Two points I'd like to add to this story: the democratization of funding and tools.
Two years ago my co-producer and I applied to 20 foundations to fund a film on end-of-life care. We were turned down by all 20. They included local, state, and national foundations. The politics of the the issue (death panels) made the idea of funding a beautiful film about a taboo subject radioactive. We did two things, built a website to spread the word and this created a grassroots effort to self-fund the project. Since then the film, Consider the Conversation, A Documentary on a Taboo Subject (www.ConsidertheConversation.org) has been shown and purchased in all 50 states and 13 countries.
Regarding the democratization of tools, I teach fourth grade. My co-producer is a hospice educator. Yet we use many of the same tools that those in Hollywood use. Tools like Final Cut Pro, affordable HD cameras, You Tube, reproducing DVDs, websites, and social media, like Good, allow us access to the modern equivalent of the Gutenberg Press (1436 AD).
The fact that a fourth grade teacher can produce a documentary in his basement that is played across the country on PBS, in churches, libraries, community centers, movie theaters, and homes, and the message of improving end-of-life care is heard across the country and internationally should give all of us hope.
Doctors have asked us to produce a second film that zeros in on the doctor/patient relationship, so we are back to square one in trying to fund the film. Visit us to learn more about our calling, our mission, and our simple goal: change our culture regarding end-of-life care.