When I started this project, I could not have imagined how difficult the process of putting this documentary together would be. I have spent countless hours writing, editing and sweating from hiking all over East Austin in the 100 plus degree Texas heat!
There have been moments of unbelievable frustration and conversations that have brought me to tears. This project has also been much more rewarding than I ever imagined as well. New doors for future projects have opened up for me and I look forward to sharing details about them soon.
I struggled when I started this project to figure out exactly what I was doing. I had never before attempted a project this large or complicated. I have also never had to figure out how to get interviews from people I had no previous connection to.
People are wary of a stranger asking to interview them, especially when there is a video camera present. It took a concerted effort to establish rapport and to show them I was not interested in twisting words or making anyone look bad. I am an outsider trying to gain a glimpse of their lives and then share what I have found.
It is easy to understand their concerns. Manipulation tactics employed by dubious media outlets not only exist, but are all too commonplace. Many organizations claiming to be journalists or documentarians are simply looking to push an agenda.
I ended up meeting many wonderful people. I got a real sense from everyone I interviewed of just how much they cared about their community. Every one of them understood that East Austin is facing complicated issues and that there are no simple answers.
I have done my absolute best to remain objective and to allow the people living and working in East Austin to tell their own story. I sincerely hope I have accomplished what I set out to do. I am extremely proud to announce that my short documentary will debut tomorrow, Wednesday August 4th 2015! I look forward to sharing my work with all of you