(from front) Ann Lewis, Rita Nohner and
Jeff Nohner in the crowd watching the event
Julie Madden from JOA introducing Jeff
Ann Lewis, Executive Producer of
ForeSight20/20, looking very happy
Plymouth resident, Cheri Litsheim,
attended the premiere
Jeff Nohner was asked to autograph a DVD
Colleen Rowley, featured in the video,
attended the premiere and engaged in
lively discussion afterward
Rita and Jeff Nohner - big smiles at the
positive reception of ForeSight20/20
People Making It Happen
by Cindy Atchison
The premiere was a great success for everyone!
[Monday, 9/27/04] After all the work and worry about whether we could get the word out about this amazing video, the premiere event was finally upon us, and as you can tell by the big smiles in these photographs, the reception was better than we could have hoped for. We printed 100 programs, wondering if that might be too many. By 7pm we were out and people just kept coming. We rushed to print 100 more!
We were fortunate to have "The Christian Explainers" from South Africa playing very original sounding, rhythmic, eclectic jazz as we waited for the attendees to get seated. This trio is so talented that I think the attendees were almost disappointed when the program started.
Julie Madden, our liaison at St. Joan of Arc, took the stage and introduced Jeff Nohner, the Director and Producer of ForeSight20/20.
Jeff had a few things to say about the concept of ForeSight20/20, how it evolved from a project to tape a short, 10-minute piece that could be clipped on a website, to a full-fledged half hour program with DVD extra content, discussion guide and, if we were lucky, major media airing. As Ann Lewis (the Executive Producer), Rita Nohner (Production Assistant) and Jeff had begun taping interviews with people on the street and taping experts who agreed to interviews, it became obvious that the stuff they were getting was too good to wind up on the "cutting room floor." Ann Lewis was instrumental in helping a very motivated team of people, who recognized the value of this material, to step up the pace and produce something bigger than any of us had previously imagined. Jeff (who, by the way, put in hundreds of hours himself taping, editing etc. while working his "real job" at Wells Fargo) thanked everyone on the team (Ann Lewis, Rita Nohner, Cindy Atchison, Burt Berlowe, Dick Bernard, Andy Driscoll, Kathie DuRocher and Jane Powers). Then, we watched the 30-minute broadcast version of ForeSight20/20.
Even though I had watched the video in my living room the day before - checking out all of the extra material and recording some comments, there was something electrifying in watching it in a forum with a large crowd with no distractions. Scenes that I had previously simply found "interesting," seemed to carry an emotional weight I could not explain. It was very gratifying to me. I was also gratified when the crowd responded sometimes with laughter, sometimes with nodding and sometimes with audible surprise.
Afterward, Joseph Baird performed with his guitar and Ann did a short "question and answer" session while some of the attendees wandered down to the hospitality room for wine, soft drinks and snacks.
All together, I thought the crowd was very enthusiastic about the film. Most stayed for refreshments and had a chance to visit with the production team and some of the speakers who attended.
Here are some of the comments that were made after the screening:
"This is a great tool to raise the volume on the (political) debate."
"It was great! You don't need to get into politics, politics needs to get into you!"
"I loved watching intelligent, articulate people talking about real concerns."
"I will show this to anyone I know who is planning to vote.."
"I may use this in my Government classes."
"Excellent work Jeff, Rita and Ann"
"Citizens need catalysts, and this team produces an outstanding presentation!"
"It made me think about some things I wouldn't have otherwise thought about."
"This really raises the level of political discourse to where it should be."
Now we will start the work of trying to get this video seen as much as possible before the election. I think that what we witnessed tonight was almost a collective sigh of relief that someone, somewhere is actually talking about important issues in a reasoned and intelligent way. Many of us want our voting decisions to be based on the concerns that are important to us, to our children and that will be important to our descendants as well. If we can disconnect, for a time, from the influence of slick advertising and the politics of fear, we will have a chance to think about what is really important. That is what should drive our vote.
We hope that this can be a catalyst for engaging in political discourse that serves the democratic process and informs us.
Yesterday (Saturday the 25th) Jeff, Rita, Ann, Kathie, Burt and Cindy met at "St. Martin's Table" in Minneapolis while Jeff put the cover inserts into the first 50 DVDs!
The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers Annual Celebration of Peace was held Tuesday night (9-21-04). We played a 5-min. trailer at one of the display tables there and it was very well received. Leslie Reindl, who is the MAP president, also produces the Altera Vista program that is aired on various cable stations. ForeSight20/20 may make it onto the program between now and the election.
Dick Bernard, in the midst of being interviewed for ForeSight20/20, pulled out of his pocket the dog tags he found in the shirt pocket of his Uncle's W.W.II Military uniform.
Attached to the dog tags was a metal rectangle also worn
next to his uncle's heart, with the inscription "War is
not healthy for children and other living things."
Congratulations to Jane Powers!
Jane, peace and justice activist member of MAP, and a sculture/installation artist, won Best of Show in the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Show, "Banned on These Premises, Artists Take on Gun Violence."
Jane's work and the exhibit, demonstrate that artists challenge us to attend to important issues in our society. When they address an issue such as gun violence, they create their personal editorial to help us understand imperatives we must not ignore in our society.
ForeSight20/20 interviews currently add up to 23 expert interviews and more than 40 people-on-the-street interviews after more than 6 total hours of taping since Auguest 11th.
Jeff Nohner, our Producer/Director will edit all of that down to approximately 30 minutes of video tape which will be available on DVD's and VHS. A miracle in progress this project!
Watching Jeff work, we know that he has an amazing blend of interpersonal, artistic, and technical skills. He connects beautifully with the person being interviewed and yet is able to film continuously as he asks for clarification or introduces new questions. He admits another part of his mind is editing the interview as he films it.
What are the questions that get people talking in our
ForeSight20/20 interviews? Just two questions:
"Why do you feel it's important to vote in this election?" and "What are the issues most important to you in the election?"
The answers are fascinating.
©Copyright 2004, Action Election Committee, all rights reserved. Last updated December 7, 2004 .