We are all hopeful that millions of people can see this film and come to their own conclusions about the story. Conscious decisions were made along the way not to overly politicize the film. There’s an amazing movement of people making really important advocacy documentaries that are affecting change. However, in this film the people with whom we came in contact and who allowed us to tell their story, to a degree, created the balance of the film. In effect, the film doesn’t have a clear advocacy position. Fernando Solanas said, “We realized that the important thing was not the film itself but that which the film provoked.” I hope that this would be the case with The Creek Runs Red. We, of course, wish that people would be simply moved by the story and the characters. Although, I think the film does suggest questions that we’d hope the viewer might be intrigued to know, such as: how it is that we’re still struggling to clean up the worst accidents of the post-industrial age? What were the actions of the Bush Administration that set back Superfund, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act; and why it is that toxic waste sites seem to persist longer in poor communities with high minority populations?
—Bradley Beesley, Julianna Brannum, and James Payne
Julianna Brannum, Producer/Director
Julianna Brannum is currently producing an episode in a five-part series for PBS’s American Experience on the rise of Native American activism in the 1960s and ’70s. She also recently worked as associate producer for a Discovery Channel documentary series, Play’s Anatomy: The History of Video Games. Prior to that, she served as segment producer for LTN’s Red Light, a documentary-like weekly lifestyle program on Los Angeles subcultures. In additional to working as a producer, Brannum also spent eight years working as a film programmer for AFI Fest, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent (formerly IFP/Los Angeles). She has also consulted on various film projects and film festivals. Brannum is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she studied journalism/radio/TV/film production. She is a member of the Comanche Tribe of Oklahoma.
Bradley Beesley, Director
San Francisco-based filmmaker Bradley Beesley has been named one of Filmmaker’s Top 25 Independent Filmmakers. His 2005 documentary The Fearless Freaks, featuring the Flaming Lips, has screened worldwide and aired on the Sundance Channel. Summercamp!, which Beesley co-directed with Sarah Price, premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Beesley also directed Roller Girls, an episodic documentary for A&E, and Okie Noodliing (2001), an ITVS program. His long-term collaboration with the Flaming Lips includes co-directing 10 of their music videos and acting as producer and cinematographer on the sci-fi narrative Christmas on Mars. Beesley’s first film, Hill Stomp Hollar, won first runner-up at the 1999 SXSW film festival.
James Payne, Director
James Payne has worked on the productions of several award-winning feature documentaries including Hill Stomp Hollar (2000), The Fearless Freaks (2005), and Okie Noodling (2001), which he wrote and produced with longtime friend Bradley Beesley. In 2006, Payne started the Fieldguide Media Company, which focuses on documentary productions. In addition to producing and directing, he works as a sound recordist in narrative, documentary, network television, and commercial productions.