Since the dawn of cinema, film has dealt with the subject of death in an unimaginable number of ways. Think of melodramas where the couple finds love only to have a sudden cough render the hero or heroine fatally ill, or action and horror films where death is inconsequential – sometimes cathartic – amusement. Documentarian Jennie Livingston’s astonishingly influential documentary Paris Is Burning also featured subjects - marginalized gay men of color participating in New York’s outrageous drag ball scene – dealing with death. The film ends on a heartbreaking note, as one of its brightest subjects is revealed to have been murdered by a mysterious john who was never caught. As Livingston pointed out at a Queer/Art/Film screening of the film this past June, nearly all of the subjects in the film are now dead. The death of the titular “Paris” – Paris Dupree last month underscored her point. Now Jennie is making a new feature documentary called Earth Camp One that explores the way we deal with death as a society and as individuals. The film explores a major loss she experienced in the late 1990′s, when her grandmother, mother, brother, and uncle all died within four years of each other. But she describes the film as “neither therapy nor diary; it’s an expansive and deeply humorous trip around the outer edges of what it means to be alive and human.” Jennie needs your help to make the film happen though, with just about 2 days left before reaching the end of her Kickstarter campaign, she’s raised $29,000 of the $40,000 she needs to reach. If she doesn’t hit her goal, she won’t get any of the money. So please take a moment to watch the video and visit Kickstarter to give what you can to help support this project. If you consider what an impact Paris is Burning has had on the culture at large, imagine what Earth Camp One can do.
Adam Baran is a NYC-based writer/director with a passion for making films that tell queer stories in unique, risk-taking ways. After graduating in 2003 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and TV Production, Adam wrote and directed two short films, Love and Deaf (2004) and Jinx! (2007), which aired in regular rotation on Here! TV and the IFC Channel in the US, respectively. Love and Deaf was released in popular gay shorts collections on DVD in the U.S., Germany and France. In 2009, Adam wrote the daily web comedy MTV Detox for MTV.com. That same year, he finished the feature script Jackpot, which was selected for the 2010 Outfest Screenwriting Lab and performed as a staged reading during the festival. That script led to his being asked to write the webseries The Great Cock Hunt, which is being produced and directed by Jon Marcus (Party Monster) and executive produced by Rose Troche (The L Word) and will premiere in late 2011. Adam’s work as a writer and editor began in 2004 with contributions to the groundbreaking gay journal BUTT Magazine. He became a contributing editor in 2007, had several articles featured in the BUTT Book, and was the online editor of ButtMagazine.com from 2008-2011. He has also written for V Magazine, Pin-Up, Foam and the “T Blog” for the New York Times Style Section. Adam also co-curates the monthly film series Queer/Art/Film with Keep The Lights On director Ira Sachs at the IFC Center in New York. An “essential” series according to the New Yorker, Queer/Art/Film invites queer artists to screen films that have influenced their development. Past guests include Justin Bond, Antony Hegarty, John Kelly, John Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Hammer, Kate Bornstein and Genesis P-Orridge. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on making a short film based on his feature script Jackpot and writing several new features and shorts.