Filmmaker Statement from Producer Ron Melmon
When people ask me how this project came together I remember it was the result of a visit to my niece who lives in Telluride, CO. On my most recent trip, I asked her about the gateway to the town, this big beautiful, open green space that the San Miguel River meanders through, greeting locals and visitors everyday. I was curious why the gateway hadn’t been developed.
She told me the 600 acres had been slated for homes, condos, golf courses, lakes, and commercial development. The majority of Telluride opposed this and were given a court ultimatum that included a price tag of $50M, and a three month deadline to raise the funds to keep the Valley Floor forever wild.
How did they do it? I was fascinated and intrigued. My niece and I started compiling notes, buying books, scouring newspapers and making lists of those who could help us tell their story. Quickly it became quite daunting!
At that time I was working as a videographer for our own Sedona International Film Festival. One of my tasks was to shoot the Documentary Film Workshop. The moderator was Bryan Reinhart, a filmmaker and educator I’ve known for 15 years. There were 5 documentarians and the questions Bryan asked were very eye opening. A filmmaker from England had been working on her film for almost 15 years! I sure didn’t want my project to take that long. Then it hit me. I needed help.
I wondered if Bryan would be interested in assisting me. The rest is history. Suffice it to say, we got together, surrounded ourselves with an award winning team, and manifested a great film.