FAIRFIELD, Conn. – With only the money in their bank accounts, three friends set out from Fairfield and Easton to make a documentary about the development and use of the Amazon in Peru.
“It started off as just an idea to go backpacking,” Fairfield resident P.J. Hoffman said. “Since we had made films together we thought, well, let's bring a camera.”
Hoffman went to Greens Farms Academy in Westport with Easton resident Christian Chapman. During high school, the two made short films together and said they always wanted to create something bigger. And with the help of Hoffman’s friend Cody Troyer from George Washington University, the three co-produced a film that focuses on the Iquitos region of the Amazon.
The film, about an hour long, follows the lives of the people in three different parts of the Iquitos region in Peru and how they are living with the efforts to conserve but also capitalize on the forest.
“Pretty much we just wanted to investigate the issues surrounding conservation and the issues surrounding the people,” Chapman said. “Our investigation centers around trying to find the different challenges that are prevented and helped with the government protection.”
Making the film was a challenge, they said, because they had no contacts in the Iquitos area and were making the film on a budget of what they had in their bank accounts.
“We tried meeting with people before we went on the trip to get any advice and funding, but since this is the first project of this nature for us we were kind of left on our own,” Hoffman said. They just happened to meet the right people at the right time while in Peru to make their movie work.
They came back to Fairfield County in mid-December with 55 hours of video and immediately began editing together their film to make a one-hour movie. And while they edited, they created their own production company Resonator Films.
“We’re just constantly coming up with more ideas for future projects,” Hoffman said. “We have a couple ideas but we’re not sure yet.”
For now, they’re continuing to make minor edits and screen their film “La Selva Tranquila” in as many places as they can.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, there will be a screening of the film at the Fairfield Gazebo on the Post Road at 8 p.m. and is free for the public to attend.