Friday, June 29, 2007

Journo casualties

Last week I was fortunate to be able to catch a preview screening of the film "A Mighty Heart." It's important to remember and honor all the men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives, but there have been many journalists killed "over there," too.

Daniel Pearl was the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in early 2002.
There are conflicting reports of how many journalists have been kidnapped, killed and injured in the world since 9/11.
As a journalist who once dreamed of covering the world it's awful scary to think of my colleagues in danger.

Here's a link to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which runs education programs for young journalists, fellowships, reporting workshops and writing projects in the Middle East and United States.

Daniel Pearl Foundation

Thursday, June 28, 2007

In the media this week

Empty Streets was mentioned on the Hawaii Film and Video Magazine Blog.

Thanks for the support everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Production Timeline

Author: Paul Booth (co-writer, co-producer, director)

Empty Streets was written in July of 2006 as a project to explore the loneliness and pain a friend of mine experienced after his time in the military. This film was made because of friendship, not politics.

The actual plot of the story reveals other social issues and presents human issues we all face. I'm not politicizing any aspect of Empty Streets and nor is the cast or crew. I wanted to tell a story about something I observed about my friend after not seeing him for 2 years. He'd changed for the worse and I didn't know why and he wasn't allowed to tell me why. It was painful.

The film was prepared from August 2006 to February 2007 and we shot the film for two weeks in February. After we shot the film, the treatment of veterans became a hot topic. The Walter Reed story broke and suddenly artists across the country began talking about it more and more.

It breaks our heart the amount of death that goes on each day in any war. This is about every veteran who ever felt lonely, from the Revolutionary War until now.

We dedicate this film to the spirits of those lost. And as humanitarians we tell our story with peace and love in our hearts. We see the human race as one.

At the end of the day we want our veterans treated better when they come home. We hope this film gets people thinking about an ignored issue. We put politics aside to make this movie and create this blog, and hope viewers can do the same. Thanks for your time.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oliver Stone PSA

Author: Paul Booth.
Please take the time to visit the VideoVets project operated by MoveOn. Check out the PSA that Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone recently directed. It's about time that Stone gets into the arena of film and the war in Iraq. He's a big hero of mine and his films were a beacon of light and inspiration for myself and Ely as we developed the story and wrote the first 10 drafts of the script. Born on the 4th of July, JFK and Natural Born Killers were films that constantly helped us. I'm glad Oliver Stone is back into message films.

I respect all of his work and love that he didn't politicize World Trade Center … but to any Stone fan we all know that U-Turn, Talk Radio and Alexander were not what his real talent is. If you haven't seen Stone's films, check them out asap.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hawaii's Reel Stories, June 15–21

Updated June 21. Thanks to those who watched "Hawaii's Reel Stories" on Oceanic Time Warner Cable! The show featured EMPTY STREETS, with on-set interviews and two clips.

Friday, June 15 — 2:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 16 — Noon, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 17 — 12:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 11:30 p.m.
Monday, June 18 — 5:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 19 — 10 p.m.
Wednesday, June 20 — 4 a.m. / 4 p.m.
Thursday, June 21 — 9:30 a.m.

Hawaii's Reel Stories logo

Monday, June 4, 2007

Music of Empty Streets

We're very honored to announce the involvement of two Blues musicians who have generously given us music. Both are rooted in the soul, fire, spirit and passion that is the Blues. First off we have Jimbo Mathus, who has arranged and produced albums, and toured with the likes of Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, not to mention the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Jimbo is a generous man, humble with his time and always willing to share with us as an artist. We're very excited to have him on board.

Jimbo Mathus

Image courtesy

Next is a Bluesman from the old school named Charlie Musselwhite. He played in clubs with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield and has shared the stage with Etta James, BB King, James Cotton and Elvin Bishop. He's a kind, gentle soul that flat-out wails on the harp. The special treat is that Mr. Musselwhite gave us use of a song titled "Blues for John Lee." On this track Musselwhite plays acoustic guitar and it was a song he composed for his late friend John Lee Hooker.

Check out these two Web sites so you can experience these guys' music and see them live.

Charlie Musselwhite
Jimbo Mathus

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Thoughts from a Mom

Note: This entry is written by Desiree Duclayan Parsonson. She stars in EMPTY STREETS, but more importantly, she's a MOM.

I am patiently awaiting the completion of an important film I was happy to be a part of... "Empty Streets." I'm excited and looking forward to seeing and hearing the many reactions about the movie from people.

As a parent, the war in Iraq has been heavy on my mind and the thought of drafting young men and women who may or may not want to go. Having 2 boys at an age eligible for war is a scary thing for me.

photo of desiree

I have seen and heard many heroic stories and also seen and heard many tragic and sad stories at the same time. I don't know if I could live with myself knowing my child had been killed in this crazy war with Iraq. I would like to see my genes carried on, I would like to be a grandmother someday and I would like to see my boys live a full life meant to be.

I don't believe war should be the way to settle things, I believe there is a more peaceful way of doing things but that it would mean being unselfish and willing to give and share. I really feel that people need to realize that we all live on the earth and although we may have different hair color, eye color or skin color; the same color of blood runs through our veins, therefore we should be more focused on taking care of each other rather than trying to take from each other.

Friday, June 1, 2007

documentary about veterans

Veterans tell real stories of their lives in the military, starting with recruitment, and following through training combat and what happens when they return home. The 2006 documentary "The Ground Truth" is by no means a watered-down evening news version of "what's going on over there." Ideas and images presented in this film will shake anyone up emotionally.

Patricia Foulkrod, a television and industrial film producer, directed and produced. She's recorded the stories of a dozen veterans and some of their spouses from all branches of the military.

These men and women have amazing courage and conviction to speak out against the war and the treatment of veterans, in their hopes to help change the future. We salute you, admire you and hope someday we can meet you.

The Ground Truth