I want to let you in on a little secret. I’m not Paleo. (Cue the shrill screams).
Way back, when I first begun working on We Love Paleo with our Director Caroleen, I thought that my biggest problem was going to be my dietary status. I couldn’t give up the opportunity to work on the film, nor the chance to scoff another donut. So I figured, something had to give if I was to work in a foreign world of tight bods and tasty meat juices. How could I contribute something to this team, other than my dedicated producing skills, and fit in?
It turns out that, while yes, the majority of our cast and crew is in fact Paleo, something could be gained from being the outsider of the group. Perhaps I could take advantage of this perspective and use it to make our case bigger and better…
You get a lot of this ‘criticism’ stuff when producing a feature film, especially when it’s the director’s first feature film, and even more so when you tell people, investors included, that a good portion of the funds are to be crowd funded. But add in the term ‘Documentary’, and the subject ‘Health’, and all manners are thrown out the window.
Believe it or not, overcoming the ‘funding’ obstacle may not have been the hardest challenge in producing We Love Paleo. It was the undeniable criticism of what our team stood for, that was the more sensitive issue to work around. Being able to support, justify, and represent your own film is essential, so as a non-Paleo, and member of the general SAD-eating public, I found myself in a strange dilemma: what if people find out? It turns out, that this was an unfounded worry, as I was able to embody the typical audience member, the outsider to paleo, intrigued by what they saw, and spurred on to find out more.
Problem is, opinions are as populous as 2 cent coins, and in today’s digital day and age, the web is littered with easily available comments and criticisms on just about anything. As with any way of living, dieting, thinking, or behaving, everyone has a different way to do it, and in producing We Love Paleo, we knew that this would be an undeniable issue. The Paleo diet is not brand new. Actually, it’s tens of thousands of years old, but the movement as we see it today is still shiny enough to get people talking. In fact, the Paleo diet has been covered by Time magazine, The Telegraph UK, Scientific American, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and countless other online and print publications. So it’s no surprise that for the huge number of supporters there are of the Paleo diet, there are just as many critics, meaning that our team has to deal with criticism on a daily basis.
The Paleo lifestyle is not a religion, and we want people to think for themselves. It is infinitely more effective in the long run to make people aware of the health dangers that exist in modern life, rather than to force them to fit in a box of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Have you ever gone to the doctor about an ailment, and left feeling less sure about your diagnosis than when you entered? Everyone’s body is different, and what works for some, may not work for all. Evidently, through the medium of film, We Love Paleo succeeds in spreading our message of healthy eating and living to the masses. But more importantly, it is the individual, who thinks for him/herself, understands our message, weighs up the options, and reassess his/her lifestyle, eating habits, and routines that makes the difference. This is what Paleo thrives on, and the reason why today, it is so popular and talked about.
Sigourney (aka Ziggy)