How did a couple filmmakers get interested in historic preservation, walkable cities, mixed-use zoning, form based codes, and other seemingly “wonky things” that make people’s lives better?

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JOHN PAGET

PARTNER / PRODUCER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

I grew up in Olympia, Washington, the eclectic and perhaps quintessential Pacific Northwest small town, and later moved to Buffalo, New York. Here in the ultimate underdog town, I’m proud to have made a series of films that helped spark the ongoing renaissance of a once moribund rustbelt city.
As a filmmaker, my favorite characters have always been places.
My first documentary was on Route 66, the historic highway. For me, the Mother Road was more than the lure of the open highway and America’s love affair with the automobile. The real story was the hundreds of wonderful small towns, main streets, and unique proprietors struggling to survive against against the onslaught of freeways and franchise blight.
To this day, I’m driven by the agony of America’s homogenization, and the thrill of seeing communities survive and thrive when they rediscover and celebrate their unique character.

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CHRIS ELISARA

PARTNER / PRODUCER & PROJECT MANAGER

Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, during the era of “free-range kids” I experienced cities as safe and enthralling places to be and grow up. Around 2008, John introduced me to the design ideas behind the city experience of my childhood, and in 2009 we did our first film on urban design for the Congress for the New Urbanism. Ever since, I’ve been a champion for urban design that makes people’s lives better as a board member for The Congress for the New Urbanism and New Urbanism Film Festival, international work through UN-Habitat, and of course through films that spark the imagination for re-vitalizing cities that have lost their way.

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