I had the chance this past weekend to spend some time talking to Judy Plavnick and Mark Farkas about their pet project that is starting to gain attention in the DC area. Word of their film venture has been slowly seeping into the District's consciousness over the last week or so, and when a member of their team reached out to me, I jumped at the chance to speak to them. The film project is called "Under Our Skins: A Dave and Goliath Story" and the story kicks off from the infamous lawsuit between Dan Snyder and the City Paper/Dave McKenna. Here is a link to the crowd-funding site they started to raise money for production.
There is always a subtle difference between the word on the street and the word out of the horse's mouth. Initially, I was given to understand this movie was a Snyder-bashing extravaganza.
Mark and Judy are seasoned producers and journalists. Mark is a Peabody Award winner and Judy an Emmy Award winner. More importantly, they are both diehard Redskins fans and readers of Hogs Haven. As you all know, I have always maintained I would lend the help I was capable of lending to the worthy endeavors of this community. I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting a third-generation butcher who makes the best pulled pork I have ever tasted (Sam's Butcher Shop)! Why wouldn't I want to show support for a project that is very much after answers to questions we all have?
After speaking with Judy and Mark, I came to the conclusion that they have not set out to capitalize on some folks' distaste of the Washington Redskins owner. Instead, they ask the question, "What has gone so terribly wrong with this franchise?" They seek an answer to the question, "What will it take for this franchise to actually be good again?"
Judy has worked for NFL Films, ESPN, and she even covered the World League (WLAF). Her family held Redskins season tickets since the early 1960's and her and her husband's personal lives--like most of ours--are largely scheduled around the Redskins. Similarly, Mark has also been a diehard fan and can still be found in front of his television on Sundays when the burgundy and gold are playing.
It is somewhat intuitive that two people who love a team as much as they love the Redskins, and with their respective backgrounds, would seek to embark on this kind of a journey. It's what they do. At the very least, it is worth checking out some of the information they are putting out ahead of the project (here is a link to the project's Facebook page).
I think we can all agree how this will play at Redskins Park. I hope we can also all agree that this is the real shame of it. Dan Snyder calls himself a lifelong fan of this franchise. At the end of the day, if anyone should know the pain and misery we feel, it should be a fellow lifelong fan. Why wouldn't he also be interested in answers?
I am no PR professional, but it seems to me that Dan Snyder's involvement in this film would be one way for him to show that he really does see himself as a fan, and would also possibly stem the tide of public sentiment against him.
After all, he is either part of the problem or part of the solution. At this point in his tenure, one of those options at least feels more accurate than the other.
On behalf of Hogs Haven, I wish you two the best of luck and I look forward to seeing the finished product. I sure hope you are able to get Dan to sit down with you. Most of all, I hope this leads to something positive. We shall see!