Erik Proulx says that he lost his job and found his life's work. Proulx is one of the many creative people who lost their job in the advertising business in the past few years as that industry was hit hard by the collapsing economy and rapidly changing media landscape.
But with the support of his wife Kathryn, Proulx refused to feel sorry for himself or sit at home crossing his fingers that his resume would somehow hit the right desk. Instead, he harnessed the power of new media himself and used his blog Please Feed the Animals as a way to reach out to the community of other newly unemployed ad industry workers.
Then, by harnessing tools like Facebook and Twitter, Proulx put together a film that profiled the stories of 16 laid-off ad people. And if only you knew was that Proulx's subject matter was what happens to people after they lose their job, you might think that the result would be another depressing movie about the toll that unemployment has on people.
But the extraordinary thing about Proulx's movie Lemonade is that it's uplifting, inspiring and true. Proulx's subjects all discovered what became the film's tagline -- "it's not a pink slip, it's a blank page."
Lemonade shows that rather than sitting at home and "tweaking the font on their resume" that the key to success and happiness is actually getting out there and doing something interesting. The film's subjects ended up overcoming their immediate challenges and pursuing lifelong dreams; everything from fine art painting to fitness instruction to a making film about a surf camp for kids with cystic fibrosis.
And because of that new media landscape, you can watch the film for free. Prulx was able to strike a deal for the beautifully produced 36 minute film with Hulu and the entire movie is now available to watch online. Proulx considers this a great distribution medium, because it allows the film to reach the audience it needs it most -- the people sitting at home, unemployed, running out of money, but with time on their hands.
For exclusive interviews with filmmakers Erik Proulx & director Marc Colucci, please visit my site LeeStranahan.com.
Here's the whole movie. For more information about Lemonade, visit the film's official website.