My documentary for the week was this
As you may know Burt died last week.
“Burt had a really interesting life. He went into the army and when he came back he was photographer for Time-Life. He learned about bees in upstate NY and then he moved to Maine and made honey and sold it on the side of the road.
“I realized I had it made,” he once said, “because you don’t have to destroy anything to get honey. You can just use the same things over and over again, put it in a quart canning jar, and you’ve got $12.”
n 1984, Mr. Shavitz picked up a 33-year-old hitchhiker, Roxanne Quimby, who became his business and romantic partner. Ms. Quimby, a former 1960s radical, first recycled his leftover beeswax into candles. Then, improving on a formula found in a 19th-century farmer’s journal, she combined the wax with sweet almond oil, and Burt’s Bees lip balm was born, in 1991.
Before long, what had been a $3,000-a-year subsistence business was transformed into a multimillion-dollar purveyor of eco-friendly lip balm, lotions and soaps packaged in school bus yellow containers.”
“The two together founded Burt’s Bees, a company whose all-natural products and homespun marketing appealed to hippies, homemakers and the well-heeled alike. They moved the company headquarters from Maine to North Carolina in 1994, and Quimby bought out Shavitz in the late 1990s, not without controversy and for a sum of less than $1 million, reportedly. She sold the company to Clorox Co. in 2007 for $913 million, reportedly making more than $300 million in the deal.
Shavitz and his beloved golden retrievers lived in a rustic home in Parkman, which was heavily damaged by fire this February. According to the documentary, even in recent years he continued to have a business relationship with Burt’s Bees and Clorox. The documentary shows the eccentric Mainer traveling to Japan, where his namesake cosmetics — and Shavitz — were wildly popular. There, he was greeted with the kind of adulation that seemed more likely to belong to a movie star than a backwoods beekeeper.
He shrugged off his fame, according to his 2014 interview, telling the BDN that he was more focused on the present than anything else.
“It was flattering, after a fashion,” he said of the documentary. “I like the lead character.”
Production wise a nice documentary. Funny, Sad, Interesting. The story has a nice pace and is told well. Nice photography. Great audio.
There is a scene when Burt goes to Target and he handing out samples and people are walking by grabbing the samples without even looking at him. Then goes to Taiwan and he is met at the airport and treated like a rockstar.
This was my favorite part
“At one point, Shavitz had two golden retrievers, Rufus and Pascha, who were both listed in the phone book (Shavitz himself remained unlisted). He held Rufus in his arms when the dog died, and Skyped with Pascha from Taiwan. So when Shavitz says he needs to buy a sidecar for his motorcycle so he can take Pasha with him on rides, he probably isn’t joking.”
Rufus and Pascha were both listed in the phone book. He wasn’t.
He skyped with Pascha. I loved that. Pasha skyped right back.
I feel terrible. I have never ever ever bought a Burt Bee’s Product. I think I would have had I known about Rufus and Pascha.
Even the story around the film was interesting.
The director Jody Shapiro met Burt through Isabella Rossellini who makes green porno.
Really. Here. http://www.sundance.tv/series/greenporno