SACRAMENTO, California – May 26, 2014. It’s a story 250 million years and 163,696 square miles in the making. This fall, the Legacy Project’s 2-hour public television documentary, Becoming California, will air on PBS.
Narrated by award winning actress Jane Fonda and with an original score by legendary musician Pat Metheny, Becoming California is a powerful new documentary that reconciles humans with nature on America’s western edge. It will explore our past, present and future relationship with California’s natural environment and examine one of the most important questions of our time.
Can nature and civilization coexist?
Becoming California will examine this question by exploring California’s stunningly diverse and yet astonishingly transformed environments, as well as inspiring and hopeful stories of how Californians are finding a new partnership with nature.
Full of stunning cinematography, astonishing aerials and 3D animations, Becoming California will show how the legacy of California’s changing environment – the synthesis of natural and human – will profoundly influence its future.
“We’re thrilled that Becoming California will air on PBS,” says Executive Producer Jim Baxter. “The production team, led by producer/director Kit Tyler, has been working tirelessly on this remarkable film for the past five years,” adds Baxter. “Together with writer, Richard York, Kit has done a heroic job telling one of the most complex and monumental stories of our time!”
After two years of research on the natural and human history of California and another two writing, Kit and Richard achieved a final script. “Many important stories were abandoned in the process,” admits Tyler. For York, “struggling to distill millions of years of California’s complex environmental change into a clear dramatic structure was the greatest challenge and reward of my career.”
Both Tyler and York agree that the story – moving from conflict to reconciliation – offers all Californians hope for the state’s environmental future.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to California’s tremendously diverse and beautiful environments,” says Jeffrey White, also an Executive Producer on the film, “while at the same time a cautionary tale of human transformation.” Adds White, “It’s also an inspirational story, one that we hope will resonate with people and prompt them to rethink their relationship to the natural environment.”
In the film, Becoming California explores how human attitudes toward the environment dictate the nature of change, and how a fundamental shift in those attitudes can foster healthy, functioning environments amidst vibrant economies. These two elements of change are intended to come together in the film to tell an even greater and more hopeful story – the California of tomorrow.
Adds Baxter, “The environmental change we explore in this film isn’t the tired old story of people versus nature. It’s a hopeful and forward looking story – one that benefits nature and people too!”
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