70 hours of footage, 25 Locations, and 34 Interviews: we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve broken it down into categories, and broken it down even further into sub-categories and we’ve crafted an incredible film, on paper index cards at least. Now the fun is translating this into a reality of 80 minutes (ish) of film that captivates, educates and inspires an audience to give speciality coffee a chance. Carter Gunn has joined the team as the full-time editor, his 2010 film Colony can be found here. We’ve hunkered down into a nice cozy space at the Avocados & Coconuts studio where we get lots of light and take regular coffee breaks to catch up on gossip and the latest GOOP recipes. A special thanks to Benjamin Paz Muñoz for stoping by all the way from Honduras to help us out with our Honduran farmer interviews and our Spanish slang.
If ever get the chance to visit a coffee producing country or region do yourself a favor and find a way to visit a coffee farm or coffee washing station. The way you look at coffee will never be the same. My goal with “A film about coffee” is for viewers to look at coffee in a completely different light. Mostly backlight with some “golden hour” light thrown in for good measure. Cinematography jokes aside, I really hope you enjoy and are inspired to understand where your coffee comes from and how many hands (and feet) your coffee touches along the way.
One thing that I really wanted to include in this film is the harvest. Ideally I would have been able to film the harvest in several countries, but this is a documentary, not a big-budget feature film (even though it will look like one). Ethiopia was out of the question since my wife and I had a beautiful baby girl right during harvest season in Ethiopia. (Nov-Jan) So here we are in Kigali, Rwanda. And what I’ve learned is that you can’t talk about harvest without talking about Green Coffee Buyers. Every respectable coffee company has a green coffee buyer that travels the world 100 or so days a year, even the non-respectable ones do as well for that fact. Green coffee buyers are pretty special people. They don’t always buy coffee like this guy (http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/dangerous-grounds) but they do travel for almost 30 hours to Africa from the states on small planes and eat ice cream sandwiches for dinner ( that’s what we were served on our flight… Thank You, United Airlines)
The green buyer is a key difference in the quality of coffee that you are drinking right now. They are there on the ground with the farmers and at the wet mills cupping the coffee, deciding what tastes best for your morning cup. So when your at home getting ready to grind that fresh cup, pour a little out for your green buyer. Today I’ll pour some out for the guys that we enjoyed a few beers with: Darrin Daniel from Stumptown Coffee, Owen Thompson from Sweet Maria’s and Morten Wennersgaard from Nordic Approach.
Also a huge thanks to Matt Smith from the Rwanda Trading Company for making everything happen so smoothly.
Film-making is about having something to say- something that can only be said in a film and not a short story, or a play, or a novel. ~Woody Allen
It’s been a while since the blog has been updated – but there has been a great deal of progress on the film. When your taking on a subject like coffee, you could focus in on a number of different topics, whether it’s the taste, the chemical reaction, the history, the beauty, or the injustice. You could say that coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world ( Oliver Strand would say your wrong…https://twitter.com/OliverStrand/status/317063705349201921), you could say “Baristas must be sexy” as Katsu Tanaka so eloquently said during our time together in Tokyo, and you could say that people are making a very large deal out of something as simple as coffee. What you can’t say is that coffee is not important, and you can’t say that people don’t care about coffee.
A Film About Coffee is just what it says in the title – a film about coffee, a film that is exploring the topic of coffee as a whole, as I see it. It’s my perspective, told by people that are trustworthy and people that have been working with coffee for some time now.