Earth and the American Dream – a trailer

Emmy Award Winner
Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Editing
Earth and the American Dream, Gary Weimberg, Editor

Sundance Film Festival Jury Special Prize
for Superb Technical Achievement

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 A beautiful and disturbing film recounts America’s story from the environment’s point of view. From the arrival of Columbus to the simple wilderness living of the 16th and 17th centuries, through the agrarian lifestyle of the 18th century, the changes from the Industrial Revolution, to the 20th century when most of the planet’s resources have been depleted — this film examines the North American landscape and all the wildlife destruction, deforestation, soil depletion and pollution that have been wrought to make the American Dream come true.

This award winning HBO documentary was drawn from a world-wide search for images, resulting in a library of over 5,000 hours of visuals, 200 hours of which were brought into the editing room, distilled down to a superb 77 minutes, and then reduced yet again to one minute for this promotional trailer on this web-site – your basic 250,000 to 1 shooting ratio.

In this passionate indictment of current trends, the filmmakers have spared no offender…
New York Times Review

Historial Note:

This was the first long-form documentary ever edited on a non-linear editing system.

The producer fell in love with the idea of saving money and increasing creativity by using a then brand new software that would allow you to do an offline edit on a Macintosh computer.

Avid Technology was the company providing the software, and the editing software itself was …  the Avid Media Composer.  The rest, as they say, was history.

We know we were the first because that is what Avid told us.  They loved having us paying clients as a Beta test site, and the difficulty of arranging our 200 hours of dailies into 50 mb optical discs was mind-boggling to them (and us!)

Of course, there were non-linear editing systems used for editing narrative feature films before us, just as there were other NLE systems before the AVID, primarily the EditDroid and Montage systems.  Neither system was friendly at all to the needs of documentarians and as a result, this film had the honor and the burden of being the first long form documentary ever edited on a computer.


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