A Passion for Pachyderms

The one thing that strikes me every time I talk to anyone about this project is their obvious passion about protecting elephants. The most unlikely suspects jump when I say- "Elephants in Rhode Island".

Take today for example. I ran across a reference to a former student (now professional cinematographer) from RISD who had done a student film project on Pawtucket's Fanny the Elephant. Frustrated by the lack of contact info on said movie-maker (Tsuyoshi Kimoto), I called his former English teacher who'd written the original article that led me to him. Michael Fink turned out to be a treasure trove. He pointed me to possible sources for the film and others who were involved in the whole Brouhaha in the early 1990s. Then he riffed on his own fascination with elephants in Rhode Island.

He had, it seems, grown up next to the stadium where the pachyderms were unloaded at circus time. They were (it seems) much less tightly guarded then than they are now, because they would lumber occasionally into his and his neighbors' yards. He got to pet them and shoot (photograph) them at will. And I'll get to see his pix someday soon. After talking elephant philosophy for a while, we agreed to meet soon and he'll reveal all on camera for me.

In the meantime, I plow through newspapers, books and films. And am inquiring into additional funding. I know I should be more aggressive and inventive here, but for some reason, I'm stuck on that end of it.

More as life and film progress.

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