Tuesday, May 2, 2006

It's a hot topic

Things have been chaotic around the head office of 137 Films.
OK, so actually we don't have a head office. Monica, Andrew and I communicate by email and phone, but things are increasing from busy to frantic. The strange thing is we haven't actually gotten the camera out in weeks.

Why is it so busy? Strangely enough, our topic is bubbling up so fast in the media now that we're having a hard time keeping up. The notion that the US is on the verge of falling behind in science, largely due to the current administrations dubious relationship with science, is so "current" right now that anywhere you look there are articles. Science publications, government publications, newspapers and magazines across the country, TV and radio spots, and even fashion magazines (I just came across a blog pointing to an article in Glamour magazine, of all places, claiming the government's science information can't be trusted. As the blogsaid, "when Glamour criticizes your science, you've got a problem."

But seriously, the topic is everywhere --- as I pointed out in the last post, it was an editorial in Scientific American. It's here, from our man Chris Mooney (whom we've interviewed 2 or 3 times), here, (from Dennis Overbye in the NYTimes, whom we're courting for an interview), here, (ditto), here, here, here, here, here, here, and many more that I'm not pasting in. Not only that, on WBEZ, our local npr station, there was just a news story about it since our governor declared April 21 as National Particle Acclerator Day, if you can believe that.

It's a little overwhelming... we keep expanding the interview wish list, then cutting it back, then expanding it, racing to read the articles, etc. It's also a little gratifying to know that we have been working on this story for some time, but frustrating that our film is not going to come out for several more months, and might seem late on the story by the time it appears. But I suspect the situation will persist for some time...

It's also a little frustrating that we're having a bit of trouble contacting people now. We have either overstayed our welcome at Fermilab, people are too busy to respond, or there's something wrong with the email server (mmm hmm). We're working on it, but I suspect our charm has worn off. The subject line "interview request" doesn't seem to generate the same excitement it once did.

We're planning a trip to the East Coast for June 22-27, at which point we'll hopefully get in touch with Dennis Overbye and Natalie Angiers of the NYTimes, Senators Dick Durbin and Pete Dominici, Dept. of Energy chairman Roy Orbach, and perhaps others, including Shirley Jackson of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We're also hoping to set up an interview with this guy from Fermilab, who was just appointed to the National Academy of Sciences, who also penned "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," a publication that's credited with spurring the Bush administration to propose increasing money for physical science in the most recent budget (that's what Robin and Rob were a little excited about when they downloaded the budget on camera in February. That report was commissioned by Pete Dominici, and it's why we want to interview him).

And then, we plan to cease the "production" phase of our film on July 1 and move firmly into "post-production," which means editing, editing, editing.

Things are busy around here --- if only they would pay us to do this...

1 comment:

Professor said...

Ah, my friend, I think you know that the payment will be when you have the finished product in your hands and can say,"See? This is what I've been doing the past few years." Will it be payment enough? I think that's up to you.

Oddly, I'm going through some of the same things in my line of work. It's a bit frustrating to hear people talking on a subject and want to say, "I've been saying the same thing for a decade.", but also thrilling to know you're been on it longer than anyone else.

Good luck with getting those final interviews and the editing.