Sunday, November 20, 2011

SEIU 500

Back in February I hustled down to DC to conduct a handful of interviews for the ‘Junct documentary.  During the course of that weekend DLS was asked by AL of SEIU 500 CAL to be the keynote speaker for their 3rd annual forum in DC.  That was this weekend.  I find it amazing how quick these things have been sneaking up on us.
Roughly two weeks ago I get the email from my partner reminding me of the event and how her wish was to incorporate more clips from the doc into her keynote speech.  Initially she had wanted to speak for 20, screen for 20 and for the last 20 field questions.  Over the course of the two weeks it morphed into a speak, clip, speak, clip format.  Which was far more manageable for me since the bulk of footage I have is comprised of interviews and not much in the way of fancy B-roll. Twenty minutes of solid interviews would have been a snooze fest, despite the fact that the audience is very much invested in the subject.  I’m glad the twenty minute block was scrapped early on.
I got the clips pulled after work on Wed/Thurs night of this past week, rendering out a couple thumbnails for DLS to preview to see where we could trim the fat.  We had roughly 25 segments that she wanted to address during her speech but got it down to 15 after weeding a few out and combining others.  The runtime however clocked in at 30 minutes and it was midnight on Thursday, we had to lock it down.  I set it to render and right before the day job I built the DVD menu.  I hit the burn button and left for work, hoping the DVD would be done and playable by the time I got in that night.  Otherwise I knew I’d have my laptop set up in the backseat of my truck on my commute to DC.
Luckily it worked.  I quickly gathered my crap and took off for Philly to pick up DLS before trekking down to DC.  We managed to get turned around a couple times before finally finding the hotel at 10pm.
“Look kids...white circle...”
Morning came too soon.  I’m impressed with the fact that I managed to brush my teeth and hair.  I looked *almost* human as I schlepped my gear into the SEIU building at 10am.  We managed to find some seating in the back of the conference room, but not together.  We had a professor, in his forties, wedged between us.  He teaches economics, at I think AU.  His day job is working for the big bad government.  This shouldn’t have surprised me considering we were in DC, but it was still pretty cool reading his business card and seeing the embossed ‘The Library of Congress’ emblem on it.  I tweet and FB status this revelation, which only solidifies what a nerd I am.
The panels were interesting.  One woman was talking a little about her archeology work in Pompeii (no pictures unfortunately) and how one college capped the amount of classes contingent can take on during a typical semester.  Because of it she was having difficulty affording the month long digs in Italy.
Another talked about the inroads she was making expanding the LGBT studies at one of the local colleges.  She did this really cool spoken word piece comparing contingent faculty to sex workers.  I’m hoping to get a copy of that speech or better, video of her performing that piece.  This chick is seriously bad ass.  Hopefully she won’t kick my ass for posting her picture ‘Wonder woman with a hard on’ and linking to her site.
Photo of Loraine Hutchins taken by Sharon Farmer
By the time we got to the keynote speech the forum was running roughly an hour behind.  It really wasn’t a big deal in my opinion and I think it’s all too common at these things to linger behind.  DLS adapted her speech a bit after listening to the other panels and we ended up running through 5-6 segments instead of the full 15.  We were pretty sure people were starving by this point, so we wrapped as quick as we could to avoid the pitchforks and torches!
We grabbed food and wrapped up round table style with about 12 people, discussing the movement and how to raise awareness.  It was interesting listening to their different analogies and discussing strategies.  In that informal little gathering it didn’t really matter if you were part of the union or some other organization.  In fact they let it slide that I wasn’t an educator.  Now that’s pretty cool...
Next up DC at the end of Jan.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SEIU forum THIS weekend in Washington DC

I know I promised a blog on my lost weekend, but after about two paragraphs it fizzled out.  It might be something best saved for another time or perhaps not for the masses.  I guess it all boils down to inspiration.
Anyway, we will be down in DC this weekend promoting ‘Junct.  My partner DLS is the keynote speaker for this years SEIU500 forum.  She will be touching on a number of subjects that will be covered in the documentary along with the current political climate and the OWS movement.  She will also be fielding questions afterwards.
Information on this years SEIU forum can found here and I believe it is free and open to the public.  You don’t need to be an educator to attend the conference.