“Of course I’m optimistic. I’m a climate scientist and I haven’t slashed my wrists yet.” - Dr. Andrew Weaver
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Unfortunately, when it comes to addressing climate change and the well-being of future generations, political will has often been in short supply.
Running On Climate is an upbeat documentary showing how on the West Coast of Canada climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver and his team in a riding in the provincial capital are changing the game. In May 2013, Weaver won the election in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, the B.C. Green Party's first seat in its 30-year history.
The aim of the documentary is to capture the grass roots political drama of Weaver's winning campaign, while also tapping his and other experts' views on dealing with climate change.
With commentary from scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens, Running On Climate will look beyond the election rhetoric to ask: what is our responsibility to future generations who have the most to lose from global warming? What is sustainable? And what can an individual feasibly do, here and now, to help prevent the planet careening toward catastrophic climate change?
Producer-director Robert Alstead started filming Weaver while he was a professor at the University of Victoria and followed him through to his election win.
Much of the filming has been done, but we still need funding for completion of the film, in particular for post-production in areas such as motion graphics and animation, acquiring additional footage, colour correction and sound mix. This is vital in making the subject-matter more accessible and compelling.
We will be shooting additional footage to keep the documentary fresh and up-to-date.
We also need to finance promotion and distribution of the film.
Weaver was among the scientific advisers who helped develop a raft of climate change policy initiatives in BC, including the introduction of North America's first carbon tax in 2008 and a legislated carbon emissions target for 2020. The BC carbon tax is often held up as a model for pricing carbon.
The election of a lead author on the United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change to political office was particularly significant at a time where Canada's federal government has been widely condemned for muzzling of its scientists and both federal and provincial governments have been backsliding on climate change.
As Running On Climate follows the burly former rugby player setting out on his new career path, it considers how the West Coast province, which describes itself as "The Best Place on Earth", can maintain its leadership on climate change when it is viewed by many in Canada as the "carbon corridor" for the export of raw natural resources - natural gas, bitumen from the Alberta tarsands, and U.S. thermal coal.
Director: Robert Alstead
Producers: Robert Alstead, Jo Clarke
Cinematography, Editing, Interviews: Robert Alstead
Promo video music:
Broke For Free - "Drop of Water in the Ocean"; Chris Zabrieski - "Take Off And Shoot A Zero"; Chris Zabrieski - "Prelude No 4"
Publicity photo sources: Ryan Bushby (B.C. Legislature); NASA (spaceship Earth).
Risks and challenges
Having already gathered much of the material for making Running On Climate, the main challenge now is ensuring that the production is of a high quality that is attractive to broadcasters and distributors.
Hitting or surpassing our campaign goal will give us scope for enhancing the production values and bringing on board more expertise in post-production. However, we take the view that any obstacles can be overcome with a little creativity and support from our local filmmaking community (we have many offers of support in kind).
We would like to shoot further footage to ensure the documentary remains fresh. In Vancouver and Victoria this can be done affordably since Robert travels light, by bicycle and public transit, but larger travel costs may be unavoidable if we need to travel further afield to cover issues raised in the film (e.g. to film power plants).
Completing the film is not the end of the process. We then have to get the film out there. We are confident that we will find a partner and/or partners to facilitate the promotion and distribution of the documentary. With your support, we can make our first ever Kickstarter campaign a success, and take a big stride toward that goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)