Category Archives: Videos

One Frame At A Time

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This is an unedited clip from “Lemonade: Detroit” where Reverend Barry Randolph talks about the need to do things one step at a time.

THERE’S A PROFOUND PARALLEL between how we’ve gone about making “Lemonade: Detroit” and how Detroit is re-imagining itself. The latent hope around the D is that some mega industry – whether it’s automotive or green technology or urban farming – is going to fly in and fix everything. They’ll rehire a half million people and, bam, just like that Detroit will become a beacon of innovation and education and racial harmony.

But it’s messier than that. It’s more grueling than that. It’s more work than that.

Believe me, the same hope applies to “Lemonade: Detroit.” It might, it should, it could happen that a white-horse underwriter will write one big check, take away our fight for money and let us focus instead on our fight to tell the city’s story.

But until that time, it’s you and me, baby. It’s 9 businesses. It’s thousands of Daisuke Hugheses and Reverend Barrys and Chazz Millers and Phil Cooleys. It’s little bets and big balls. And it’s films like “Lemonade: Detroit” that aim to tell the dramatic story of Detroit’s hustle. One frame at a time.

In a review of David Korten’s book, Agenda for a New Economy, CSRwire writes:

Our hope lies not with Wall Street but with Main Street, which creates real wealth from real resources to meet real needs . . . locally based, community oriented, and devoted to creating a better life for all, not simply increasing profits.

Detroit is a testament to the satisfying, frustrating, mess that is the maker economy. It ain’t pretty. But, damn, won’t it be something when it takes shape.

One building at a time. One block at a time. One life at a time.

Be well,
Erik Proulx
Director, “Lemonade: Detroit”

PS – Today is day six of our “$25k in 25 days” campaign. If you haven’t done so already, buy some frames or buy some swag to help us tell Detroit’s story. And please help us spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Blair Performs “While I Was Away” at the DIA

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This is David Blair performing “While I Was Away” on the evening of February 11, 2011.

People who had seen him do this piece several times told me it was the best performance he ever gave.

Some back story: This day was, by all accounts, the coldest of the year in Detroit. We had spent most of the morning filming him for “Lemonade: Detroit,” outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. Me and the rest of the crew could barely stand to keep our gloves off for more than 30 seconds. But Blair soldiered on, delivering impeccable performance after impeccable performance — 10 takes in the knee deep snow at Belle Isle.

Just a few months later on July 23rd, Blair would pass away unexpectedly. Ironically, from heat stroke.

I am so thankful that we were able to capture a few moments of his genius for the film. He was and will always remain an inspiration to me.

Blair, I didn’t get to know you very well. But I love you. And miss you.

RIP David Blair

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In case you haven’t heard, the poet, musician, and artist who appears in “Lemonade: Detroit” passed away this weekend. His name was David Blair, and he was truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.

Blair was a force, and there is no doubt in my mind that he was on the doorstep of becoming a household name.

For many in Detroit, he already was.

At the moment, it is difficult for me to imagine how to make lemonade from this tragedy.  All I know is that I will try to honor his genius by sharing some of the incredible footage we shot. Not just in Lemonade: Detroit, but on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo…anything to show the world how good he really was.

Here is a piece he performed at the Detroit Instutue of Arts. He took the Emily Dickinson poem “Farewell” and put it to music.

This gave me chills when we were filming. Given his sudden and unexpected passing, it’s giving me chills again, but in a much more personal way.

Rest in peace, Blair. You will be missed. And I will do whatever I can to make sure your work endures.