Flint is suffering from a stagnant economy, dizzying crime rate, and a water crisis that has captivated a nation. To say that Flint has been hit with hard times would be a vast understatement. But the city’s resiliency is emblematic of the can-do spirit of its residents. This is “For Flint.”
About The Project
The city of Flint is in crisis mode. A federal state of emergency has deemed its drinking water unsafe for consumption. This adds to an already decaying city infrastructure. In the face of this adversity, citizens of Flint rally together to forge a new and powerful narrative that flows with hope and optimism.
I’ve always been captivated by the news. I can pinpoint certain newsworthy events that have occurred during my lifetime and the subsequent impact they’ve had on me.
This past January was slow for TV production work in New York City. My idle time was consumed with watching coverage of the Presidential primary season, but soon caucuses, delegates and battleground state headlines gave way to a new story; an account that I was astonished to hear.
Flint, Michigan was under a federal state of emergency caused by lead in its drinking water supply. The news reports continued for a full week.
I was astonished.
I was mad.
I wanted to know how this could happen in such an advanced country.
I felt the need to help. Surely, I could contribute in some way.
I didn’t know Flint at all. In fact, I’d only been to Michigan via Detroit a dozen or so times, working as a cinematographer for Major League Baseball. I have no real connection to Flint or even to the state of Michigan, but something about this story and the innocent lives it effected tugged at me. All the news of the lead water crisis was woven into the sad state of affairs that has befallen Flint, especially since big auto’s exodus.
The narrative was bleak. Uninspired. Demoralizing. Surely there was some positive side to the present day Flint, Michigan. I was inquisitive and began a search for any positive steps toward rebuilding the city in the wake of its water crisis. The result is “For Flint,” a profile of resilient neighbors making a direct, daily impact on the lives of everyone they meet.
– Brian Schulz, Director
Inspiration “For Flint”
This film is for the residents of Flint. They’ve been through a lot. The community is steeped in hard work, civic pride and good old fashioned determination. Yet still, every search or news article you pull up on Flint characterizes the city with the same old tired narrative. It’s become synonymous with Flint: one of America’s most dangerous cities.
“For Flint” aims to change the narrative and give the people who live there something more for which to cheer. It’s a big dream about a small town, filtered through the lens of a short film.
Join Our Journey!
“For Flint” is truly an indie film. It began spur of the moment and the Director dug into his own pockets to film the project. As with any indie production the number one obstacle is funding. We need your help to finish the film, get it out to festivals, and eventually distribute the movie around the world.
The movie is only a part of the movement. Follow us on social media and engage with the filmmakers & Flint residents. We’re helping to change the way people view Flint, Michigan, and we aim to inspire people to take action and support one another.
About This Team
Director – Brian Schulz
A national Emmy Award winning producer and cinematographer, Brian recently worked as a DP on Showtime’s docu-series, “A Season with Notre Dame Football.”
His 2012 film, “Brooklyn Castle,” (producer + DP) was a South by Southwest (SXSW) Audience Award winner and was optioned by Scott Rudin/Sony Pictures for a theatrical remake. The film was also nominated for a national Emmy. In his sixteen years at Major League Baseball Productions, Brian created co-branding content for Gatorade, Scotts, Pepsi and MasterCard. The Sports Business Journal honored him with a “Forty Under 40” award in 2014.
Brian has also been a guest speaker at Harvard University, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, The US Embassy in Kiev, The Neag School of Education at The University of Connecticut and has moderated several panels at SXSW. Since 2001 Brian has been a weekend youth volunteer at the Lower East Side’s Grand Street Settlement as well as a co-chair at their annual fundraiser, The Taste of the Lower East Side.
Director of Photography – Will Taylor
A sports cinematographer for NFL Films, NBA Entertainment, and CBS Sports. He’s captured some of today’s most breathtaking moments which have been distributed across a multitude of national media platforms. Starting his professional career with NBA Entertainment in 1998, Will has filmed the NBA Finals, USA Basketball, NBA All Star weekends, and the Global Games.
In 2012 Will became a freelance cinematographer for the industry leading NFL Films. Along with shooting games each week, he has also collaborated on NFL Film’s top documentaries: “Four Falls of Buffalo”, “All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals”, “Football Life Series”, “The Timeline: Jersey Guys”, and “Together we Make Football”. He has also filmed Superbowl 48,49, and 50.
Executive Producer – Matthew C. Mills
An Emmy & Webby Award-winning Director, Writer & Executive Producer. He founded Spacestation in 2007. Matthew’s diverse range of credits have found him working in features, commercials, music, television and web series. Highlights include “MTV Unplugged,” “We Always Lie To Strangers” (SXSW 2013), “This Is A Show For Parents of Gay Kids,” “The World Series of Video Games” and “Fodder,” a sketch comedy show. Clients and partners include HBO, PBS, MTV, CBS, Nickelodeon, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Young & Rubicam, Razorfish, Wunderman, VML, Ulive, Turner Broadcasting and more.
Matthew has been front and center at the launch of two different networks – mtvU, Viacom’s foray in to college campuses and College Sports Television which went on to be bought by CBS Sports. At both new networks, Matthew led the charge to build studios capable of 24/7/365 broadcasts. He has also been part of numerous remote, live broadcasts for projects as far ranging as The Webby Awards, HBO Boxing and concert specials.
Executive Producer – Chris Vivion
An Emmy and Webby-nominated producer and development executive, working across platforms. Chris has developed and produced lifestyle, cooking competition, comedy, animation and reality programming for Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting, Scripps Networks and HBO. He has also developed award-winning digital programming and products, including launching digital channels and extensions for iconic entertainment brands.
Most recently as an Executive Producer for Turner Broadcasting, he created “The Tim Ferriss Experiment,” a life hacking docu-series starring NY Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss, which debuted at #1 on iTunes in April, 2015; “Cook Your Ass Off,” with chef Richard Blais and the digital series, “Why Do Men Have Nipples?”.
Prior to Turner, Chris was the Executive Producer, Digital Video for Food Network, leading the development and production of all the channel’s original web series including incubating on-air series, “Bobby Flay Fit,” “Classy Ladies with Alie and Georgia,” and the comedy series “Fodder,” a two-time TELLY award winner, starring YouTube sensations Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart and current SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata. He pioneered Food Network’s transmedia efforts, including second screen broadcasts “Thanksgiving Live!,” “Chopped After Hours,” and “Star Salvation.”