On the Media and Community Gardens
- Subject: [cg] On the Media and Community Gardens
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 22:47:44 EST
Like many Americans, you mention the world, "film, TV, documentary, media,"
everyone decides that it's wonderful to let the folks in so we can all get our
Andy Warhol, " ten minutes of fame." If you get story control, and can shape
the story, and get the right to do so, up front, it works, but if they're
making the money, and you don't get a film credit, copy of the documentary to show
your own funders and no up-front agreement to include a credit or
acknowledgment of the volunteer organizations they're filming, then you get screwed.
I don't like to see community gardeners get screwed, or have their time
All of this has really happened in gardens I've been involved with over the
It ain't nice when the "nice," film crew wants to...
1) Shoot a TV commercial using your garden as the back drop for a chemical
fertilizer that you wouldn't use, and didn't tell you about it because they
"thought it was OK, it's a garden isn't it?"
2) Have decided to use your garden for an alfresco sex flick and "forget" to
tell you at the last moment. And want you to open up your garden at night t
3) Feel they have the right to trash your garden with heavy cables and weight
bearing tripods. "It will grow back, won't it?"
4) Shoot their film and never send you a complimentary video copy for your
5) Send in an arrogant NYC Film School crew that lights up dope ( against
your garden rules) because they "need to get loose," and feel they can pee on
your roses because "it won't hurt anything."
6) Schedule a shoot during the work week, for which community gardeners take
off of work to show up for, and the production company says, about a week
later, if ever, that "the client decided to shoot somewhere else - thanks for
being there, but we couldn't help it."
And in all honesty, if I ever see a Japanese film crew wanting to shoot in a
NYC community garden who promises to send a copy of the finished video to the
filmed garden and doesn't leave jack except a few pieces of origami, a
business card and trampled on flowers - it will be too soon.
As they say, you can't make this manure up.
Now gardens that I've been involved with have had lots of garden
documentaries, PBS filming, and I and other gardeners given countless press interviews
and tours to greening folks - and it can be very positive.
" PBS Wild Kingdom" was really classy, as was "A Lot in Common,". "Grace
from the Garden," was a really good book, with a contract from Rodale, and a
number of scholarly and non-scholarly documentarians have been both sincere, and
respectful of gardeners and gardeners's time.
But there are lots of hustlers out there who waste volunteer community
gardeners's time. And you disappoint your volunteers a few times, and you end up
with fewer volunteers.
So I think good think to do, I think, is to ask professional documentarians
who ain't community gardeners up front to join the American Community
Gardening Association for the lousy $25 it will cost them, and at the very least let
us know who the heck they are.
I mean, it is the right thing to do. Media is a business, and like any
business they should be asked to ante up and identify themselves for any other
segment of our society that they respected, at all.
And between you and me, $25 - the price of a few pizzas and beers on a
volunteer day isn't too much to ask of any business person or any garden that wants
to use the priceless resources of the American Community Gardening
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