PHOTOber Halfway Mark!

For the past two weeks, the Woodstock West Facebook page has been bustling with activity. In an effort to create a 'friend'-raising campaign to expand the ever-growing Woodstock West Facebook community, we created PHOTOber. Throughout the month of October, Woodstock West fans and friends have found a new photograph posted on the film's Facebook page every morning. Many of these photos were submitted to filmmaker Sheila E. Schroeder from individuals who participated in the peaceful protest of 1970.

The objective our PHOTOber FRIEND-raising campaign is to build knowledge, build a photo library and most importantly build a community of people who are interested in Woodstock West both as a moment in time and as a film. Creating this online community has a range of benefits from allowing the filmmakers to learn more about the encampment to creating a forum where the Denver hawks and doves present in 1970 can communicate and reminisce with each other. "Documentary filmmaking has changed significantly with the introduction of social media," shares Schroeder. "By creating a Facebook page for the film early on, we are able to assemble a larger number of photographs, film clips and stories from people who were there and build a well-rounded perspective of this historical event." The addition of photos, stories and new captions appearing regularly on the Woodstock West Facebook site have helped the filmmakers to identify new faces, learn about music groups present on campus and see photos through new eyes.

The response received throughout the first two weeks of PHOTOber has been amazing. Schroeder is pleasantly surprised with the new posts and added friendships she comes across each day. "I am continuously wowed by the memories triggered when our friends view these photographs from almost forty-two years ago. Reading the comments and seeing the conversations started on our Facebook wall in response to photographs solidifies the benefit of creating a page like this for the film."

As of today, Woodstock West: Build Not Burn is more than halfway to the goal of gaining 303 friends. In an effort to build the community further, the filmmakers have encouraged fans of the film's Facebook page to not only view and comment on the photographs posted daily throughout the month but to share these photos with their friends and family members who were also a part DU's tent village. The goal is to find as many Woodstock West participants as possible and discover how this one moment in time influenced their lives today.

It is also interesting to note that as the friends of Woodstock West are reminiscing about the 1970 tent village, history is repeating itself before our eyes. If one travels five miles north of the University of Denver campus, she will find herself among a present-day tent village. While the reasons for protesting may be different, this peaceful gathering mimics many Woodstock West elements, such as the encampment, donated food and a plethora of hand-made signs. Schroeder has found ways to tie-in articles about the Occupy Denver and Occupy Wallstreet events with the PHOTOber photos demonstrating that activism is still alive and well today.

Over the next two weeks, the filmmakers hope to see even more activity on the Woodstock West Facebook page. "I believe we will be able to finish off the month at 303 friends and continue on to reach 1,970 friends by the forty-second anniversary of Woodstock West in May, 2012," says Schroder, "but we cannot do it alone. It will take the spirit of Woodstock West and the effort of our friends to share these photos and stories with their friends and help build this valuable network."

To see the complete PHOTOber photo archive, head over to the film's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/WoodstockWest.