Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jane Pittman idea

You are reading


I have an idea.

There's a lot of information on the internet re: this tv movie, including audio interviews with cast members, etc.

One of the things that truly drives me crazy about historically significant movies is that nobody makes the background story of the making of the movie accessible to viewers.

"Pittman" was a risky and very important project. I don't think a lot of people these days really know much about the challenges of making it.

Look, I'm a movie fan. And, until I watched it again this morning (I haven't seen it since it aired on TV when I was a kid), I didn't know it was Odetta who played "Big Laura!"

So, my idea is very simple. I look at the International Movie Database (IMDb) listing and the Wikipedia reference and I start chasing links.

I can profile individual actors, screenwriter, director, costumes, makeup, etc.

I can discuss Civil Rights through the context of the film itself, including contemporary news stories on the night the film first aired.

Kate, I could easily create a one hour documentary on this, using, primarily, online audio and local field interviews with regular folk, African American & cinematography studies people, etc. right here in New Mexico.

Who knows? I may even score a few interviews via telephone or Skype (which is better quality audio) to include in the piece.

My primary focus is on The Making Of. That narrows it to a manageable place. By introducing a new generation to this film, I can invite them to learn more on their own.

Also, I must say I have a hidden agenda in all this. I think it's WAY more than time for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to give Ms. Tyson a Lifetime Achievement Award How long did it take them to give Ms. Berry the first Best Actress award to a Black woman?

Ms. Tyson has had an honorable career. It wasn't easy, but I'm sure it was quite satisfying, "Oscar" or not. She doesn't, probably, need the acknowledgment, personally, to feel fulfilled as an actor. But there are two, maybe three, generations of young folk who really don't understand what a transformational symbol it is for an old, Black woman to take a drink of water. I think we need to remember.

What do you think?

Any suggestions on narrowing focus, prioritizing, etc. further? I don't want this diluted. I don't want it too scattered and distracting. I want this tight, profound, respectful and useful.

Too Small to Fail!