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A feature documentary about an environmental artist's connection to the oil industry and the historic 1948 film Louisiana Story.
Created by

Jon Goldman

114 backers pledged $10,372 to help bring this project to life.

Approaching the one year anniversary of the BP Spill/Oil in the Family progress

Not a moment has passed since our successful kickstarter campaign that I haven't been at work on the OIL IN THE FAMILY project. I want to also apologize to those of you who expected a framed version of a print from the graphic novel.  At the end of the campaign, I realized it would be a ridiculous use of the money and I hope that you will forgive my unilateral decision to not send the print.  I have, instead, been hotly pursuing Executive Producers to help produce the animated and other aspects of the film, landing one and possibly a second, who will help with the further financing of the project.

As many of you know, the economy has been particularly brutal in the last two years, but, undeterred I have plowed ahead, retuning the sample reel and starting a blog which will hold all of the elements of the film and the process, including profiles of all of the members of the team, the interviews as well as the current stages of the graphic novel .  

I have traveled to New Orleans several times, most recently getting aerials from our Line Producer, Kevin McCaffery which I have recently integrated into the new front end of the sample reel.

Visiting Sundance 2011, I was able to network with potential funders as well, and position the film as a desirable entity when done.  We have had multiple requests from well known Festivals, major A-list agencies, and other groups very interested in our project.  It IS on the radar.

In addition, our online social networking and internet presence has grown, and we are trying to develop more traffic with our outreach via a new blog I am writing, posting video and the graphic novel for a transparent access to our process. PLEASE visit our site, spread the word, "like" us on Facebook, tweet about us on twitter and hep us develop the conversation about our role as consumers in the never-ending demand for energy.

Our website is

Our Facebook page is here:

And lastly, I am planning a trip to New Orleans again for the anniversary of the Spill, to interview the people previously filmed to understand their current situations.  The anniversary is April 20, two days prior to Earth Day, an irony lost on no one.  I hope  you will come back and see us, and most importantly get the word out regarding what we are doing.


Jon Goldman.

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Gary Cure, Shell Beach, Louisiana

We met Gary Cure onboard the Donna Ann. He is an affable fellow, a hard working oysterman who looks to BP to make thing right. He also looks to that oil company to employ him again as a worker on the spill because it is the only thing bringing in anything. It is the waiting though that is making him uncomfortable.

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Mercedes Calvert, Metarie, Louisiana

Mercedes Calvert is a gracious French-speaking Cajun woman who remembers her childhood in Pointe Aux Chennes,Louisiana as wonderful except when the oil companies came to her house and stayed for three years drilling and prospecting for oil, leaving the spoils behind without any real compensation. "No one got any sleep, it was horrible, " she recalls. In those wistful memories she remembers the marsh being endless, never having a glimpse of the gulf. Today those marsh grasses are mostly water, and tomorrow or soon thereafter will be oil-soaked. To her the 1948 classic "Louisiana Story" was beautiful, exactly as she remembers it, except for the real parts without sleep. I like to explain in a playful pun on the title of my film, that we are ALL IN THIS FAMILY. Pointing out that with the Louisiana accent, the word "oil" is pronounced "all". It takes a family and for that I thank my cousin, Maxx Sizeler and her partner Bea Calvert, for the introduction to Mercedes, Bea's mother.

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Andrew Barron, Water Coordinator

We went to Thibodaux, Louisiana to Nicholls State University where we met Andrew Barron at the Barataria•Terrebonne National Estuarine Program (BTNEP). Both and his colleague Dean Blanchard ( not the Shrimp broker from Grand Isle) spoke to us about the decimation of the marshlands of Southern Louisiana, by the oil industry's cutting of canals and the group's advocacy for reparations of this vital national resource. Andrew is of Cajun ancestry, has a vast knowledge of hydrological systems of the Deltaic region of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya River basins and is passionate about the need for the rest of the country to understand the interconnected nature of river systems and their fragile states. "The question is: is that accounting system--that perception of the value of these wetlands--is that going to change fast enough to make effective restoration. Because we do need a societal change, not just a few individuals here and there...." Under the effective leadership of Kerry St Pe, BTNEP is on the front lines of this battle, advocating for more funding for coastal restoration in a place so fragile it is known as the fastest disappearing landscape in America. In the short span of seventy years, man has destroyed what took nature 7,000 years to build. Today, they are pleading for the nation to repay a debt to a place that has lost their home which they sacrificed for the growth of the country. Now, with the impending "extinction event" they are even more desperate.

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Wilma Subra

Wilma Subra, long a hero and friend of mine, travels from New Iberia, Louisiana to help communities across the world deal with environmental justice issues. As an community activist and an environmental chemist she shows people how to make corporate and federal bodies accountable. There is a reason she won the MacArthur Award, and here she tells of possibly the largest environmental disaster in the history of the US. Why does she do it? She wants the world to be a better place for her grandchildren....

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