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Ingredients for Whiskey & Apple Pie

By Jamie Spooner and Carolyn Mayes

What does it take to get into a movie like Whiskey & Apple Pie?

When we decided to make a movie, the original goal and mission was to create a reverence for an older generation.  We wanted to do something to inspire America to take better care of its elders. We felt that older people were sometimes ignored or “invisible” in society.  We were concerned for the seniors who do not have a lot of financial or family resources to help with their needs as they age. Furthermore, we knew that in the next 30-40 years, we may be one of them.  At a national aging conference we attended, we spoke to a couple key players in the aging industry about how we were going to create a reverence for an older generation through our ICareVillage web site (www.icarevillage.com) and movie series. They laughed at us and said, “You can’t create a reverence for an older generation. It’s not going to happen.”  We do not agree.

Our goal in creating Whiskey & Apple Pie was to show the wisdom and stories and history that seniors seventy-five years of age and older have to share.  While many documentaries explore a select 4 to 7 people to interview in depth, we felt that to reflect a cross-section of seniors from many walks of life, we wanted to show many seniors and not just a few.  We interviewed over one hundred seniors across America. Whiskey & Apple Pie depicts about thirty seniors within a one hour feature documentary.   With traditional documentaries the perfect interviewee of any age has the following three qualities: 1) A good story; 2) Storytelling skills and; 3) Story support materials such as video or older photos to illustrate the interviewee or the story.  We learned how difficult it is to find all three qualities in one interviewee.  Some had great stories but they were shy to share them.  And some shared riveting stories but we had no background footage.  So we did what we could to take the best ingredients from hundreds of hours of our own footage to create a movie that provides inspirational quotes, nuggets of wisdom and creates a reverence of an aging generation.  We hope that one of the thirty seniors in Whiskey & Apple Pie will speak to you personally.

We plan to continue capturing the stories of the elders for a video series we are calling “Wisdom of Elders Across America.”  If you know of a senior who has the ingredients for a good interview please send us a note to stories@whiskeyandapplepie.com.