PERREAULT Magazine OCT | NOV 2015 - Page 103

Perreault Magazine - 103 -

In 2006, when he told me he was working on a way to clean water for those in need, I thought it was going to be his most important and lasting innovation. I wanted to try and follow the story of what it means to go from an idea in Dean Kamen’s head to reality.

SK: You mentioned that it took almost 7 years to make the feature documentary? It described as “an inspiring portrait” of this modern-day Thomas Edison. Was makes you a successful storyteller?

PL: In the over-30 years that I’ve been telling stories in the theater, on TV and in movie theaters, I like to think and believe that I’ve picked up a few important lessons along the way. Rules are good but even better is when you can absorb the rules, know when it might be good to break them or bend them and trust your gut, your deep pocket instincts. Storytellers become better and better at it the more they tell stories. At least I hope that’s true.

SK: Kamen founded FIRST Robotics competition in 1989, a non-profit organization that holds robotics and technology competitions for K-12 grades to inspire kids to get into science and tech. He hopes that it will be soon in every school in the nation. What drives innovation today?

PL: I don’t think I have a short answer as to what drives innovation today. FIRST is terrific in that it gets kids working together with adults where they learn much more than how to build a robot. They learn leadership, teamwork, responsibility, and a lot of necessary social skills. Innovation is one of those catch all words. Perhaps, the degree to which we have screwed up this beautiful planet will drive innovation in the future. I like to think that SlingShot says one thing in every frame: “we can fix this.”

SK: What is something that you want your audience to be able to take away and learn from your documentary film?

PL: A new attitude about water. It’s just so damn important to us all.

SK: What ’s your finals words for PERREAULT readers?

PL: Come see SlingShot wherever you can or download it in September or view it on Netflix starting in November. Awareness is where everything starts. You have to know about the problem before you can start to fix it. SK: Thank you for your time! Wishing you continued success!

Segway - by Inventor Dean Kamen