If You had 45 Seconds to Talk to the World -- What Would YOU Say?
A year ago a small team of improbable filmmakers, activists and other dreamers were in my backyard studio in Colorado making a film about saving the oceans. People often note that my organization, The Oceanic Preservation Society is based in a landlocked state, but I like to say that we are conveniently located between two oceans. But now our little project, and my first film, The Cove, finds itself in the wings of world's largest stage, The Oscars.
Back when I was a child watching the Oscars in Iowa, we only had one TV channel. Who knew the future would hold hundreds of viewing options? And the possibility of one day walking on that stage was as tangible to me as walking on the moon. Like many viewers around the world I didn't know the winners, much less their parents, agents or the people they were thanking for getting them there. It only made me feel more alienated when they raced through a shopping list of strangers.
A week ago our team was in LA, sitting at an Academy Award luncheon for Nominees. It was an informal affair with the likes of Clooney, Streep, Cameron, Tarantino, Bridges, all 192 Oscar nominees.
The telecast producers, Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic, were asking winners to plan ahead. Don't get up there and waste valuable airtime. They offered a backstage "Thank You Cam" to share the love. And they seemed like nice enough people but they warned us that they would become ruthless destroyers of ego if anyone went over 45 seconds. No exceptions! They wanted this gig next year more than they wanted their own mothers to breathe and none of us, even the biggest stars in the room were going to get in their way by exceeding the 45 second rule. They have technology, they warned. One could be "played off" or find the mic dead. They even mentioned a trap door. Which makes sense.
Using the Oscar platform to thank your Mom and your influences is like sending out the entire U.S. Military Force to issue a parking ticket.
We're only a documentary, but the event is very democratic, everyone is given the same amount of time to talk. If we are one of the 24 films honored to win a little gold man on March 7th, what to say?
Mark Twain said it best, "I would have written a shorter letter but I didn't have enough time." Two weeks seems like a reasonable time to distill a few noble thoughts down to 45 seconds of profound essence. Here's the deal though, I'm not in the movie business as much as I'm in the save the world business -- and Huff Post readers -- you are too. Many of you helped us get this far by writing posts on this site. I'm thanking you all now here, Thank you all! But if you had 45 seconds to talk to the world -- What would YOU say?
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