Saturday, July 19, 2008

Youtubing Down the Maine Media Promotional Slope

I started the Maine Film Blog almost a year ago. As I look back on my posts they reinforce my original goals. The feedback has been wonderful and the communication from people outside of the film industry lets me know that I am having the type of impact that I originally intended.

For a long time I have wanted the Film Office to post streaming video from their website. They have chosen not to do this and I believe they are missing out on an opportunity to promote Maine and communicate to potential filmmakers in a way that will truly connect with the way that filmmakers think and view the world.

A few years ago the New Hampshire Film Office resurrected an Orson Welles narrated video highlighting New Hampshire. It is a beautifully shot and narrated piece. Lead by the New Hampshire Film Office, a group came together and volunteered their time to reedit and shoot new video to bring the piece into today’s production standards. The video has been viewed by almost 8000 people and potential filmmakers.

I have also been posting goofy home videos on youtube for awhile and it is a wonderful way to connect and share experiences with family and friends and bring everyone closer together in today’s hectic world.

Last month I decided to write a script for a youtube video. As we celebrated my niece’s birthday at our family camp on Crescent Lake in Raymond, I asked my sister to videotape me walking along our neighbor’s dock inviting filmmakers to Maine and asking Maine citizens to educate themselves in regard to the positive economic and marketing benefits that film tax incentives can bring to every citizen, business and town in Maine.

My sister did a good job with the videotaping but when I got home to download the video the sound and picture quality were terrible. I uploaded it to youtube and forgot about it.

A few days later I received an email from Roy Finch. Roy and his wife Susan Landau Finch own “Wildwell Films” and they produced and directed the independent film “Wake”. Most of the film was shot at Roy, Susie and Roy’s mom’s house in Bath in 2003. The movie starred Gale Harold, Blake Gibbons, Martin Landau and Maine actor John Philbrick.

Somehow, through the pixilated images and crappy sound, Roy understood and liked what I had to say and he offered to shoot and direct a new piece using the same script. I was thrilled to think that someone of Roy’s skill, experience and talent would be willing to invest their time for free to help me produce a professional quality video promoting Maine and film production in Maine.

Roy spent many idyllic summers in Maine on Moosehead Lake as a kid and he has several projects written for Maine that he would love to produce in Maine. He was more than willing to use his equipment, bring in his close friend Joe DiGiorgi to handle the sound, shoot other locations, take photos and collect photos from friends because he wants more films and media production to take place in Maine.

That is the simple point of this post. If we simply take the time to reach out with honesty and enthusiasm to promote an industry that can truly help all Maine citizens live a better life, people will not only take the time to read what we have to say, they will actually come together to collectively deliver a positive, proactive message.

After a few weeks of emails and working on schedules Roy, Joe and I got together twice to shoot. The first time was at Town Landing in Falmouth but there was just too much traffic. The second time we met at Roy’s house and drove over to Merrymeeting Bay where we spent 2 hours on a beautiful Saturday morning shooting the bulk of the video needed for the piece.

I invite you to spend a minute and forty seconds watching the results of our collective efforts at:

Afterwards, imagine what we all could accomplish, with no cost to the State of Maine, if all the organizations that work to promote Maine like The Maine Chamber, The Maine Tourism Department, The Maine Innkeepers Association etc., got together and had a competition to see who could produce the best youtube video promoting Maine. We could make it a year long competition and the video with the most views would be the winner. If each organization put out a couple of hundred dollars we could even have a cash prize or maybe the winner could earn a part in Roy’s next Maine based film!

Whatever your background is you have a distinct reason for living in or visiting Maine. Don’t be afraid to grab your own video camera and tells us all why you love Maine. I’ll even help you out and stream it from my youtube account at: