A Southern Fix: An Important Documentary for All Animal Advocates

A Southern Fix is an important new documentary film that brings to light the harsh realities of pet overpopulation, the killing of adoptable pets, in the Southeast, and the rest of the country.

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A Southern Fix is an important new documentary film that brings to light the harsh realities of pet overpopulation, the killing of adoptable pets, in the Southeast, and the rest of the country.  Funded by a Kickstarter campaign that found 211 backers of the project pledging over $20,000 to see this come to fruition, it has had screenings in Knoxville, Nashville, Atlanta, and Philadelphia in April and continues to march strongly forward to great reviews.  I reached out to the men behind this film to learn more and connected with Josh Gildrie, who along with Michael Samstag, founded Rescue Docs Media in 2013 to produce films for animal advocacy and rescue groups with the purpose of educating, entertaining, and, most importantly, as a tool for fundraising.

LifeWithDogs:                  So, how did your production get started? Did it grow out of a single incident or something that had been formulating for a while?

Rescue Docs Media:        A Southern Fix grew from both personal and professional work.  On the personal side, Michael has been and continues to be a staunch advocate for and volunteer with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, and I’ve always either rescued from a shelter or wound up with strays my entire life.  While working on our first full collaboration, “Tales in Flight,” we worked with Pilot-n-Paws, a volunteer group of pilots who transport animals throughout the country, and wondered how the over-population and unnecessary killing of these animals could be fixed?  And A Southern Fix focuses on finding that out.

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We’re having an incredible day shooting at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay! (All photos: Media Docs Rescue Facebook page)

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LWD:                                  Who makes up Rescue Docs Media?

RDM:                                  Michael and I with great support, advice and patience of friends and family.

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Someone is carefully supervising the editing process

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LWD:                                  What inspired you to create and develop A Southern Fix?

RDM:                                  Scotlund Haisley of Animal Rescue Corps sums it up perfectly when he talks about seeing compassion in action.  In animal rescue, you simultaneously not only see the worst humanity has to offer, but also the very best.  Truly inspiring people doing great work.

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Puppy Mills

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LWD:                                  What is the core message you are trying to get out in the film?

RDM:                                 We can fix it today by adopting from shelters.  So, very simple:  Adopt.  Don’t Shop.

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We landed and Animal Aid USA delivered their promise! Over 150 dogs, plus a pig, were handed to adopters, fosters and rescues! What an experience and privilege to have been a part!

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LWD:                                What was the most difficult part of filming? Did you run into any issues?

RDM:                               I think the most difficult aspect of this production was also it’s biggest asset and that it was only Michael and I during the core of shooting principal photography.  And that’s pretty grueling.  But it also allowed us to move very fluidly and adjust our schedules/game plans to match the story.

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Josh Gildrie, Georgina Bloomberg, Equine Welfare Ambassador, ASPCA,  and Michael Samstag.

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LWD:                                 Was there anything that stood out during this production?

RDM:                                 How much more work is to be done to end the unnecessary killing of adoptable shelter animals.

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LWD:                                 How did Animal Rescue Corps come to your attention?

RDM:                                 During preproduction, we reached out to numerous rescue groups to see who would be open to being included.  When we spoke with Scotlund and Tim, the conversation was very constructive.  ARC’s work fit perfectly with our theme and Scotland’s passion and devotion to this work had to be part of this film.  Very appreciative of their time!

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LWD:                                 How was it to work with them? What were they able to do for you in terms of your film?

RDM:                                 It was an honor to work with them and we look forward to future projects!  And in regards to the film, ARC is intrinsic to showing positive actions through doing versus simply wagging a finger at the problem.

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LWD:                                 Who should see this film?

RDM:                                 Everyone that has a companion animal, is thinking about getting a companion animal, or ever had a companion animal.  Or even anyone who has ever driven by a stray animal and wondered about its fate should see this film.

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Josh and Carmela talk with Michelle Silva from WVLT Local 8. Tune in Friday at 4pm to see the segment!

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LWD:                                 Is there anything in particular people should know either about Rescue Docs Media or A Southern Fix?

RDM:                                 Michael and I created this company to do whatever we can to hopefully make a difference.  If you’re interested in further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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1540 total miles. Just dropped off six dogs heading to their new lives!

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Josh and Michael have created a film that directly talks about the good, the bad, and the horribly ugly, but remind each and everyone of us that we can be a part of the solution.  By looking to adopt, not shop, get actively involved on local, country, state, and national levels on promoting legislation and policy change, actively volunteering whether it is fostering, helping at a shelter or with a rescue, and doing whatever is needed to raise awareness and educate those around us, we can and will make a difference.  Check out the trailer for A Southern Fix , below, and perhaps consider it as an educational and fundraising opportunity for your local rescue or shelter organization.

Thank you gentlemen, and to all involved with this project, in providing a platform for discussion and a call to action.

 

 

 

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