It was ten years ago ~ the summer of 2007.
It was beautiful and sunny. Driving my convertible with the top down through Lakewood Ranch, suddenly I felt something was wrong. Pulling to a stop I turned off my motor and heard . . .
No construction noise. No trucks backing up. No workers yelling.
Everywhere was silence.
And it hit me. Home construction, which had been ignited, had stopped.
I wasn’t surprised ~ based on what I’d personally been seeing.
Delivering my hand-made 3-D displays to sales showrooms across Florida I’d witnessed lines of people longer than a NY casting call waiting outside sales centers that hadn’t yet opened to the public. Long lines of standing people with checkbooks and pens in hand. Inside, sales staff were ‘giddy’ with excitement contemplating the many homes they were about to sell. A fad had developed in Florida. Single buyers buying many homes, to then ‘flip’ in a couple of months when the values went up.
Wasn’t this the very essence of a ‘pyramid scheme’?
News reports would state how home mortgages were being bundled, to be sold off to foreign investors. Extremely wealthy people living in other countries now owned our homes. We had lost ownership of our most prized possession. Those wealthy foreign investors were counting on us to keep making our monthly mortgage payments on time in order to make those foreign nationals even wealthier. The movie ‘The Big Short’ ~ my opinion ~ summarized it very well.
When Rockefeller Center celebrated its fiftieth anniversary they hired me to research their history. I was given incredible access to Rockefeller files. Announced on ‘Black Tuesday’, built during the ‘Great Depression’, I would wonder ~ could something like that ever happen again? When a handful of people in Wall Street and Washington can make a few decisions, sign a few papers, and the whole world collapses?
Apparently it could. And it did.
I have personally witnessed the human suffering that has taken place these past few years. People who lost their jobs, their homes, their families. Who have even lost their lives.
This is a major reason why I created this website – to inspire my hometown, the place where I was born and raised, to imagine something better as we all re-build. And, it is the human stories from these past ten years that has inspired me to form my non-profit film company. I would like to tell their stories, if the good people who live around me will kindly let me.
Just when the economic fallout was beginning, I wrote a letter to the Sarasota City Council, comparing what was about to happen to the recent major hurricanes that had so devastated our state. To my surprise my letter was openly published in the local press. People who knew me thanked me for writing it.
After a hurricane has passed we who live in Florida know what we must do. We continually prove ourselves to be very resilient. We rise up the next day, clean up the debris, repair our homes, our lives, hug our families, thank God for a new day, and become stronger. Our families closer. Our faith greater.
My hometown is a great place where I am proud to live. I wish it the best. The people who live here have personal deeply felt stories. I would wish to film and share their stories with the deepest respect and personal care.
Hans Carl Clausen
President & Director
Captured On Film Productions Inc
A non-profit corporation expressly formed to educate and to inspire.