Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Documentary: Chat The Planet - Hometown Baghdad

TV Veterans Laurie Meadoff and Kate Hills are the brains behind Next Next Entertainment, a TV and multimedia production house in NYC specializing in reality and documentary programming for major networks on both cable and broadcast television. Together they head up another, more personal project of theirs called Chat The Planet. They describe their mission like this:

"Chat the Planet is a global dialogue company. We connect young people from around the world to talk about everything from politics, prejudices and war to sex, music and life in general.

Chat the Planet is uncensored, unscripted and unlike anything else in the mainstream media."
The first major project that they took on at Chat The Planet was an online episodic reality series called Hometown Baghdad which consists of 38 short 5-10 minute videos about 3 young men trying to cope with ordinary life in one of the most violent places on the earth today. It was shot and produced entirely by a small Iraqi crew. The above episode titled, jimi hendrix, is typical of the series. The guys must break into a house to dodge a gunfight on their way to the basketball court to shoot some hoops. While there they talk about how their friends are all moving away and one of them expresses their personal philosophy of living.

I love this series because it really makes the Iraq conflict real. These young men are very empathetic characters coping with all the things that ordinary American's like them do every day. It's just that these guys are trying to do it in the middle of carnage and violance. It really cuts right to the heart of it all and makes it very real in a way that our traditional media would never dare to bring it.

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