University Of Florida Film Crew Explores White Springs In Documentary

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By: Greg Gullberg
Feb. 02, 2013

White Springs, FL - A local film crew is spending time in rural Florida. Their goal is to capture the values and strengths that can be found in a community that is isn't rich in dollars, but rich in tradition.

"People are coming together. They're helping each other. This is representative of home town values a lot of us have lost touch with," said Kevin Thompson, Architecture Professor.

Thompson and his research assistant Aaron Wiener are shooting a documentary for the University of Florida in Gainesville. Thompson wants to use this movie to help students understand and appreciate life in rural America.

We caught up with them while they shot video at the "Fuel Bank" where volunteers take salvaged trees, split up the wood and distribute them through out the neighborhoods to help heat homes during the winter months.

Thompson and Wiener have been shooting in White Springs about once a month for the past year and a half, covering everything from charity events to family reunions.

"It's like a "Cinema Verite" kind of style. We don't want to interfere with what's going on. We want to get them doing what they would normally do as if we were a fly on the wall," said Aaron Wiener, Research Assistant.

The project got started with a private grant to the university to highlight the strengths that still can be found in rural areas despite the economic challenges they face. The Mayor is onboard and happy to be a part of the project.

"The fact they care that much about our community that they want to study it and help us promote it, we think it's terrific," said Helen miller, White Springs Mayor.

"There are community values at play here that we've lost touch with in many parts of the state," said Thompson.

The documentary does not have a name yet. They plan to release a rough cut at the Azalea Festival on March 17th in White Springs but they'll likely be finishing the project this summer.

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