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!



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.


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.


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.


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.


Am in the process of reviewing and labeling footage we got at a really great shoot this Tuesday. Not only were we able to get some excellent B Roll of the deconstruction crews tearing down a shed, we also interviewed both of the crew members who have been working on the property.

One of the workers actually uses a lot of reuse materials in her own home improvement projects, which is how she got involved with Finger Lakes ReUse. She offered to show us some snapshots of her work to potentially work into the documentary. Also, the crew said many people have stopped by the work site to pick up wood and discussed their projects. They’re in the process of getting Eli and I in touch with one man who is using all ReUsed materials to build a shack for himself to live tax-free, off-the-grid.

We’ve also been very diligent about setting up shoots this week. We’re going to have the chance to get footage of volunteers tearing down the property next week as well as shots with a price analyst and student at Cornell who helps the ReUse center to find appropriate prices to charged for ReUse materials in comparison to places like Lowes and Home Depot. A trip to a landfill a half an hour away is in the works, as well as an interview with a demolition contractor (plus hopefully some footage from a demolition site to compare with our deconstruction footage.