How To Get 10,000 People to Support a Documentary

When Chad Amour, a filmmaker based in Minneapolis, approached us in January 2016 about a Friendraiser, he was clear that at our first meeting, dress would be casual.

And he lived up to it.

What wasn’t so casual was the story he told us about - a story he wants to find a way to tell. To a lot of people. 

In 1993, Mary Johnson’s only child, Laramium Byrd, was shot to death at a party in North Minneapolis. Oshea Israel, 16, was tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 years. Mary sought to meet Oshea while he was at the state prison in Stillwater. To make a long-story short, she forgave him – and they became close. In fact, they lived next to each other for a few years.

Their story of reconciliation can be told that quickly.

Here is the problem: The story is always told that quickly. Under the surface and behind the scenes, there is a lot more happening in the lives of these main characters, as well as their families, friends, and surrounding community of North Minneapolis. There has been a ripple effects around these events over the past decades.

This is where Chad comes in. Humdinger Pictures is making a feature-length documentary to tell the full story. Mary is helping him do it, because she too wants to tell the full story. The feature-length documentary will be called RECONCILE.

There are significant barriers to making this film. Will this project succeed? Will Chad get the support around this project that he needs? Or will the project simply fade into irrelevance?

On February 28th, 2016, in partnership with Humdinger Pictures, the Midtown Community brought together a group of people to celebrate this project and start brainstorming how to build a community of 10,000 supporters.

The event consisted of 24 people who learned about Chad’s work and then offered their ideas and thoughts through a facilitated brainstorming session. A lot can happen in two hours.

Those ideas, as well as pictures, from the event can be found in the eBook, which we created for and delivered to Chad after the event.