Video: Occupy Denver collecting material for possible documentary
Visitors to Occupy Denver's website will notice that the local chapter of the national movement has increased its online persona in recent months. Accompanying its newly redesigned site is a push for more extensive coverage of the group's events that includes more frequent actions and educational opportunities, as well as the eventual creation of an Occupy Denver documentary.
Featuring contributions by Occupy Denver's Film and Video Committee, the website now houses extensive video footage of weekly teach-ins scheduled to address topics of change.
In the most recent of these, DU professor and Occupy Denver committee member Chad Kautzer addresses the country's class system in part three of a series devoted to economics. Most of the discussions target issues central to the Occupy movement in the hope of amping up discussion and awareness for those who represent them. But others, such as one featuring a panel of indigenous activists including Glenn Morris, center on fringe issues.
Last month, Corrine Fowler spoke to the organization about the country's foreclosure crisis. Fowler, who is the Colorado Progressive Coalition's economic justice director, is one of a handful of speakers selected for their expertise in an area, and her discussion touched on mortgages, bank practices and statistical analysis. All teach-ins take place at Occupy Denver's winter home in the Deer Pile, the open studio space above City O' City.
Since becoming an official committee in late January, the Film and Video group attracted around ten active members, split between photographers, videographers and editors, with approximately seven cameras between them. Assignments for coverage are organized on a volunteer basis across a listserv, and those interested in guaranteeing footage of an event can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It's important because we're not being accurately represented in the media, so we want to make sure we're able to tell our side of the story as well," committee member Pat Boyle says. "If people do actions and there is no footage of it anywhere, we want to check the police and lawyers and law enforcement and make sure they don't overstep their bounds."
Page down to see another video and read more about a possible Occupy Denver documentary. To date, Boyle says the committee's coverage has helped to get charges dropped for at least one arrestee at the group's Loveland protest against Walmart. When videographers are in obvious attendance, Boyle says the group's chances of overall safety increase at more heated events. The Film and Video Committee pushes for documentation of both controversial and educational events in an effort to cover all facets of the group, not just its most public face.
"People need to know about this stuff and understand the intricate functions of what is going on, not just see us on the news all the time," Boyle says. "It goes both ways."
In the meantime, with a rapidly expanding library of documentation (roughly 150 hours of footage, Boyle says) and a slate of future meetings, it's tough for the committee to make progress on its central goal, the creation of an Occupy Denver film. Because the organization is constantly evolving, the group faces difficulty in selecting what to cover and when to do so. At this point, a little more than five months into its life, members are unsure if an origin story will suffice.
"It's still in the big, messy, pain-in-the-ass stage, but basically we've just been sitting on footage and looking it over at meetings," Boyle says. "We've got to create a huge outline and go from there. I'm not really sure when we'll be done because the story is unfolding, but it's an important story to tell."
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Photos: Occupy Denver takes an anti-ALEC tour of downtown Denver."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.