One-hour version of Powerful stimulates debate about Energy security

Probably the hardest thing a filmmaker can do is cut away material. When you have spent so much time filming and then selecting your best material, it is so tough to then shorten your film even further. Yet, doing just that can often lead to a better product. Like so many producers, directors and editors before me, this is my story too.

Getting my film Powerful: Energy for Everyone down to 95 minutes was a slow and painful process. Just imagine how it felt being asked (told!) by my distributors to make versions of 52-minutes (for International television) and 48-minutes (for North American advertisement-filled television). But it was very much worth it. Being forced to cut the film to its core essence and messages made me rethink what it would take to excite, educate and entertain an audience in less than an hour.

The task also got me thinking about creating a version that would be used for public debate and discussion. If a teacher, city manager, environmental group, community energy co-op or utility outreach officer had just 90 minutes to show a film, lead a discussion and then take audience questions, what would be the key elements that should be in that film? With this objective in mind, I and my co-producer Michael Dobbin and editor Lisa Virtue completed these shorter versions and sent them out to our distributor Filmoption International to take to the major film and television markets.

And then the request started coming in to make Powerful: Energy for Everyone available to just the kinds of audiences I had envisioned. Colleges, universities and even high schools. Town energy planners, energy co-ops and more. So, I created a few DVDs with the 52-minute version and put it to the test. The feedback was great.

So now anyone can request the short or long-version of Powerful with a public screening license and use it to stimulate much-needed debate about our energy future on this special planet of ours. Energy security, waste-to-energy, green buildings, the pros and cons of wind energy, the real potential of solar power, green collar jobs, biodiesel, the economics of nuclear energy… Powerful is just the film for leading into a serious discussion about energy, and power.

To inquire about screening Powerful: Energy for Everyone in your cinema, city hall, campus … wherever, contact me by phone at 1-613-730-0870 or email david[at]

One Response to “One-hour version of Powerful stimulates debate about Energy security”

  1. Natal Says:

    Very much dependent on the seipcfic engineering of the wind turbine. You are losing energy to friction, so the mechanics of the device are very important. All of that is not a consideration for fossil fuels becase the earth has done most of the conversion already by using gravity (i.e., pressure), which is basically infinitely available. If you are thinking not in terms of energy cost, but financail cost, then you really need to think about the supply chain. A single high-effeicncy wind turbine might cost $5MM to build, but there is operational cost, land cost, distribution and storage costs. All of that is baked into the end user price of a gallon of processed fossil fuels. I don’t know the seipcfic numbers, but I do know that none of the wind farms would be profitable without the government subsidies that they are getting ATM.That chart of 1996 California date someone posted showing that wind is the lowest cost seems highly suspect to me at a minimum it is looking at regulatory compliance costs for things like nuclear and fossil feuls, not just the cost of generating and delivering the energy. That is the problem with data “sound bites”, they are a little to easy to quote without thinking about them.