Correspondence with the mayor
From: patrick rippman <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 2:20:31 PM
To: Melanie Hammet <MelanieHammet@pinelakega.net>
Subject: Welcome To Pine Lake - Possible Response Video
Good Afternoon Melanie,
My name is Patrick Rippman. My girlfriend and I moved into 475 Spruce Dr. coming up on about two years ago now. I'm a videographer, and have made short films and documentaries about places I've lived in the past, such as my documentary about the effects of Hurricane Matthew in Savannah GA. I've thrown out the idea in the past of considering a short doc about Pine Lake when posting an album of photos I took around the berm. However, it appears someone beat me to it with an unfortunate spin.
Without having seen the 'Welcome to Pine Lake' yet as it is not out, I can't honestly take a stance for or against any of the points made in the film. However I'm sure you're no stranger to the negative response the trailer has garnered from many in our community. So I personally reached out to the director, Elisa, to ask her if she had any input or defense in response to those in Pine Lake that feel wronged by her documentary, as well as asked if it'd be possible to get an early viewing of the film (no response yet).
Until I'm able to form an actual opinion from viewing the doc, and am able to see if there are even any points in her work that deserve refuting, everything I'm going to state from this point on is purely hypothetical. I have honed my talents over the last 20 years behind the camera and editing suite for clear but emotionally effective story telling that I think would serve our community well in a situation that calls for a well thought out response, one that may benefit from depth and pacing to allow the breathing room necessary for emotional weight that would be lost in a straight forward interview or article.
I would like you to consider my pitch for Pine Lake to create our own video, preferably 3-5 minutes that would serve not only as a response video, refuting or clarifying what Elisa's documentary may conveniently skip over or leave out, but also serve to educate and tell our story in a style that would hook viewers attention and raise interest. I have the resources to independently produce a high quality professional production and I would do so for free, as it'd be a passion project for me. I'd prefer my property value not decrease due to an undeserved smear campaign, or for a misguided spot light to encourage protests to leak into our city. Not to mention, the exposure alone from directing the response to a documentary that will likely garner quite an audience is reason enough for me to consider such a project.
Again, I am careful about what I attach my name to, and I don't have any interest in defending any person or organization during these polarized race conflicts in our country just because criticism has been made. And I would bet we have that in common. The mere existence of such a response video greatly depends on its necessity. Even more importantly is that it must be carefully put together not to point the finger another direction, but to simply highlight the larger picture if Elisa's film failed to do so. If her documentary tells a well rounded story, and is not the sensationalized one-sided race bait production a lot of Pine Lake residents are fearing it to be, then I have no interest in producing a video refuting any points made. As a matter of fact, I'd very much be against attaching my name to anything that seems like it's taking a side, especially one against the BLM movement. Love over hate, community over divisiveness.
This is why I'm reaching out to you directly instead of posting this idea on the Facebook threads. A lot of people don't take criticism well, and may feel it's a good idea to respond no matter the final product of Elisa's work, and many peoples' responses may be a bit more defensive than helpful. So instead of riling up the community and letting this be led via group mentality, I'd like to approach it subtly, thoughtfully. So to conclude, if it seems it'd be wise to create our own production in response to 'Welcome to Pine Lake', I'd just like you to know that I'm here, and would be glad to serve as a tool in your arsenal against the fight for public opinion.
I appreciate your well-considered email. Very much.
Pine Lake is a place that is deceptively complex: layers of strange and interesting history have made it an unusual urban pocket. Imperfect; community-minded; peculiar; a bit grouchy at times; frequently hilarious; always working to improve in every way. I’ve lived here 21 years and that’s my take.
The feedback I’ve gotten from more than a half dozen folks who’ve seen the Gambino film for a variety of reasons is that it’s a poorly told, unbalanced story that simply doesn’t add up—and it’s boring (although beautiful to look at).
Let’s chat by the lake once the dust settles.
Thank you, sir.
Mayor, City Of Pine Lake GA
“Arts’ Natural Habitat”
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