AWEA 2008 in Houston, TX/Busy Week

June 3, 2008

AWEA 2008 Conference Logo

So here I am in Houston, TX. Where it is hotter than the rest of the state, thanks to all the pavement, humidity, cars, etc, getting ready to go to the dinner where our wind film will be played. I spent a good portion of the morning making the drive from Houston to Austin with others from my work, and then spent another few hours making sure the screen was setup right. After I finished with that, someone snuck me a pass to the convention, and off I went.

When I walked in, I was greeted by nothing but booths adorned in wind energy paraphernalia. Large wind blades twirling near the top of the ceiling, large nacelles for people to walk in and look through. First, I visited the company we made the film for, Frontier Wind, to say hi to some of the people I had the good fortune of meeting during my travels for the movie. Then after a bit, I went around the conference (with a folder of blank releases) looking for people to chat up for my project.

I didn’t want to bother anyone that looked really busy with business, as there was a lot of that going on. I was told over the course of one year, the number of registrants went from the hundreds to the thousands. In fact, the dinner tonight had around 400 people last year, and 1100 people this year! So, I talked to and filmed about four people, two whom were human resources and were looking to find people to hire. I don’t really know if any of it will fit in to the short, but over the course of researching green collar jobs, I’ve found that this thing is so much larger than I could have imagined. You have activists like Van Jones in Oakland (whom I almost flew out to interview) fighting to make sure African Americans get a piece of the new Green Collar Jobs Workforce and help to improve their lives. You have the Apollo Alliance in San Francisco (who I almost went out to film too) fighting to make sure that this Green Economy/Jobs rhetoric becomes a reality and isn’t just political jargon. Then you have lobbyists (the good kind) in Washington, fighting to make sure that alternative energy tax credits/rebates are renewed, and hopefully more than what the current rate is now.

Side Note: I didn’t mean to write so much in this post, I’d been meaning to write a few post in between this and the last (first) post, but have just been so busy.

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First Post

May 19, 2008

First Post

I’ve been meaning to post for the past few days, but have been caught up in friends graduations, trips, work, etc. Now that I’m writing my first post, I’d just like to take time out to say Thank You to WGBH and those who voted for the opportunity to produce my pitch. I was thinking maybe I should explain how I came upon the topic I did.

When I first read about the contest, I had a few ideas rushing through my head. I’ve been reading Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army and had felt real strongly that this issue of government privatization by the Bush Administration (where Halliburton, etc. receive no bid contracts, with cost plus incentives and other insane stipulations). After some thought, I felt that a project concerning that issue would require massive amounts of interviews/stock footage/travelling and wouldn’t be financially logical.

The second idea I considered was concerning the issue of Lobbyists in Washington and their influence over the laws made and not made in this country. I wanted to show what some people would consider a “Bad Lobbyist” and a “Good Lobbyist”, that there are actually good people out there trying to push good ideas through. Once again, I thought that it would require too much time/stock footage/travelling/funds to produce in the time given.

Which brought me to the third idea. I’d already been traveling for work, filming something for a energy conference, and in each of my stops, I’d casually talk about the election with employees at the various facilities I visited. I would mention either Senator Obama, Clinton, or McCain discussing “Green Collar Jobs” and how they would create “5 million new well paying jobs”. I would mention how areas, especially Michigan, with their high unemployment rates and fleeing Auto Manufacturers could benefit from these types of jobs, especially Wind Blade manufacturing, which is a process that takes many hours to create just one blade (a turbine uses three). We would talk about the enormous buildings that once housed Auto Plants, that lay empty now, and how that many of the people that lost their jobs have been trained with Mechanical Skills and would fit right in with wind blade and turbine manufacturing. Near the end of my work trips, that’s when I realized that the topic of Green Collar Jobs, which wraps two issues, the Economy and the Environment, would be perfect for my pitch.

I know that most people don’t have too many ideas as to what a green collar job is or what one looks like, so I’m hoping I can help change that.