So months ago I started working on gathering footage for my documentary on New England's oldest and tallest elm tree being cut down because of Dutch Elm Disease and the 101 year old man that has been taking care of it since the mid 1950s. Monthes ago I made the calls and sent the letters to see what or even IF I had the available material to produce something, and between all the interviews I thought I had it, well.. the heart of the documentary has just dropped from the agreement to be interviewed, I understand he is 101 years old and it is allot of pressure to know you have to answer questions in the future. He and his friend that takes care of him kind of they both have dropped. Very aggravating because I have been gathering B-Roll now for a while from many people. I can't give up now but I need some ideas! This was my list for interviews:
Frank (trees caretaker)
Debra (franks good friend)
The Felkers (tree's long time neighbors)
Marcia (the founder and head of the foundation that was formed after the trees removal)
Someone from Sullivan Lumber (the mill where the tree was make into crafts afterwords)
Someone from Yarmouth Historical Society (to explain about the roads history it was on for 217 years)
Worker(s) from Whitney Tree Service (they cut down the tree)
People from the Elm Research Institute in NH, they issued the trees protection in 1998
But the whole thing is going wrong, Frank and Deb are out.
I haven't gotten a letter back form the Felkers yet (they agreed on the phone to participate)
Marcia is not taking me serious and will not get back to me about including the film as a non profitable way to donate money toward the trees foundation (would REALLY help me get people to agree if it was part of her project/foundation)
The historical society wants a fee to use their pictures if its not included in the non profit donation category (MARCIA!)
Whitney Tree Service will not return my calls even when I left a message with a live personal secretary.
This is a disaster, I guess I will have to use a narrator for Frank and keep in contact though mail. Have the narrator sub for him over B-Roll footage of the tree? I have had pictures sent in ranging from the mid 90s through 2009 from all over the world. It's been a huge patient game of waiting. I visited the tree twice before it was cut down and got video footage both times in HD. I also was not able to make it down for the cut, so I have someones home movie of the falling of the tree, also news footage I will have to severely crop and pan to ensure not to be sued for using their footage (shh)
It's literally world wide news so I have B-Roll screen capture in full screen mode of the story before it was cut down on 7news.com, boston.com, Canadian Press, Google, MSNBC, New York Times, Portland Press, USA Today, Vermont News, Wikipedia, Wisconsin News, & Yahoo. I hope it is not illegal to use screen capture of scrolling down a new article online for a documentary.
Can anyone give me some hints or ideas to keep this ball rolling? Thanks