Save the VA: Year Two

In late 2013, as the New Year was drawing ever-nearer, I had planned on creating another “Year in Review” video for the Save the VA Committee as I continue to work on the documentary feature “The Veterans Town.” However, just as I had had the year previously, I had a gut feeling that the VA would be announcing a new development around the second year mark since the original announcement in December 2011. What that would be exactly, I had no idea. I just had a feeling. For the first year, it was that Save the VA would be meeting with Secretary Shinseki. Waiting for that meant that such a major development was included in the first year video. Sure enough, on January 7, the VA announced it would begin conducting an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Which is great, but it’s what they should have done all along to assess the real impacts and implications of what they were proposing.

Anyway, long story short, Save the VA set a town hall meeting and I was tasked with creating the “Year Two” video. After sitting down and scripting it, I opted to not use any of the interviews from “The Veterans Town” as the narration alone was clocking in around 12 1/2 minutes, an easy 4 minutes longer than the first year video, which had been padded out with interview clips and long credits. A lot of stuff had happened.

I was able to edit my narration to get it so that the end result would be an 11-minute short, including all the news clips, with relatively brief credits. I tried to hit all the important points in summing up Year Two of this fight, and when we showed it at the town hall, it was met with a good response.

This short is the, I guess, second teaser/glimpse at “The Veterans Town.” I have so much information to get across with the feature-length documentary that balancing it all without losing the weight behind each piece of this inordinately huge puzzle will be difficult. I really have to thank everyone who has supported this project, and I know it has been a lot longer than I promised before it would be done, but like so many good things in life, when it’s done, it will have been worth the wait, and I hope that this Year Two video proves that I have not been resting on my laurels with this film. Much of the footage and information is new and not even close to representing the hundreds of hours I have on my hard drive.

I am hoping that I can have something done to submit during the EIS comment period. I’ll keep you updated as I can. Thanks again everyone for you support. Keep the faith.

-J

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