Why Read This?
It’s a question worth asking. Why visit this website? Why go to our Facebook page? What’s the point? I want to answer that, but first everyone involved with Grassroots wants to announce that the movie will be coming to theatres in February, 2012. There will be sneak previews across the country starting next week in New England and continuing up thru Christmas. Oh, and yes…the film is finished – nearly. We’ll be screening it and listening carefully to the people who see it over the next two months, then we’ll make some final adjustments before the February release.
So why read this? Why follow this strange journey of making and releasing an independent film in the US from 2010 (when we started shooting) through 2012? What’s the point?
In the back of my mind I’ve had thoughts flickering even before we started shooting. First, I had a feeling there might be a narrative here as big as the movie, maybe bigger – a narrative that could unfold on YouTube, on our website, Facebook, on your mobile devices and computers across the country, actually across the globe (we have fans from everywhere now), even as some of you might have feared the film might never see the light of day.
But Grassroots is going to see the light of day, or rather the dark of many movie theaters. And, frankly, my suspicion now is that it’s going to see a lot more than that.
Why? Because the real story of Grassroots is about the messy process of getting something done. It almost doesn’t matter what. Of course, unlike most other projects, filmmaking and politics are fun and “sexy”, but they’re also a lot of hard work, and occasionally cause trouble, confusion, even panic…
Hopefully all the videos on our website make this clear as well as (hopefully) making clear the creative and fun parts too. And there will be new videos that will start appearing about music, post production, distribution. We’ll also re-arrange some of the older videos to help make this wacky and fragile story of filmmaking clearer.
But, again, why follow this story (over a milliard other stories)? Here’s the answer:
Phil Campbell, played by Jason Biggs and Grant Cogswell, played by Joel David Moore, are real people who got involved with something – ie: politics. They’d never done it before. They didn’t have a clue what they were stepping into and Grassroots is their story – funny, wacky, inspiring, lost, confused, found.
They did something – they ran for office. Then we did something. We made this movie about “democracy with smile” — a phrase we just coined this past week.
We could use some smiles around our political process right now, couldn’t we? And we’ll need a whole lot more smiles come next February when the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primaries hit, and then all the primaries and general election come at us.
And that’s when Grassroots will be out in the world full swing.
But the point is that Grant and Phil jumped into the process with just about nothing. Those of us who made Grassroots did pretty much the same – no money, no distribution and no cast for quite awhile (revisit the videos, revisit the journey). But isn’t that how many of the best things start? From nothing, with a good dose of fear and trembling, counterbalanced by unbridled passion.
Deep in our hearts we all know that we can do anything if we set our minds to it. Make a major motion picture or a small movie, build a chair, clean a house, wash a car or…
RUN FOR OFFICE
That’s what we’ve come to realize is Grassroots’ real story.
Run for office like Grant did; wonderful, crazy, unqualified Grant Cogswell.
RUN FOR OFFICE .
NOT SOME RICH DUDE WITH A TIE.
YOU, the “little” guy/gal whose been following our story. RUN FOR LOCAL OFFICE. WE’LL HELP YOU, even if you have no money right now and no hope. Watch our movie, then jump into the game. Maybe you’ll win, maybe you’ll lose. The point is — jump in.
RUN FOR POLITICAL OFFICE THIS 2012 ELECTION
One thing we can guarantee — it will change your life. It will change the lives of those around you. And it just might start to change the country. And then the point gets even clearer — the point of Grassroots the movie, Grassroots the website, Facebook etcetera. The point is to ignite that narrative of GETTING SOMETHING DONE (even if it’s sloppy, silly, seemingly stupid – which is how it often felt while making this movie, how it often felt for Grant and Phil.)
But as Woody Allen said, “Just show up.” And that’s what we’re asking you to do. SHOW UP. The real you. The best you.
Show up for the country by running in your district, and don’t forget to also show up to the movie. (If you want to see Grassroots on a big screen near you, then write us – our website is about to be revamped to make this easy. If you can pull enough people together, we’ll do a sneak preview in your neck of the woods.)
And we’ll do even more than that.
We’re teaming up with some of the top political groups in the country to help people find all the support they need to run, and hopefully get elected. Now I’m definitely a lefty, but one of our producers, Michael Huffington is a former Republican Congressman, so it’s not about a political agenda, but about getting involved right, left and center.
And that’s the reason to keep staying tuned to what it is we’re doing here – Grassroots – it’s not just a word; it’s not just a movie. In fact we will need you to define exactly what grassroots is at this moment in our history.
Now everyone would agree that things in this country aren’t looking great. We can blame it on the corporations. We can blame it on the rich, the poor, our leaders, the “illegal” immigrants. We can blame it on Global Warming or fate or… we can look in the mirror.
That’s what we’ve been trying to do as we’ve made this movie. And we’ve tried to share what we’ve seen with you.
So join us. Join yourselves. We can guarantee that we’ll all be in for one hell of a ride.
– Stephen Gyllenhaal