Bridging War and Hope – the final phase

A montage from an edit suite

In the edit suite I’m surrounded by three monitors, a microphone and a pad of paper.

Shortly after the Fourth of July Holiday week I’ll be entering the final phase of editing on Bridging War and Hope, a documentary that will introduce viewers to the work the Minnesota National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team in Zabul, Afghanistan is doing.

In the PBS-world of broadcast a 30-minute show is 26:40.  Not a lot of time to tell a story, or a ton of time to tell a story…it depends on your experience as a producer.  In the commercial-world I’d have a minute or two to share the work the ADT is doing, so I guess I cannot complain about 26 minutes and change.  I’m getting a little closer every day to hitting the standard time.

I was in very good shape until a visit to the Prelinger Archives, an on-line, public domain catalog of historic footage from the National Archives revealed some nice footage and sound from General George Marshall.  Marshall, the namesake for the post-WWII European rebuilding effort, was introduced by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie during his sit-down interview.  Secretary Ritchie drew the connection between what Marshall did for Europe and what ADTs and PRTs are doing in Afghanistan.  (PRT – Provincial Reconstruction Team)  The United States learned from its WWI experience that if rebuilding after a war or conflict doesn’t take place the seeds from which the next war could grow will land in some extremely fertile soil.  Letting the Marshall clip play provides a historic comparison viewers will be able to grasp, but it brought my total running time back to the 28-minute mark.

If I bring a show that is a minute, or two long to my editor, Jerry Lakso, will be able to view the project with fresh eyes and will find places he can tighten…26:40 is within grasp.

The Marshall Story is on the National Archive web site.  I can only imagine how many high school students use this clip as a Cliff’s Notes version of Marshall the night before a history test.  Scrub up to the 22:30 point to hear a portion of his speech that will be included in Bridging War and Hope.

A less-extensive history of the Marshall Plan can be seen here.

Bridging War and Hope will premiere on Twin Cities Public Television in the Fall of 2012.