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Monday, November 2, 2009

Some Guidance from Leo Eaton

Leo Eaton

Last week I watched a series called The Story of India which profiles the journey of Michael Wood as he travels around the subcontinent looking for clues of India's past and present. This documentary was one of the best pieces of programming I've ever seen, and I immediately saw a few connections with Song of The Untouchable. As I scoured the credits of The Story of India - trying to decode some information on how the production worked - I came across the name Leo Eaton, who served as the lone executive producer. Though his boots were likely not on the ground during filming, no doubt Leo was guiding the ship.

After a brief introductory email, I called Leo this morning and he generously gave me about half an hour of his time discussing Song of the Untouchable and how we might make it a creative success as well as a financial one. Leo impressed on me how important it is to develop the journey as not just a series of points on a map, but a transformative journey within our main character.

Leo told me that "India will change him, the question for you as a filmmaker is whether you can capture that transformation or not."

Agreed. Emotional buy-in is going to be hard to achieve if all we're doing is connecting the dots on the map and lecturing about music.

Leo's blog is a well-written dialogue about his life as a documentary filmmaker, and has several interesting posts about the industry, society, and the recollections of a well-regarded professional who has been doing his thing since he was a teenager.

On Wednesday I'm off to Switzerland for the last international filming trip for my upcoming climbing film. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and enjoying the crisp fall air in Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.