Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Memories from the Set: August 9, 2009

We decided that we had much more than a trailer out of the footage we shot with Jack & Eddy, but not quite everything we needed for a completed short film, so with only weeks to edit & post, our team (including respectively brilliant cinematographer Eric Adkins & editor Brandon Balin) made a mad dash for Academy Award consideration – as documentaries must play in the theatres for at least one week prior to August 31 in order to qualify?!  Jack would laugh at me every time I would say that I wanted to sit between him & Jeannie at the Oscars- but he moved mountains to be there for the shoot, because he agreed with me that whether or not we even got a nomination, it was important to put the truth in front of the Academy voters one way or another.  So, Jack & Chuck jumped back in the van and drove down from the Seattle Hemp Fest just in time for our 2nd Day of principal photography at Big Vision Studios in Burbank, CA on August 9, 2009!

There was delicious organic catering provided by the Green Truck, Make-Up & Hair by Celebrity Stylist, Mario Lara, and you can see great pix on WireImage by Becky Sapp of some of our favorite celebrities & activists, like Scott Levy, Rochelle Balin, Ralphie May, Rob "420" Griffin, Money Mark, Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion, Bruce "King of Pot" Perlowin, and DJ Dre Ghost, who all showed up at the literal drop of a hat to support this important cause:

Everyone donated their time and it was really beautiful to see inspirations within the movement meeting each other for the very first time!  It was a long exhausting day, but Jack had his Double Barrel Double Venturi Ricocheting Vortex Effect Pipe close to the monitor and people’s spirits were high!  I was so proud of this brave group of outspoken Freedom Fighters and reminded of the important lesson we learned from the Vote For Change Video Postcard Campaign I co-directed with the pop icon, Shepard Fairey- that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for Change.

Check out this awesome article written by Matthew Henss of OC Weedly that captures the spirit of the special day:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cultiva Interview about Emperor on Urban Grower!

I had the honor of meeting and interviewing Remo of Urban Grower in Vienna during Cultiva and he shared some great memories of Jack Herer & how Jack's "Hemp Bible" affected his perceptions of Hemp! He then turned the cameras on ME & here is a fun 3 minute clip about our doc, featured on Urban Grower's YouTube channel:

Obviously, as indicated by my voice (or lack thereof!), I had a great time enjoying Viennese hospitality and really overdid it talking & smoking... thanks to Harry Schubert of Cultiva for inviting us to participate in such an important emerging market for the movement. & Thanks to Remo & Advanced Nutrients for such a great & informative site - to find out how you can be an Urban Grower with "Freaking Huge Big Buds" - you should definitely check out on the regular:

Check back with us soon for our exclusive footage from the High Times' Cannabis Cup & Cultiva!

Melissa Balin

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

win copy of Emperor Wears No Clothes signed by Jack Herer!

Below is the link for the FOADAC Celebrity Virtual Telethon on KarmaloopTV that features a World Premiere of Comedian Ralphie May talking about smoking Hemp with Jesus to raise money for African Orphans with an online eBay auction of a signed copy of Jack Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes:

The online auction for the signed copy of Jack Herer’s best-selling Hemp book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes (autographed prior to his recent heart attack on the set of the short documentary by the same name) is on eBay at:
from November 13 until November 23 (the second day of the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam) so please let all of Ralphie May’s & Jack Herer’s fans know and tell all of your friends to tell their friends that memorabilia signed by the Hemperor himself makes for a great holiday gift! Remember even 15 dollars raised from an autographed item on eBay can feed twelve orphans for a week!

Thanks again for your support, together we are making a difference! Jack Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes short doc will have its European Premiere on Tuesday, November 24 at the High Times’ Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and will also be shown at the Cultiva Expo in Vienna (27-29)!

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, concerns, or media opportunities for any of these worthy projects & causes, bearing in mind that I may be out of range or in a different timezone. Thanks for your time and attention to this matter of great importance to us all.

Long Live Jack Herer & Free Eddy Lepp!

Melissa Balin

Eddy Lepp comes to Hollywood, literally!

I was at the Cannes Film Festival lecturing on sustainable filmmaking and showing my short documentary, Green Means Go! at the Cannes Short Film Corner…

When a friend forwarded me the link about Eddy Lepp’s sentencing. Somehow, like Shirley Temple, I had remained hopeful that Eddy would receive leniency for clearly not fitting the profile of criminal intent, and the mad mad whirl of celebrating my birthday in the South of France ground to a halt as the enormity of what I was reading from across the world sunk in, with the presiding Judge herself calling it “an excessive sentence”.  

I called the Farm immediately, only to find that Eddy was out at Costco shopping – no doubt the house would be filled with guests in the coming days. “Can you give him a message for me? Please tell him that I’m coming back to America as soon as I can finish things up here and I’ll help him cause a media ruckus. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll visit him with cupcakes with a nail file in them and break him out of there!” Okay, but you really shouldn’t make jokes like that over the phone, I was admonished gently.

Eddy was kept pretty busy with his appeal and getting his affairs in order, but with just days until he was to surrender himself to a 10 year sentence at Lompoc Prison, Eddy Lepp came to Hollywood- literally! With his wife Linda, they caravanned down with Jack Herer & Chuck Jacobs to begin Principal Photography on Jack Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes. It was a special day, where celebrity friends and activists with a common goal to tell the truth about Hemp gathered with very little notice in my mother, Rochelle Balin’s private yoga studio, in order to read excerpts from Jack Herer’s Best-selling Hemp book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. In between takes, Rochelle Balin treated Jack to a personalized Breathe Break, which he posted on his YouTube channel, so everyone could benefit:

In addition to reading excerpts from the book, Eddy spoke candidly about his sentencing, why he wasn’t trying to run, and his life’s mission to Respect All, Hurt None And Love One Another. Eddy & Jack also recorded promos together for their 2010 Hemp Initiative and Brand New Vote For Change Video Postcards- which will be online soon!

Eddy Lepp is not just an infamous Freedom Fighter and Executive Producer of one of the most important Hemp documentaries of our time, he is also my dear friend, and is the person responsible many years ago, for introducing me to his lifelong friend and living legend, Jack Herer. Just days before his heart attack, Jack Herer, told me “when we get back, we have to focus on getting Eddy out of prison. We have to do everything we can.” We’re coming with those cupcakes, Eddy!!! And How About A Pardon For The Garden, Obama??? Find out what you can do at http://www.FreeEddyLepp.Com

Melissa Balin

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hemp Can Save The Planet!!!

There is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time...

and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . .