As most of you probably know, there are a bunch of people hanging around Wall Street these days. Making signs, waving them, voting to see what they do next. It’s a growing movement that’s recently been joined by Anonymous threatening to remove the New York Stock Exchange from the internet on October 10th. Normally in a situation like this, the whole world would watch as it plays out before hearing that some studio has optioned the rights to tell the story fictionally, but in this case, independent documentary filmmakers are banding together to make sure that the event is showed in its purest form.
A Kickstarter campaign was started for 99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film by Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites (the filmmaking team beyond the Black Metal doc Until the Light Takes Us). Other filmmakers involved include Tyler Brodie (executive producer for Another Earth and Pi), Michael Galinsky (Battle for Brooklyn), Ava DuVernay (publicist and writer/director of I Will Follow), and to illustrate how quickly this thing is moving forward, Bob Ray (the Austin-based writer/director behind Total Badass) joined while I was writing this post.
So why toss themselves into the chaos of a mass movement already in progress?
Ewell explains, “The Occupy Wall Street movement speaks to me personally, and to all of us who are participating. The collaborative nature of the project, while being a massive undertaking, mirrors the movement itself. We as filmmakers have the skills to take this unwieldy and constantly evolving thing and give it a shape and form that can eventually stand as a cohesive but wide ranging and diverse document of what is going on in the streets of America. Simply put, this feels like history, and as a media-maker, I feel that I almost don’t have a choice but to work with and in this moment. At the same time, I want to make it clear that all viewpoints are welcome. Agree or disagree, love it or hate it, this is going to be a crazy kaleidoscope of a film.”
That’s exactly the kind of Herculean effort that demands applause. Of course, 99% is riding the wake of I Shot That and One Day on Earth, but it takes those same collaborative elements and focuses them laser-style on something huge happening right this moment. Hopefully they are up to the task, because a phenomenal documentary might be developing as you read this.
For a taste of some of the footage they’ve gotten already (with more pouring in every day), here is the main video from their Kickstarter page:
They’re also looking for as much help as they can get, so if you’ve got a camera, some cash or some sweat to give, all of their contact information is listed on the campaign.