Or­gan trailer stirs opin­ion

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - Taelor Pelusey

A provoca­tive trailer for a lo­cally made or­gan do­na­tion doc­u­men­tary is ruf­fling feath­ers across the globe, but the Mar­garet River film­maker at the cen­tre of the cam­paign says it’s hit­ting its mark, with or­gan do­na­tion regis­tra­tions on the rise. The two-minute film was cre­ated by Richard Bul­lock and Richard Todd — the maker of award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary Frack­man — to raise aware­ness of Todd’s new­est film, Dy­ing to Live.

It de­picts Je­sus on the cross, in what Todd de­scribes as a Monty Python-style sketch, and car­ries the catch­line “what would Je­sus do­nate?”. Since its re­lease on Mon­day, the trailer has been picked up by me­dia out­lets na­tion­ally and over­seas, and com­men­tary so far has ranged from “of­fen­sive” and “dis­gust­ing” to “thought-pro­vok­ing” and “bril­liant”.

Todd told the Times he had al­ways ex­pected the cam­paign would make waves but he was blown away by the re­sponse. “I had a friend in Swe­den say they’d heard about it,” he said.

“My mate from Fre­man­tle over­heard a bar­man talk­ing about it. “A lot of peo­ple are talk­ing. “It’s re­ally caus­ing a stir.” While not nec­es­sar­ily a pro­po­nent of the adage “any pub­lic­ity is good pub­lic­ity”, Todd said the cam- paign’s up­sides were hard to ig­nore. Some of th­ese can be tracked through his web­site, dy­ing­to­live.com.au.

“Ap­par­ently 77 peo­ple have signed to the or­gan donor registry as a re­sult,” he said.

“My in­ten­tion was never to

of­fend. My in­tent is to save lives, and there couldn’t be a more Chris­tian thing than that.”

A spokes­woman for the Or­gan and Tis­sue Au­thor­ity said of­fi­cial fig­ures would not be col­lated un­til the end of the month but there had been an in­flux of calls, most in­quir­ing about reg­is­ter­ing, but some in­stead opt­ing to re­move their names from the list.

Todd said he un­der­stood about a dozen peo­ple were so of­fended they were con­sid­er­ing re­mov­ing their names from the reg­is­ter, but he be­lieved new regis­tra­tions far out- weighed the num­ber of peo­ple leav­ing.

Or­gan re­cip­i­ent, star of the film and Cowaramup res­i­dent Pe­ter Wood said he was shocked to hear peo­ple were con­sid­er­ing re­mov­ing them­selves from the reg­is­ter.

“Surely if peo­ple are pas­sion­ate enough and have gone to the trou­ble of sign­ing up, they wouldn’t do that,” he said.

Over­all, he said he saw the cam­paign as a pos­i­tive.

“It’s cer­tainly rais­ing aware­ness, whether peo­ple like it or not,” he said.

Dy­ing To Live pre­miered in WA at Cine­festOZ in Au­gust and screen­ings kick off in WA from next week.

Todd stressed Dy­ing To Live and its two-minute trailer were not af­fil­i­ated or linked in any way to the Or­gan and Tis­sue Au­thor­ity, so com­plaints about the trailer should not be directed there.

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