SFF: How would you describe the community involved in forest protection in the Little Applegate valley?
DH: Well, the short version is that the community made me want to live here - and now I do! After living in LA for almost 15 years, I really felt that this beautiful community full of dedicated people here in the Little Applegate, are like no other. It was something I didn't find in LA. There is a different type of connection in Southern Oregon and the people I know here are ready to come out and fight for their backyards. With the Speak for the Trees effort, we had three fundraisers on Yale Creek Road - which were hugely beneficial both financially and for getting feedback on the film. I am currently working on a new project, with the working title of "The Paper Trail." I have been developing, researching, and filming for the past two years. It also addresses logging but takes a wider perspective while continuing to focus on Oregon as its central location. We are fiscally sponsored through the International Documentary Association and it really nice to have a network of professionals to help us bring this new film to life.
SFF: How do you see your role as a filmmaker in supporting efforts to protect southern Oregon forests today?
DH: I aspire to be a good filmmaker. I spent a lot of time in edit bays back in LA but found my voice was somewhat silenced working for the studios and wanted more. I look at filmmaking as a medium through which community efforts can become seen and more widely spread and I hope to continue to meet others who are interested in preserving these amazing places.
SFF: What are you most excited for regarding the upcoming Siskiyou Film Fest?
DH: I really love film festivals and the way they connect people. With the Siskiyou Film Fest, I am really excited to see other films about local issues and to meet some new people in the area who are into making films. I am also excited to witness peoples' response to Speak for the Trees. Audience reaction is the best barometer of what works, and where I can get better.
SFF: What film projects are you most excited about in the near future?
DH: Selfish answer, my film. I’m working with producer Sheila Laffey who has a long track record of producing environmental films that have sparked change, like Who Bombed Judy Bari?, The Last Stand of the Ballona Wetlands and a long list of others. She is really good at getting things done and has been a great producer on this project. Like I said, I have been working on this new film for two years now, to further explore the bigger timber industry problems - so I have been working within my network to fundraise and research and get footage. As I get deeper into the research, I’m realizing how complex this issue is - the ecology of the forest, the politics, and the social landscape...it is much more nuanced that I had ever imagined. I’m determined to create this film because I feel that it is important. Even if it just affects a few people, there is a multiplier effect which can ripple and ideally, make people question their beliefs. It's funny how the desire to affect change can completely alter your life and perspective on what is important and how I want to spend my time.