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Eight Million people without electricity because the wires are on poles. Should they be? Why are they? Good idea?

My obsession for the past 50 or so years has been the predictable and recurring downing of poles with electric wires every time there is a storm - wind, snow, hurricane, thunderstorm - and thousands, hundreds of thousands and now, millions of people and businesses are left without electricity for days or even weeks.

In most other advanced countries - western Europe for example, everything is underground. Electric power stays on in all weather. And the film will compare the appearance of towns in Germany with the pole blocked views of our towns and scenic vistas.

Trying not to advocate either leaving things the way they are or putting all of the lines underground, I want to do an in depth visual and human examination into the situation. I will attempt to find out why we still have poles. Indeed, we have added to the burden of our poles by having them carry cable television wires and increasingly complicated telephone and internet cables.

My film (or more accurately video) will attempt to talk to power industry executives, individuals in areas where power is frequently lost, scholars who do research in the area, government representatives and environmentalists in both the United States and Europe.

I hope to make the video as visually interesting as possible. I will show places in this country thick with poles and wires, places in Europe which are completely devoid of poles and wires. Places like Concord, Massachusetts which has a continuing program of putting everything underground as funds become available.

The power of the film and its completeness depends to a large extent on the amount raised for its production. The sums available will determine the extent to which I am able to travel throughout this country and Europe. The available funds will dictate whether I am able to engage professional production personnel. The budget will determine the number of people I am able to interview. The greater the budget, the more points of view I will be able to include.

Greater availability of funds will assist in making the film more and more visually arresting. For example, perhaps the camera will linger on a dramatic scene in Switzerland with hundreds of years old farmhouses and cows in the foreground and the snow capped alps in the background - and not a pole or wire in sight. Or for the other point of view, places in the USA with a multitude of poles and wires and residents who like it that way.

I would like the film to end with the questions asked and discussed but without a conclusion being reached.

If you have an especially interesting or terrifying story about being without power or thoughts about poles and wires, please be in touch with me. Even if you do not want to contribute, I will want to listen to your story and perhaps include an interview with you in the film.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Having worked in the movie business for 40 years, doing production legal work, I know that doing this film will not be as easy as it may sound.

Unforeseen problems will arise. It will not be easy to convince people to talk on camera. It will take persuasion and, at the other end, diplomacy, to make certain the interviewees get to the point.

There will be technical problems. We may travel to a planned location only to encounter weather that they will tell us they have never before experienced.

The budget constraints will prevent us from going to a location to which we did not plan to go but which an interviewee tells us is interesting and vital to tell the entire story.

But, having been thinking about the subject for so long, I will persevere and accomplish what must be done.


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