News Releases/Media Alerts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2013
Contact: Norman Kelley
Tel: 202-775-8080 (Adm. off.)
Tel: 202-955-9010 (Prod. off.)
Tel: 202-210-3736 (cell)
ROUGH CUT OF CHARLIE PETERS FILM FINISHED; “HOW WASHINGTON REALLY WORKS” ENTERS THE ENDGAME OF POSTPRODUCTION; FILM TO BE RELEASED FALL 2013
The Charlie Project will showcase 30-minute documentary at two Washington DC presentations in April and May
On March 12, 2013, The Charlie Project finished the rough-cut editing of How Washington Really Works: Charlie Peters and the Washington Monthly, a 30-minute documentary about the founder of the legendary Washington Monthly, Charles Peters.
The film will be presented at two rough-cut presentations in Washington in April and May before a final edit. The production team, The Charlie Project, will then do a final edit by August with plans to formally release the film in September or October 2013.
The documentary, produced and directed by Norman Kelley, examines Peters’ career as the influential editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly, which began in 1969 after he left the Peace Corps. Wanting to examine the nation’s capital the “way an anthropologist would an South Sea Island,” Peters was also known as a keen taskmaster who cultivated a stellar corps of young journalists in an informal institution called “Charlie’s Journalism School of Indentured Servitude.”
A film about a “Man, a Magazine and the Media,” the film also highlights Peters’ trials and tribulations in running the Monthly on a shoe-string budget — “staying one step ahead of the sheriff” — to being an alternative voice of “neo-liberalism,” advocating gay rights before it became popular, extolling the cause of entrepreneurialism, keeping a skeptical eye on the Washington media, and funny demonstrations of his legendary editing technique called “rain dancing.”
As wells as interviews with Charlie Peters, the film also features: Jonathan Alter (Bloomberg News); Jennifer Barrett (Hirshhorn Museum); Taylor Branch (Pulitzer winning author); Matthew Cooper (National Journal); Michelle Cottle (Daily Beast); Gregg Easterbrook (author); James Fallows (The Atlantic); Paul Glastris (Washington Monthly); David Ignatius (Washington Post); Nicholas Lemann, (Dean, Columbia University School of Journalism); Suzannah Lessard (author); Joe Nocera (New York Times); Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), and Amy Sullivan (National Journal).
Using contemporary interviews and archival footage, photos, TV and movie clips, and motion animation, How Washington Really Works tells the story of one of the most important but off-the-radar journalists in American history.
After a successful fall 2012 Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to begin the rough cut editing, The Charlie Project plans another crowd-funding appeal in May to raise funds for the final edit.
A trailer of the film is available at: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3-Gz1vZbGE
*PRESS RELEASE *MEDIA ALERT * PRESS RELEASE *MEDIA ALERT*
CHARLIE PROJECT.COM RELEASES “HOW WASHINGTON REALLY WORKS” TRAILER FEATURING CHARLES PETERS
Washington D.C., MAY 27, 2011. The Charlie Project.com released a trailer presentation of its forthcoming production of “How Washington Really Works: The Life and Times of Charlie Peters.” The documentary is partially biographical as well as an examination of the state of American journalism.
The trailer, a nearly ten-minute work-in-progress, centers on Charles Peters, the founding editor of The Washington Monthly, an influential publication that Peters founded in 1968.
The Monthly has also served as the training ground for numerous journalists such as Joe Nocera (New York Times), David Ignatius (The Washington Post) and Nicholas Lemann (Dean, Columbia University Journalism School), graduates of “Charlie’s journalism school of indentured servitude,” who are also featured in the trailer along with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).
Sen. Rockefeller has known Peters since they both served in the Peace Corps, and it was Peters who suggested to a young Rockefeller that if he wanted to more about some of dire socio-economic conditions in the country then Peters’ home state of West Virginia was a good place to start.
The Charlie Project’s production team, co-directors Ellie Walton and Norman Kelley, with Mr. Kelley serving as the film’s producer and writer, are planning to release a full version of the film in 2012.
The Charlie Project believes with the release of the trailer, meeting the project’s fundraising goal becomes more achievable when viewers and potential donors see the aim of the film.
The proposed 90-minute documentary feature will cover, among other aspects of a varied life, Mr. Peters’ childhood in West Virginia; his years in New York as an ad man and theater manager; as a law student at the University of Virginia; as a West Virginian legislator; working for JFK’s campaign in West Virginia; serving as the Peace Corps’ first director of evaluation under Sargent Shriver, and then establishing the Monthly.
As Mr. Peters, who’s lived in Washington DC since his Peace Corps days, recounts in the film, “I wanted to look at Washington the way an anthropologist looks at a South Sea island.”
Inspired by a book written by Peters, How Washington Really Works, the documentary will explore Peters’ view that both the government and the media engage in “make-believe” action that tends to obscure the reality that often very little is actually being until there is a crisis.
As well as looking at Mr. Peter’s career and philosophy, which served as the foundation for neo-liberalism, the film will look at the critical role that the Monthly played in Washington policy issues, and how the magazine was buffeted by two countervailing forces that began during the first ten years of the magazine’s existence: the Powell Memo and media monopolization.
The film will explore how the role of the influential but under-the-radar “Powell Memo” (a.k.a. “Attack on the Free Enterprise System”) in shaping an anti-government narrative.
Written in 1971, at the behest of the US Chamber of Commerce, by Lewis F. Powell before he became a Supreme Court justice, the memo proscribed actions that the business community could engage as a means to fight against criticism of it by individuals such as Ralph Nader and the Vietnam anti-war movement. The memo has been cited as the blueprint for the conservative movement’s media and policy apparatus that began to emerge in the late 1970s and 1980s.
As well as examining ideological forces, the film will chronicle how the Monthly, a politics and policy journal that examined government, was operating in a contracting media landscape that saw 50 companies controlling 95 percent of the entire US media market shrink to 6 firms in roughly twenty years, as Ben Bagdikian noted through several editions of his book The Media Monopoly.
“How Washington Really Works: The Life and Times of Charlie Peters,” a film about a man, a magazine, and the media, will show that despite the Monthly being buffeted by ideological and market forces, Peters’ emphasis on a brand of journalism that demand scrutiny of the government and accountability produced a legion of journalists dedicated to keeping the public informed about the good, the bad, and the ugly of government.
The trailer can be viewed at thecharlieproject.com website; click onto the word “trailer” at the top of the site’s homepage.
The Charlie Project.com