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|Back to Home > Content > Hey, How'd You Do That? > Hey, How'd You Create Social Impact Using Your Documentary, Trouble The Water?|
Trouble the Water filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal
That's a quote from the 2009 Academy Award-nominated documentary Trouble the Water about Hurricane Katrina. If those plain-spoken yet profound words don't spur you to action or compel you to make some changes, the raw, on-the-ground images captured on film will. The critically lauded film's promotional strategy included a robust online engagement program that was key to galvanizing action and helping spread its message -- even though filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal say they didn't set out to "deliver facts or information," rather to simply "tell a story."
Trouble the Water follows the story of Ninth Ward resident and rap star-hopeful Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband Scott as they document the harrowing events that come before and after the storm. The film, directed and produced by Lessin and Deal, did become more than just a story, though. Its website, TroubleTheWaterFilm.com, became a hub of information -- a place that gave people something "something to do with that hell-raising energy the audience feels when they leave the theater," Lessin and Deal say. The documentary duo will be honored at the 28th annual Harry Chapin Media Awards presented by WhyHunger and Mediabistro on September 28. Ahead of the awards ceremony, we caught up with Lessin and Deal via email to find out how they produced the acclaimed documentary and developed an online community around it....