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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #1
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Our Documentary to be world premiered on PBS

Hi List,

The documentary that I and my partner have been working on for the past
three years has been submitted and accepted by our PBS station WFUM
as its world premier. We are THRILLED!

"An Osprey Homecoming" will be broadcast twice as part of WFUM's spring
pledge drive at 8 PM on Sunday, March 13th and again at 8:30 PM on March 17th.

For details you can check out: http://www.anospreyhomecoming.com/

WFUM has an audience of four million and with a bit of luck we hope to
be broadcast on the other PBS stations around Michigan with the chance
to go national.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #2
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Congratulations, Jacques!

What a terrific accomplishment. Savor it.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #3
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Congratulations! And a great inspiration too!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #4
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Excellent work, and ispirational. Would you care to share your approach to pbs?
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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #5
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Congrats! And yes, do tell.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #6
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Fantastic! Congratulations.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:07 PM   #7
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Congrats!
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Old February 16th, 2005, 12:21 AM   #8
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Well done!
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #9
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Thanks Everyone!
Producing this documentary has been one HELL of a challenge.

Some of you have asked how did we manage to get this on PBS?
It's a long tale, so I will attempt to give the reader's digest version.

The first thing I would say is that we took the time to do it ALL right.
We bought the best gear we could NOT afford. I would get up early before
work on _every nice day_ and go to the park and be ready before sun up.
My partner would then arrive and we'd tag team. After we had 180 hours
of footage, she took TWO YEARS to write the script and edit our 180 hours of
footage into a story . . . which happened to turn into a GREAT story.
Sometimes Christi would have to read three books to write two sentences.
Essentially this was a dissertation for a doctorate.

We spent TONS of time, money and incredible effort and sacrifice.
We have more into this doc. than our house and both cars cost.
In addition, the whole thing was an amazing balancing act as we had
to deal with large corporations and government agencies . . . none of whom
could give us approval until it was in the can and finished.
You have to realize that these agencies like the DNR and Detroit Zoo
live and die on their public relations and that to say NO is much easier
and safer than saying yes and taking a chance. THAT was a
BIG gamble, but because of the positive way Christi conceived and wrote the
script all those large agencies who run the Osprey Reintroduction Program
LOVED it.

Through my connections as the U of M video studio manager and facilitator,
I work with all kinds of people. Several times we had our PBS station
WFUM in Flint come down to Ann Arbor to do shoots for various
broadcast events ranging from interviews with
the president of the University to your truly lighting and
wrangling one of their major pledge drive breaks.
The station's director of production and general manager
we very impressed with my work and my drive to always do the best job possible.
I kept them informed as our documentary progressed.

By this time they had figured out that whatever I did I strived to make it great.

When the documentary was finally finished, we arranged a meeting and screening
with everyone including WFUM's program manager. They had mentioned that
our movie might be a perfect candidate to use for their spring pledge drive
and we arrived at the meeting "loaded for bear" including all licenses, release forms, websites, merchandise, and left a professional promo kit. They then
had to take it to their superiors for the next level of approval. Those
directors (lucky for us) were blown away too and gave the go ahead.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #10
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Thanks for the taking the time to outline your story. It's great to know that hard work and diligence will result in airtime.

Now the hard question, will it turn a profit? Sorry if it seems like a harsh question, but I am in the midst of editing a documentary, and would like to know whats possible. I am sure there are others on the board too, who would like to know that putting "More into their doc than their house and two cars cost" will not result in the bank foreclosing on same! Is a monetary return on your investment, or breaking even, even part of the plan? I am not saying it should be , or even has to be... I am just wondering how other filmmakers approach risky, expensive documentary projects.

Again, congrats on an exceptional job.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:27 AM   #11
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The only answer is time will tell. I left out the financial part of the equation
because it is a bit depressing.
We provide the doc. in exchange for air time and exposure.
ONLY if this movie is a big hit will we get back all we have invested, but at least
we have an opportunity at all, and I am truly grateful for it!

But, this also means we have to get our ducks in
a row to take advantage of it. That means we have to get our doc. into stores
or deal with those evil distributors who can DESTROY you and take your project.
Places like Amazon.com take 50% PLUS $1. (CROOKS imo because they
do nothing but accept the ship YOU send to them and enter it into their database.)

In addition, we have to have a product that people will want to watch more than
one time. The good thing is that I think we have such a product. The combination of a great story, educational value, beautiful images and great
music (I hope!) render a movie than all the members of the family will enjoy
seeing more than once,
and from what we've seen with our test audiences, children LOVE the birds;
Bucko, Ossie and Sammy.

I have to take the attitude of those lucky few who say when asked,
"This is what we would do even if we didn't get paid a cent to do it."
It's called unconditional LOVE.
There is only so much one can do and the rest is up to THE FORCE, and I
pray that we are worthy and remain grateful for everything we have.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for the frank reply Jacques. Labors of love have their own rewards, and their own schedules. (I know a few things about that.) I'm pulling for a nice return for you, and future rewards!
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Old March 31st, 2005, 12:07 PM   #13
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nice job!

It's beatifully shot, by the way.


I'm writing a script for a documentary myself. Fortunately, my expenses will be minimal since I already own all the necessary equipment to make it.

The next step will be more difficult, distributing and/or finding places to air my documentary.

Very inspirational story.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #14
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Best of luck to you, Jacques, and i hope i have a chance to watch this doc on my local PBS station soon.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #15
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Well Alrighty Then!!!!!

Good luck Jacques. I'm looking foward to seeing it myself.
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