Platt Alumni Team Up For A Documentary To Increase Clean Water Awareness
December 3rd, 2015 | Natasha Englehardt
When Platt College Video Production Alumni, Justin Edelman, approached us about his latest film project we knew we wanted to be a part of it. Justin is a filmmaker who truly has a giving heart and wants his work to make a difference in the world. He launched his Indiegogo campaign for Trickle Effect a few weeks ago and we happily made a donation to support the cause. His campaign is now almost fully funded with a few days left to go and we are so excited to see this documentary come to life.
Justin has partnered with several Platt College alumni from across all our different areas of study from 3D Animation to Web Design and has also hired a current student through our internship program. When our students team up and work together for such a noble cause we know great things will happen as a result. We couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them and are happy to be a sponsor of this project to bring clean drinking water to third world countries.
To learn more about the Trickle Effect and the non-profit Be Water For Life we asked Justin some questions about the documentary and how he first got involved. If you would like to contribute anything to their project as well you can do so through his campaign on Indiegogo.
Natasha: When you first heard about Be Water For Life and what they were doing to make a difference in the world, what inspired you to get involved with their project?
Justin: It was a bit of an evolution. I met Rudy Schaffer the founder of Be Water for Life at one of his fund raising dinners. I loved his passion for what he is doing plus what I learned at his event was mind blowing. I couldn’t believe that a child dies every 20 seconds from water borne illness especially in today’s world. Here was a situation where Rudy was educating maybe 50 people at a time and I saw this as an opportunity to help him get his message across to a wider audience.
The skills that we learn at Platt are incredibly powerful and useful especially for a non profit who generally can’t afford someone to do any media work. When I met Rudy I was still attending Platt College, I told him “Hey, I’m a broke student and can’t really help monetarily, but I would really love to help you create some new videos and content.”
The rest is kind of history, from there David Li and I helped him on a couple small projects, we even had Josie Gamper (another alumni) animate his graphics for his Indiegogo campaign which has now raised nearly $40,000 for water filters. Then one day in one of our conversations it just came up that it would be a good idea for me to come along on one of their missions to film and photograph. Which then evolved into “how can we reach as many people as possible”, “let’s do a documentary”.
Natasha: You will be filming this documentary to shed light on several important issues. What will you be covering in the film and what do you hope people will take away from your documentary at the end of it?
Justin: My feelings about documentaries are that they often shed light on a lot of negativity; my goal is to give people hope. Yes there are a lot of problems in the world, but many of them have solutions and people making a difference.
What I will be covering is how a non-profit from the United States is on the ground overseas doing everything they can to improve people’s lives. Dirty water has an answer. We will be highlighting some of the issues surrounding dirty drinking water, how it’s much more than just people getting sick. These poor countries where people are living off less than a dollar a day are faced with incredibly difficult choices to save their own lives and their children’s lives.
Natasha: What do you foresee your biggest challenge being while filming this type of documentary?
Justin: On a personal level, having a daughter, it’s going to be very hard for me to see children suffering. Innately, maybe it’s being a big brother, but I have a very strong protective instinct; seeing a child being hurt or abused may present itself as something hard for me not to get involved in. I have to keep the mindset that this documentary will be more help than me intervening.
Natasha: You’ve partnered with several Platt College students and alumni for this project already. Who are they and what will they be doing to help this noble cause?
Justin: David Li has been working with me for some time. He will be helping us sort out the footage when I get back and will be doing some of the editing. David is a very hard working editor and all around good guy and has become a part of our family.
Sean Hunsche is currently helping me with animating logos for our sponsors. He is an incredibly talented motion graphic artist and will be helping us with motion graphics in the final edit. He has done a few animations for causes in the past and this project will give him the avenue to help send a powerful message to the world.
Austin Faure, also a graduate is going to be helping with the edit and potentially some after effects work. He actually purchased a filter to go to a family overseas, and is one of the most all around talented artist I know.
Stacy Davis will be working on the website for the documentary. When she heard about what we were doing without skipping a beat she volunteered her talents to helping us build a website.
Dave Downes is the project cheerleader haha just kidding. Dave has been a major advocate for the work that we have done in the past and has worked with me on other non profit projects, he doesn’t have a roll just yet but I know he will end up working with us.
We also have a current student interning with us, Talon Jordan, he helped me film my Indiegogo video and been there since the launch of this project. I am very excited for him because while he is in school he gets to be a part of something very big.
Platt College truly is a great school. The curriculum really builds a well-rounded Media Artist that can thrive in today’s evolving digital world. Even more, they care about what their Alumni are doing and support it. I am very happy to say that Platt College is a sponsor of this documentary.
Natasha: This is also your second time raising funds for a project using crowdfunding, what was the most helpful thing you learned your first time that has helped a lot this time?
Justin: You really have to treat it like a political campaign. You have to plant seeds before you launch the project, getting people aware of what you are doing. Then when you launch you have to set up audiences that you can reach out to in phases. You start with your friends and family, and then work within your network of people and finally you reach out to people outside your network. Persistence, passion, positivity, these are all words that must be at the back of your mind.
Natasha: What type of impact are you hoping to make once the documentary is complete?
Justin: Our goal is to end water-borne illness in these third world countries. If we can drink clean drinking water why cant they? Its not like we are sitting on some cash of clean water that no one else has in the world, we treat our water. The United States isn’t immune to pathogens in the water, we go to great lengths to clean and treat our water. It is a ripple effect (or trickle effect as I coined it), solve dirty water issues and that will alleviate conditions that put people in extremely difficult and tragic situations.
Learn more about how you can help these talented alumni with their project on Indiegogo.