by Mike Sosebee
Timothy Scott Bennett once wrote, “What does a privileged white guy do when he wakes up? Make a movie, what else.” He was being facetious of course but there’s a flinty ring of truth his comment. After two years of research, field work, thousands of miles on state highways and countless hours of edits and re-edits, Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time is finally done. My carbon footprint for this film is huge.
You’d think I’d have a lot to say about the film but, strangely enough, I’ve got nothing new to say. I’ve looked at the film and its messages until my eyes have rolled into the back of my head. If it would have been up to me, the film would have been a six-hour epic that would make a classical Russian film appear fast-paced. Fortunately I used another editor, Chris Chen, who wasn’t sensitive to the people or issues and together we narrowed it down to 1 hour, 30 minutes, 23 seconds, and 8 frames. One of the decisions we made after the first two-hour public screening in November was this film is primarily about Guy McPherson and his messages and we needed to move the emphasis in that direction.
So a lot of “heads hit the editing room floor” as they say in the biz. (Ouch!) I had to argue for every frame and most of the time I lost the argument.
In November 2012 Ben Evans of Your Environmental Road Trip shot Guy at the Bluegrass Bioneers conference on an i-Pad. His steadiness with a hand-held device is something to see (Big Thanks!). I had filmed Guy delivering a similar presentation in Oceanside, California six months earlier and most of it appeared flat, which was understandable considering it was the first time Guy had delivered that speech and he mostly read from the podium. By the time he gave the speech at the Bioneers he had given the speech dozens of times and he knew his material. Guy delivered his apocalyptic message with aplomb (/əˈpläm/) and humor.
One of the themes of the film is Joseph Tainter’s “Collapse of Complex Societies” and lately for me it’s been very real. For the past week I’ve been doing left-brain activity compressing and formatting a 72-GB digital film for DVD and Blu-Ray. The programming and technical complexities are mind boggling. My computer’s crashed half a dozen times. I’m crossing my fingers that it will survive the ordeal. But yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Roots Community Garden and I harvested some winter lettuce and prepared for spring planting. It felt good to be outside mixing with gardeners.
The Premiere is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, 4 May 2013 in Tucson, Arizona. There’s an event page on Facebook, and details are posted below and beneath the “Coming Events” tab at Nature Bats Last. Please spread the word. I hope to see a lot of “Doomers” there. Cheers!
The premiere showing of Mike Sosebee’s film, Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time, is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday, 4 May 2013 at the Gallagher Theater in the University of Arizona’s Memorial Student Union, 1303 East University Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona. A question-and-answer period will follow the film.
McPherson’s monthly essay for Transition Voice was published 25 March 2013. It’s here.