The video above was shot on my phone while driving (I don’t recommend this) to Penn State the day after the Sandusky scandal shook my alma mater. Nearly every radio station was talking about the shocking content of the Grand Jury Report. But this isn’t where my story of making No Act Of Ours begins.
On Nov. 10, I woke up and did what I do every morning. I opened up facebook to see what’s going on in the world and with my friends. I saw a bunch of posts with vague sentence fragments about Paterno, Sandusky, and the Board of Trustees. I thought, what happened at Penn State? I’m sure it’s nothing that serious. I’ll check it out when I get to work.
I jumped online and saw that Coach Paterno was fired, the president was asked to step down and that Jerry Sandusky is alleged to have sexually abused kids. I also saw that students took to the street to protest the firing of JoePa. OK, this is serious.
This is a huge story. It’s my alma mater. I grew up 30 miles from Happy Valley. This is going to tear this community apart.
Have you ever gotten an idea that doesn’t seem to come from you? It just seems to jump into your brain and you’re like, where did that come from? Well that’s what happened when I found myself lugging my camera gear to my car and heading to State College.
I called my cousin on the way down to see if I could crash on his couch. I called my mom to let her know what I was doing. She debriefed me on the allegations. I really didn’t know much about the story and that’s what made my split second decision scary. When I got there I saw that this wasn’t the place I had left many years ago. Happy Valley was occupied by camera vans and reporters.
The energy in the air was tense. Heavy. Chaotic. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what was going on. There were many more questions than answers.
I walked around that night talking with students. Most students wanted to talk. Some lashed out and asked me when I was going to leave. When they found out I’m a PSU alum and that I was there to get the student perspective they relaxed as much as they could.
Now it’s more than six months later and the funding trailer is up on Kickstarter. People are talking about the film online and so now it’s time for me to process this experience and talk about it. We’re trying to raise $28,000 in 45 days to cover the filming, editing, music, and promotion of the film. We’re at $4,380 with 35 days to go.
In these six months it’s become clear why I’m making this film and why I made that split second decision to join this community during these dark times.
I’ll talk about those reasons in my next post.