Is this Africa? A Documentary on ChadThe new documentary film claims to present Africa (and more interestingly, Chad) in a new and more accurate light.
The creator of Chad Now, James Gibson, is developing a documentary that he hopes will have Chad lighting up screens across the English-speaking world. The film, titled "Chad Now," is named after the site James created in 2007. Although the film is independent of the nonprofit Chad Now, some of James' history with the organization will be depicted in the documentary. What does James hope to accomplish with this film, and how does he plan to show Chad to the world? We caught up with James for a Q&A session that tells all.
Chad Now - The Film
So why a film?
James: I think that video is really one of the best ways to get people to take notice of something. Although chadnow.com has gotten a lot of hits through the years, the YouTube videos continue to bring in more traffic than anything. People don't want to read - they want to watch. And Chad Now the film will allow them to watch something about Africa that's more genuine and enthralling than they've experienced before.
Authenticity is something you've emphasized with this project. How is this project different from other Africa films out there, and what will make it authentic?
James: First of all, this is a documentary, not a fictional or "based on true events" film. I believe it's really important to show what's really going on - what's really going on in Chad and what's really going on in the lives of the Westerners who work there. To get that, I've been doing a lot of filming without telling people. Sometimes I tell them after, sometimes I don't.
How are you managing to catch people on camera without them knowing? Hidden cameras?
James: Not usually. A lot of the time I ask if I can record something and just leave the camera in a corner. When the person sees how I ignore the camera, they seem to follow suit. Other times, I use one of a series of small HD cameras I have to film something completely undetected. We'll be doing this a lot more in Chad.
Speaking of Chad, tell me about how you plan to film the documentary there. Do you expect it to be difficult filming?
James: Definitely. Chad is a difficult environment for gathering media. People usually aren't welcoming to cameras. It just so happens I've got a good crew supporting me, including a Canadian guy who's been to over 120 countries. Still we'll get into some tricky situations, but we expect to escape with our shirts and, hopefully, some footage.
How do you expect the documentary to be received back in the U.S.?
James: That's a good question. I really don't know. It won't be released until mid 2012, but a lot of questions are already in my mind concerning that. How I can get it seen, whether or not people will like it, if it will be entertaining enough. I hope this can be something that shows Africa to the Western world in a realer and more original way than ever before. And if it does, then it will sell itself.
Yes, the documentary has a trailer. View the Chad Now trailer and learn more about the film on Kickstarter.
The Chad Now trailer is also available in HD on YouTube.
Visit the website for the newest Africa film. Also find updates on the documentary and your chance to purchase memorabilia from the Chad portion of the movie.