Replan It

Rob Hill Interview: Replan It

From documentary filmmaker Rob Hill and CNN Hero Jock Brandis , Replan It is a ground-breaking new documentary series that follows a team of inventors to underprivileged, remote villages to install sustainable solutions and help improve lives across the globe!

Scene: an isolated village completely off the grid. No electricity, no phones and very little contact with the outside world. In the event of an emergency, something as simple as a cell phone would be more valuable than gold! But how could you keep it charged?

Welcome to Replan It. It’s MacGuyver meets Mythbusters! A fun, entertaining program that shows how basic science (and ingenuity) can teach and empower people around the world!

This pioneering documentary series features a group of rogue, low-tech engineers called the Full Belly Project, crossing the globe developing simple, sustainable solutions that change lives.  Led by CNN Hero and Purpose Prize-winner Jock Brandis (one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of sustainable technology), Replan It and the Full Belly Project will inspire audiences as they improve the lives of people around the world.

In each episode, Jock and the team visits a community in desperate need of resources like clean water, sanitation, and health care. Once there, they determine that specific community’s needs and create innovative but simple solutions that will bear the most impact.

But getting there isn’t easy and Jock and the team can’t do it alone! That’s why an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign has been set up. By donating to the Replan It IndieGogo campaign, your dollar will help to bring much needed support and resources to those in need across the globe.

We spoke to one of the men behind the series, Rob Hill – best known as the director of the acclaimed film Fort Fisher Hermit.

Replan It 

We haven’t seen a lot from you since Fort Fisher Hermit – can you update us on what films and other projects you’ve been working on since that was released?

Since the Fort Fisher Hermit I’ve directed/produced two  television documentaries, BATTLESHIP NORTH CAROLINA; The Showboat Legacy and Raggedy.

BATTLESHIP NORTH CAROLINA; The Showboat Legacy highlights the USS North Carolina’s history and her legacy that continues today. Viewers will be enlightened and moved as former sailors that served on her decks return to share their stories along with those that witnessed her majestic arrival to her permanent home in the Port City. These personal accounts are supported with never before seen footage of the USS North Carolina in action, along with 16 mm color footage filmed by Hugh Morton of the Battleships final voyage up the Cape Fear River and the grand ceremony of her dedication as the State World War II Memorial. Historical accounts give way for a glimpse into the world of modern daily life aboard the Battleship Memorial today. From her campaigns in the Pacific during the Second World War to the guided tours for groups of school children this documentary explores over seven decades of history.

Raggedy delves into the artistic origins of the Gruelle family and brings to light many of the little known stories and facts surrounding these two icons that came to be loved by millions. While witnessing the festival events held by a group of fans know as “The Raggedy Friendship Gathering” the audience will witness the connection that so many have with Johnny Gruelle’s lovable creations. Cameras roll as these fans gather at the museum for possibly the last time. They recant their stories and share their feelings about the end of an era. Interviews with Joni Gruelle and her husband Tom bring history to life through family photographs and nostalgic stories of the past and present.

Is directing a feature documentary different from directing a documentary for TV?

The process is very similar. However, that process repeats itself many times over, depending on the length of the series.. Since RePlan It began as a feature documentary, our initial approach was to build our first 6 episodes from over 300 hours of footage, covering a span of nearly 10 years, as Jock Brandis and The Full Belly Project execute a wide range of sustainability projects in over a dozen countries around the world. From this material we have focused on sharing the most compelling storied moments.

We’ve seen the press release, but in your own words.. What’s RePlan It?

I would describe RePlan It as a documentary series that is trying to effect social change by taking an active role in sustainable development through the content that we create.

So, can you summarize that it’s part reality series, part ecological campaign?

I’ve had the opportunity to work with corporate sponsors, such as Herman Miller and Sealed Air/Diversey, not only as a filmmaker but also as a suitability project manager. We’ve worked with these corporate sponsors to  identify real world problem and offer partial, sustainable solutions. We’ve overseen every aspects of the process; from R&D, through prototyping of new technology and the implementation into communities, all while documenting the entire process for the series.

Replan It

Was it always the plan to try and crowd-fund the series? Did you try other avenues first?

We’ve always wanted to incorporate the crowd-funding process into our program, not only for funding, but also to help build our audience while engaging people and giving them a way to give back through some of our perks that will help deliver sustainable technologies to communities. To what extent of funding we’d seek wasn’t clear until recently.

We have worked with corporate sponsors in the past to raise funds for production and we’ve done an exceptional job of stretching our budgets and getting the most out of our funding. However, we’re at the point where we need to deliver content to our distribution partner, KCET/LinkTV, to secure our broadcast and continue gaining corporate and foundation support.

How’s the campaign going? What do you believe are the most appealing aspects of it?

Our indiegogo is steadily gaining traction. I think the most appealing aspect of our campaign is that we offer perks that donate  Full Belly Project’s technologies to underserved communities around the world. The Full Belly Project often receive request that they simply can’t afford to fill. These perks allow people to play an active role in sustainable development too by pledging support to donate water pumps, nut sheller and recycled soap machines to underserved communities.

When can we expect a narrative feature from you? Is that in the works?

I’d like to direct a narrative feature someday soon. Sever years ago I did acquire the rights to a teen coming of age novel, High Before Homeroom by Maya Sloan. I was also hired by the publishing company to do a promotional trailer for the book based on my vision of the film.

I had a lot of fun directing and producing that… so you never know.

 

VISIT THE REPLAN IT INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN HERE: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/replan-it–2

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Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.


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