Richard Moore


I've got two announcements.


* Server Migration

We're moving our lists over to Yahoo, because maintaining our own 
servers is becoming too burdensome. The websites will remain as they 
have been, with the same URLs. We won't be using the web features of 
Yahoo, at least not at the beginning. I've been posting to the yahoo 
lists in parallel with our current lists, and it has been working 
just fine.

There's no big hurry, but when you get a chance, please subscribe to 
the new lists by sending a message to one or more of these addresses:

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The current cj and renaissance-network lists will be merged into the 
new cyberjournal list. The postings to those lists have been 
identical for quite some time now.

You'll get back a confirmation message, just as with the current 
lists. You simply reply to the confirmation message (using the same 
account that you subscribed from), and that will subscribe you. 
Finally you'll get a Welcome message. Once you get the Welcome 
message, you can unsubscribe from the current lists by sending a 
message to one or more of these addresses, and replying to the 
confirmation message.


Let me know if you have any problems.


* Documentary Project: "An Inconvenient Necessity"

This is my next 'big project', after the ETM book. It's an ambitious 
project, with some innovative aspects, but it's doable and it makes 
sense -- both for 'the movement' and commercially. It's a film within 
a film...

- The inner film

The inner film is a documentary about sustainability (ie, the 
'inconvenient necessity'). We'll have about five field locations, in 
South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. We'll be 
looking at the global crises being caused by industrial food 
production, as regards topsoil depletion, salinization, 
desertification, fishing-stock losses, water-table depletion, 
pesticides & other health issues, factory farming, social 
displacement, etc. Forget about peak oil, or global warming, this is 
about peak food and immediate survival.

At each location as well, we'll be looking at sites where we can find 
organic, small-scale, and traditional modes of food production. We'll 
be comparing the productivity per acre, and per unit of water, 
energy, and petroleum products. We'll be trying to make it clear that 
sustainability isn't a vision, it's a necessity, and it's less about 
sacrifice than about ending needless waste.

There will also be interviews with various experts, looking at the 
overall picture, and bringing in the political angle, eg 
privatization, IMF, World Bank, etc.

It will be important to have a well-known personality / star to 
narrate. That is what can bring in big audiences, and hence it also 
enables getting the financing. I'm thinking of someone like Bruce 
Willits or George Clooney, who can appeal to audiences across the 
board, and who would be likely to be interested in this kind of 

The inner film is a complete work and could be released on its own, 
in the same circuits where we've seen Michael Moore's material and 
Gore's film. But that's not the plan. The audience will see the whole 
documentary, in sequence, but framed within the outer documentary....

- the outer film

The outer film observes a group of people who have come together to 
watch "An Inconvenient Necessity", and who will be pausing the DVD at 
various points to talk about their reactions. The audience and the 
group are watching the same film together at the same time, and the 
audience gets to 'experience' how the group responds. The learning 
that takes place in the group, and the development of their dialog, 
become part of the dramatic progression of the overall presentation, 
interspersed with the dramatic progression in the inner film.

The group participants are not actors, and they have no script. The 
are selected so as to provide diversity, geographically, 
ideologically, genderwise, agewise, etc., and on the basis of being 
articulate, able to listen, etc. They will be watching and discussing 
the documentary over a period of a few days, so their dialog will be 
evolving considerably, and that will be edited down to short segments 
of highlights, but with smooth transitions. I don't imagine the 
dialog clips will total more than about 30-40 minutes, but a lot will 
be going on in that time.

There will be a facilitator with the group, using Dynamic 
Facilitation. We won't be making a big deal about process, we'll just 
be showing it in action, mostly showing what the group is saying, and 
only occasionally showing the facilitator's role. Given the way 
participants will be selected, and the fact that they won't mind long 
sessions (they're getting paid beginning-actor rates), and given the 
power of DF, we can expect the dialog to develop in very interesting 

There are two purposes for the outer film. One purpose is to try to 
break through the 'spectator barrier', where we see a film 'out 
there', as a consumer, and go away not knowing how to integrate what 
we've seen, and having no idea of what we might do to be 'part of the 
solution'. The real responses of the ordinary people in the group 
will hopefully bring the impact of the inner film more inside the 
'personal space' of the audience, and people will be able to identify 
with some of the participants, as they do with actors in a drama. The 
idea, we might say, is to 'deepen the catharsis'.

The other purpose of the outer film is to expose people to the power 
of dialog, and expand their understanding of what is possible among 
people. This will come automatically, as a by-product of the overall 
presentation, but it will in some sense be the most important 
achievement of the project. The dialog group is a microcosm of 'we 
the people', and their ability to reach useful conclusions together 
in the face of difficult problems sows the seed of 'we all could do 
that' in the minds of the audience.

At a dramatic level, the outcome of the dialog becomes a 'happy 
ending' counterpoint to the dismal message of 'peak food'. All 
problems change character when one begins to feel empowered to do 
something about them.


As usual, your feedback and ideas are welcome. Particularly if you 
have contacts in the film industry, or if you know of good shooting 

that's all folks,


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