Can a Documentary Save Lives?
Producer of ‘Catch Me if You Can’ and ‘I, Robot’ Hopes to Make Film in Memory of His 13-Year-Old Daughter
In April 2010, movie producer Michel Shane kissed his daughter Emily goodbye and sent her off to a slumber party. The next afternoon, as she walked alongside the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., to meet him at their designated pickup spot for her ride home, a speeding motorist swerved off the road and struck her, killing her.
Emily became yet another victim of a road nicknamed “Blood Alley.”
Shane, executive producer of Catch Me if You Can and I, Robot, hopes to end the senseless loss of life – in his community and others across the country – by doing what he knows best: telling the story on film.
“Documentaries have created movements, and in creating the documentary, we will identify workable solutions. I’m hoping Emily’s story and the stories of other who have died on Pacific Coast Highway will establish the template for every community cursed with a deadly stretch of highway,” says Shane.
He has launched a Kickstarter campaign, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1253740183/pch-probably-cause-harm, which runs through Aug. 20, to raise the money to make the film.
“I’ve tried the traditional routes to address the safety issues on the highway, and nothing has happened. Until a person experiences the excruciating pain of losing someone they love more than life, most think as I did – ‘It won’t happen to us,’ ’’ Shane says. “By sharing the story of this highway and the lives it has taken through the most powerful medium I know, we can begin to address every ‘Blood Alley’ in the country.”
- How can documentaries and other movies lead to social movements?
- Why are more and more filmmakers turning to Kickstarter to fund projects?
- I understand there were some ironic events leading up to the death of your daughter. Can you tell us about them?
- Why aren’t measures being taken to make deadly roads like Pacific Coast Highway safer?
- How will your project benefit other communities?
About Michel Shane: Michel Shane is a filmmaker, producer and co-founder of Hand Picked Films. He’s best known as the executive producer of “Catch Me If You Can” and “I, Robot,” along with his business partner Anthony Romano. On April 3, 2010, Shane’s 13-year-old daughter Emily Rose was killed by an erratic, speeding motorist on Pacific Coast Highway, a road that has become notorious for motorist and pedestrian fatalities. Lined by homes on one side and ocean on the other, it serves a community of 13,000 but draws hundreds of thousands of motorists on holiday weekends. Recognizing that many communities have a deadly highway, Shane hopes to provide a “template for change” using his documentary as a catalyst.