Lost your job? Documentary details layoffs' sweet side
Layoffs hurt. But "Lemonade" tells the story of job losses that turned into more fulfilling careers.
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“I’m happy. I’m also still a little unsettled,” says Kurtis Glade, who was senior vice president at McCann Erickson until March. Mr. Glade, whose daughter was diagnosed with a severe disease said to be inherited, created a short film that called attention to the natural saline treatment that surfing offers for the disease. Now he is raising funds for a longer film on the subject for the nonprofit Mauli Ola Foundation, which organizes surf camps for children.Skip to next paragraph
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Like many in “Lemonade,” Glade does freelance advertising work to support his family. His average day is a game of “bumper cars,” he says. “But at least I’m driving.”
In Proulx’s words, “Lemonade” fell into place “seamlessly.” Documentaries of its caliber can cost more than seven figures to produce. Proulx raised $400 to pay for odds and ends throughout the project. Everything else was donated, including the directing skills of Marc Colucci of Picture Park, a Boston-based production company.
“It’s rare, I think, that someone has an idea like this that is very timely,” says Mr. Colucci, who volunteered after finding out about Proulx’s project from a Web-surfing colleague who read his blog.
Through connections initiated by Picture Park and others, Proulx found The Camera House and Rule and Abel Cine Tech, who all donated high-end cameras for filming, as well as Bug Editorial Inc., Finish Editorial, Soundtrack Group, and Mir Internet Marketing, which offered sound mixing, interactive work, and postproduction assistance free of charge. Past colleagues, new contacts, and strangers gave their skills to “Lemonade.” Even Peter Nelson, director of photography on Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” donated weekends to the project.
When Proulx found individuals in New York and Los Angeles he wanted to interview, the crew faced the predicament of getting around the country with no budget. Proulx published a letter to Virgin America on his website, asking the company to donate plane tickets. Through the social-networking service Twitter, Proulx’s followers bombarded the carrier with additional requests. The same day, the airline offered round-trip tickets for the entire crew to fly across the country.
While creating the film, Proulx has done freelance ad work to support his family. Money is tight, he says, but he shrugs off the idea that he was brave for making “Lemonade.”
“I didn’t want to be fooled into the belief that taking a full-time job would be any more or less risky than starting my own thing,” he explains. “In a lot of ways, taking a full-time job is even riskier, because you have to rely on the whims of your employer.”
Colucci recalls a segment of the film when the interviewees share their experiences about being laid off. “Everyone’s story runs into one big kind of story,” he says, “And I feel that runs off into other industries; you can talk to 100 people, or 1,000 people, who have been laid off and hear the same exact thing.”
At a time when unemployment is at its highest level in nearly three decades, the documentary offers insight into the world of living one’s dreams and the inspiration that comes when people believe in themselves, take risks, and prepare for the fight of their lives.
“If nothing else,” Proulx says, “I just want people to know that when you lose your job, life could just be beginning – not ending.”
Whetted your interest? Check out a trailer for "Lemonade" below.