|DONATE||MEET THE PLAYERS||CONTACT US||ONE FOR THE CHILDREN|
THE GREAT LAW OF THE IROQUOIS CONFEDERACY -
In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of
our decisions on the next seven generations.
SEVEN GENERATIONS -
Climate change, encroaching suburbs and sibling rivalry push a farm family to the edge. It’s time for the next generation to run the family farm. It’s time to end the farm subsidy. It’s time for TV to go organic.
WHY THIS PROJECT
• There is no other narrative episodic series about farming, organic food and global warming.
Carbon footprints. Electric cars. Back yard bee hives and chickens. Personal water bottles. Bike to work day. Homesteading. Shop at the farmers’ markets, drive an alternative fuel car, stop eating meat, re-duce, reuse, recycle, repurpose. What else can I do? What else can you do? What is going to wake people up? What political action will make a difference? Why isn’t the government paying attention? Why won’t big agriculture change the way it produces food and impacts the earth? This is an election year for peettzzzzsake. Why are politicians talking about same sex marriage when we are in an environmental crisis? Are we paying attention?
It simply can’t be too late to stop global warming.
The news is insane. From nearly one thousand dolphins washing up on the shores of Peru, to black birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas, and tornadoes ripping towns off the map, we are witness to weather that is changing the landscape and how farms survive. From marine mammals to bees, the weather is responding to human overpopulation, chemical farming, and industry’s disregard for natural eco-systems. Farmers have to sue conglomerate corporations to protect the genetic integrity of seeds, the very future of farming itself. We are in trouble. Our animal friends are in trouble. And therefore share a deep concern about healthy food and reducing human impact on the planet.
Documentaries preach to the choir, and there are nearly too many to keep up with. Audiences want fiction. People need new stories. Our appetite and love for more media is huge. Aristotle wrote in Poetics, that the human mind responds to metaphor and poetry through story telling. There is strong evidence that prime time dramas are on rise. ABC knocked home runs out of the ballpark this year with Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Pan Am. (Many of us wanted to see Pan Am continue.) NBC has a huge hit with Smash. The networks are doing better. And dozens of independent channels have had massive successes with dramas like Justified, Saving Grace and The Closer. Does the TV audience want more reality and docs? Or do we want more episodic drama? I say drama. We hardly pay attention to the plethora of documentaries. Case in point: THE COVE won the Oscar™ for best doc and couldn’t repay its investors.
With this series, the Organic farming and local food message – sustainability, free range, GMO, pesticide, chemical and hormone free - can reach and engage a larger mainstream audience. All of us must do more. We must. Our goal is to entertain with stories which motivate viewers to do more to "make a difference" in every aspect of their lives and to inform about the challenges facing our food supplies.
This content focuses on the family conflicts over farming practices, and inspire urgent action for essential bee colony recovery. There's a revolution going on in local food production and distribution, farmers' markets, cooperative farm shares, direct sales to local restaurants and grocers - all in the name of reducing chemical-ridden, pesticide tainted, hormone and antibiotic infected farming which is destroying our health, our land and our future. Examining our title for Episode 1: Colony Collapse, while it is a broader metaphor for our struggling family, CCD or Bee Colony Collapse Disorder - research continues for solutions to this worldwide phenomenon threatening agriculture.
In Anna Lappe's book, Diet for a Hot Planet, she makes it clear: industrial food production is killing us. Growing and eating locally is going to play a larger part in our survival. (Her mother wrote Diet for a Small Planet. Remember that book?)
The script has been work-shopped, critiqued and put before test audiences and is ready to move into production.
SHARING A COMMON VISION
From staffing and actors, to locations and equipment, people are joining the team.
WHAT WE NEED
Everyone deserves to be paid for their work, including film artists. Many ingredients are a labor of love, and many necessities do show up, yet we still will need to feed the cast and crew. Editors just don't work for free. Neither does a Director of Photography. Also there are the costs of production insurance, permits, business papers and contracts.
Working with professional standards is a must. That means hiring professionals and assembling the best team the budget will allow.
WHAT YOU GET
You know what we're talking about! When it works, it works.
Please see the list of incentives - from a DVD copy of the final project and raffles for organic food, on-set visits and red carpet events, to IMDB producer credit and an opportunity to become involved as an executive producer on our core creative team. There are many ways to join us - and enjoy those goose bumps!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP -
If any of this has inspired you, please re-post this page link to your friends, your FB page, Tweet it, Sound it out!
If you would like to become involved on a deeper hands-on level, there is plenty to do. Please write and let us know what you'd like to work on - whether you are a director or director of photography, a post production supervisor, of if you have any resources to help us launch.
We can do this.
It's right action. We will use our combined talents and resources to make a difference, and "be the change we wish to see."
We will make this movie and we will take it to television.
Please, join us.
SAG MLB: Under a million
Actors in place. (Verbal agreements), A/B lists TBD
THE FULL STORY -
EPISODE 1: Colony Collapse
MUSIC FOCUS: Tuvan Throat Singing
“You think it’s stupid,” she says. “I think it’s hard enough to farm. Why not use a tractor?” replies Hector, upset that she doesn’t take care of her own horse, Boxer, and hardly does any chores. They fight about whether global warming is for real when the phone rings. It’s mom at the hospital and Granny is dying. They need to find their grandfather and bring him back to the hospital. Hector searches the house (“Is he taking a nap?”) the barn, the fields. Grandpa is nowhere to be found.
Grandpa (Gramps) is a fifth generation tobacco farmer here on Phoenix Farm, as was his father and his father’s father before him. It used to be tobacco wasn't such bad crop and everyone had federal farm subsidies to grow it. Lately it's been tough and the farm has seen better days. Between smoking his pipe, naps on the sofa and reading the comics, he is out stealing real estate signs again in a vain attempt at slowing down the encroaching suburbs. Sheriff Dan has him in his scope.
Grace, Gramps and Evelyn’s only daughter, and mother to Hector and Cassandra lost her husband to lung cancer 10 years ago. Watching the emphysema take her mother makes Grace about ripe for a nervous breakdown. Helen, Hector’s fiancée, waits with her at the hospital.
Gramps' granddaughter, Cassandra, an anxiety ridden teenager self medicating on alcohol and Tuvan throat singing, worries about how they'll afford to rent the bees they're going to need to pollinate the orchard. Our young Mother Nature is quite agitated and upset. Bee colony collapse disorder is just one thing setting her off today - white nose syndrome in bats is another. To calm herself down, she's discovered yoga with Tuvan throat singing and a side of Mint Julep cocktail. “It’s awful, turn it off,” says brother Hector. “It’s holy” she retorts. He breaks her CD. Hector wants to know why she isn’t already at the hospital. “She’s going to die whether I’m there or not. No one gets over emphysema.” Grace calls home right after watching her mother die. Cassandra doesn't like death, so she didn't show up. Gramps came home early before "it" happened, and now no one can find him. Hector is frantic looking for him. Granny is gone.
Gramps, Hector and Cassandra have all missed getting back to hospital in time for Grandma's death. Hector is shocked at Cassandra’s level of selfishness. He takes off in his truck to pick up mom at the morgue.
Cassandra’s new boyfriend, Jason Diggity, an illegal alien refugee from Haiti’s earthquake, comes over to get Boxer, the horse they can't afford anymore. Boxer is a failed experiment in horse breeding. They invested in a mare years ago in hopes of making some money in racing, but Boxer was a bust. Boxer is now a very bored “barn sour” saddle horse about to get hitched to a tourist buggy. Before Jason can get Boxer loaded up in the trailer, he meets Gramps, who has never seen dreadlocks before. He thinks Jason might be a horse thief. “You look like a city-kid. What do you want with a thorough-bred?” Gramps shares his real estate sabotage scheme with Jason. “Someone has to stop the damn developers.”
While waiting for mom and Hector to return from the morgue, Cassandra worries how they’ll tell him his wife is gone. Gramps is bit daffy today and is caught up with Dennis the Menace and asking for Evelyn to bring him his coffee. Is he grieving or going senile? Cassandra tries to tell him Granny is gone, but Gramps is worried about Boxer being taken away. “You can’t hitch a saddle horse to a buggy and think it’s going to work.” Cassandra explains that Jason runs a tourist buggy business in town and needs another horse and she’s giving Boxer to him for his birthday. “It’s my horse and if I want to give him to my friend, I can. Besides, mom says we can’t afford him. Price of oats went up again.” Grandpa doesn’t want to be around Cassandra’s bad attitude and asks if she feed the chickens. “I don’t eat eggs, and I don’t eat chickens… You know I didn’t so stop asking me if I fed the chickens.” Cassandra urges Grandpa to go vegan to help save the planet. “Oh, the hell with it. I’ll go feed the damn chickens. They gotta be fed whether you eat the birds or you don’t eat the birds,” says Gramps. He didn’t hear Cassandra say that Hector already fed them. “I’m old not deaf,” he says when Cassandra shouts at him.
Everybody is over-feeding the chickens, since everyone knows Cassandra hasn’t. Pick up trucks and horse trailers and cars coming and going and the chickens are everywhere. There’s a lot of commotion when someone dies.
When Hector and Grace return from the hospital, they sit on the bench near the family grave site and talk about its up-keep under the big tree planted over 100 years. Where will they put Granny? Space is filling up. This is six generations in the ground now. She’ll go on the other side of Great Grandpa John, between him and Baby Jenny, who died as an infant. “She’d be 15 this summer,” says Grace. Hector tells mom he wishes Dad was still here. Hector shares his new vision foe the farm: plow under the tobacco and plant broccoli. “Have you seen the prices the Wilson’s are getting? Dad dead of cancer, and now Granny with the emphysema. He heads into the house to get mom an iced-tea.
Grace takes it all in when neighbor Ann Baxter stops by after hearing Evelyn has died, with condolences, a casserole and a bushel of broccoli. That's what country people do. “We’ve got a ton of it.
Helen arrives with Granny’s belongings from being hospitalized. She and Hector share a tender moment when Sandy catches them kissing in the kitchen. “Get a room,” she tells the happy couple. Hector asks Sandy to take mom her ice tea.
On the way to the grave site bench, Cassandra trips over Gramps’ stack of real estate signs leaning against the house, cutting her leg. With the ice tea in one hand and a mint julep in the other she delivers the beverage. Mother and daughter finally have a chance to talk, but the bleeding gash on her leg need attention. Cassandra is now drunk and ranting. Cassandra is “just connecting the dots, mom.” She is freaking out about the devastating effects of bee colony collapse disorder and the nine hundred dead dolphins washing up on the beaches in Peru. In her rant, she sees the Tuvan throat singers standing on the roof of the barn. She is depressed and angry about the “neo nic” pesticides that are killing all the insects. Ever hopeful, Grace begs Cassandra not to this today. To have some “respect, my mother died today.” “Yeah, I heard,” says Cassandra, a metaphor for a dying planet. Cassandra goes to clean out her cut.
Gramps bring a shovel to dig Evelyn’s grave. He joins Grace on the bench. Hector brings another shovel. Cassandra sits next to Grandpa. Helen gives the family their moment alone and stands apart watching.
Always hopeful, Hector motions for Helen to join the family and they announce they will have their wedding on the farm in the fall. “It’ll be a pumpkin wedding.” “Granny would have loved that,” replies mom. “We should have done it already, before she got sick,” says the good son.
The barn cat stalks the swallows catching mosquitoes while the family watches the sun set on a horrible day. There's no-where to go but up. In Fiddler on the Roof fashion, a quartet of Tuvan throat singers dance on the roof of the barn. The weather vane suddenly works again. Life, death, renewal. The cycles of life.
We meet this family on the day Grandma has
died of emphysema at the local hospital.
Season 1 Arc: Steps up stealing real estate sign. Buries his wife. Gets arrested. Has his day in court. Enjoys his dog and the Sunday paper. Doesn’t know what happened to the world. Disappointed in his grand-daughter.
CASSANDRA -LEAD. 17. Caucasian. Grand-daughter. Named for the Trojan psychic. She is a young Mother Nature/Earth Goddess and is upset, agitated, and disturbed, intuitive, psychic and a bit psychotic, says her family. Sandy lost her daddy when she was 8 to Lung cancer. She is dead set against the family growing anymore tobacco. She just graduated high school and recently declared herself an anarchist vegan priestess. Rough farm girl, tattooed, pierced. Suffers from Environmental Degradation Disorder. She made that up. Thin and very flexible. Mad at the world, depressed, anxious, self-medicating on alcohol and meditates to Tuvan throat singing with a side of yoga. Fights with anyone in the family who talks to her, especially her brother. She recently got arrested at a Occupy Wall Street rally. Recently lost her driver’s license for texting, again. Green Party. In love with Jason. She’s become a radical vegan in a house of meat eaters. She won’t feed the chickens because she doesn’t eat them. The more she meditates, the more good things happen. She’s starting to have some hope. Just a bit. She’s useless on a farm. Won’t even to do the dishes, laundry and feed the chickens – her only two chores left.
LEAD, 24. Grandson. Brother to Cassandra. Farmer. Inheriting the farm. 6th Generation. Pulls out the tobacco to put in broccoli. Voted for McCain and Palin. Active Republican. Heart of gold. Good intentions. Engaged to Helen, a beekeeper and the most beautiful woman in the county. A good singer, he and Helen play duets at church. She is his muse, a vegetarian who inspires him on the path toward organic farming, cooperative farm shares, direct delivery to grocers, restaurant chefs and farmer's market. Their children will be the 7th generation.
Season 1 Arc: Announces his plan to get off tobacco and go organic. Gets engaged. Looks forward to Cassandra leaving for college. Plans his pumpkin wedding. God. The Farm. A good woman. What else does a man need? A baby: The 7th Generation.
Daughter to Gramps. Mom, 50-ish. Grew up here on Phoenix. The matriarch. A widow. Her husband died of lung cancer years ago, now her mom with emphysema. Her dad is "Gramps" inherited this farm, and her son will carry on. Usually the backbone, but, not today. Her mother just died - of emphysema. Today, she is shocked, stunned and in auto drive. She's headed for a vacation on her small inheritance, and finds a new boyfriend who wants the farm for himself.
1st season character arc: Grieving the loss of her mother to getting her last child off to college, mom is exhausted. Her mother’s death hits hard. When they find the cash stash in the mattress after reading the will, Grace goes off to Mexico for a much needed break. She can hardly understand how her daughter turned out a vegan yoga anarchist. She meets a boyfriend in Mexico. A Dallas land developer, he wants nothing more than to get his hands on her 400 acres. Cassandra uncovers the truth about the boyfriend, creating a new bond between this mother and daughter.
CAST - Trish DeBaun (Meet the Players)
Major supporting role.
HELEN - Major supporting role.
CAST: Heather Gilliland (Meet the Players)
ANN - Grace’s neighbor friend: 55. Kind. Understands friends in need. Brings a casserole. Conservative. Rich. Has helped Grace out with small cash loans. They went to school together, but Ann married money rich while Grace married land rich. Now the land isn’t making much money with so many failures and storms. Southern Christian republican.
1st Season Arc: She is a shoulder for Grace to cry on. Goes on the Mexico trip with Grace after they read Evelyn’s will.
SHERIFF DAN - Recurring supporting role.
Occasional re-occurring role.
Pilot/Episode 1: Colony Collapse.
Funding Commitments as of
Executive (5K) and Associate Producers (1K)
"North Carolina without tobacco barns would be
For More Information -
DONATION AWARDS -
Appetizers: $100 to $300:
Long Term Relationship: $10,000
SUPPORT THE ARTS. HELP CREATE JOBS!
MAKE A DONATION
Pay Pal account.
C. 2012 All rights reserved.
p.o. box 1624
el Granada, CA 94018
WATCH A FREE WEBINAR:
Better Actors Make Better Movies:
Where to Cast Your Net
with Hester Schell
To learn more about Hester-
LinkedIN - LINKED IN
IMDB - Internet Movie Database
STUDY WITH HESTER