Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 24, 2018

Fairfield documentary to debut next month

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Jul 17, 2017
Courtesy of: Dick DeAngelis Jason Strong of the Fairfield Media Center records an interview with Chérie Haury-Artz of the University of Iowa’s archaeology department.

The first chapter of a 15-month “labor of love,” is slated to debut next month at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

Fairfield resident Dick DeAngelis, who conceived of the idea for the Fairfield History Series, which are documentaries about Fairfield and Jefferson County’s distant past, present and future, plans to release the first chapter of the eight-film series Aug. 26 and 27.

“It’s a free show,” DeAngelis said of the 50-minute film, called “Life before Fairfield.”

“This movie turned out a little better than I thought it would,” he said.

Since its release over the weekend, the film’s trailer has already garnered more than 15,000 views.

DeAngelis said views are multiplying by the hour.

“People are very excited about it. There are so many people whose families have lived here for generations, and even some people who are brand-new to the community who are really excited about seeing the film. It struck a nerve,” DeAngelis said. “I’m happy to hear, that I’m not the only one.”

However, the amount of fanfare the trailer has received wouldn’t be a shock to most, considering DeAnglis recruited a team of Fairfield’s most talented videographers, editors, a variety of advisers, field experts and renowned subject-area experts from around the state and region.

DeAngelis described the first film as a story about ancient Iowa, exploring its inhabitants who lived here thousands of years ago including huge animals that roamed Fairfield and Jefferson County in days past. The story reveals the lives of the indigenous people who lived here, such as the native Ioway and Meskwaki tribes.

“One of the advisers who was mentioned in the movie “Jurassic Park,” Dr. Bob Bakker, a noted world-renowned palentoligist, agreed to present in the film,” DeAngelis said. “He actually did research just about Iowa so that he could contribute specific comments about the megafauna of this area. He doesn't speak about dinosaurs in general, butdinosaurs, but  specifically whether or not they appeared in Jefferson County.

“When people leave, they are going to leave with a message — but the message is not heavy-handed. They will learn about what was before ... we all live on this same land, but who lived here before us ... this is part of our shared history,” he said.

Although the film is on the eve of its first showing, DeAngelis said it’s still in the final editing stages and more funding is needed to see it through.

“We need a little under $3,000 to bring it home,” he said. “We’ve already got some people who see how important this is to Fairfield, who have donated including Eveybody’s [Whole Foods], Libertyville Savings Bank, First National Bank of Fairfield, Farm Bureau, Cafe Paradiso as well as so many individuals have donated, too. Many people have made monetary donations monetary and other contributions.”

DeAnglelis said so many experts in their fields had volunteered their craft, which helped to ensure the quality of the production.

“Around 80 volunteers have been a part of this,” he said. “Something like this would have cost $100,000 to make, we’ve done it for around $20,000,”

DeAngelis said he hoped the film would be a legacy for the community.

“This begins to tell the story of what makes Jefferson County special,” DeAngelis said. “I hope it’s something that brings people together.”

Residents can find the “Life before Fairfield” trailer on vimeo.com at www.vimeo.com/225618048.

To donate or learn more, go to www.fairfieldmediacenter.com/lifebeforefairfield.


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