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crested butte

Story & Heart has launched!

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Story & Heart has launched!

Two months ago I stumbled onto Story & Heart on Twitter. It was marketed (very quietly) as a story-driven stock footage site. As a filmmaker and journalist, who is constantly documenting life, I was thrilled. The idea that I could potentially make money off of work that may never see the light of day was intriguing.  I quickly applied and was accepted. Yesterday, Story & Heart went live. Now anyone can license my footage for their project.

I'm excited to see how S&H grows, but mostly I am thankful for the people behind it who have been so personal and generous during the process of building this filmmaking community. Holding weekly online meet-ups and putting together beautifully crafted and informational PDFs with guest filmmakers are just some of the reasons I feel lucky to be part of this community. The first time I received a phone call from S&H, I was shocked. Wait...they actually care about how I am progressing with creating my profile and uploading stories? It was pretty awesome to have such personal connection in a world full of generic contact forms and unanswered emails.

Also, now as a member of S&H I think about how to spend my downtime a little differently. Why waste time in front of my computer when there is a great, big world out there just full of stories waiting to be captured? The biggest drawback for me is talent releases. I have shot well over 15 TB of great footage that would be fantastic on the platform but because this is a licensing platform, I must have releases for all individuals who appear in the footage. For most of my footage, this is nearly impossible. So far, I have only uploaded five stories so far but plan to kick it in high-gear over the next few months!

Thanks Story & Heart for being so cool.

Also, check out my niece (with sparklers) in S&H's launch video: [vimeo 103090147 w=759 h=427]

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New Short Film and Photos: The Marijuana Divide

 I traveled to Gunnison County, Colo., to make this video about two towns that had taken different paths since medicinal marijuana was legalized in 2000 and recreational marijuana sales began this year. One, Crested Butte, has embraced the sale of retail and medicinal marijuana; the other, Gunnison, has so far rejected it. (While anyone in the state over 21 is free to use the drug on private property, it’s up to local governments to decide whether it can be sold.)

I spoke with a wide cross section of people – including politicians, educators, store owners, police officers and two guys who hope to strike it rich in the legal marijuana trade. Yet I found it surprisingly challenging to find someone to speak for the oppositional side. Many told me this was because marijuana was not a new recreational drug to the state; Colorado and weed have a long history, they said. Others said, “It’s just not that big of a deal.” I called an individual who was deep-rooted in the ranching community who said that finding ranchers to talk about it would be nearly impossible. They were “not in favor” of the new laws but weren’t comfortable talking about this to journalists.

Yet I did find a sense of caution: concerns about access for youth, proper labeling and fair taxation. And one thing everybody agrees on is that this new legislation is a huge experiment.

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