Back in June of 2017, a representative of Jared Leto (yes, THE Jared Leto) reached out to us to be a part of a huge, complicated project. As my voice cracked in excitement, I made sure to do whatever it takes to close that deal. The ambitious project was titled, A Day in the Life of America, where I would spend my 4th of July capturing video of an individual’s life on camera on the most patriotic day of the year. There was one video production crew chosen per state plus Washington DC to piece together the story of America through these individual’s lives, and we were the Virginia video production crew!
July 4th, 2017, we arrive on the property of Howard Hankins in Croaker, VA, get out of the car, and walk around huge mounds of dirt, construction equipment, and a brick farm house, to finally reveal a set of 43 massive 20-foot-tall decaying presidential busts. It took me a few moments to process how massive these were, and how eerie it was that this hidden piece of American history came to exist on private, guarded land, not open to the public.
We spent the day capturing B-Roll of the giant busts, then met up with Howard and his wonderful family on their boat down at a Williamsburg Marina. I brought a mobile video production kit so we could spend the day out on the water doing whatever Howard wanted to do. I can’t get into too much detail, but our piece of this documentary will be approximately 1/51 of the film, as each state (plus DC) was tasked with capturing enough for 60 seconds of footage. Not a huge part, sure, but we couldn’t have been more excited for the opportunity!
Fast forward to today, when we find out that the film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival! It’s every filmmaker’s dream to make it into one of the ‘Big 5’ festivals, and I honestly never expected to ever come close (as we don’t tend to work on films or documentaries much). But here we are! Cannot WAIT to see this!