‘SiCKO’ made with the help of 2 local women
The movie “SiCKO” opened across the nation recently to sold-out crowds. But could this have happened without the help of two Nevada City residents who worked on this important new blockbuster?
Jane Edwards, librarian, and Cory Fisher, a former reporter, both helped with the mountains of research.
Some facts and figures from the home team:
o Research took place over a two-year period
o More than 25,000 e-mails that were sent to Michael Moore regarding health-care nightmares had to be sifted through, authenticated and vetted.
o More than a thousand hours of video footage were shot, viewed and finally edited down to 120 minutes.
o Production budget: $9 million.
o First week’s box office: $4.6 million, second best ever for a documentary (after “Fahrenheit 911”)
I recently interviewed Edwards and Fisher about their work on “SiCKO.”
Q: “How was it to work for Michael Moore?
Jane Edwards: “It was very rewarding to work with Michael. He was generous, open and approachable – always asking for our input. His creative process was quite democratic. And he’s a very funny guy. He would start our meetings with a rally for the troops, to talk about how important our work was, lead into the topic for the day and go around the room checking in with everyone. A wonderful man to work for.”
Q: Cory, what happened to those 911 workers we met in the film?
Cory Fisher: “It’s kind of an amazing thing, but all the people who were in the film bonded in a way no one expected. They’re all like family now. They’ve taken on the cause. They’re giving interviews on the phone and on TV, writing and talking about their experiences and doing what they can to help other 911 workers and spread the word about our need to develop a universal health-care system in this country.
Q: “You’ve been to some SiCKO openings; what impressed you most?
Cory: “Our first L.A. premiere. Michael didn’t want it to be the red carpet scene with celebrities and paparazzi flashing away the depth of this American tragedy. So we set up a 47-foot screen down on the street in Skid Row. The LAPD put up barricades to block traffic, and all these folks from the neighborhood and homeless shelters were sitting on folding chairs out in the street, enjoying popcorn and sodas and cheering. Someone was fighting back. Someone was giving them a voice. Some folks are thinking about the WE and not just the ME.”
Medical bills are the number one cause of homelessness and bankruptcy in the USA. If all other industrialized nations can take care of their hardworking people, can’t we?
Robert Smith is a performing artist and author and will be teaching “Zen and the Art of Comedy Improv” at the Center for the Arts this Fall. His book by the same title will be out in 2008.
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