A few days ago I received an email as follows:
I hope you are well and don’t mind me getting in touch out of the blue. I am a Researcher at Blast! Films in London England where we are developing a one-off documentary film for the Bio Channel. I hoped that you may be able to help us in our research.
The film will feature in families who are living “off-grid” in North Idaho and surrounding regions, and will explore the inspiring challenges and unique pleasures which this way of life offers. The film will be very positive in tone - a sensitive and layered portrayal of a unique way of life. We are not looking to make a reality-TV type show but rather intend to explore and promote off-grid living as a real possibility. Examples of the kind of intelligent and thoughtful films we have made previously can be seen here: www.blastfilms.co.uk.
We want to speak to as many families as possible who would describe themselves as “off-grid” or self-sufficient. We are in the process of having confidential research conversations with families who are interested, with no obligation to be involved in filming.
I wondered if you might be interested in speaking to me further by phone? Or if you might be able to help us in spreading the word to anyone you think might be suitable.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
Thanks for your time and all best wishes,
2 Imperial Works, Perren Street, London, NW5 3ED
Cellphone: 00 44 (0)7899 915 957
Switchboard: 00 44 (0)207 267 4260
Direct Dial: 00 44 (0)207 424 8037
I spoke with Hannah at length by phone about the nature of this project, and she made it clear the filming will be portraying ruralites in an upbeat and positive way. It’s not about “preppers” or “survivalists” or anything sneering or derogatory. Rather, it’s exposure to a largely urban viewing audience what it's like to live off-grid or otherwise self-sufficiently.
And when you think about it, most city dwellers don’t have a clue what it’s like to produce electricity or milk a cow or clean a barn or gather eggs or plant a garden or can peaches. This is all strange and exotic to them. What’s the motivation behind such hard work? Why milk a cow and make your own cheese when dairy products are readily available at the grocery store? Why install solar panels or a windmill when you can just flip a switch? …These are the types of questions this documentary aims to answer.
The filming will be limited to north Idaho and the surrounding areas (eastern Washington or western Montana) because that’s where an existing film crew is already located, so their pool of potential applicants will be more limited. If there’s anyone in this region interested in talking with Hannah about this project, I urge you to get in touch with her. She’s a durned nice woman and will be happy to answer all of your questions.