United Way: “Much Love”

Seven metro Detroit high schools with excessive dropout rates were named as partners in the Detroit School Turnaround initiative managed by United Way for Southeastern Michigan and funded by a five-year $27.1 million grant from the General Motors Foundation. The following short documentary tells the personal stories of two young men who are pushing forward against all odds.


Full length:

Client: United Way
Shot, edited, directed: DETROIT LIVES!
Project Management: Final Five Productions

The Calm Before the (Fun)Storm

We are sitting in Lodz now, doing the mostly non-glamorous work of getting the Polish subtitles ready for the Lodz premiere of the film tomorrow. Once we screen in Lodz, the flood gates fall, and we will be on a five day run that will end us in Amsterdam on Sunday. From there will pick up the pace through the Netherlands and end the screening tour in Paris. There’s a lot of excitement going around! We are pumped to be showing the film to European audiences and look forward to seeing what the reception will be across the pond.

More (short) updates to come from the road. In the meantime, a few things to keep you busy:

1. There’s a particularly enthralling dispatch that just came via the Freep from Roy Roberts, the Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager. The overall message as it relates to steps being taken to fix issues in the school system, Mr. Roberts comments: “If we aren’t bold in what we’re doing, we’re going to fail.” Refreshing I must say. Really though, read the full article.

2. Check out our latest additions to the Speakers Bureau– the videos we are developing for the Detroit Creative Corridor Center in an effort to tell their story in Detroit– by clicking here. The list of people we have profiled is growing!

3. We were on an airplane, so we didn’t get to see it in the flesh for the original airing, but the new Chrysler commercial is a pleasant addendum to the earth-shattering original (I mean, come on, an entire year’s worth of branding, marketing and commerce was practically based on this commercial). I sort of like that the scope was broadened in that it’s still a focus on Detroit, but using Detroit’s position as a larger narrative about the country.

Vote for RECYCLE HERE! in Pepsi Refresh Everything Grant Contest

The city of Detroit is one of the only cities of its size in the country to not have a public recycling program. Thats where Recycle Here! comes in. You’ve probably seen the happy little bumble bee (designed by Carl Oxley who did the Welcome to Woodbridge mural among others) around town that they yse for their logo. So, here’s the deal. They are currently in the run for a 250k grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Campaign– basically, Pepsi is giving away $1.3 million PER MONTH to fund great ideas. It’s a pretty neat program to be honest. The Recycle Here! folks are trying to get recycling in to all Detroit Public Schools to reach about 90,000 kids. They currently reach about 30,000 and just simply do not have the resources to extend their reach that far. What’s great about Recycle Here!’s program is that it starts with education, teaching students what it means to recycle, what you are doing for the environment and how it helps Detroit. It’s not just showing them the green bin in the cafeteria where they can put their pop bottle. Recycle Here! needs your votes. They are currently ranked 113th and climbing where the top two vote receivers on August 31 get the money. So get clicking below, and you are able to do it once every day, so keep coming back!