moving forward.

Along the way, Jeremy provided not only the vision and talent to create the film but also the fortitude and grit to get it out in front of the public (as many creators and inventors know, making the thing is only the start). And each time it seemed like the roadblocks were insurmountable, someone came through for the film. For that, all of us at DNWA are extremely grateful to all of you (you know who you are).

You can read the full Willamette review online on this page, just scroll down the movie list. And if you are anywhere near Portland on Saturday, February 23, please come along to the New Columbia Community Education Center (4625 N. Trenton Street, Portland, 97203). , There will be a free screening of Dare Not Walk Alone at 4:00 p.m. at Bring your family, bring your friends. You can find out more at the movie's blog.

1 comment:

  1. [...] top of recent critical acclaim comes the news on which Dare Not Walk Alone supporters have been waiting for some time: the [...]

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