Much to the surprise of everyone, including its director, Josh Fox’s “Gasland” has become a political lightning rod of a doc. While the film didn’t make waves in theatrical release, its HBO broadcast and Oscar nomination has raised awareness for the dangers of the natural gas industry’s habit of “fracking,” which has lead to contamination of the water supply. More than anything, it’s pissed off the powers that be, which has lead to increased coverage of the issue and a well-funded campaign against the film.
In an interview at Truth Out, Fox offered an update on what he’s been doing since the film was first shown.
While showing the film in theaters and community events, he’s been chronicling the everyday people he’s met who have been effected by fracking. “Their stories are just as compelling,” he said, “so on the tour we would shoot during the day and screen at night. We built the majority of the second film over the course of that year. We are still shooting but we are very close to completing that aspect of the film. It has been a volatile organic process.”
Fox has also started a program called “Shale Watch.” “We are distributing cameras around the country to what is almost like a neighborhood watch,” he explained. “People can post their footage and document themselves hopefully in collaboration or conversation with the EPA.”
Fox’s background has been mostly in theater–as the artistic director of the International WOW Company, his feature film debut “Memorial Day” was a weird, experimental roller coaster ride that blended a girls-gone-wild spring break vacation with the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib. But it looks like Fox has found a new calling.