The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the
critically acclaimed documentary Inside Job has been nominated for an Oscar!
Best Documentary, to be exact! My husband, Jeffrey Lurie, and I are the Executive
Producers of this important film, and while I watched the live-stream of the Oscars
on my computer screen, followed by a mountain of congratulatory texts, emails and
calls, it felt like the right moment to begin my blogging career.
It's been an amazing ride since Charles Ferguson and I first met in October 2008 to
discuss his goal of making a documentary that brought fair and insightful attention
to the actions which led to the financial collapse. Jeffrey and I had started Screen
Pass Pictures a few years back with the mission of supporting documentaries
that focused on global themes and issues (any monies made will fund future
documentaries). Charles' film was exactly the kind of non-fiction storytelling we had
envisioned, as it thoughtfully provided an unbiased analysis of the financial crisis
which has negatively impacted millions of lives across the globe. We had seen No
End In Sight, Charles' first documentary, and knew immediately that we were sitting
in the company of a director who knew how to tell a complex story in the most
compelling way; a story that could both move an audience and impact change. In a
time when documentaries are more and more difficult to make and find distribution,
we were on board... and so was Sony Pictures Classics.
Throughout the journey of making Inside Job, Charles showed an uncanny expertise,
balancing the many hats a documentary filmmaker has to wear. He understood the
moviemaking process -- the visuals/the music/the cadence/getting Matt Damon
to narrate (in his clear and unemotional voice) -- all crucial at helping portray the
issues he was addressing. His business pedigree, his relationships, his tenacity and
that of his team (and what a team! Led by the audacious Audrey Marrs!), his ability
to get in the door and talk to the right players -- every day his skills reaffirmed to us
that this director was a rare breed. Charles' expertise on the subject he was tackling
(I actually learned so much from going on some of the initial interviews, reading his
research...) did not bias his vision. It, in fact, balanced his approach, so that people
on all sides of the issues raised in the film spoke freely. I know some of these people
may now regret participating, but Charles never misrepresented himself, the topic,
or what he was after.
I hope Inside Job, with its broad appeal -- so far, it has reached people of all political
persuasions, from homeowners to the media to banking executives, etc -- will
continue to find new audiences. There isn't a day that its relevance is diminished
-- reinforced this week in President Obama's State of the Union message, or The
Atlantic's piece by Teri Buhl "E-mails Suggest Bear Sterns Cheated Clients Out of Billions".
As I reflect upon the incredible caliber of all the films nominated for Best
Documentary, my excitement just rises up again! What a distinct honor! What a
wonderful moment to savor and reflect on. What an amasing journey!
Is there a better moment to have started blogging? Doubtful.
The day we get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy will qualify as another perfect
occasion and hopefully that day will come soon for my team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
But an Oscar nomination, that qualifies right up there.