Final Steps

Yesterday we had a last-minute interview with Professor Joe Laquatra and got some really great information and resources, which you can find in our “extras” section.

Don’t have too much time to stick around and chat — currently working on fitting in the interview and finishing up our final product to show this Wednesday in Park Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

5.1.12

Been on the hunt for an expert source to comment on historical trends in the treatment of waste materials and the economic angle deconstruction companies like Finger Lakes ReUse have found in the market. We found this person in Joe Laquatra, professor of human ecology at Cornell University. Unfortunately, he’s at a conference in New Orleans until this coming Monday. We’ve planned a shoot with him for early Monday morning.

In the meantime, we’ve been continuing to edit our footage and interviews to prepare for the second showing of our rough cut today. We received a lot of great feedback. We’d like to continue to add more deconstruction footage we collected and continue to develop the main thesis for the documentary, which has changed from focusing on the ReUse Center in itself to methods of reusing and recycling construction/demolition materials. We’ve found that Jerry Contento of Contento’s in Cortland does not speak so much to the waste of these materials, but a general trend to increase the amount of materials that must be recycled as dictated by pieces of state and federal legislation. We’re anxious to speak with Laquatra to get more information on these trends.

Sneak Peek

We just made our trailer public and got an excellent response. Check it out for a sneak peek of our documentary and let us know what you think. Please also feel free to visit the “extras” page of our website for additional resources and production stills.

Music: “Ghostwriter” by RJD2 and “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes.

Taylor and Eli do Cortland

The quest for a greater understanding about how waste is disposed of continued yesterday when we travelled to Cortland, New York. We met with Gerry Contento, owner of a waste management/demolition/recycling company called Contento’s. After experiencing some wrong turns down random streets of Cortland we found our way to the site. Contento’s is separated into two different sections. One section is a massive warehouse where bottles and cans along with other recyclable materials are sorted into piles according to material. The other section is a bustling, junkyard-type yard, where trucks come to unload materials from various demolition sites around the area.

We had a great interview with Gerry walking around the junkyard. He was personable and receptive to our questions. He explained what his company did and how different materials are separated. It might surprise people how organized junkyards are because, as we found out from Gerry, there is a method to the madness. After our conversation with Gerry, which consisted of his theories on sustainability and the differences between his company and a deconstruction company, we were able to get some additional video of various activities around the junkyard. One really great shot we were able to capture was of a large backhoe picking up junk from one pile and dropping it into another. The shot is aesthetically pleasing and we have already incorporated it into the documentary.

We are happy to finally get an interview with a demolition company due to the majority of our footage being of Finger Lakes ReUse Center. The new footage will serve well to contrast the footage we already have of deconstruction. We probably have one more shoot to go before we will be in a comfortable place to finish up the documentary.

4.12.12

Eli and I just got done meeting with Professor Rada about our rough cuts.

Many of the criticisms were the same as those outlined following the original screening, but he also suggested that we include an objective voice who could speak to the downfalls and benefits of home deconstruction verses demolition. We’re planning on getting in touch with Cornell Cooperative Extension. I’ve worked with them in the past and think they’d be able to act as this voice in our documentary.

Also, we’ve been in touch with Jerry Contento, who owns a demolition and recycling company in Cortland. We’re planning on meeting with him next week to get the perspective of companies who actually demolish homes for a profit. It should be an interesting look at the difference between the business model and the nonprofit model used by Finger Lakes ReUse.

4.10.12

Technical difficulties have slowed us down in the editing process, but we’ve finally begun to work our way through it and ultimately were able to present a rough cut of our documentary and get feedback.

For the most part, everyone was very receptive to the message of the film and found the interviews we received interesting. It was excellent to get some positive feedback. After being slowed down by technical difficulties, our edits were fairly rough and the rough cut ultimately amounted to a series of talking heads without b roll. We’re planning to share a more finalized version of our rough cut for Professor Rada on Thursday to get more specific feedback.

4.7.12

This Saturday Finger Lakes ReUse had a large-scale working day at their property on 95 West Jersey Hill Road, which we have been following since the deconstruction team first began to disassemble the house early in March. In addition to Andrew and Amy — the usual daily crew — a number of volunteers and Eric, the executive director of ReUse’s deconstruction efforts, were there to help deconstruct the frame of the house and sort lumber for sale. It was a great opportunity to get Eric, who spends most of the time at the ReUse store, in the field, which is his favorite place to be.

In addition to getting some great shots of Eric working, we also interviewed a volunteer who worked for Finger Lakes ReUse in the past and still liked to come out and volunteer when he had the time. He really added to the working definition of sustainability we’ve been trying to build throughout in our interviews.

After the work day, we figured we might as well head out to the Finger Lakes ReUse store to get some B roll of deconstructed items being sold, as well as get more information from a store clerk about how the items are priced in comparison to the market — particularly home improvements stores such as Lowes and Home Depot.

Finally, we were surprised to be given authorization to get some b roll at Lowes — which should be really great to round out the documentary.