I am working on a documentary about the Hill District and its difficult past with urban development, gentrification, and more. At this point, I can finally start the production portion of the project. This scale of a project is something that I had not yet attempted, and with that comes more challenges in pre-production and logistics. I have found that I could theoretically research my subject matter forever, but I think now is a good time to really lean in to filming, interviews, and general coverage so that I have time to edit before the summer is over. I have spent the summer thus far identifying possible interview subjects, topics, sequence concepts, and broader film structure. I have also created a schedule that I am constantly updating and following to stay on track (see previous post for the original version). Now that all of the pre-planning is out of the way, I can actually make the film.
I have already scheduled two interviews for early July. One is with Carl Redwood Jr. He is a chairperson of the Hill District Consensus Group, which is a conglomeration of businesses and community organizations. HDCG’s goal is to create a common goal amongst all these groups. These goals center on the development of various locations in the Hill District and broader goals to help community members in need. Carl has been working as an organizer and activist since the 90’s. While researching interview candidates, Carl’s perspective on housing and predatory development from massive corporations stuck out as necessary to include in the film.
The second interview is with an artist that I met at the Hill District Arts festival. His name is Ray Butler (@amunray on Instagram), and he is a resident at the Hill Community Development Corporation’s new artists’ residence, Nafasi on Centre. I want to include his perspective in the film because he is a part of many initiatives led by the Hill CDC to stir up activities like the arts, in addition to larger projects like office park development in the Lower Hill. He is a resident of the Hill District and his art concerns questions of Black identity, LGBTQ rights, and mental health.
While I still have a lot of work to do in the production stage of the project, I feel confident that the planning I have done thus far will allow me to create a better film in the end.