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A Great Bridging Organization/The Development Process

Another Great Organization for Depolarization

Last week, I talked to Jaclyn Clark of The Listen First Project. I was very impressed with her and their work in depolarization. Here’s a brief summary of their important work:

The Listen First Project is a crucial organization in the effort to bridge divides in America. They bring together over 500 partners who are dedicated to uniting people across differences. By managing national campaigns and strategies for social cohesion, the project aims to prevent further fragmentation in our country.

The Listen First Project believes that working together is essential to address the challenge of division. They emphasize the power of building connections and promoting collaboration. Through collective campaigns, they reach a broad audience while ensuring diverse perspectives are represented.

Established in 2013, the Listen First Project created the Listen First Coalition, a network of partners that now includes around 500 organizations. They co-create initiatives like the National Week of Conversation to encourage meaningful dialogue across the nation. As the backbone organization, they lead efforts to align strategies and drive impactful initiatives like the Meeting of America and America Talks.

In summary, the Listen First Project brings people together, manages campaigns for unity, and leads collective efforts to bridge divides. Their goal is to foster understanding and create a stronger, more cohesive nation. Check them out here:

Spotlight on the Development Process

So today, we’re going to focus on the development stage of the film production process, which is when the filmmakers work on the story and screenplay of the film. I see this as a critical part of the filmmaking process because without a great story, the film lacks a solid foundation. I admire filmmakers like Pixar Studios who have the motto: “Story is King.” They spend about 2.5 years working on the story of the film before moving to the next stages of production and they have had an amazing track record because of this commitment. I have been working on this screenplay (on top of work and family) for about five years and it has gone through over a hundred drafts. In an early draft, I wrote about four different characters dealing with the political divide but I realized that I needed to focus on only two characters because in a short film, you do not get a lot of time for character development and with just two characters, I saw that it was possible to dig deeper. In later drafts, I have had both professional screenplay consultants and liberal and conservative members of our community read the script and have worked hard to address their notes to make the screenplay compelling and balanced. So we are coming to the end of the development process and I am going to be meeting with the actors very soon to get their feedback on the script. Then, we will be doing a staged reading on zoom and invite all of you, friends of The Question, to see the actors performing the screenplay and we’ll send out a survey to see how you liked the story and to solicit any constructive feedback. Stay tuned for more information and if you are interested to read more or have questions, please email me at

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