Social issues and interactions – the words and deeds shared between people facing change and crisis – are what stir Organic Process Productions (OPP) cofounder Farrah Hoffmire to action.
For Falling Together in New Orleans, a documentary film on the rebuilding of the city and its culture, she journeyed to Louisiana and gathered first-hand footage of grassroots efforts to reclaim the devastated Seventh and Ninth Wards. She followed displaced residents as they sought to reconnect with their families and neighbors and she watched the beginnings of the battle over property rights, commercial expansion, and eminent domain in the ruined neighborhoods.
"This is my first full-length storytelling film," she says. "And I intend to follow the story as long as it takes."
Hoffmire, an alum of the College of Charleston, moved to Seattle last year, when self-publishing upstart Booksurge, cofounded by her husband, Mitchell Davis, was acquired by Amazon.com. While in Washington, she took full advantage of the area's filmmaking resources, serving as an intern for an avant-garde television station and a multimedia art center, and learning directly how modern technology has changed the world of the short film.
Now about to return to Charleston, she hopes to use those skills to produce short films on local social issues. "What I hope to do when I get back is begin video blogging," she says. "I want to add new short films every week on the local issues."
Falling Together in New Orleans is scheduled to be released in three installments, vignettes of approximately 20 minutes each, beginning in October. Already, some of the footage gathered is available on her website (www.organicprocess.com). "The videos you see on the site are character sketches of the people you'll meet in the film."
Through OPP, she is marketing the film online with video-on-demand as well as preparing to launch a tour of college campuses to discuss the making of the documentary.
The events that will shape the culture of the 21st century are already well under way, and Hoffmire is ready to capture them as they happen. –Jason A. Zwiker