If we want to have a civil, informed public dialogue about meeting our energy needs, we need more journalism like this.
- Joe Osborne, Legal Director, Group Against Smog and Pollution
Gas Rush Stories - Perspectives on Shale Gas Drilling
I am an independent filmmaker and experienced journalist (www.kirsijansa.com) on a mission to tell stories that matter.
In the spring of 2011 I assigned myself to act as a messenger, an agent for democracy, on a topic that has huge and diverse impacts on the life on our planet – shale gas drilling. I started going around the Marcellus shale region (known as one of the world's largest shale gas deposits) to document how rapidly expanding shale gas drilling is impacting people's lives.
By the early part of this year I have produced 14 Gas Rush Stories episodes, all available online for free (www.gasrushstories.com).
I produced these stories first on my own and then with a grant from The Heinz Endowments and a successful Kickstarter campaign.
My journey has only strengthened my dedication to serve democracy and people's right to know. As an independent filmmaker and journalist I can tell stories without being restricted by the financial interests of the media I work for.
I am now looking for citizen funders to help me continue to tell these stories, and to bring these stories to people.
Help the messenger to bring the message
I need $10,000 to be able to produce new Gas Rush Stories episodes.
This is what I would like to do with your donations:
GRS 15: The Shale Game Winners and Losers
This story follows the money in one selected community: Who benefits from drilling and from the impact fee? What are the negative impacts of this industry, and who pays for them?
GRS 16: Messengers
This is a story about openness and transparency and people's right to know. What kind of challenges do journalists face when working on an issue like this? This is a story about democracy and its challenges.
The topics are still subject to change depending on how the shale gas drilling situation evolves and what new comes up.
In addition to this, I will continue organizing Gas Rush Stories screenings and panel discussions in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The original and still very valid goal of Gas Rush Stories is to increase awareness of the various impacts of shale gas drilling and to promote constructive conversation about this highly polarized issue.
This is where the money would go:
$2,000 for research
$1,500 for the filming
$3,000 for the editing
$2,000 for production and additional expenses (music, media law attorney, media management, transcription etc.)
$1,500 for the promotion of the series (marketing, promotion, screening costs, travel expenses etc.)
Funding that exceeds my goal of $10,000 will be used for new stories.
Donations are tax-deductible thanks to my fiscal sponsor Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
If I don't reach my full goal, with
$3000 I will market and promote existing Gas Rush Stories episodes in various ways: organize screenings and panel discussions and edit new versions of Gas Rush Stories for various purposes (film festival versions, “GRS packages” for educational use).
$5000 I will produce one GRS episode and continue promoting the series.
$8000 I will produce couple character based GRS episodes that require less research than the stories in my original plan.
Local perspective to global issue
Shale gas drilling is spreading around the world. Various states and countries that are just starting to develop their own shale gas industry are now looking at Pennsylvania to learn from the successes and the mistakes made in Pennsylvania.
Gas Rush Stories has already given a voice to various people who have been ignored by the main media. Gas Rush Stories also allows people to see a broader and more humane picture of the diverse impacts of shale gas drilling than what the main media typically presents.
As a person interviewed in GRS 1 says: “The more we know, the more likely it is that good decicision will be made.”
Please help me carry this important message to the world. Donations of all sizes are welcomed.
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you cannot support me financially at the moment, I still need you, you can still help me and my project:
Please spread the word of Gas Rush Stories, pass the word of my project and Gas Rush Stories to your people. Sharing is easy by using Indiegogo share tools.