It was May by the time we were ready to head back to the former United States to continue our research into the so-called Transition, the political event that marked the dissolve of that country's federal government and the creation of several distinct countries in its wake. After our first go, I realized just how much territory, literal and figurative, we had to cover if we ever hoped to do what we intended with this project. And yes, I've started saying "we" rather than "I" as this documentary ceased to be my personal mission over the course of our first four months in North America. Most of the crew from that first jaunt returned with me while several additions to our team came on board out of their own interest or my urging. Even my wife Janet insisted on coming with me, though I begged her to reconsider. As we learned on our first trip, America can be a very dangerous place.
The most efficient way for us to cover the breadth and depth of the Transition and the resulting states was to separate into several smaller teams, one for each region. They break down as follows:
My colleague and dear friend David Clarence led a three-person team through the Republic of New England. David is a seasoned journalist with experience as an embedded reporter in Sudan and Jakarta during their turbulent periods in the decade prior to the release of this documentary. He's a brave and supremely competent man who knows how to dig up a true story.
To the south of David's team in the New American Republic, Canadian filmmaker Natasha Walsh spent several months meeting with various elected officials and respected businesspeople. She was also fortunate enough to be in New Orleans for the opening of the Frears Hotel and Resort, the largest building in the NAR.
Because of his experience in our first trip, cameraman Manolo Vasquez took it upon himself to investigate the history and current conditions of the troubled Texas region. He joined the Eighth Brigade of the Texas National Guard on their yearly Inspection Convoy Operation.
Rick Parsons, one of our angel investors and an accomplished author back home, gladly accepted our request that he put his astute mind to work in the Pacific Civic Administrative Union. He traveled throughout the region with the approval of the collected Chief Representatives of the PCAU.
Lauren Case, a film student from the University of Edinburgh and winner of the Canal+ New Voices Award for her documentary short Seven Days in Aberdeen, was given a grant to cover the Mountain League states of Denver and Utah for our project. She is a talented filmmaker and was wise beyond her years even before we boarded the plane westward.
Finally, I, Lucas Tanner, along with my wife Janet and a trusty camera, spent the trip in the Northwest Alliance following union leader and noted Federationist Steven Merrill on his campaign to unite supporters for the formation of a federal government in the Alliance.
At this point in the film, I will relinquish my role as sole narrator and bow to the expertise of my fellow investigators. It was my hope that by delegating the many branches of this task we could more effectively find the truth of what happened to the former United States and where it stands today. I was not disappointed.