Stephen Baldwin making timely oil documentary

Thu May 20, 2010 2:34am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Elizabeth Guider

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - It was arguably only a matter of time until someone got the urge to make a film about the risks of offshore drilling.

But it took the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico to bring money, passion -- and the right celebrity -- together. This last is actor Stephen Baldwin, who is in Cannes to talk up a documentary he has already begun shooting called "The Will to Drill."

A lot of "serendipity," he said, helped get this $1.5 million project off the ground. The focus will be the impact of the current oil spill and its devastating, and almost certainly long-lasting, effects on the people and economy of the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"This is not a blame game," Baldwin said. Asked if this pic would take British Petroleum to task for its key role in the accident, the actor said he thought "everyone is to blame for this oil thing, for our over-dependence on it. Not just one company."

The actor does see the project as proselytizing for the environment: "I want to talk to the world with this film. I want to create the story of the impact that then crescendos into motivating people to be pro-active in their own choices."

To this end, Baldwin has involved one of his old friends and mentors, Paul Cohen, a filmmaker and current director of Florida State University's Torchlight Center -- and crucially the marketing brains behind the recent international hit "The Cove" -- as an associate producer.

Also tangentially involved, and perhaps the eventual narrator of the pic, is Kevin Costner, who, Baldwin said, has spent some $25 million of his own money to come up with the so-called Costner Oil Separator. In turn, this centrifuge invention, which Costner worked on along with his engineer brother, may be brought to the attention of BP.

The oil giant at the center of the catastrophe in the Gulf, BP, is still racing against time to figure out how to plug up, divert or otherwise end the now three-week-old river of oil that is already destroying fish and fauna along a huge stretch of land and sea.   Continued...