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 I was standing outside Gates BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri, waiting for my co-worker to arrive. I was hoping to just get a few words with her so I could let her know that I truly did not know what was going to happen in the next thirty minutes.


Of course, I knew we were going to eat delicious barbecue with a high possibility of onion rings dipped in delicious vinegar-forward barbecue sauce. I had very little idea of with whom we would be eating said delicacies. We were meeting with a gentleman whose name had been given me as someone well-connected in the African-American community in Kansas City.


We at Brainroot are working on creating compelling documentaries that reach across racial differences and communities and cultures within the United States. This desire leaves us keenly aware of the cloistered facts of our own communities. Along this vein, I had reached out to a few friends saying, “Hey, I want to be more connected to communities outside my current one(s)! Can you help?”


It was in response to this that I appeared with our project’s executive producer, Carla, at one of the premium barbecue joints of the world.


Before I could convene with Carla, I got a ring on my flip phone; it was our friend the unknown introducee. He said he could see me standing outside and that I oughta come on in. I told him I was waiting for Carla. He then appeared through the double doors and introduced himself.


John* had a black Kansas City Chiefs shirt on, corn rows that flowed into long braids down the back of his neck, and a wide, sincere smile that revealed one or more gold front teeth.


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Keeping On

The rush of travel and tasks is a constant pressure right now. As I type this, Nathaniel and I are shuttling back and forth between Kansas City and Atlanta. We’re taking a quick day trip to work with some of the producers at Georgia Public Broadcast – GPB is one of the five PBS member stations working on a national documentary project that Brainroot is overseeing. The last six weeks have had me burning down I-70 from Fulton (where I live with my wife) to KC (where Nathaniel and the rest of the KCPT team are) to work on this project that I love – flying through a ton of intense meetings, crashing on a kind KC couch overnight, doing a second day of non-stop meetings – and then rushing back to Fulton to be with the one I love while doing non-stop emails, calls, and document builds.

It’s a great team of people. It’s a project we’re passionate about. It’s project that’s funded.

…I don’t like it.

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Project Prep: Your Fellow Americans

We’re excited – and have been for the past weeks – to be prepping for a new documentary project. The series is titled Your Fellow Americans. It’s going to be a (hopefully) on-going web series that will slowly, calmly take a look at what it means to be an American. It will examine issues of race, immigration, and The American Dream.

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The Cigar: An Introduction

We just completed a short documentary about cigars. Take a few to watch! It’s an introduction to cigars and cigar smoking for first-time smokers and novices. Curt Diebel is a second-generation owner/operator of Diebel’s Sportsman Gallery in Kansas City, MO.

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Oddly Correct – Timelapse Tuesday

The third of 22 Timelapse Tuesdays. This one was spent with Mike Schroeder of Oddly Correct Coffee in Midtown, Kansas City. It was a fun production with a lot of beans and Mike talks about balancing the views romantic and practical views on roasting coffee.

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We Are Superman: Documentary Trailer

Finally, a solid trailer for the documentary that Kevin and Christopher have been working on since February of 2012. We Are Superman is a documentary film that takes a look at the historic socioeconomic and racial divide along Troost Avenue in Kansas City. The film explores the history of Troost, and chronicles

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Kansas City – Timelapse Tuesday

The second of 22 Timelapse Tuesday.

Once again, the evening was over-crowded and the 1.5 hours just wasn’t enough to get the post-production done. I don’t know why I thought it would be. But, it is live and it is posted. The purposed of this project is multifaceted. For the pieces themselves, the goal is to give people the opportunity to reflect on

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