“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
Guest post by Actress & Filmmaker Varushka Franceschi
Oscar nominated and Emmy Winner star James Cromwell believes that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift that is being manifested as things seem to be cracking open right before our eyes. But as Leonard Cohen wrote, he believes that it does not need to engender fear and panic, because the light can come through even in the darkest moments of crisis.
That is one of the reasons I entitled my film A Crack in Everything. It is an eco-thriller, narrative film about two investigative journalists who enter a community ravaged by hydrofracking and discover a massive cover up that could have an impact reaching far beyond the borders of the small town.
I first started researching this subject because of an ad campaign I was working on to raise awareness about the effects of fracking. I spent the first weeks in shock and horror, believing that I had just entered a very nightmarish episode of the Twilight Zone. It was hard for me to believe that entire communities were being poisoned, while being told it was necessary for the “good of humanity” by businesses and local governments.
Perhaps James Cromwell is right, we are in the middle of a paradigm shift, and perhaps it is being generated by those who wish to see us achieve a balance in how we treat our land and ourselves in the quest for renewable energy sources. The best way to help guide ourselves through this shift is through storytelling. So, I am thrilled to have him involved in this project.
Before reading on, please take a moment to listen to a recent 50 Shades of Green Divas podcast James Cromwell and I did with Green Divas Meg and Max…
Through my research and interviews with affected communities, I discovered there were countless examples of people getting sick and even dying from rare cancers as a result of hydrofracking. The gas industry even put a gag order in place that did not allow the doctors in the state to speak about any possible illnesses that were linked to the drilling.
When I saw the rashes that covered bodies of those who lived in the community with my own eyes, and smelled the horrific odors of the benzene and other chemicals in the air of the towns during boom season, I realized that I had no other option but to take some form of action.
My form of action was to shine a light on this very dark form of energy extraction by making it the subject of a narrative film. A narrative film empowers its viewers through the examples set in the film by the characters to say “I understand this. I can do that.”
For a woman in the field of film-making, the obstacles are many, not the least of which in my case the fact that I am tackling a controversial subject that is extremely divisive. I had to ask myself the question, why did anyone even feel it was necessary to sacrifice anything for hydrofracking when shifting our focus to renewable energy did not require anyone to be sacrificed?
Asking this and other questions, my film began to take on a life of its own and it led me to find the wonderful actor/activist James Cromwell. James not only joined the cast, but came on to help expand the context and story with his knowledge and experience as an activist.
The tradition of storytelling has been around for centuries. Since we seem to have mostly lost the connection to the ways stories used to be told, the modern equivalent is film and theater. Like way stories used to be told, with film and theater people come together and experience something of potentially great importance as a community. This connected community then can share the impact made on them by the story they watched with the world through various mediums. I am hoping that A Crack in Everything strikes such a cord and inspires others to make their own contributions and begin bringing the light they wish to see into the world.
Please support this film
We have seven days left in our Indiegogo campaign to raise “Production Finishing Funds A Crack in Everything.” I hope you’ll take a moment and visit our campaign. And, if you’re so inclined, contribute and share the campaign as far and wide as you can. Thanks to being selected as a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, contributions through our Indiegogo campaign to help finish our films are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Thank you in advance for your support. Every contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference.
Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, sometimes inspirational, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with inspiring messages, recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…
And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!
Varushka Franceschi is a filmmaker and founder of The founder of Shapeshift Dream. After studying in Paris at the international theater school L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq, and the American University in Paris, Varushka went on to study and work in London as a model and actress. She worked extensively in theater in London and on British TV, including an Agatha Christie series produced by the BBC. Varushka became captivated by the work of producers, and began her career in production working in Europe with such artists as Krzysztof Zanussi and Ben Gazzara.