Synopsis: Filmed over the course of 10 years, “We Want the Airwaves” chronicles the journey of a trio of first time TV makers as they set forth on a daring adventure. The group creates and films an activist focused docuseries (“Manifesto!”) in the year 2005, with the goal of launching the first citizen’s platform on network television.
Cut from countless hours of behind the scenes footage and interviews with TV & Cultural insiders and outsiders, “We Want the Airwaves” follows the making of “Manifesto!” all while exposing the harsh realities of the ethically challenged unscripted television world.
The roadblocks for the trio quickly become monolithic. Besides the inevitable interpersonal conflicts that develop, how do you sell a TV series which challenges the status quo? The kind of series that advocates for viewers to get off the couch and get active in their communities?
As the filmmakers continue their journey, with a nearly blind commitment to their plan, they raise just enough funding to shoot a pilot. As they begin to pitch their series, they are fueled by adulation from their peers & TV executives alike. These accolades bolster their belief that they will change television as they know it and give a broadcast voice to a generation.
Those who are able to tell their stories not only contribute to history, they also impact and engage their communities. “We Want the Airwaves” is a thoughtful exploration of the power of our collective first amendment. It’s also a rare, unvarnished glimpse of the dark underside of unscripted Hollywood.
“We Want the Airwaves” began filming in 2005 during the Hollywood digital divide (prior to Youtube and HD cameras). Because of this, the film captures a unique ecstatic moment just before the crossover into digital streaming. For independent filmmakers, it was an exciting and turbulent time.
“We Want the Airwaves” is inspired by the tumultuous journey of making and pitching the anthemic docuseries “Manifesto!” But “Manifesto!” would have never have been made if my good friend Stacy hadn’t challenged me on a summer night back in 2005.
At the time I’d been shooting documentary shorts for an adventurous new startup. Despite that, I was frustrated professionally as I felt the work I was doing didn’t reflect my purpose. So, when Stacy asked, “what would you do if you could do anything?” it sounded too Seussian to take seriously. But I answered her question anyway, “I’d tell the untold stories, the stories of the disenfranchised, the unheard… television for the people.” This conversation directly led to the concept for “Manifesto!” and within a couple of months, an opportunity to pitch “Manifesto!” (and hence to begin filming what became “We Want the Airwaves”) presented itself.
I still haven’t told Stacy this story, but I have a feeling she’s about to find out! Ultimately, making “Manifesto!” helped me not only challenge the TV status quo, but to make sense of a mass media landscape largely bereft of the good works & desires of everyday people.
Scott began his professional career as a performer and quickly realized that his desire to make films went way beyond the need for storytelling. He wanted to make films that entertained and inspired audiences. This need was cemented while working in the environmental movement since he was a teen.
Scott’s vision came to fruition when he formed Zero Point Entertainment with partner Charmel Green. Together, the duo discovered a missing element in television: the desires and dreams, the very manifestos (or missions) of everyday people were not being represented. Scott’s background intertwined with this deficit & inspired the project & show known as “Manifesto!”
Recently, Scott founded Monkey Wrench Agency, a company focused on production of PSAs for underserved non-profits. A PSA he directed and produced for 5 Gyres Institute was featured in their international campaign to ban plastic microbead pollution in our waterways; this resulted in a statewide ban in California and contributed to a nationwide ban, signed by Barack Obama in 2015, known as “The Microbead Free Waters Act.”
Scott’s social justice work spans environmental, animal welfare, & civil rights issues, having worked on behalf of Greenpeace, NRDC, Friends of the Los Angeles River, DawnWatch and Rhapsody in Green amongst others. Scott’s animal advocacy includes working with animal advocate Karen Dawn on her campaigns. He was also the co-founder and executive director of the endangered species non-profit Identify Foundation, where they launched a Mountain Gorilla project and a prepped a Pink Dolphin project. Partners included DFGFI (Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Intl) and MGVP (Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Patrol), as well as WWF and Sea Sheperd on prepped projects.
Scott was an early, loud and proud creator and supporter of socially conscious, cause oriented television. He continues to push the envelope whenever he can. “We Want the Airwaves” is Scott’s feature documentary directorial debut.