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AMERICA! - Part 1        AMERICA! - Part 2        AMERICA! - Part 3
 

 

THE MAKING OF AMERICA!

I spent the better part of 1983 creating a documentary film called The Measure of America, released in 1984.

In the decade prior, my wife Cam and I had been producing audio/visual marketing presentations for corporate clients. In the course of doing so, we met, photographed and interviewed hundreds of working people at every strata, from machine operator to CEO.

GOOD PEOPLE

What was striking to me was what good people these were and how hard they worked and how much they loved their jobs! This was not the picture of America I had picked up in college, nor through the hippie days of the 60s. Nor was it the image of America as portrayed in the media.

In fact, through the 70s, one would be hard pressed to find anything positive being said publicly about America anywhere!

Most schools had long been taken over by a “psychology” that was fully dedicated to examining, exposing and promoting the flaws in humanity, not its rightness or goodness. And a major target of this campaign was the nation itself and all its values and accomplishments.

I saw trouble coming and I resolved to do something about it—to attempt to fill a philosophical and educational void at a grassroots level. With the financial backing of a client, the CEO of a manufacturing conglomerate called VSI Corporation, I embarked upon this film project. One could say, it was a "Tea Party" of two.

WHAT, NO DIGI-CAM?

Strangely enough, it was shot in 16 mm and edited using a system (from the Middle Ages) of cutting and splicing together pieces of celluloid motion picture film. In those days, there was virtually no such thing as small format video or computerized editing, much less digital anything. (Kids, all the phones were wired to the walls!)

The film got some recognition and some play. It sold to city school systems, universities and various patriotic groups. It was a Finalist in the American Film Festival and received an Award of Excellence from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. On the 4th of July it was featured on local PBS affiliate, KCET. After a couple of years the film had run its course and was retired from circulation.

2001

Then the country was attacked on 9/11, and I was asked to screen the film for a gathering of friends. It seemed everyone could use a patriotic boost. Soon after that, a distributor asked me to re-release it in video. I performed some minor editing and changed the title to, simply, AMERICA!

2012

Now, in my opinion, we are again under attack—this time, insidiously, from within our own government. The Constitution and our freedoms are being eroded at a frightening pace and the over-the-top spending by Congress is thrusting the country headlong into economic chaos and ruin.

And so in the age of YouTube, I released the film on the Internet. It is divided into three sections, each about 8 minutes long.

Despite the funny hair styles and vintage automobiles, I think you will agree the content is still relevant, for it is a film about long-standing ideas and ideals, as voiced by American working people.

Notable aspects are an original score by Geoff Levin and Steve Bach, and the solo performance of our National Anthem by Caralyn Bell Percy.

May I recommend that you watch the 24 minute film in its entirety, at one sitting. The emotional impact is cumulative.

Enjoy!

Tom Solari


 
AMERICA! - Part 1       AMERICA! - Part 2       AMERICA! - Part 3
 


A FILM by TOM SOLARI

818-890-2128
 

 
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