Posted by: Katie | October 4, 2012

As Goes Janesville

As Goes Janesville


From the website: “A documentary by 371 Productions, As Goes Janesville catapults viewers to the front lines of America’s debate over the future of our middle class – a debate that has become a pitched battle over unions in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin.”

Colin shares his experiences with us with this film and the importance of the As Goes Janesville project. As you read, you will see a list of all the recent publicity the film has received – it is even in the Milwaukee Film Festival! Congrats to Colin and all others that have put their effort into the film.

1. How did you decide to get into film production? Was there an initial moment that sparked your interest?

I started getting into film/video when I was about thirteen. Spending most of my free time on a skateboard and at the local skatepark, I knew I wanted to somehow capture those moments and share them. I remember the first time I picked up a camera. It was a low mega pixel consumer camera that my parents bought. After some convincing, they let me film my friends and I jumping around on our boards. Some of those videos still exist. I didn’t know my love for “capturing the moment” would eventually turn into a career goal.

2. Could you explain about the project As Goes Janesville?

First General Motors shuts down their century-old plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. Then, the state blows up in political turmoil over the future of unions. We follow workers and town leaders trying to reinvent their lives and town amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and a political crisis that grips their community and the entire nation.

I started working on As Goes Janesville about a year and half ago. I started work pretty much the same time as Gov. Walker took office. Doing mostly field sound recording and archival research, I found myself entranced at the division of our state. Many people have eschewed because they believe it is based on the “Divide and Conquer” statement we captured Gov. Scott Walker saying to his largest Wisconsin campaign donor, Diane Hendricks. The film is about how a community reinvents itself and how the left and the right need to come together to solve problems. The film is a learning tool for communities and those who have contrasting ideologies on how to move forward.

3.What is the Spark! project?

Spark! is a program offered at museums across Wisconsin and Minnesota for those with memory loss and their caregivers. This short documentary shares the stories of Spark! participants through the eyes of those with memory loss, caregivers, and the curators. In this doc, we identify the problems of those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Parkinson’s disease and see how the Spark! program enriches their lives through art and engaging experiences. It’s truly an amazing program that has changed my approach on engaging with those with memory loss. The video will be out soon!

4. What challenges arise while working and how do you handle them?

Finding time to do everything you want is a challenge. I end up working a lot and not exercising as much as I should. I try to keep a steady balance of work and exercise to keep healthy, but I let work dominate my schedule.

5. What is your favorite aspect of your work?

My favorite part of work is definitely seeing a product that somehow has made an impact or has inspired someone else to take action. A piece that motivates people in a positive fashion is really exciting. Simple as that.

6. Who are your favorite directors?

I would have to say one of my favorite film directors is Alfonso Cuaron. I’m a huge fan of his really long complicated takes. Children of Men is one of my favorite films. Besides that, I really respect Milwaukee’s film community and it’s experimental techniques of telling stories. Brad Lichtenstein, Arthur Ircink, Nicole Docta, Frankie Latina, and so many more make up a community that has a unique approach to filmmaking. It makes Milwaukee a very pleasant place to live. I’ve certainly seen quite a few young people around Milwaukee that will most likely big doing big things in the future.

7. Which do you like best: the editing or the filming?

That’s pretty hard. I’ve often found myself playing both roles and enjoying both of them. If I had to choose between one or the other, I would say editing. Editing is essentially the construction of poetry. Even though I hate being cooped up in a room for hours on end, it is very satisfying when you finally whittle a scene down to the point where it lassos the viewer’s attention.

8.What is the best advice you’ve been given that relates to your career?

Persistence. It’s something I truly believe in. Things aren’t born. They’re made. Never stop trying. Opportunity is around the corner. If not this corner, then the next, but most likely you’ll see quite a few blocks before you see opportunity. Remember though, it’s there. I guess that could apply to any career.

9. Do you have any tips for those wanting to pursue a career in film?

If your interested in film ask yourself if you love it. If you don’t it’s really not for you.

10. Could you list some of the recent publicity As Goes Janesville has gotten?

PBS’ Independent Lens Series Oct 8th, 2012 10PM ET

Official SelectionMilwaukee Film Festival 2012

Official Selection Chicago International Film Festival

Best Documentary Columbia Gorge Film Festival

Best Documentary Columbia Oregon Independent Film Festival

Official Selection Albuquerque Film Festival

Official Selection Kansas International Film Festival

Official Selection Indie Gathering Film Festival

Official Selection Stranger than Fiction

Community Cinema 115 different locations throughout the United States

11. How can readers help spread the word about As Goes Janesville to help the promotion of the project?

Check out the schedule on for a screening near you! If not, we are working on a DVD kit you can purchase for smaller screenings or even home screenings.

12. What are you hoping for in terms of the future of the As Goes Janesville project and film?

I’m hoping the film has a large impact on uniting the still polarized nation we all live in. By bringing people together the film has the power to strengthen the core of our society to make the necessary changes to dilute recession.

Independent Lens | As Goes Janesville | Trailer | PBS from Independent Lens on Vimeo.


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