Friday, November 28, 2008

Google Ads, Twitter, and DVD Buzz

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day!
Are you surfing the net for deals today or waiting until Cyber Monday?

We just launched the first Google display ad for the Dare Not Walk Alone DVD and it would be great if you could let us know if you see it during your surfing (but please don't click it unless you really need to--each click costs us money).

You can leave a comment on this post or tweet us. We are We're curious to know where the ad shows up. Note that the design of the ad is pretty much dictated by Google. We did the best we could with the available options (when the ad appears, the two images, the poster and the 1964 shot of Dr. King and James Brock, slide into view to provide some animation to draw attention to the ad). Without a PR company or anything of that sort we are hoping the relatively low cost of Google ads will help boost awareness of the DVD over the holiday shopping season. As usual, anything you can do to spread the word is much appreciated.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Countdown to Change

As you may have noticed, I just added the "Countdown to Change" clock on the right of the blog. It is probably the same software people are using to count down to the end of the Bush presidency.

Now that code has been recycled to count towards a day many people thought would never come: the inauguration of the first African American president of these United States. I actually made my own "end of an era" license plate back in June of 2007 and put it on my car (see the pic on the left). Back then a lot of people would ask "What's that mean?" I would simply say "That's the last day President Bush will be in office."

In itself, that's not a political statement but I found it was a great way to flush out people's opinion of our 43rd president. And as time went by the response I got was more and more like "That day can't come soon enough."

So on this Thanksgiving Day, 2008, I'm giving thanks that the clock stands at 53 days, and counting.

Stephen Cobb
Dare Not Walk Alone

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Power of Song in the African American Community: Audio

The power of song in the African American community is the focus of this second blog post containing a short audio excerpt from the soundtrack of Dare Not Walk Alone.

The clip begins with the voice of J.T. Johnson of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference talking about what it was like to march onto a "Whites Only" beach in Florida during the Summer of 1964, facing intimidation and violence from white people who didn't want black people bathing on "their" beach.

(It's quite a shock to some younger people who watch Dare Not Walk Alone that 40 years ago there was active support for segregation, in other words, a lot of white folks fought to keep black folks "in their place." So the civil rights movement wasn't just "Let's raise awareness of this injustice." Many people supported segregation because they thought things were fine just the way they were. The followers of Dr. King, black and white, faced an active opposition in the form of white people who were vocally, and sometimes violently, opposed to equality.)

Listen as J.T. calmly describes how the marchers took the blows on those beach protests, without retaliation, and then returned the next day, fortified by prayer and song, exemplifying Dr. King's strategy of non-violent protest that eventually led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Young Women Pick Race Issues As Top Obama Priority

Yes! This is what we call good news:
"A survey of young woman for YWCA USA finds most of them want the Obama administration to make civil rights and racial justice a top priority"
KCTV Kansas City

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Looking Back on Segregation: An audio sample

I'd like to try something new in this blog post and present an audio clip from the soundtrack of Dare Not Walk Alone. Please let me know if you find it interesting. If it works, I will try adding some music from the soundtrack as well.

Post-screening discussions of the film sometimes revolve around one historical figure, and it's not Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maybe it's because so much is already known about Dr. King but attention tends to focus on one person against whom Dr. King squared off in the final confrontation before the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: James Brock.

It's not that Dr. King sought a fight with Mr. Brock or that Mr. Brock took on Dr. King. You might even say that Mr. Brock was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In 1964 Mr. Brock owned one of the most prominent motels in the City of St. Augustine, America's oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin. This was long before Disney World and St. Augustine was one of Florida's leading tourist destinations. That made it a prime target for people campaigning to ban segregation in restaurants and motels, in swimming pools and on beaches (yes folks, in 1964 the Atlantic Ocean itself was segregated--something the Beatles probably didn't think about when they flew over it to perform on the Ed Sullivan show in February of that year).

Mr. Brock was a prominent local businessman. He started the organization that became the United Way of St. Johns County. Most of the business owners in St. Johns County were white and most were opposed to segregation. Mr. Brock's personal position is unclear. He made statements opposing desegregation, but also expressed a willingness to integrate if the law was changed (the law in Florida required segregation). When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed he opened his motel and restaurant to all races; several former protesters have talked about being made welcome there. Mr. Brock's established was then picketed by Klan supporters objecting to his conformation with the new federal law.

Listen now as the late Mr. Brock, speaking in 2004, talks about some of the events of 1964 (in this excerpt from the soundtrack of Dare Not Walk Alone--click the small white > button to start the audio).


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Great Feedback on Dare Not Walk Alone's "Transformative" Power

We just heard back from a university professor in Tennessee who used Dare Not Walk Alone in a class project.

She said that watching the film was "a profound experience for our group and in a few cases truly transformative."

In the next few days we hope to post some of the student comments here. (As a reminder, Jeremy Dean, the director of Dare Not Walk Alone, is available to visit colleges and universities with the film--email for more details.)

Photo Caption: Watched by state troopers, black and white protestors opposed to segregation kneel in prayer outside the Monson Restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida, 1964.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dare Not Walk Alone DVD Pick of the Week

Thanks Columbus, Ohio!

When Dare Not Walk Alone played in Columbus last year it was an audience favorite and you gave us our first award.

And now that the DVD has been released, Dare Not Walk Alone is a Pick of the Week. We really appreciate your support and encouragement. The world needs to know: Columbus rocks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Powerful Civil Rights Film Now On DVD

Here is the latest press release about the DVD. Please pass it on to any reporters or journalists you happen to know. You can send them this short link:



Brooklyn, New York, November 11, 2008 -- Dare Not Walk Alone, a feature-length documentary about little-known events in America's civil rights struggle, is now available on DVD at Walmart and other stores. The film clearly illustrates what President-elect Obama has called "the gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time." While documenting Dr. King's heroic campaign to end segregation, the film also paints a disturbing portrait of lingering inequality, some 40 years later, in one community where that campaign was waged.

The Dare Not Walk Alone trailer can be seen at the film's web site:

Created by Brooklyn-based artist and director, Jeremy Dean, Dare Not Walk Alone has been hailed by critics as "a powerhouse of a picture" and "important filmmaking." However, making the film was an uphill battle according to executive producer Stephen Cobb.

"The director insisted the film go beyond documenting the bravery and brilliance of Dr. King's victorious strategy of non-violence to explore the aftermath of that victory," said Cobb. "But a lot of people thought this approach was too radical for a mainstream audience."

Yet this is one small budget independent documentary that beat the odds and achieved DVD distribution through major stores like Walmart, Target, FYE, Movies Unlimited, and The film's distributor is Indican Pictures.

"When Indican told us Walmart ordered DVDs," says Dean, "We were thrilled, but also stunned. That's almost impossible when you're an indie project with no star backing."

Although the DVD is not on the shelves in every Walmart yet, the retail giant is shipping from, according to Cobb.

"Our hats are off to both Walmart and Indican," said Cobb. "We're delighted with Indican because they have moved us closer to our goal of giving everyone in America a chance to see this film."

The DVD features interviews with Ambassador Andrew Young and the late James Brock, owner of the motel in St. Augustine, Florida, where Dr. King was arrested. There is also an interview with Dean who is currently on a campus tour, most recently appearing at Notre Dame University's WorldView Film Series.

About Dare Not Walk Alone

Featuring rare archival footage, the film also contains recent interviews with participants in the campaign to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The project began in 2003 when director Dean was still in his twenties. After post-production work at Atlanta-based Crawford Communications, the final cut debuted in 2007 and was quickly signed for distribution by Indican Pictures. Theatrical screenings in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland garnered praise from critics:

"Powerful slice of roiling American history."
Los Angeles Times

"Has great potential to do real good in the world."

"Minutely attuned to disparities of class and race...a triumph of outrage and empathy."
Willamette Week

"Deserves to be seen"
New York Times

"Packs a punch."
Village Voice

Jeremy Dean, writer and director
Stephen Cobb, executive producer

Release is now on the wire and showing up:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-elect Obama!

Three wonderful words!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

New Civil Rights Film Now Available on DVD from Walmart

PRESS RELEASE: New Civil Rights Film Now Available on DVD from Walmart

(This is a preview of the press release that will be going out soon--if you know of journalists who might interested in covering this story, please pass this information to them--and/or email!)

Brooklyn, New York (Pre-release) November, 2008 -- Dare Not Walk Alone, the critically-acclaimed documentary about the civil rights struggle, has beaten the odds and achieved DVD distribution through Walmart. The retail giant normally carries only a select group of documentary feature films, such as An Uncomfortable Truth and Fahrenheit 9/11. (The Dare Not Walk Alone trailer is available on YouTube and at

Created by first-time director, Jeremy Dean, Dare Not Walk Alone offers a fresh and gritty perspective on the civil rights struggle and its aftermath in a community that dramatically illustrates what Senator Barack Obama has called "the gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time."

Acknowledging that this was a major marketing coup by the film's distributor, Indican Pictures, Dean said "When they called to say Walmart had ordered the DVD, we were thrilled." Added Dean, "We were also a little stunned because it’s almost impossible to get a feature-length independent film with zero star-backing into Walmart."

While not yet on the shelves in every Walmart, the retail giant has started shipping Dare Not Walk Alone to customers who order the DVD from, according to the film's executive producer Stephen Cobb.

"Our hats are definitely off to Walmart," said Cobb, adding, "As for Indican, we were both impressed and delighted that they got our film into Walmart because it takes us a big step closer to realizing our goal of giving as many Americans as possible as chance to see this film."

Hailed by one critic as "a triumph of outrage and empathy," Dare Not Walk Alone does more than document a number of crucial but often-overlooked confrontations in Dr. King's fight against segregation. Described by Film Journal International as "More than just another civil-rights history lesson," the film also explores the aftermath of that struggle in one African American community where those confrontations took place.

In addition to being available at, the Dare Not Walk Alone DVD, which features deleted scenes and an interview with the director, can now be queued at Netflix and should be widely available from stores such as F.Y.E., Barnes & Noble, and Movies Unlimited starting November 11.

Director Jeremy Dean is currently touring college campuses conducting workshops on the film and holding Q&A sessions after screenings. He most recently appeared at Notre Dame University as part of its WorldView Film Series.

About Dare Not Walk Alone

Featuring previously unaired archival footage from 1964 and exclusive present day interviews with participants in the campaign against segregation, Dare Not Walk Alone was conceived and created by Jeremy Dean, now a Brooklyn-based artist and film maker. He began work on the project in 2003 while still in his twenties and the film was first shown at festivals in 2006. A new cut was created when tragedy struck one family highlighted in the film. After extensive post-production work by Atlanta-based Crawford Communications the final cut debuted in 2007. Soon after winning the audience award at the Deep Focus Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the film was signed by Los Angeles-based Indican Pictures for theatrical and DVD/TV distribution. Here are some of the comments from critics during theatrical outings in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland:

"Powerful slice of roiling American history" - Los Angeles Times

"Has great potential to do real good in the world" - Boxoffice Magazine

"A powerhouse of a picture, minutely attuned to disparities of class and race...a triumph of outrage and empathy" - Willamette Week

"Packs a punch" - Village Voice

"The racial politics of the current presidential election make this film all the more significant" - Film Journal International

"Mesmerizing and heart-rending" - L.A. City Beat

"Deserves to be seen" - New York Times

Stephen Cobb, producer and executive producer
Jeremy Dean, producer and director
Dare Not Walk Alone
Official Web Site:
Walmart listing: