Please SIT … you are about to learn about an innovative way to help companion animals.
I’m Pete Schuermann. In directing features, shorts and educational films, I’ve worked with Disney and for countless nonprofits. I make movies for entertainment and, when lucky, I make movies that create a positive global impact.
Fortunately, I’ve been lucky more than once. The “shining example” is HAZE, featuring Robin Wright-Penn. HAZE has been seen by well over a million students in the U.S. alone, is the most successful documentary on HULU and Snag Films, and has sparked deep conversations about a life-and-death issue. It’s also established our blueprint for SitStaySpeakOut.
If you STAY, I will explain …
Back in 2003, I was approached (along with producer and friend Rob Watt) to create an educational program for the Gordie Foundation, a national nonprofit devoted to combating alcohol abuse and hazing in college. Foundation representatives envisioned a lecture that might resonate with a fraction of students; we delivered a film worthy of top-tier festivals across the country, international distribution, direct sales (complete with facilitator guides) to over 300 campuses, and coverage on 60 Minutes.
I get calls to this day from students grateful for what they learned from the film.
Now I’m working on A Voice for Lil Olive, my most personal project yet. With this film, we aim to make people think differently about how we’ve treated man’s best friend — and, as with HAZE, to catalyze lasting change. We will share the heartwarming story of Pam Horton and her beloved rescue dog, take a hard look at the puppy mill industry, and remind viewers of how pets should be treated. We will inspire people, and then connect them to an enduring way to …
Consider this: A documentary typically shoots material in a 20-to-1 ratio. In other words, for every hour of footage included in Lil Olive, we’ll have almost 20 hours of footage that won’t be included. Think of the public service announcements, web videos, offshoot websites, presentation materials and more that can be mined from all this.
Then think of all the other great content out there that just needs a platform. SitStaySpeakOut will help animal activists, shelters, rescues and other groups spread their own messages. We will be the media epicenter for animal-welfare awareness and education.
All of this will be done with my guiding hand (or eye, if you will). To reach the broadest audience possible, I will ensure that SitStaySpeakOut projects are uncompromising yet inherently watchable, easy to find, and designed to inspire.
Please explore SitStaySpeakOut.org. You will read more about how A Voice for Lil Olive will set the tone for our nonprofit, and also find samples of media messages we can drive in the future. You can learn more about me on IMDB.com or by visiting peteschuermann.com. And you can learn about the impact HAZE has made at gordiecenter.studenthealth.virginia.edu.
Thank you! Let’s Speak Out together. Your help and donation is appreciated.
Pete Schuermann – Director