The Charlie Project's goal is a 30-minute documentary film about Charles Peters, the founding editor of The Washington Monthly and Understanding Government. "How Really Works: The Life and Times of Charlie Peter" is a story about a man, a magazine, and the media.
The story principally focuses on Peters, a native of West Virginia, who served in the Kennedy administration's Peace Corps as its first director of evaluation, as a combination of Roger Corman and Art Blakey of modern political journalism.
Just as Blakey, via his group the Jazz Messengers, created a school of incredible musicians, as did Corman who nurtured the careers of future actors and film directors, Peters did likewise via the Washington Monthly that schooled an outstanding number of journalists who have reported for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Harper's, Politico, Slate, the Texas Monthly, etc. Monthly alumni have become columnists for the Times and Post, and two of them have won Pulitzers.
Peters believed in the basic democratic value of improving the lot of all Americans by having an efficient and competent government that was open to its citizens, who are just as responsible for the condition of the republic as its political leaders. He also believed that the government should be accountable and trained a generation of journalists to ask questions and even challenge the basic precepts of liberalism.
Since last May the project has produced a 9-minute work-in-progress video, featuring Peters, Jay Rockefeller, David Ignatius, Joe Nocera, and Nicholas Lemann; available for viewing on YouTube and Vimeo.
The project has, since February 2012, filmed and interviewed 15 former Monthly writer/editors and employees, and contemporary Washington Monthly staff members, and has finished its principal shooting.
It is now in the nuts-and-bolts stage of transcribing interviewee footage, developing an editing script, and fundraising.
The project's goal is $15,000, which will be used for rough-cut editing phase, which hope to begin in May or June, in order to have finished rough cut by September 2012.
Norman Kelley, project coordinator/writer/producer and director.
Adele Schmidt, Director of Photography; editor and consultant
Ellie Walton, photography
H. Paul Moon, photography
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