How did zBurg happen?
Director’s Message –
I’m from Ogdensburg, New York and grew up there like any other kid trying to stay out of trouble. As a young teenager I threw a snowball at the wrong car and met someone from the other side of town. He was violent, gritty and living by different rules. I was lucky. I wondered what might have happened if I wasn’t. Decades later, I teamed up with local film maker Ethan Henry to develope this story and we started casting locals interested in making a web series.
I wanted to make a regional product. So much of our news and entertainment is directed toward a national audience, a re-purposed set of stories that we have heard before from the usual places. I wanted to tell a story from an unusual place I hadn’t seen on screen before, my hometown. A large swath of America stopped telling it’s own stories, and is losing it’s regional and personal identity; their own local flavor and history are being ignored in favor of more popular or provocative commercial choices.
With the invaluable support of the community we shot all over town. We tried to tell a humorous and accurate story of people in conflict with a specific place as it changes right underneath them. I hope you enjoy it. I think we really captured something rough, unique, local, funny and at times, maybe meaningful.
– Mark Valley