State of Green is a film about the renewable energy revolution. It's about people, and how inevitable change is affecting their lives.
STATE OF GREEN is a documentary film examining renewable energy and its effects on the people of our state. The goals of this film are to explore the human story behind renewable development and to foster an intelligent, informed discussion. Our demand for energy is confronting us in our own back yard. Change is inevitable. With change comes sacrifice. Will the green energy movement strengthen our economy or compromise Vermont’s unspoiled beauty?
In an effort to transition away from fossil fuels, the Vermont state energy plan calls for 90% of the state’s power needs to be met from renewable sources by the year 2050. GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER, Vermont’s largest utility, is leading the way in renewable energy development and working to offer their customers affordable, sustainable power.
Vermont purchases a significant amount of renewable energy from HYDRO QUEBEC. Many Cree people were displaced by the development of Hydro Quebec’s St. James Bay project. How much of their culture and landscape was lost in an effort to produce power? Is their story a window into Vermont’s future?
There are films out there about the evils of carbon fuels and the dread of impending climate change. There are films about the hidden truths of renewable energy projects and the downsides of industrial scale development.
But where are the films that refuse to take a biased stance, and instead examine as many aspects of the issues as possible, with the intention of letting the audience make up their own mind based on what they see?
That is the goal of our film. We have gone to great lengths to maintain neutrality on all issues, working with both sides of every problem we document and examining all possible details from as many angles as we can. We believe the truth will speak for itself; our job is to present the facts and realities as they stand and to let our viewers make their own conclusions.
So far, we have managed to collect a good amount of footage covering some of the important energy-related events happening in our region. We have been doing this on on our own dime, in our spare time. When we started, things were just getting going. Vermont Yankee had not yet run into serious troubles, Kingdom Community Wind was just an idea on paper and the renewable revolution was just beginning in our state.
How quickly things change.
Now, it is impossible to go a single day without hearing a new story about renewable energy in Vermont, whether its on the radio, television, Internet or in conversation with friends and neighbors. Vermont now finds itself on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution, and the battles are being fought hard every day.
On our own, it's become impossible to keep up with this pace while still maintaining our day jobs. Funding will enable us to go further, spend more time, devote more resources and focus with greater intensity on the project. With full funding, we can travel to Quebec and speak with the displaced Cree, to learn from their experiences in connection with Hydro Quebec. We can fly over the ridgelines of Vermont to capture their beauty and show the changes happening to them. And we can put our film out there for the world to see.
We believe that this project needs to be made. It has become bigger than us and we are sitting on footage that nobody else has. There are incredibly important stories occurring every day in Vermont, and they are stories that can teach us a great deal about ourselves, our future and our lives as human beings struggling to survive.
This campaign is only the beginning for us. Our goal for the Kickstarter campaign is $20,000, but our budget for the film is approximately $93,000. We hope to leverage a successful campaign into garnering even more support and ultimately meeting our budget in full.
Every amount contributed helps, no matter how large or small. But remember - if we don't meet our fundraising goal, we don't get anything. Please contribute today!
State of Green is sponsored by Catamount Arts, a respected 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Catamount Arts serves as our fiscal agent, and all of the funds raised by this campaign go directly to them. They then oversee the administration of our budget, so you can be assured that your funds will be used responsibly. As such, any contribution you make is considered to be tax-deductible as a charitable donation.
Contributions to the Catamount Film & Arts pursuant to this solicitation are primarily for the support of STATE OF GREEN Documentary Film that has been approved and is being sponsored by Catamount Film & Arts in accordance with its purposes and guidelines.
Eric Clifford is an experienced director, producer, director of photography, editor and audio engineer. He has also worked as a camera operator for broadcast television, touring musician, studio musician, composer and actor. Recent work includes project videos for Green Mountain Power, AllEarth Renewables, and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. Eric was a producer, composer, and one of the lead actors in the feature film Tin Can, which won Most Artistic Film at the 2011 Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.
Outside of film and music, Eric has worked on reforestation projects in India, monitored endangered birds in Long Island, worked with at-risk youth in Vermont and created a new riverside park among other notable projects that drew support from media and community members during service in AmeriCorps in Montpelier.
Stephen J. Maas is an accomplished writer, videographer, designer, musician and businessman with experience in a wide range of disciplines and entrepreneurial endeavors. He has written three feature-length screenplays, including the award-winning Tin Can (“Most Artistic Film” at the 2011 Buffalo Niagara Film Festival). He has produced independent feature films , as well as directing, editing & producing multiple short length documentary, promotional and commercial video projects. Recent work includes project docs for Green Mountain Power, AllEarth Renewables and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. He designs and maintains websites for Vermont organizations, including the Wooden Horse Arts Guild and Birds in Wood. Clients have included the Haskell Library and the Up-East Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Stephen strives to create and collaborate on projects that expand his creative abilities and perspectives while fostering and promoting the arts within his home state of Vermont.
Intrinsic Films - Vermont-based Intrinsic Films is the company responsible for producing the award-winning feature-length film TIN CAN, which won Most Artistic Film at the 2011 Buffalo-Niagara Film Festival and was an official selection of the 2011 Vermont International Film Festival. The company also produced an original commercial concept for W.B. Mason, which placed second in a company-wide, national competition. Other projects include short length documentaries for Green Mountain Power, AllEarth Renewables and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.
The bonus videos we release during our campaign will be posted here, as well as on our updates tab and, in most cases, on our website.
Our pitch video (top of the page) is meant to provide a quick overview of just some of the interesting footage we've collected. It is only a snapshot, however, and there are hours and hours still to be sorted through and even more to be captured.
Here is a quick index of the people who appear in this video:
Eric Clifford - Director, Producer, Editor
Don & Shirley Nelson - Retired dairy farmers who live in Albany, VT at the foot of the Lowell mountains, literally in the shadow of the Kingdom Community Wind project.
David Blittersdorf - CEO, AllEarth Renewables & founder of NRG Systems
Peter Shumlin - Governor of Vermont
Dorothy Schnure - Communications Director, Green Mountain Power
Dan Werner & Guy Keefe - Maine Drilling & Blasting
Will Young - Protestor of Kingdom Community Wind
Bernie Sanders - US Senator for Vermont
Ben Luce, Ph.D. - Lyndon State College
Steve Wright - Former VT Fish & Wildlife Commissioner
Protestors of Kingdom Community Wind
Protestors of proposed wind project in Derby Line, VT
Bob Kiss - Former Mayor, Burlington, VT
Annette Smith - Vermonters for a Clean Environment
Joe Benning - Vermont State Senator
James Moore - VPIRG
Stephen J. Maas - Producer, Camera Operator
Bill McKibben - Founder, 350.org
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The biggest challenge this project currently faces is that the pace of the renewable energy revolution is high, and it will not wait for us. In order to successfully complete the project in the way that we envision, we need funding, and we need it quickly.
Once we have funding, we will need to effectively manage our time and resources to be as efficient as possible in order to cover all of the things we need to cover, and to maintain our focus on the core threads of the project.
We have experience in managing complex film projects, so we are confident we can put what we have learned in the past to work for us on this project. Furthermore, with the active support of Catamount Arts as our fiscal sponsor, we are well positioned to be able to raise funds, and then to leverage those funds into a full budget.
No, the film will not be just a wind power movie. We have plans to examine all sources of renewable energy, looking at their pros and cons in a general sense and visiting projects that have been created in order to learn from the experiences of the people involved. The reason that our Kickstarter video does not feature these sources of energy as much as wind is that we haven’t yet had the resources to cover everything. All that you’re seeing so far has been paid for out of our own pockets and completed during our spare time. Because our time and resources have been so limited, we have had to prioritize the issues we cover. I don’t think there’s any denying that wind power is the hot-button issue when it comes to renewables in Vermont. We don’t necessarily consider wind power to be any more important as part of the renewable energy discussion than we do any other source. We want to rally support for our film, so our energy has so far been primarily focused on covering the most controversial issues that are under debate in Vermont right now — and that means wind.
We do think that the stories of the people surrounding the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell (both for and against) make for a fascinating narrative, however, so it is likely that wind will continually weave its way through the film as a unifying narrative thread. But it is by no means our sole focus. Once we have the resources, we will expand our attention to the broader set of renewable energy sources.
The best way to help us get there is to contribute to our Kickstarter campaign. It is time to have an intelligent discussion about Vermont’s energy future. With your help, we can get that conversation started.
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